CoatingsPro Magazine

NOV 2016

CoatingsPro offers an in-depth look at coatings based on case studies, successful business operation, new products, industry news, and the safe and profitable use of coatings and equipment.

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18 NOVEMBER 2016 COATINGSPROMAG.COM Specifying Success I n today's cut-and-paste world, specification sections are often wholly inserted into project manuals without careful review of the interface with other sections. To provide the best possi- ble applications, we should be able to understand how to interface with other trades. e installation of conductive and static dissipative flooring is a perfect example. Industry Issues and Considerations ere is little understanding in the architectural or construction industry of how conductive and static dissipative flooring must be installed to achieve compliance with electrical overstress/ electrostatic discharge (EOS/ESD), ASTM International, or Department of Defense (DOD) standards. Conductive and static dissipative floorings and coatings are designed to provide protec- tion from electrical charges causing harm to workers or products. As the requirement for antistatic flooring has grown, the installation of fluid-applied antistatic flooring and coatings has increased correspondingly. However, the number of professional architects and contractors with the experience and knowledge of the specific requirements and concerns when installing a static control floor- ing systems is limited. Specifiers and contractors must be educated on the requirements and standards regulating the installation of conductive and static dissipative flooring. Static Electricity Static electricity can be basically defined as an electrical charge at rest. Conductors are materials that readily transfer electrical charges, have relatively low resistance, and if connected to ground, quickly pass a charge (e.g., copper, silver, and most other metals). Insulators will accept and store a charge but will not readily transfer static charges, and they have high electrical resistance (e.g., rubber, plastic, and glass). A static electric charge is created whenever two surfaces contact and separate and at least one of the surfaces has a high resistance to electric current (i.e., is an insulator). e excess charge is neutralized when the surface is brought near an electrical conductor (for example, a path to ground) or a component with an excess charge of the opposite polarity. A static shock or an electrostatic discharge is caused by the neutralization of charge. Electrostatic Discharge ESD is the sudden f low of electricity between two electrically charged objects caused by contact, an electrical short, or dielectric breakdow n. Static electricity can build up by tribocharg- ing or by electrostatic induction, which is a redistribution of an electri- cal charge in an object affected by the inf luence of other nearby charges. A n ESD event occurs when differ- ently charged objects are brought close together or when the dielectric between them breaks dow n, often creating a visible spark. e largest generation of static electricity in any workplace is caused by the contact and separation of floor and footwear. People have the capacity to store and transport static charges of up to 7,000 volts throughout the work area. Uses of an ESD flooring provides a method of connecting a person to the ground while he or she is standing or walking. e ESD flooring can also ground carts or other mobile equipment. A strict balance between resins, which are natural insulators, and conductive elements, such as carbon fibers or metallic particles, is neces- sary to ensure the materials provide both long term physical strengths and provide the required conductivity. T he specifier should consider the electrical range that a product conducts electricity. To be considered conductive, the resistance needs to be 25,000 –1,000,000 ohms. To be considered electrostatic dissipative, the resistance needs to be 1,000,000 – 1,000,000,000 ohms. Considering which floor is appro- priate is next. Conductive floors are used in more stringent static control environments where the electricity is conducted to the ground point. is is particularly important in spark- free environments such as munitions or explosives manufacturing. Static dissipative flooring is more common and used in most manufacturing and institutional environments. Static dissipative flooring reduces the electri- cal potential on people or objects to equalize with the immediate surround- ing area. is means that the charge dissipates in all direction until the electric potential is equalized. Project Conditions e design team should conduct an evaluation of the project site to identify problematic conditions to determine By Steven Schroeder, Vice President for Dex-O-Tex division of Crossfield Products Corp. Specifying Electrostatic Discharge Floor

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