Exploring ESD Flooring Options for Electronics Manufacturing & Handling Applications

Exploring ESD Flooring Options for Electronics Manufacturing & Handling Applications

ESD Shoes
ESD footwear

For electronics manufacturing and handling facilities, ESD standard S20.20 requires the use of ESD-protective footwear. Acceptable ESD footwear includes conductive heel straps, toe straps, sole straps and ESD shoes.

The conductive elements in ESD-protective footwear bond with the conductive elements in the floor, creating a reliable ground connection and protecting the wearer against potential shocks on an overly conductive floor. This allows for a wider range of acceptable flooring choices.

Please note: Since this is all about 20.20 and electronics manufacturing, it should be assumed that ESD footwear will be used.

Recommended Flooring Options

  • Rubber tile & sheet flooring
  • ESD carpet
  • GroundLock interlocking or lay-flat tile
  • Conductive vinyl
  • Some static-dissipative vinyl – if static generation is under 100 volts
  • Generation 3 ESD epoxy coatings

NOT Recommended

Non-compliant static-control flooring

  • Generation 2 epoxies
  • Static-dissipative vinyl tile or sheet flooring that requires ESD polish or wax to retain static-dissipative properties
  • Static-dissipative vinyl measuring above 100 volts per STM97.2
  • Vinyl floors with sparse distribution of conductive granules
  • Any flooring product that relies on antistatic polish or wax for static-control properties, typically vinyl

These floors are unreliable; temporary finishes wear off and floor must be tested regularly to ensure compliance with ANSI S20.20

Not static control: Cannot be grounded

  • LVT
  • Computer-grade (aka low kV) carpet

Ideal, Best Practice

Rubber Tile and Sheet Flooring

With proper footwear (based on ESD requirements for the application), rubber tile and sheet flooring meet all parameters of ANSI/ESD S20.20-2014. Tests conducted by MIT Lincoln Labs showed EC (conductive) rubber to be the only ESD flooring material that inhibits static generation regardless of footwear. Rubber looks great and wears well. Because it’s easy to clean and maintain, total cost of ownership is low.

Material cost $$.

Disadvantage: High initial cost.

StaticWorx Eclipse Electrically Conductive (EC) Rubber

Our award-winning Eclipse electrically conductive (EC) rubber is a uniquely fault-tolerant, static-control flooring product. EclipseEC won the Seal of Approval from The ESD Journal as the only product suitable for Class-0 ESD (electrostatic discharge) applications. It was also recognized by MIT Laboratories as the only product that inhibits static generation regardless of footwear. And it was voted a top, money-saving product by Buildings.

Eclipse Glue Free (GF) rubber, available in rolls, is a self-adhering material that can be installed 24/7 with no adhesives and downtime.

Key Benefits

Charge generation: < 10 volts per STM 97.2
System resistance: 1.0 x 10E6
2 mm thick, available in 24″ x 24″ tile and 4′ x 40′ rolls

Eclipse GF (Glue Free) Rubber

EclipseGF (Glue-Free) conductive rubber has the ESD properties and benefits as EclipseEC rubber, with a pre-applied, solvent-free, self-adhesive backing. The adhesive backing makes for a quick, easy installation with no messy glue, along with simple maintenance – for the best performance of any resilient ESD flooring.

The preferred choice for almost any environment, EclipseGF rubber offers special benefits for clean rooms and labs, where downtime and contamination can’t be tolerated.  It’s also ideal for occupied areas and mission-critical facilities such as server rooms, hospitals, data centers, electronics handling applications, universities, and much more.

Glue-free is hassle-free – for maximum flexibility and convenience. Just roll it on and start walking. Can be applied directly over existing VCT and epoxy.

Key Benefits (GF) – in addition to all benefits of EC rubber

Interlocking Tiles with high density distribution of conductive granules

Our interlocking tiles are dimensionally stable, won’t dome, roll or telegraph seams, and can withstand heavy loads up to 30,000 lbs. Ideal for leased spaces, concrete slabs with vapor issues, occupied spaces, operational cleanrooms, and any space requiring fast, hassle-free installation.

Material cost: $$.

Advantages: Ideal for problem floors, including high-moisture concrete slabs. Easily removed and redeployed.

StaticWorx GroundLock Extreme – Interlocking and Lay-flat tiles

GroundLock Extreme ESD Interlocking and Lay-flat tiles are installable over any sub-floor, with no disruption and no permanent commitment. Unlike most tile, our GroundLock interlocking ESD vinyl tiles can be installed without adhesives and are dimensionally stable (without full adhesion). Our GroundLock tiles are also available as cut, flat-edge tiles* for seam-welding or one-to-one installation over raised access floor panels.

GroundLock Extreme meets all aspects of ANSI/ESD S20.20. Perfect for labs, clean rooms, R&D, and electronics manufacturing and handling spaces.

Key Benefits

Electrical Resistance: > 2.5 x 10E4 – < 1.0 x 10E7 ohms
Charge generation: < 100 volts
Thickness: .24” (6mm)
Size: Interlocking: 25” x 25” (635mm)
Lay Flat: 24” x 24” (610 mm)

ESD Carpet Tile

With proper ESD footwear, eliminates static charges and meets all parameters of ANSI/ESD S20.20. ESD carpet tiles inhibit static without ESD footwear. Easy installation. Sound-deadening ergonomic surface. Can be installed as a floating and movable floor without any adhesive.

Material cost: $.

Disadvantage: Soft surface, not suitable for certain wet process areas in electronics manufacturing.

ShadowFX Static-dissipative Carpet Tile

Facilities managers for call centers, 9-1-1 dispatch operations, flight towers, control rooms, broadcasting stations, casinos, financial institutions, and government and other networked offices and telecom spaces, have long appreciated the benefits of carpeted floors. Sound attenuation and ergonomics, combined with the ease and low cost of cleaning made carpet an obvious choice for end-user applications.

Key Benefits

All Staticworx ESD Carpet Tile and Planx measure in the static-dissipative range:

Electrical Resistance: 10E5 – < 1.0 x 10E9, with 100 V applied voltage, per ANSI/ESD STM 7.1.

Charge generation, measured in volts: < 100 volts (.1kV) 

Conductive Vinyl Tile

Meets all parameters of ANSI/ESD S20.20-2014—with most static-control footwear. Vinyl shines to a high gloss, wears well and is resistant to dirt and stains from messy operations or chemical spills. Perhaps the biggest advantage of conductive vinyl is its ability to be restored to a like new finish regardless of abuse.

Material cost: $.

Disadvantage: Conductive vinyl is not a low static-generating material; this means it won’t inhibit static from building on people as they walk in street shoes (walking body voltage). Without the use of static-control footwear options, like heels straps or booties, a conductive vinyl floor will actually generate static events.

Due to its static-generating base material and sparsity of conductive particles, static-dissipative (SD) vinyl tile and sheet goods often measure above 100 volts, tested according to STM97.2. SD vinyl measuring above 100 volts does not meet ESD requirements for electronics manufacturing and handling applications.

AmeriWorx Conductive ESD Vinyl

100% Made in the USA

Precision-milled, each tile is perfectly square and dimensionally stable, for quick installation with no unsightly gaps between the seams. Tough, durable AmeriWorx tiles are rated at 2500 PSI and capable of handling heavy loads –  including fork lifts, pallet jacks and heavy machinery.

When installed using our Statbond pressure-sensitive adhesive, AmeriWorx tile handles traffic immediately, with no downtime necessary for adhesive to cure. Inexpensive and easy to maintain, AmeriWorx tile has one of lowest total costs of ownership of any resilient ESD flooring option.

AmeriWorx ESD vinyl tile meets all parameters of ANSI/ESD S20.20 for static-control – and both ESD and material performance are guaranteed for the life of your floor.

Key Benefits

Resistive Characteristics:
Conductive: <1.0 x 10E6
Static dissipative: >1 x 10E6 – <1.0 x 10E9

Floor & Footwear Resistance in Combination with a Person per ANSI/ESD S97.1: < 3.5 X 10E7
Floor & Footwear in Combination with a Person – Voltage per ANSI/ESD S97.2: <25 volts with conductive footwear

Available in dissipative and conductive ranges.
* Static-dissipative by custom order

Thickness: 3 mm or 1/8”
Dimensions: Precision milled 12’ x 12” standard
24” x 24” and 36” x 36” available, custom orders

Generation 3 ESD Coatings & Epoxy

Generation 3 Conductive Epoxy: 

Arrow Electronics Installation - ESD Epoxy Coating ESD coatings provide a high gloss surface, allow for easy rolling of heavy loads, for a low maintenance floor with no seams, all at a reasonable cost.

Like ESD vinyl, epoxy and coatings are manufactured using static-generating materials and must be used in conjunction with static-control footwear. Without fully enforced mandates requiring the use of ESD footwear, coatings/epoxy are less effective at mitigating static than static-control rubber or carpet tile. When evaluating coatings for use in ANSI/ESD S20.20 applications, the material should always be tested for charge generation – with the exact ESD footwear that will be used in the space.

Used in conjunction with ESD footwear, Generation 3 epoxy provides the same static-control performance as a high-quality conductive vinyl floor. Generation 2 ESD epoxies, on the other hand, often perform well with full-coverage ESD footwear but poorly with ESD foot straps.

Generation 3 formulations consist of two layers: a) an insulating primer and b) a conductive top coat. Generation 2 ESD epoxy floors require a three-layer formulation that includes a black conductive ground plane directly under the top coat. These three-layer systems usually pass STM7.1 resistance tests (ohms) and fail the ANSI/ESD S97.2 walking voltage test (volts.) 

Material cost: $.

Disadvantages: The installer/installation determines the appearance and electrical performance. It is impossible to verify the ESD properties of coatings until after the floor has been installed and the installation has cured. Epoxy and coatings never look as good as they do the day they’re installed.

Generation 2 three-layer systems do not meet ANSI/ESD performance standards.

GroundWorx Ultra

Our premium ESD coating, GroundWorx Ultra provides a beautiful, high-performing static-free surface – for excellent value at a favorable cost point. With a tensile strength exceeding 6,000 pounds, GroundWorx Ultra is extremely durable. It’s easy to install and is quick and cost effective to maintain.

With a material cost < $2 per square foot (< $2.50 with an elevated moisture primer), GroundWorx Ultra gives you a strong, highly durable ESD floor, with optimal ESD performance, at a budget friendly price.

A Generation 3 ESD coating, GX Ultra’s conductive top coat provides consistent ESD properties throughout the space.

Key Benefits

Conductive: 2.5 x 10E4 – 1.0 x 10E6 ohms
Dissipative: 1.0 x 10E9 ohms
System resistance (w/ESD footwear): <3.5 x 10E7
Body voltage: <15 volts

Learn More


Choosing ESD Flooring
for EHMA

Choosing ESD Flooring for Electronics Handling and Manufacturing Applications

Standards for ESD floors in electronics manufacturing and handling services (EMS) are stringent. Learn how to choose the best ESD floor for your space.

Avoid Costly Failures

Avoid Costly Failures: What to Know When Specifying ESD Flooring

Standards vary by industry. Standards for electronics manufacturing and handling differ from those governing telecom, PSAPs, FAA flight towers, and other end-user spaces. To avoid costly mistakes, do due diligence and follow industry protocols.

ESD Footwear for EHMA

Static-control Footwear for Electronics Manufacturing and Handling Applications

Under ANSI/ESD S20.20-2014 guidelines, for use in electronics manufacturing and handling facilities, the floor—tested in combination with footwear—must generate no more than 100 volts of static. Without static-protective footwear—toe straps, heel straps, sole straps, or ESD shoes—every flooring material on the market will generate more than 100 volts.


Play Video
Play Video


The Pitfalls of ESD Flooring Selection: How to Avoid ESD Flooring Failure

Three fundamental mistakes account for a majority of ESD flooring failures: selecting the wrong floor for the application: failure to consider total cost of ownership; failing to test the floor after it’s been installed. Avoiding these mistakes helps ensure success. This first of a two-part series on avoiding ESD flooring failures explains why it’s important to select a floor based on the specific application and details the primary considerations that should be taken into account: assessing the type of footwear people will wear in the space and considering goals and objectives, including how the space will be used.

Episode page

Installing ESD Flooring: Avoiding Pitfalls

The cost of flooring materials is only part of the total cost of ownership. To calculate the long-term cost of owning a floor, consider installation, maintenance, repairs, and downtime required for maintenance and repair. Aesthetics are another consideration. In this podcast, Dave and Rick describe scenarios that occur when people base flooring decisions solely on the cost of the material. Dave also explains why it’s crucial to test an ESD floor immediately after it’s been installed.

Episode page

Play Video

StaticWorx high-performance static-control floors protect electronic components, explosives, and high-speed computers from damage caused by static electricity. ESD flooring is part of a system. Choices should always be based on objective, researched evidence. When you partner with us, we look at all possible items that may need to integrate with the floor, and, focusing on your goals and objectives, help you find the right floor for your application.

Play Video

StaticWorx high-performance static-control floors protect electronic components, explosives, and high-speed computers from damage caused by static electricity. ESD flooring is part of a system. Choices should always be based on objective, researched evidence. When you partner with us, we look at all possible items that may need to integrate with the floor, and, focusing on your goals and objectives, help you find the right floor for your application.