What Is Conductive Flooring?
01 January 2022

What Is Conductive Flooring?

In any environment, the movement of people and objects create constant risks of electrostatic discharge from a host of sources. ESD flooring, also referred to as static control flooring, is an encompassing term for flooring materials and systems designed for use within ESD sensitive environments.

Requirements of An ESD Flooring System

A) That the flooring system does not generate triboelectric charges
B) The ESD flooring system has a direct path to ground as a pathway for dissipation of statically generated charges.
C) Technical Specification of ESD Flooring for product qualification and verification compliance

Definition of ESD flooring: “An ESD Flooring system serves as a conduit for an electrical static charge (known as BVG or Body Voltage Generation accumulation on a person from movement across a surface) to discharge to a desired controlled ground point.” – PI Industrial

Surfaces With Anti-Static Characteristics

Some surfaces like concrete or vinyl floors may provide anti-static properties under the right conditions, and thus potentially considered anti-static flooring. Yet, non-treated floors or even static coated floors (see below) do not provide controlled dissipation or grounding of triboelectric charges. Therefore, the difference between anti-static flooring and ESD flooring is significant. Insulative materials are not considered anti-static.

What is Antistatic Flooring?

Anti-static flooring reduces, removes, or prevents the buildup of static electricity. Therefore, ESD flooring systems fit into this definition, but the terms are not interchangeable. While some materials can provide less charge buildup when used for flooring, dedicated static control flooring systems require a connected ground so that charges can dissipate safely.

The Differences Between Static Dissipative, Conductive, and Insulative Flooring

Static Dissipative Flooring

ANSI defines “Static Dissipative” as anything with a resistance between 1 Million (106) Ohm’s and 1 Billion (109) Ohms. Tile-to-tile systems of rubber sheeted variations to ensure a continuous static dissipative service throughout the space.

  • Electronics, plat panel, and medical device manufacturing
  • Cleanroom manufacturing
  • Computer and electronics handling, assembly or repair
  • PCB soldering or rework
  • Telecommunication installation areas

Conductive Flooring

ANSI Defines conductive flooring resistance as LESS THAN 1 Million (106) Ohms. Conductive flooring systems provide the lowest charge generation and quickest charge dissipation for an ESD production environment. The flooring is grounded through a copper strip which connects to the flooring to a grounded connection such as a wall outlet. One copper grounding strip is required for every 1000 sq. ft. of ESD flooring.

  • Hospital OR’s still using flammable anesthetics
  • Extremely sensitive electronic and computer equipment in manufacturing assembly and test areas.
  • Some clean rooms with extremely sensitive equipment
  • Extremely sensitive telecommunication installation areas
  • Medical diagnostic instrument areas with extremely sensitive instruments

 Electrically conductive flooring is sometimes referred to as anti-static conductive flooring, defined by an electric resistance of between 10^4 and 10^15 ohms.