Q: Can we convert a insulated floor surface by just putting ESD wax over it and installing some ground points that have contact with the wax?
Do you think that this is possible?
- Javier G.
A: That is a good question.
I know It’s possible. A company that I used to work for in Denver as an electronics manufacturer for medical equipment did this back in the 70′s, 80′s, 90′s and has the same VCT Static Dissipative flooring with an ESD Sealer today. I don’t think it’s the best solution long term, but it does pass ANSI/ESD S7.1-2005 per ANSI/ESD S20.20-2007. It passed the standards because the PTP (Point to Point) and RTG (Resistance to Ground) readings were below 1E09 Ohms (1 Gig ohms or 1000 Meg ohms). I worked at this company as an installer, tech support repair technician, final test tech, bio-med trainer, Tech Services customer service rep, and ultimately, R&D Engineer. To this day, the electronics manufacturing dept. still has maintenance coat the floor on a monthly basis, even though they’ve gone to SMT. I’d like to see them install our ESD Conductive DuroStat Vinyl Tile. They’d probably spend less money and get maximum performance in the long run.
We like to see it at 1E08 and below. We have chemical products that will get you there. They may need to be applied as often as monthly or every few months depending on your traffic and usage within your ESDA (ElectroStatic Discharge Area). Your static conductive (2.5E04 to 1.0E6 ohms RTG and/or PTP) or static dissipative (1.0E6 to 1.0E9) flooring system will have to be accompanied with ESD footwear.
We have a product tailor made for such a flooring system that will get your ESDA to pass the standards and perform as it should for static dissipation. It is called ZeroStat Coat and can be used on non-porous flooring applications. Shock Stop can be used on carpet systems and upholstery. The Coat and similar products can be used on flooring that already meets ESD compliance and is done so for ease of cleaning and maintenance. For ESD footwear, I’ll show you my personal favorite, a sporty ESD Static Dissipative shoe.
Now, when It comes to grounding of such a flooring system it would be non-practical to dig up a non-esd floor just to install the copper grid and terminate it to earth or electrical ground (which wouldn’t work because you can’t ground an insulator-which would be the case for the backside of your flooring system and the non-conductive adhesive), yet these floors work. The large capacitance and relation to ground work with the common laws of physics to provide the charges with a path to ground, so long as the surface is properly coated and maintained. Thus, you CAN ground a conductor.
We install a product with all of our ESD flooring installations that should be used with these chemical applications as well. Our ESD ground plates are easy to install and are somewhat unique to our company. I have the experience and equipment to see these plates improve the PTP and RTG readings and PTP stability on any ESD flooring system. Although our presence in the industry is vast, this product is not commonplace as of yet. The stainless steel plate is connected to earth or electrical (equipment) ground via a lead wire and a #10 eyelet which can fit onto the center screw of an AC receptacle faceplate and attaches to the ESD flooring system with double-sided conductive tape.
If you have any trouble navigating any of the hyperlinks that I’ve provided, please go to www.gndzero.com and go to grounding and then Floor Maintenance Products, Personnel, and Mechanisms for the previous links.
Patrick McGowan, EET
Director of Engineering/ESD Auditor
Ground Zero ElectroStatics, Inc.