Why Do You Recommend Static-Dissipative Flooring For Some Applications & Conductive For Others?
Have you ever wondered why we recommend static-dissipative flooring for some applications and conductive for others? Shouldn’t both types of flooring work for any application? No, because electrical standards vary by industry.
In episode 2 of Static Bursts, Dave and Rick discuss the technical difference between static-dissipative and conductive floors. Standards for flight towers, communications facilities and other end-user applications require flooring with electrical resistance measuring between 1.0 x 10E6 and 1.0 x 10E9. Standards for electronics manufacturing, however, allow for any floor measuring below 1.0 x 10E9. Dave explains why it’s important to know and follow industry standards for the specific application where the ESD floor will be installed.
What do the terms static-dissipative & conductive mean?
The terms static-dissipative & conductive describe the electrical resistance of flooring materials. Resistance is measured in ohms, following guidelines in STM (standard test method) 7.1.
Dissipative floors measure from 1,000,000 – 1,000,000,000 ohms (1.0 x 10E6 – 1.0 x 10E9)
Conductive floors measure less than 1,000,000 ohms (<1.0 x 10E6).
Why use static-dissipative materials for some applications and conductive for others?
- standards vary by industry.
- strictly enforced protocols in electronics manufacturing allow for a wider range of electrical resistance.
Flooring should always be specified based on particular industry standards.
For end-user spaces, use static-dissipative flooring with a minimum resistance of 1.0 x 10E6.
In any end-user space (where electronics are not manufactured) —flight towers, call or dispatch centers, labs, hyperbolic chambers, data centers, etc.—industry standards require flooring materials to measure between 1.0 x 10E6 – 1.0 x 10E9 – with a minimum resistance of 1.0 x 10E6.
These standards are designed to meet safety protocols.
Will conductive floors work in these applications?
Yes, conductive flooring works, but does not meet industry standards for these applications.
What are those standards?
What if the flooring material exceeds industry standards?
The resistance standard consists of a range. Exceeding the range in either direction would be like exceeding the speed limit: it would not meet the standard.
Why do I need to specify to a standard?
Industry standards are designed to meet safety and other industry protocols. In the case of a post-installation problem, specifying outside the standard increases your professional liability.
For electronics manufacturing environments, specify resistance below 1.0 x 10E9
What standard governs electronics manufacturing?
Electronics manufacturers comply with ANSI/ESD S20.20-2014. This is the best-practice standard for ESD-protected areas and ISO-certified electronics manufacturing and handling facilities.
What is the resistance requirement for S20.20?
To meet S20.20-2014, the floor must measure below 1,000,000,000 ohms (1.0 x 10E9). Any resistance from 0 to 1 billion ohms meets the standard.
People working in electronics facilities also work around electrified equipment. Why isn’t low resistance – or greater conductivity – a safety risk for them?
Electronics facilities have protective protocols in place, which are tightly monitored and routinely tested. Before entering the ESD-protected area, for example, every person is required to change into special ESD footwear—heel straps, toe straps, sole straps, ESD shoes. The built-in 1 megohm resistor in ESD footwear protects the wearer from electric shock.
Are there any other standards we should be aware of?
Yes, all floors should also be tested for charge generation. Charge generation (the amount of static generated when people walk), is measured in volts and tested according to STM 7.3.
Floors for end-user spaces should not exceed 500 volts.
Floors for electronics applications should not exceed 100 volts.
Floors for Class-0 electronics should not exceed 20 volts.
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