What is an Antistatic or Conductive floor?
Antistatic floors or commonly called conductive floors ( vinyl, laminate, rubber, epoxy floors, among others), are surfaces designed to control the electrical resistance of the bed to avoid any electrostatic discharge (ESD) that can cause damage. In electronic equipment and devices, but that, in addition, prevents personal injuries to those who are in charge of manipulating said equipment.
When talking about static electricity, reference is made to the excess electrical charge, both positive and negative, that an insulating material can have. Despite being a natural and everyday effect, the accumulation of costs can be harmful in the presence of sensitive devices or if working with flammable and combustible substances.
Such electrostatic discharges cause the electrical current to circulate rapidly between two objects with different electrical potentials, causing a spark that, when working near flammable particles or elements, can cause immediate ignition.
An antistatic device is responsible for reducing, damping and inhibiting any ESD from avoiding flames or damage to electronic elements due to burns in circuits or the like. These devices vary according to their use and application since they are chemical compounds that are added directly to an object or to its packaging to neutralise or stop the discharge.
Thus, by requiring electrical insulation on the surfaces of large spaces, it is essential to think about covering the floor with antistatic flooring to create a space, usually a workspace, that is safe and comfortable. And that is what we will talk about today.
PROPERTIES AND CHARACTERISTICS OF ANTISTATIC FLOORS
Finding the right floor that fulfils this particular function can be an arduous task since, in addition to looking for it to have the technical characteristics of resistance, antistatic and stability, it must also be considered that it is made of good material and that it has a good appearance. Friendly. It is worth mentioning that most antistatic or conductive floors are made of vinyl or rubber since they are good repellents of static current, so that is when you begin to analyse if it is better to install a vinyl floor, an epoxy or a laminate; between the different options.
However, the first thing you should do when looking for an antistatic floor is to consult an expert professional in charge of determining which floor is antistatic and is not only dissipative or conductive. Although they are valuable properties against ESD, they do not guarantee 100% mitigation of a high-intensity electrical shock.
Antistatic floors must cover specific needs that arise depending on where it is to be installed. However, these are some of the basic properties that they must have:
- Hinder static charges to avoid accidents after a shock or friction between electronic equipment, protecting the equipment and personnel working in the rooms most susceptible to electric shocks.
- Be resistant to corrosion, abrasion and UV rays.
Withstand heavy traffic, bumps and scratches.
- Be easy to install to fit any space without requiring extreme subsurface preparation and no matter how many nooks and crannies the room has.
- Withstand high temperatures and contact with chemical products.
- Be anti-flammable or fire retardant.
- Be easy to clean as there may be combustible particles on the surface.
- Be aesthetic and pleasing to the eye so that they easily fit into the brand’s style.
- Require low maintenance and is durable and profitable in the long term.
TYPES OF ANTISTATIC OR CONDUCTIVE FLOORS
In the market, there are a variety of products that fulfil this function; among them, you can find:
- rubber floor
- epoxy floor
- Roll vinyl flooring
The latter is one of the favourites as it is straightforward to clean since it only requires a damp cloth to be passed, it is offered in different colours and visual textures, it is easy to install, it is very resistant, and it is economical.
MOST COMMON USES OF ANTISTATIC FLOORS
Usually, this type of flooring is installed in commercial spaces where there is a high probability of coming into contact with volatile chemicals, explosives or elements sensitive to static electricity, for example:
- Hospitals, operating rooms and intensive care units
- storage warehouses
- production workshops
- chemical laboratories
- Rooms with electrical monitoring equipment
- Recording or television studios
- And even in elevators
In conclusion, antistatic or conductive floors are ideal in areas where personnel work standing up, and using antistatic bracelets, leg straps, heel straps, or conductive shoes is not enough.
Keep in mind that the person or entity in charge of acquiring and installing antistatic floors must carry out a verification process with tests and equipment that guarantee that the floor is antistatic and that it complies with the regulated range (the resistance of an ESD floor must be within the scope of 1.0×10^5 to 1.0×10^8 OHMs).