FAQ: Does ESD flooring lose its electrical properties?

FAQ: Does ESD flooring lose its electrical properties?

The static-control properties of a well-designed ESD flooring material should last as long as the floor. In high-performance, permanently protective ESD floors, elemental conductive or dissipative materials, such as carbon and graphite, are embedded in the manufacturing process. Assuming the additives are bonded to the material in adequate concentration, and the fibers or filaments are exposed—creating an electrical bond with the shoe soles of people walking on the floor or with objects such as rolling carts or ESD chairs—the material should dissipate static throughout the life of the floor.

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Finishes and Some Flooring Materials Lose Conductivity Over Time

Permanent Static Protection
ESD floors should always provide permanent static protection, without the use of special ESD wax or floor finishes.
ESD waxes and finishes wear off, providing temporary static protection that can’t be evaluated without routine testing with an ohms meter. Other materials, such as static-dissipative rubber, lose their effectiveness over time due to the chemical makeup of the flooring material. In tests conducted by ATT, static-dissipative rubber lost its conductivity after seven years. By comparison, electrically conductive (EC) rubber made with carbon chips retains its conductivity permanently.

All ESD Floors Must Be Properly Cleaned and Maintained

To perform effectively, all ESD floors must be properly cleaned and maintained. A layer of dirt and debris will act as an insulator, diminishing the performance of any ESD floor. Generic floor waxes contain static-generating polymer emulsions that also hinder performance. Common sense should be all that’s necessary to keep a well-designed ESD floor performing at optimal effectiveness throughout the life of the installation.

Dirt and Debris
Dirt and debris can act as an insulator, separating shoe soles from the static protective properties (or conductive elements) in an ESD floor.
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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.