TOP 5 AREAS FOR ESD FLOORING
by Timothy Smith, Sr. Product Manager - Stonhard
Electrostatic discharge (ESD) is the sudden flow of electricity between two electrically charged objects. This can be caused by contact, an electrical short, or when a current flows through an electrical insulator and the voltage applied across it exceeds the breakdown voltage. Controlling ESD is particularly important in certain industries and specialized spaces. Along with the implementation of an ESD policy that includes compliance plans for clothing, footwear, wrist straps, work surfaces, and shielding bags, the installation of ESD flooring is key. Here we explore the areas where ESD flooring is most crucial for safety, productivity, and cost savings.
1. Research & Development Spaces
Pharmaceutical and Technology industries use seamless, epoxy ESD flooring in their R&D spaces due to the equipment and substances they are working and surrounded with on a daily basis. Due to the flammable substances and chemicals that require specific precautionary measures when handling, an ESD floor significantly reduces the chance and spread of fire. In addition, particles such as grain and sugar, as well as fine powders commonly used in pill manufacturing, can float in the air and become combustible. ESD floors are installed to protect against such occurrences.
2. Clean Rooms in Electronics Manufacturing Facilities
Electrostatic buildup can spell disaster for an electronics manufacturing company. Since nearly any material can cause electrostatic buildup (fabric, metals, glass, even skin) it is important to use all precautions to avoid it when handling sensitive electronic components. Clean rooms where integrated circuits, hard drives, and other components are manufactured and serviced, require precautions such as special footwear, clothing, and floors that provide a safe outlet for electrostatic buildup. Friction within a clean room can generate static discharge or static buildup which damages circuit boards and other sensitive equipment. Even the smallest jolts of static discharge can cause this to happen. Investing in a seamless, epoxy ESD flooring system saves a company from having to replace damaged components.
3. Aerospace Assembly Areas
Aerospace assembly requires several employees to be working in one space. These workers fabricate, assemble, install, test and inspect the many parts which make up a modern airplane. Without ensuring proper safety through ESD flooring, the friction generated by closely working bodies can cause a triboelectric charge. When materials become electrically charged, parts can become damaged, and employees may suffer from unexpected static and sparks that could potentially be life threatening. With seamless, epoxy ESD floors, the aerospace industry saves on lost time and money due to product damage and staff injury, and more importantly, human life.
4. Auto Manufacturing Assembly and Test Labs
High-tech test labs and automotive assembly floors are constantly exposed to wires, car parts, and charging instruments. Conductive flooring is necessary to defend against electrostatic discharge. Merely sliding a plastic tool across a metallic surface can cause damaging static. In order to protect auto workers and the auto parts they test and assemble, seamless epoxy ESD flooring is a must.
Facilities that use solvents such as paint thinners, acetone, and toluene must take precautions to store and handle these substances properly due to their high flammability. Due to the vapors these substances give off, they are extremely volatile and can spell disaster should they come in contact with an ignition source (an electrical charge generated by friction). ESD flooring is necessary in solvent storage areas to dissipate this charge and protect people and property from fire and explosion.
For nearly a century, Stonhard has been solving floor problems. With epoxy, urethane, and MMA seamless flooring systems, Stonhard has the right flooring system for any environment in any industry. We work with you directly from product selection through installation. Our local territory managers, architectural/engineering representatives and design teams will help you select the ideal flooring solution and our application teams will install your products, adhering to regulations and details, while honoring your work schedule. Stonhard offers a single-source warranty on both products and installation. Contact us to set up a site visit today.