Flooring That Lasts, Safety That Endures

Anti-Static Flooring Fundamentals

Learn the fundamentals of anti-static flooring to prevent static electricity hazards with Ascoat.

Electro-static discharge (ESD) electricity can cause significant equipment damage and even lead to fires or explosions if not properly managed. Often, businesses that are at risk can be unaware of the danger they place their people, products and equipment in.

We’re here to break down the fundamentals of anti-static flooring, also known as electro-static dissipative and electro-static conductive floors, and their importance in preventing such hazards.

Understanding Static Electricity

How Static Electricity is Generated

Dynamic electricity is supplied by power stations through electricity lines and is available as a continuous voltage. In contrast, static electricity is generated through the movement or friction between two surfaces, resulting in an electric charge transfer. One object gains electrons (negative charge), while the other loses electrons (positive charge). This charge accumulation leads to triboelectric charging, which can cause small electric shocks and visible sparks. This phenomenon is what we experience when we get a small electric shock touching certain objects around the home or office. 

The Dangers of Static Discharge

Electro-static discharge occurs when a charged object comes into contact with an earthed or conductive object, allowing the excess charge to jump across. This discharge can ignite flammable substances or damage sensitive electronic components. In a manufacturing environment, walking over a floor can generate significant static electricity, known as walking body voltage, which can be harmful to equipment and personnel. 

How Anti-Static Flooring Works

Protection in the Work Environment

ESD flooring provides a safe pathway for discharging static electricity, preventing build-up and reducing the risk of hazardous discharges. These floors work by:

  • Dissipating the charge through the floor to the earth if a static charge has already built up.
  • Preventing static charge build-up in the first place.

Conductive elements within the floor pull the charge downwards and away, with the rate of discharge measured in Ohms (Ω). Less resistance means faster charge removal, making conventional epoxy floors more insulative and higher risk.

Categories of Conductivity

The electrical resistance of a floor determines its effectiveness in managing static electricity:

  1. Electro-static conductive: 40,000 to 1,000,000 Ohms
  2. Electro-static dissipative: 1,000,000 to 1,000,000,000 Ohms
  3. Insulative: Over 1,000,000,000 Ohms

Conductive floors are better for environments with a higher risk of spark-induced hazards.

Choosing the Right Anti-Static Flooring

Conductive vs. Dissipative Flooring

The term “anti-static flooring” generally refers to both ESD and ESC floors. The choice between conductive and dissipative flooring depends on the specific industry standards and application requirements. The higher the risk of static discharge, the more conductive the floor should be.

Importance of Correct Footwear

The effectiveness of anti-static flooring is significantly enhanced by using ESD-compliant footwear. Standard safety boots with rubber or polyurethane soles are insulative, preventing proper static discharge. ESD-compliant footwear, available from specialist suppliers, ensures the safe discharge of static electricity.

Unparalleled Anti-Static Flooring Expertise

As one of Australia’s leading ESD flooring applicators, Ascoat deeply understands global standards and testing methodologies, continuously investing in our expertise to ensure compliance and set industry standards. Industries such as healthcare, electronics, and defence, as well as facilities handling flammable or explosive materials, benefit greatly from our anti-static flooring. 

Easy to clean and maintain, our anti-static flooring is designed to be chemical, thermal, and impact-resistant, performing exceptionally well in high-traffic, heavy-duty, and demanding environments.

Trust Ascoat for Expert Anti-Static Flooring Solutions

By understanding and implementing the fundamentals of anti-static flooring, you can significantly reduce the risk of static discharge hazards in your facility. At Ascoat, we have the technical expertise, project experience, and network of testing and specialised consultants to assist you with your ESD flooring needs.

Contact us today on (03) 9587 7433 to learn more about our comprehensive anti-static flooring solutions and how we can help protect your business.

Ascoat’s Technical Manager, Arthur Karayannis, has worked in the epoxy flooring and protective coatings industry since 1991, with extensive experience as an epoxy applicator and materials supplier. With a Level 2 Concrete Coatings Inspector qualification through the SSPC, he holds the highest concrete coating inspection qualification currently available. Arthur prides himself on delivering industry-leading customer service, educating clients on appropriate flooring solutions, and solving even the most complex flooring problems for customers and stakeholders.

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