ESD electrical properties to consider
Selecting an ESD flooring solution is about more than merely reducing static electricity. There are several more specific variables at play as it pertains to ESD electrical properties. Here's one question you should be asking:
What is the most critical chip sensitivity?
You want to control the static buildup in the environment based on the most sensitive chip. Some chips can be damaged at 200 volts, others at 100 volts. Some of the newer, smaller chips can be damaged with as little as 30 volts. The ESD management program would start with your most sensitive chip and that would drive the level at which you want to maintain the static in the environment. Different flooring options will reduce the charges on a person to different levels. The specs on StaticStop flooring state the maximum static electricity generated on a person walking on the floor. Typically, our conducive tiles keep static electricity generation on a person to below 30 volts.
What standards are you trying to adhere to?
There are industry-accepted standards that are built around sensitivity. The generally accepted standard is S20.20, which is designed around 100 volts. You can use that as your standard and its typical for most electronics manufactures. For other manufactures, explosives for example, the conductivity level must be kept lower or you risk an explosion. On the other hand, data centers are a bit different and don’t have the same level of sensitivity. At StaticStop, we employ a thorough survey/screening to help determine the appropriate tile to suit the needs of your operation.
Based on the above, do you need conductive or dissipative ratings?
If your work involves an ultra-sensitive chip, in general, you should go with conductive. If not, dissipative will suffice. This is something we help customers determine as part of our survey/screening. Some customers will demand a specific rating. Some companies have an internal ESD protocol they must follow and want conductive, even though the actual use may not require it.
Is humidity controlled in the area? If not, what range will it vary within? (this affects the ESD properties of some materials)
Some flooring products are affected by humidity and some are not. If you have a very sensitive chip and don’t control humidity, things could get very dry and the flooring may lose its ability to conduct static charges to the ground. That’s why there are certain products we would tell customers not to use in those types of situations. We’ve seen companies use products that are sensitive to humidity and then start pointing fingers when the product doesn’t work.
In the next e-newsletter, we will address how the physical characteristics of your property influences the selection of ESD flooring.