Electrostatic discharge is a common occurrence. The impact of ESD varies depending on the voltage. High volts of ESD can cause a range of problems, including mechanical failure, coal dust explosions, fuel vapor explosions and bodily injury. Mechanical failures that are caused by ESD can include junction damage, contact spiking, mental penetrations and gate oxide damage.
Ensuring your ESD floors are correctly installed and following all the required guidelines can help to prevent damage to your floors or environment. During installation, copper strips are placed above the adhesive and below the flooring to ensure that there are no gaps between the surfaces. It allows the flooring to work appropriately to reduce static. After installing the flooring and seams, you can then test your ESD floors to ensure they meet the required voltage perimeters for your project.
What to look for when testing ESD floors
ESD floors are tested for electrical resistance and static generation. This can be measured with an ohmmeter, paired with following either the ASTM F150 or the ANSI/ESD STM 7.1 regulations, by placing two five-pound probes three feet apart on the floor and then applying 10 volts of electricity. The static generation is tested using a voltmeter, following ANSI/ESD STM 97.2. It measures the static generated when a person wearing specific footwear walks on the floor.
Measure of resistance
The resistance measures the capacity of the flooring material that resists or reduces the flow of electricity and is measured in a unit of ohms. If the conductivity is too low, static will discharge too slowly, rendering the floor ineffective. If the conductivity is too high, the currents will flow too quickly, posing a safety hazard for everyone. The goal is to find the right middle spot between 1x10E5 and 1x10E8 ohms.
Walking body voltages
Walking body voltage is the static charge accumulating on the body as a person walks across the floor. A charge monitor is used to measure that voltage. Generating a voltage below 25 volts of static is very good and will not do any harm. However, static that exceeds around 3,500 volts is enough for the human body to be shocked. So, keeping the volts below this number is crucial.
Testing ESD flooring lets the customer see that their specified requirements have been met and are up to standard. In addition, an ESD test determines whether a product complies with its ESD protective area and procedures. After completing tests and ensuring that the flooring meets the specific needs, the industrial ESD flooring is safe to use. Record all test results to provide a performance baseline for upcoming recoating schedules and testing requirements. In order to measure any degradation and keep safety certifications, schedule validations every year at the very least. Anti-static coatings are dependable, however after years of usage, they do break down and require proactive maintenance and retesting schedules.
Testing accurately shows that anti-static flooring that has been laid works as intended, offering the required voltage control and conductivity range. The measurement of electrical resistance and static production serves as a standard for the efficiency of counteracting electrostatic hazards that arise in high-risk facilities such as electronics fabrication facilities. Responsible managers should insist that floors be certified in accordance with established processes and revalidated regularly in accordance with manufacturer requirements. Even though strong floors are long-lasting, coatings deteriorate with time, which leads to retesting and reapplication to preserve vital protective qualities even after decades of usage. Vigilant testing demonstrates that anti-static flooring continues to operate efficiently, and worker safely is top priority.
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