Photo is of a completed ShadowFX static-dissipative (ESD) carpet installation in an electronics manufacturing and assembly facility.

Static-Dissipative ESD Tile

What is Static Dissipative ESD Tile?

Static dissipative ESD tile is a type of flooring material used to prevent electrostatic discharge (ESD). Conductive elements in the tile draw static from shoe soles and transport charges to ground.

Static dissipative is a descriptive term referring to a material with electrical resistance measuring between 1.0 x 10E6 ohms and <1.0 x 10E9 ohms, using an ohmmeter. An ohmmeter measures the speed of electrical current flowing between two five-pound probes, across or through an ESD tile. The testing method is described in industry standard ANSI/ESD STM 7.1.

Highlights: Choosing the right electrical resistance for your application

For electronics manufacturing and handling applications, refer to:

ANSI/ESD S20.20 and choose a material that measures below 1.0 x 10E9 ohms.

For call centers, public safety and public safety dispatch, banking and financial institutions and any other application where people do not wear ESD-protective footwear, refer to:

Motorola R56 and/or ATIS 0600321 and choose flooring that measures between 1.0 x 10E6 and 1.0 x 10E9 ohms.

For FAA flight towers and facilities that use FAA equipment, refer to:

FAA 019f and choose a floor that measures between 1.0 x 10E6 and 1.0 x 10E9 ohms.

Are static dissipative and conductive tile the same?

Static dissipative and conductive tile are both ESD flooring materials. Both ranges meet the requirements of ANSI/ESD S20.20. The terms static dissipative and conductive describe the speed at which electricity passes through the material. Conductive floors are more conductive than a dissipative floor.

Conductive = < 1.0 x 10E6 ohms
Static Dissipative = ≥ 1.0 x 10E6 ohms and < 1.0 x 10E9 ohms

How are conductive and dissipative materials different?

Generally speaking, conductive materials have more conductive elements in the material – for example, conductive tile has a greater concentration of carbon filaments than static dissipative vinyl.

Isn’t more conductivity better?
It depends on the application. Facilities handling explosives prefer conductive flooring. Safety standards for end-user applications such as 9-1-1 dispatch, call centers, financial institutions, flight towers, etc., call for static-dissipative flooring. Electronics manufacturing and handling facilities use any material measuring below 1.0 x 10E9 – so static dissipative or conductive.

Generally speaking, static dissipative floors are most commonly found in open-access kinds of spaces such as call centers and server rooms where people wear ordinary footwear. Conductive floors are typically used in limited-access areas like clean rooms and electronic parts manufacturing facilities.
How do I choose static dissipative or conductive flooring?

You follow industry standards. For electronics manufacturing and handling facilities, follow ANSI/ESD S20.20. For telecommunications – 9-1-1 dispatch, critical call centers, other end-user spaces such as banks, utilities, media centers, TV and radio stations and other end-user spaces that depend on high-speed electronic equipment, refer to Motorola R56 or ATIS 0600321. For FAA flight towers, follow FAA 019f.

Find more information on standards here.

Why do electrical standards differ?

In electronics manufacturing and handling and EMS facilities, industry standard ANSI/ESD S20.20 requires that everyone walking on the floor wears special ESD-protective footwear. Should the floor become accidentally grounded on its surface, the resistor in ESD footwear protects the wearer from electrical shock. In typical end-user facilities where people do not wear ESD-protective footwear, floors with higher electrical resistance – i.e. electricity flows at a slower rate – are considered safer for people working near electrified equipment.

Can I use manufacturer’s specs?
No. Always refer to standards specific to your industry. Never rely on a manufacturer’s specification. Even if the manufacturer’s specification is the same as the industry standard, be sure tests were performed by an independent lab. If a material was tested by the manufacturer in house, you don’t know if it was tested properly. Nor do you know the degree of oversight.

Always require post-installation floor testing to verify in writing that your floor meets the standard for your industry. Refer to the StaticWorx GroundSafe program if you want your floor tested after it has been installed. Your only cost will be shipping and return packaging.

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Background graphic is a still from the StaticWorx GroundSafe ESD Flooring – Your Trusted Partner explainer animation. In the foreground at the bottom are two boxes. The top is a bright blue with the StaticWorx logo and "GroundSafe ESD Flooring" underneath in white. The second is a dark blue-gray and includes the text in white: “GroundWorx ESD Flooring – Your Trusted Partner”
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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.