When deciding on floors for your industrial business, it can be difficult to find something that suits all of your needs. Aside from choosing the right color and materials, you also have to consider the environmental needs and the durability the floors must have to accommodate your operations. For many industries, one important requirement is that the flooring is anti-static. If this is something you need, you will also need to know which options are available, who the anti-static floor providers are in your area, and the benefits of the flooring itself…
What’s the Purpose of Anti-Static Floors?
Anti-static industrial flooring was designed to prevent floors from producing electrostatic discharge (ESD). This pulse of static electricity occurs when a charged person or object comes into contact with a surface, person, or object. In some instances, the electrostatic discharge can be strong enough to create a visible spark although this is not common. ESD essentially gets the shock off of a charged person or object and is usually painless even if you are able to feel the shock. However, there are some environments where an electrostatic discharge can be dangerous and even detrimental. In such environments, it is essential that anti-static floors are installed to create a safe place for workers and visitors.
Does Your Business Need Anti-Static Floors?
Many businesses consider anti-static flooring for one reason or another, but some require them as a necessary safety precaution. Industries that manufacture or process chemicals, as well as any business that chemicals or other flammable materials in their day-to-day operations need anti-static flooring. This prevents igniting chemicals, fumes, or even microscopic flammable fragments. Electrostatic discharge can cause sensitive electrical components to become useless making anti-static floors important for businesses that produce or assemble semiconductors or electronic goods. Industries that are dependent on uninterrupted use of special electronic items, like hospitals or air-traffic control rooms, should also implement static-free flooring. Other industries that need anti-static floors include: military operations, optical lenses, biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, munitions or pyrotechnics manufacturing, micro-mechanics, photographic film, laser, surgical implant manufacturing, medical environments, and even food and beverage production businesses.
The Anti-Static Difference
Choosing anti-static floors will remove any static electricity that forms in the environment as it transitions it through the floor to the ground beneath the surface. This transitions helps to eliminate electrostatic discharge build up preventing it from discharging into the environment. This keeps it from destroying goods or posing a risk to employees and visitors. Did you know that any movement contributes to existing static electricity? Day to day operational movements and walking across charged surfaces add static electricity increasing the likelihood of a potential damaging discharge. Most ESDs have less than 3,500 volts and go unnoticed by people making it difficult for us to recognize how many discharges are occurring around us. Anti-static flooring was designed to absorb those charges and transfer them beneath the surface keeping them from reacting to people and object above.
Choosing Anti-Static Flooring
There are as many choices to consider as there are uses when it comes to anti-static flooring. Before you put too much thought into it, it’s important that you assess your risks and requirements. Our experts will assist you in determining how electrostatic energy forms in your business and how strong the discharge could be, as well as the results of the damage should an ESD occur. You should review static control terminology to help you better understand which static-free flooring is most suitable for your space. Physicist Georg Simon Ohm developed the Ohm’s law in the early 1800’s. This allows electrical currents to pass through conductors. The amount of resistance anti-static flooring provides is measured in ohms. Static-free floors come in several options which include conductive and dissipating systems that allow various ranges of electrostatic resistance. Generally, conductive anti-static floors resist up to one mega ohm whereas static dissipative flooring resists up to 100 mega ohms. While higher resistance means less conductivity, that does not mean that low resistance is best for static-free floors. You might be surprised to know that in the most critical environments, static dissipative floors are recommended over conductive static-free floors. This is why it’s important to customize your anti-static floors to suit the needs of your work environment.
Hiring a Professional
No matter which static-free flooding you decide on, the right professional and their skills will play a major role in the effectiveness and lifespan of your new floors. While you may be quick to hire the lowest bidder, finding an experienced, knowledgeable professional is most important. Settling for the lowest start up cost might end up costing you more in the end. Higher grade materials installed properly are easier to maintain and will last longer. Ask your provider about warranties and don’t be afraid to ask for customer feedback. You won’t regret investing time into choosing the right professional to install your floors. It is vital that you are aware of how to properly maintain your anti-static floors, as well as the expenses that come with repair them. If you choose an epoxy static-free flooring, you should be aware that you cannot overlay it as this will create an insulation that prohibits the transfer of static electricity to the earthing points. Before you make a decision, you should consider the type of flooring that best suited your needs as well as all expenses that are associated with that flooring. From installation, to repairs, and even replacement.
Assessing Your Subfloors
The quality of your subfloors will largely impact the quality of your new anti-static flooring. Concrete that is dirty, contaminated, or exposed to excessive moisture can result in unexpected problems and make the new floors ineffective. If you are aware of any issues with your subfloors, make sure you let your flooring professional aware as this can help you to avoid problems down the road. You can expect your contractor and flooring manufacturer to test your subfloors prior to installing new floors to avoid preventable problems from popping up down the road.
Our Anti-Static System
Anti-static industrial floors inhibit the generation of electrostatic discharge (ESD), which is the pulse of static electricity that happens when a charged person or surface comes into contact with another object. The discharge may be visible as a spark or tiny blue bolt of electricity, although the majority of static electricity is not usually apparent. Anti-static floors are very important or even mission critical for chemical manufactures, chemical processors, and environments with electronic machinery in industries such as computers, health/hospitals, air-traffic control, munitions, military, micro mechanics, optics, film, biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, surgical implants, medical environments, and some food and beverage.
Ready to learn more? Our experts at Signature Coatings would love to help you decide on the best coating that is sure to transform your space!
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About Signature Coatings
Signature Coatings is the premier floor coating systems provider in Greater Cincinnati. Our custom floor coating systems are of exceptional style and quality. Inside or outside, your transformed concrete will stay beautiful and durable for decades