How to Write an Architectural Specification for ESD Flooring
Read the article:
How To Specify Static-Free Floors
Published by CSI in their September 2011 Issue
Written by: Dave Long
How to discuss and recommend
the right static control flooring
with a client
A practical guide for architects working within client environments and applications that require conductive and static dissipative flooring
The static control environment must be identified before making any static control flooring recommendation:
- Will the space be used as an electronics industry – static safe - supplier environment? Is full employee grounding required at all times? Are they actively handling static sensitive electronic parts and sub-assemblies (as opposed to using them)?
- Is the space an end user – real world - environment? Is the organization reliant on electronic systems that may be affected by static discharge events?
Specifying for electronic industry supplier environments involving the handling of static sensitive electronic parts and sub-assemblies
Electronic industry supplier environment organizations make, handle, test, store and repair electronic parts. A static event in these types of spaces would damage or destroy the part, assembly or final system. Grounding is achieved by wearing conductive heel straps or special shoes in conjunction with a grounded static control floor. In other words, personnel need to be grounded 100% of the time in any operation in this environment.
Generally, organizations handling and producing static sensitive parts designate certain areas as “ESD safe areas” or static free zones; an ESD safe area requires vigilant compliance with personnel grounding procedures as well as numerous other protocols for preventing the generation and accumulation of static electricity. The processes in these environments are usually governed by international standards like ANSI/ESD S20.20-2007.
Best flooring solutions for electronic industry supplier environments
Staticworx works with architects to help narrow down which flooring to specify for the client for this type of application:
- EC ESD Rubber
- ESD Carpet Tile (not the same as low kV or computer grade carpet)
- ESD Vinyl Tile (Also called static conductive and static dissipative tile)
- Conductive Epoxy Coatings
For more information on conductive flooring solutions for electronic industry supplier environments, read the article, “Taking the Mystery Out of Selecting ESD Flooring” which is part of the Staticworx Knowledge Center.
Specifying for electronic industry end user environments: operations reliant upon electronic systems
The term “reliant upon electronic systems” means that the operation does not involve active handling, testing or assembly of electronic sub assemblies. These operations are end user – real world - environments requiring sophisticated electronic equipment to accomplish their mission.
These spaces are often called Mission Critical Environments: examples include data centers, R & D labs, 9-1-1 call centers, hospital ERs, MRI suites, communication centers, flight towers, control rooms. These spaces utilize operational electronic systems which are manned by personnel who will not use special footwear. A static problem in these spaces would lead to an event that would impact either the equipment, operational mission or both. Examples of these types of problems include: data corruption, system lock-up, dropped phone calls, unintended signals in a system.
In these applications, the static control floor must be fault tolerant. (See my recent blog entry on fault tolerant design.) The flooring must prevent the generation of static without the added benefit of special footwear; conversely the anti static floor must prevent static despite the use of standard static generating footwear.
Best flooring solutions for End User Environments that rely on electronic equipment:
Most static control flooring will not inhibit static without the use of special footwear. Staticworx recommends two flooring materials that perform very well despite this obvious deficiency:
For more information on conductive flooring solutions for electronic industry end user environments, read these articles, part of the Staticworx Knowledge Center:
- Static Control in a 9-1-1 Call Center: City of Lowell Case History
- Static Control Flooring for Data Centers (featured in The Data Center Journal)