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Feature 36 JANUARY 2017 COATINGSPROMAG.COM W New ESD Floor Drives Down Static at Auto Parts Plant BY BEN DUBOSE PHOTOS COURTESY MICHIGAN SPECIALT Y COATINGS W hen the worldwide headquarters and technical center of Dura Automotive Systems in Auburn Hills, Michigan, needed a new floor as part of its renovation project, an electrostatic discharge (ESD) epoxy coating system was a must. Dura is an independent designer and manufacturer of automotive components such as control systems, and the technology involved makes static control essential. "is customer does electronics manufacturing," said Jonathan Winters, president of Michigan Specialty Coatings, which was chosen as the contractor to install the ESD floor at Dura. "ey're not just assembling the parts. ey're actually making them. So that's why the static control is so crucial." Since static electricity results from friction between two materials, walking across a floor is a key source of static buildup. For humans to feel it, the discharge must be at least 3,000 V. But many electronic parts are sensitive to electrical interference and can be damaged by a discharge as low as 20 V. "You've got all this electronic equipment that is very sensi- tive, and what we're trying to do is reduce the amount of voltage generated by a person or a piece of equipment that is moving across the floor," said Jason DeYoung, business development manager with Protective Industrial Polymers, which manufac- tured the ESD coating system used at Dura. "e auto industry is a big emphasis for us. For years and years, they've made trans- missions. Now all of a sudden, they have computers attached to these transmissions." "Basically, they have these circuit boards that are sitting on well-grounded ESD tables, but then they have these moving bodies of static, and the piece they're trying to protect is the most grounded thing in the area," DeYoung added. "It's almost a lightning-rod effect. e boards are essentially lightning rods, and we are essentially moving balls of static. e last thing we want is an ESD event to a sensitive component." At an automotive center, a five-person crew at Michigan Specialty Coatings applied an electrostatic discharge (ESD) floor coating system to the concrete floor in its home state. It took four days to complete the project. FLOOR EPOXY CONCRETE