The basics of ESD matting: what you need to knowadmin
A clean room or manufacturing environment requires a number of items of equipment in order to ensure maximum employee and product safety. One of the most critical pieces of safety equipment is the antistatic mat. These mats, in conjunction with antistatic gloves and standard cleanroom equipment, can significantly lower the overall threat of static electricity damaging sensitive electronic products.
As with most safety products, ESD matting comes in many different forms and fashions, in addition to being made with a number of different material composites. The best ESD mat for your manufacturing facilities will depend on a handful of key factors; thus, it’s important to carefully evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of each kind of mat, in addition to taking stock of what your employees and company ultimately need.
The Function of Antistatic Mats
Antistatic (or ESD) mats come in a wide range of sizes, but are generally fabricated to cover areas from a few inches to several feet. Smaller mats are typically constructed as table mats, or bench mats, which are thinner and lightly-colored in order to assist workers with finding small components.. Conversely, floor mats are designed larger, and often thicker to withstand the wear-and-tear of daily foot traction. Many companies elect to use both kinds of mats in their production process, as both mat varieties are better suited to different stages of the manufacturing process.
Performance of ESD Matting Materials
Generally speaking, the performance of antistat mats depends on the material from which they are constructed. That material can include:
- Homogenous mats are comprised of either vinyl or rubber. These mats typically offer the highest amount of electrical absorption because they are composed of a single, solid block of the same material.
- Three-layer mats, usually made with vinyl, offer a decent level of electrical absorption. Their strongest advantage comes in the form of an increased level of comfort to the worker standing on the mat.
- Two-layer vinyl mats offer the electrical absorption capabilities of three-layer mats at a significantly reduced cost.
- Two-layer rubber mats provide both a high level of electrical absorption and an immense level of comfort to workers. Two-layer rubber mats are also extremely chemical-resistant and soylent-resistant. However, this multipurpose mat comes at a somewhat higher cost than others.
Vinyl mats tend to be preferred in situations where cost is the ultimate priority, whereas rubber mats are better for situations where a high level of chemical or heat resistance is required. With that in mind, it’s likely that many companies will require both vinyl and rubber mats for use in different parts of their manufacturing facilities.
The best material for your ESD matting ultimately depends on your technical requirements, budget, and worker needs. For some companies, it may be necessary to invest in two-layer rubber mats in order to ensure the maximum amount of safety for employees and electronic products alike; others may be able to get by with simple, cheap homogenous mats.
Contact Us For Your ESD Matting Solution
Antistat is the world’s #1 supplier of ESD and production consumables. Whether you’re operating a clean room, a manufacturing floor, or any kind of environment with sensitive electronics, we offers a wide range of products that can suit companies of all sizes. Take a look our full range of products on our website, or give us a call at 512 865 4082. Our team looks forward to helping you find the very best ESD solution for your company.