State-of-the-art technology can achieve incredible things – but only if its sensitive circuitry is protected from a wide range of issues.
Many circuitry components can be destroyed by a discharge of only 300 volts, however one person walking across the floor can quickly generate up to 3,000 volts!
This is a particular problem for the electronics manufacturing industry, which loses significant sums of money every year in damaged goods and broken equipment.
The risks are even greater for industries where a small electro-static discharge can be an ignition source, for example, munitions manufacturing or oil & gas facilities.
To avoid this problem, anti-static floor finishes can be installed that actively removes any charge being built up in a person and safely takes it away to an appropriate earthing point.
Anti-static floors are ordered into categories depending on how quickly electricity can move through them, a property which is measured in ohms. Surfaces with the least resistance are defined as conductive, dissipative floors allow electricity to flow through at a controlled speed and the most resistant floors are called insulative.
Anti-static floors work by incorporating specialist conductive materials that take away any charge a person has built up as soon as their foot meets the coating. This contact begins a chain reaction that results in the charge being safely removed down through the floor and away from the sensitive working environment.
Next, the charge hits a conductive primer that has been filled with carbon to ensure a very low level of resistance. Finally, the charge goes into a copper tape buried under the floor coating which is connected to a safe earthing point.
Typically, one earthing point per 200 square meters should be sufficient, but the exact requirements need to be specified by an electrical engineer to ensure that the resistance measurements are appropriate.