An ESD Flooring system serves as a conduit for electrical static charge (known as BVG or Body Voltage Generation accumulation on a person from movement across a polymer floor) to discharge to a desired controlled ground point. This directed and intentional flow of electrical current and discharge helps to greatly reduce or eliminate the potential of accidental electrostatic discharge, which can damage sensitive electronic components during manufacture. Even the smallest, and usually un-noticed, ESD discharge can have adverse effects on sensitive electronic components. With today's smaller and more electrostatically-sensitive microchip components and printed circuit boards (PCB's), manufacturers have been tasked with developing ESD-control and prevention programs to limit component failure and scrap rates as part of their quality control and manufacturing processes. ESD flooring is created from a combination of materials, including carbon fibers that transfer the electrostatic charge from a person to the flooring, reducing the chance of someone creating a static discharge through physical contact. These floors come in a number of styles, including carpet, vinyl, and rubber. Choosing an ESD floor for your business can be both beneficial for your employees as they work and the quality of your electronic equipment.
How Does ESD Flooring Work?
An ESD-control floor coating contains a conductive particle within its matrix which renders the coating to be electrically active in such a way that electrical current can travel through it. Much like a wire, it is able to carry electrical charge from one point to another. This is unlike wood, plastic, or glass, which are known insulators and unable to carry an electrical current. Most paints or polymer coatings do not have this property. In an ESD Protected Area (EPA), this type of floor works in conjunction with various other ESD protection devices, such as footwear, garments, and grounding straps to accomplish the task of minimizing BVG and controlling proper grounded discharge.