The proliferation of technology inevitably brings more and more electronic equipment to the workplace. Computers, circuit boards, and employees are just 3 examples of common workplace components capable of emitting electrostatic discharge (ESD). Unfortunately, ESD has the potential to damage equipment, a risk that only grows as the number of electronics and employees in a given space increases. Anti-static mats are one of the most effective ways of managing ESD to protect both machines and personnel.
Electrostatic Discharge: The Basics
Electrostatic discharge is an abrupt transfer of electric current between two objects. A classic example of this phenomenon is easily observed when one administers and electric shock to another after having dragged their feet across a coarse carpet. In dragging feet across a carpeted surface, one increases their electrical potential and becomes “charged.” One may then touch another object of differing electrical potential to trigger an abrupt transfer of electric current, or ESD.
ESD is a problem for workplaces because the sudden and sometimes powerful transfer of electrical current may significantly damage electronics. The potential for damage arises from both machines and employees, as each has the potential to gain and transfer an electric charge.
Anti Static Mats: Protecting Equipment in the Workplace
Static dissipative matting is essential in protecting equipment from the transfer of potentially devastating electrical discharge. This type of anti-static matting is used in combination with an anti-static heel grounder or anti-static grounding cord to create an Electrostatic Protective Area (EPA). The goals of an effective EPA are simple:
- Ground all conductive materials
- Ground employees, as they are “mobile conductive materials”
- Prevent the transfer of electrical charge from conductive materials to machinery that is ESD sensitive
The proactive installation of anti-static mats sets the foundation for a fully functional EPA. Following mat installation, employees must be fitted with a heel grounder that serves to easily pass electrical charge from body to floor mat. Heel grounders feature a “one size fits all” construction designed to slip over the exterior of a shoe.
Anti Static Mats: Creating an EPA
Eagle Mat makes it easy for businesses to create EPAs in workspaces that need them. These areas include computer labs, assembly centers, laboratories, and other areas where electronics are abundant.
The following are our Eagle Mat Blog Editor’s Picks for top anti-static matting products*:
Static Dissipative Anti-Fatigue Mat: Protect electronics while keeping employees fresh on their feet! This anti-static mat effectively controls static discharge while also stimulating the muscles of the feet, legs, lower back, and torso. Ideal for laboratories and other EPAs in which employees spend most of their time standing.
Conductive Diamond Plate Anti-Fatigue Mat: This mat quickly channels electric current away from employees before it is passed on to sensitive electronics. A combination of diamond plate surface texture and anti-fatigue technology make this mat ideal for areas where both static discharge and traction are issues to address.
Conductive Diamond Plate Runner Mat: This runner earns a spot on our Editor’s Picks list for its superior functionality. Effective, highly textured, and available in rolls of up to ’75, this anti-static mat is perfect for a range of large-scale industrial applications.
*Please note: these mats are designed to be used with a heel grounder or grounding cord to effectively channel electric current away from sensitive electronics.
Need Help Planning Your EPA?
Eagle Mat and Floor Products proudly celebrates 30+ years in commercial matting products and services. Our highly skilled and experienced Customer Service staff is available to help your business build an effective Electrostatic Protective Area!
Businesses are invited to contact Eagle Mat on the Web or call direct at 877-333-1018.