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. 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.
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.
When choosing an ESD floor, it’s important to consider all the variables related to your specific application. Will you roll heavy loads on the floor? Do you need noise attenuation, anti-fatigue characteristics, or reflectivity? How long do you plan to stay in the building? When evaluating options, remember that the cost per square foot is only one part of the total cost of owning the floor. Installation, labor, maintenance, operational downtime add up – in the short term as well as over time.
Most people looking to purchase an ESD floor are starting at ground zero, with little knowledge about the product. In this two part series, Dave and Rick discuss the key criteria for selecting an ESD floor. Part one covers the application (environment and work performed in the space); aesthetics; installation methods; and maintenance requirements.
StaticWorx was asked to evaluate a failing floor in an electronics manufacturing facility. After a fire the client had purchased a new ESD vinyl tile floor. Three months into the installation the floor was already lifting. In addition to unmitigated vapor, the building had been built using tilt-up construction. Silicone bond-breakers – sprayed on the concrete to keep the wall slabs from adhering to the subfloor – contaminated the concrete, preventing the tile from adhering properly. As the building was operational and the client wanted to avoid shutdown, Dave recommended interlocking ESD vinyl tile. StaticWorx installed a 10’ x 10’ test patch. Two months later, the interlocking floor was intact. StaticWorx covered the entire floor in the operational facility with interlocking vinyl tile – without the client’s losing a day of production.
In this episode, Dave and Rick explain how ESD chairs work and why they act as a bridge between two perfect methods of grounding (an ESD floor and wrist strap). The ESD floor grounds and prevents charge generation while people walk. Once the person sits and lifts his or her feet, they are no longer grounded. There may be a wrist strap at the work station, but until the person puts it on they’re a live wire. If they touch a component – or expensive prototype, for example – before putting on the wrist strap, any charge on their body will transfer to the component. ESD chairs ground the person in the chair, prevent charge generation and protecting against random ESD events.
Properly qualifying an ESD floor requires more than testing for electrical resistance. We used to believe that the conductivity of a floor predicted its potential for static charge generation. We now know that resistance and charge generation are independent qualities: one does not relate to the other. A floor can be conductive and still generate static electricity. We also know that flooring materials perform differently with different types of footwear. In this episode, Dave and Rick discuss why it’s important to test the floor as part of an integrated ESD flooring/footwear system – and to test for both conductivity and charge generation.
Three types of conductive adhesives are typically used to install ESD floors: epoxy, acrylic, and pressure-sensitive. Each adhesive has advantages and disadvantages. Dave explains the differences, details pros and cons, and discusses why – and in what circumstances – one adhesive might be preferable over another. The fourth option is to choose a glue-free installation, such as interlocking ESD tiles. Interlocking tiles are chemical-free, have no fumes or mess, and can be installed in a functional workspace without disrupting operations.