FAQ: If a material is antistatic, does that mean it will dissipate or conduct electricity?

Heel straps worn
ESD Heel Straps: Some form of ESD footwear must be used in conjunction with ESD vinyl and epoxy floors.

The terms antistatic and conductive are unrelated. Under certain circumstances, a floor described as antistatic—or low charge generating—will not generate static on the shoe soles of people walking on the floor. Low charge generation could be limited to certain shoe sole materials—leather shoe soles, for example, are sufficiently close to the material composition of rubber that they won’t generate significant charges on a rubber floor. Static-protective footwear also eliminates charge generation, even on floors—like ESD vinyl or ESD epoxy—that otherwise generate static.

A flooring material does not need conductive properties in order to inhibit static build-up on people walking on the floor. However, if they are conductive, many low-charge generating floors gain their conductivity from sprays or additives that leach moisture from the air. These additives usually lose conductivity over time or in low RH environments. Therefore it is imperative to follow ANSI/ESD and AATCC protocols and test charge generation on floor samples that have been conditioned at low relative humidity (<15%).

Charge generation is expressed in volts or kilovolts (kV.) A low charge-generating floor cannot be grounded unless it has conductive or static-dissipative properties. Conductive and static-dissipative properties are expressed using a unit of measure called the ohm.

Heel straps worn
ESD Heel Straps: Some form of ESD footwear must be used in conjunction with ESD vinyl and epoxy floors.

 

The terms antistatic and conductive are unrelated. Under certain circumstances, a floor described as antistatic—or low charge generating—will not generate static on the shoe soles of people walking on the floor. Low charge generation could be limited to certain shoe sole materials—leather shoe soles, for example, are sufficiently close to the material composition of rubber that they won’t generate significant charges on a rubber floor. Static-protective footwear also eliminates charge generation, even on floors—like ESD vinyl or ESD epoxy—that otherwise generate static.

A flooring material does not need conductive properties in order to inhibit static build-up on people walking on the floor. However, if they are conductive, many low-charge generating floors gain their conductivity from sprays or additives that leach moisture from the air. These additives usually lose conductivity over time or in low RH environments. Therefore it is imperative to follow ANSI/ESD and AATCC protocols and test charge generation on floor samples that have been conditioned at low relative humidity (<15%).

Charge generation is expressed in volts or kilovolts (kV.) A low charge-generating floor cannot be grounded unless it has conductive or static-dissipative properties. Conductive and static-dissipative properties are expressed using a unit of measure called the ohm.

How Static-Control Flooring Works

ESD Flooring: Static Dissipative vs. Static Conductive

This video explains the difference between static dissipative and conductive:
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More FAQs

What is ESD Flooring?

ESD floors dissipate static safely, protecting electronics from accidental damage due to electrostatic discharge (ESD) events.

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ESD stands for electrostatic discharge. Minute ESD events, too small for humans to perceive, can damage electronic components.

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Preventing ESD requires a well-thought-out ESD prevention program. What is required will be dependent on the application and environment.

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No, wood is not antistatic. You can learn which materials are antistatic and which are not by looking at our Triboelectric chart.

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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.