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Anti-static Resin Flooring / ESD Resin Flooring systems

Definitions and Requirements of Anti-static Resin Flooring:

Concrete floors are normally sufficiently conductive, anti-static or will allow Electro-Static Discharge (known as ESD events), due to their pore water dissipating any electrostatic charges on the surface. However all normal resin flooring used to provide a harder wearing, hygienic, easily cleaned, decontaminable or chemically resistant floor finish, is an effective natural insulator applied over this ‘conductive’ surface.

An ESD event, an Electro Static Discharge, is basically a spark (a micro lightning bolt in effect), which passes from one electrically charged conductive surface to another. This incredibly rapid transfer of what had previously been a static (non-moving) charge can cause fires and, explosions, and create heat, light and even sound. It is this potentially unseen, unfelt or unheard 'spark without warning' that must be prevented or controlled.

The rate at which an electrostatic charge is dispersed within and through the floor finish is controlled by the materials electrical resistance, measured in the unit Ohms (Ω), usually expressed in thousands (Kilo-ohms or KΩ) or millions (Mega-ohms or MΩ) and expressed in units as a figure of ten with indices, i.e.103 for 1KΩ 106 for 1MΩ. Greater values of electrical resistance suggest a slower speed of an ESD.

Anti-Static Resin Floors and ESD Resin Floors
All active electronic components and equipment e.g. micro-chips, integrated circuits and machinery are sensitive to ESD events. Even when areas and people are equipped with protective equipment and clothing to handle such static-sensitive devices, inadvertent contact, damage and dangerous situations can all still occur.

Anti-static resin flooring has the ability to prevent an electrostatic discharge and / or spark, in these situations where static electricity generation is possible, such as through the movement, contact or separation of equipment, machinery, materials and personnel. Anti-static resin flooring can achieve this if it is Static Conductive or Static Dissipative.

Wherever required for safety (to prevent sparks), or to ensure consistent and accurate function of electronic machinery and equipment, an anti-static, conductive grade of the same type of resin flooring should be used. Conductive grades of resin floor systems are usually developed from the normal resin flooring materials by incorporating defined quantities of fine carbon powder or fibres in the formulation, together with the incorporation of copper earthing tapes, or wires into the conductive resin floor system build-up on site.

If you would like help and assistance with your specific Anti-static, Conductive, or ESD flooring project requirements, please call any of our offices and one of our Resin Floor specialists will be pleased to assist you.

Applications for Conductive / Anti-Static / ESD Resin Flooring

In certain industrial environments the presence or attraction / adhesion of dust may also present an explosive risk or other static electricity problems. In areas where volatile substances, gases, powders or liquids are processed, stray electric currents are equally undesirable and potentially dangerous. All of these areas and environments will have requirements for Antistatic / Conductive / ESD resin flooring systems.

These specific industries include: High –tech electronics, semi-conductor production and processing, computer rooms, automotive manufacturing, aerospace, fireworks and munitions, high performance laser and optical systems, biotechnology, pharmaceutical, oil and chemicals, medical environments, powdered foodstuffs and many other specific industry requirements.

The specific areas within these industries and facilities that require some level of conductive resin flooring include production and assembly areas, paint shops, storage and handling facilities, clean rooms, computer rooms and many others.

Selection of Anti-Static / Conductive / ESD Resin Flooring

Static Conductive resin flooring generally is defined as having and electrical resistance of less than 1.0 x 106 Ω (I million ohms).

Static Dissipative resin flooring is generally defined as having an electrical resistance of between 1.0 x 106 Ω and 1.0 x 109 Ω

ESD resin flooring is actually a bit of a misnomer, as it could refer to any anti-static floor that is either Conductive or Dissipative. Therefore it is not a sufficient definition for the selection and specification of an Anti-Static resin flooring system.

Anti-Static / Conductive / ESD Resin Flooring grades of resin flooring are available in Resin Flooring Classifications in Types 3 to 8 (coatings, self-smoothing and trowel applied screeds).

The right system for each project must be considered in addition to the rest of the required performance criteria for the areas involved such as impact and abrasion and chemical resistance, crack-bridging abilities etc., there may also be limited colours available in some Anti-Static / Conductive / ESD Resin Flooring products and systems due to the effect of adding black carbon powder or fibres into the resin materials.

As an illustration the following table gives a summary of some of the leading performance standards in the world and the Anti-static / Conductive / Dissipative resin flooring products from the Sika Group that comply with all of these different international Standards.

  IEC
61340-5-1
ANSI/ESD
S 20.20-2007
ASTM
F 150*
BetrSichV BGR 132 (ZH/200)
Sikafloor®-262 AS Thixo
Sikafloor®-262 AS
Sikafloor®-235 ESD
Sikafloor®-381 AS
Sikafloor®-390 AS
Sikafloor®-266 ECF CR
Sikafloor®-269 ECF CR

No specific conductivity or electrical resistance values that are mentioned in any of these International or National Standards in the table are defined as mandatory.

The values can and should be adapted to meet local requirements by the responsible engineers and local authorities. Before selecting and specifying a conductive flooring system, NCC Resin Flooring Site experts always recommend a detailed assessment of the overall resin flooring system performance requirements; then with regard to the Anti-static / Conductive / ESD performance characteristics, at least the following parameters, for the appropriate values to be agreed for these and accepted by all of the parties involved:

Limits for the electrical resistance and body voltage generation
Standards and Methods of Measurement
Test Equipment to make these measurements
Any other relevant standards or specifications

If you would like help and assistance with your specific Anti-static, Conductive, or ESD flooring project requirements, please call any of our offices and one of our Resin Floor specialists will be pleased to assist you.

Standards for Anti-Static / Conductive / ESD Resin Flooring

In the UK the Standard that frequently used to be specified was BS 2050 (now withdrawn), but this only determined the electrical resistance required across the floor surface (between two 25 mm square electrodes placed 50 mm apart). It did not consider the resistance through the thickness of the flooring onto the concrete base, or the resistance to earth, from the surface to the ground, both of which are now known to be very important factors.

Other Standards have since come into force that are more comprehensive in their approach and for testing conductive flooring materials in the UK and Europe this is now EN 1081. However this also does not give any guidance as to what levels of conductivity are appropriate in different situations. Therefore different industries and countries currently still have varying requirements and Standards. Many industries or organisations have developed their own internal standards for this reason - usually relating to the conductive ability of the resin flooring material or to the measured conductive / electrical resistance characteristics of the finished floor.

For the protection of Electrostatic Sensitive Devices BS IEC 61340-5-1 gives requirements for surface resistivity, volume resistivity, resistance to earthing and time to charge decay for anti-static resin flooring systems.

Electrical Resistance Ranges According to IEC 61340-5-1

ESD protection
ESD-protection
The person is grounded by a
wrist strap
ESD-protection
Flooring is used for grounding the personnel
Alternatives
Resistance to grounding / earth (electrode)
Rg <10 9 Ohm
Resistance of the person / footwear / flooring system
R <35 x 106 Ohm
Resistance of the
person / footwear / flooring system Rg <10 Ohm
body voltage <100V


Application Range and Requirements

Requirement for the resistance to earth according to IEC 61340-5-1 < 10 9 Ω
However, the electrical resistance and other important performance requirements may be completely different for explosive handling areas, powdered foodstuffs, medical facilities etc.

Therefore, the resin flooring requirements, electrical resistance properties, test method and testing authority should be agreed at the system selection and specification stage.

The best document we have seen relating to all of these technical, assessment and testing issues was actually produced in Germany although it is available in English: ‘Conductive Coatings For Industrial Floors’ published by Deutsche Bauchemie. We have therefore arranged for this copy of this to be available for our customers to download.

If you would like help and assistance with your specific Anti-static, Conductive, or ESD flooring project requirements, please call any of our offices and one of our Resin Floor specialists will be pleased to assist you.

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