ESD Floors vs. Conductive Floors – Which is The Better Epoxy Flooring System?

Although static electricity may seem innocent, it can actually be extremely hazardous in some facilities.  So epoxy floors that dissipate the electric static can not only help preserve products, but it can also help prevent life-threatening catastrophes.

Sometime facilities manufacturer sensitive computer boards.  They have small components that react to small amounts of electrical voltage.  But even a small static charge from a body can product more than enough voltage to damage the circuit board.  So in facilities like this, it’s important to have a floor that can dissipate an electrical charge.

Or, some facilities manufacture chemicals or commonly used products that use highly explosive compounds, like powdered aluminum.  If a spark, or any type of electrical discharge goes off around powdered aluminum, you’re in big trouble.  So not only can discharging floors preserve products, they can also save lives.

But Which Type of ESD Floor Do You Need?

Well, it depends on how quickly you want the static charge to dissipate.  Essentially, there are 2 different type of electric dissipating floors:

  • Electro-Static Dissipating Floors (commonly known as ESD floors)
  • Conductive floors

Electro-Static Dissipating floors are the most popular, and also the easiest to install.  They require the standard prep work that you’d do for any other type of epoxy flooring system.  However, an ESD floor usually only requires one ESD product, to make the floor an ESD floor.

And to be an ESD floor, it has to offer anywhere between 1,000,000 to 1,000,000,000 ohms of resistance.

In case you’re unsure what Ohms are, they are how we measure the “resistance” to electrical currents.

So in the case of an ESD floor, 1 million to 1 billion is how much resistance, in Ohms, these floors have to electricity.

ESD floors serve a pretty good purpose.  But if you’re in a situation where you need a stronger performing floor with less resistance, you’ll want a conductive floor.

Conductive floors require the same amount of prep that any other epoxy floor would require.  However, instead of 1 specialty coat of ESD material, these systems usually involve 2-3 coats of ESD material, which decrease the Ohms resistance to about 25,000 to 1 million Ohms of resistance.  So this means that these floor have less resistance, allowing the electric static to discharge faster than an ESD floor.

Overall, whether you’re looking for an ESD floor or a conductive floor, both will allow your static electricity to discharge compared to a traditional epoxy or urethane cement floor.  But remember, these are specialty floors.  Whether you need the best industrial thermometer, or whether you need to keep a close eye on the area’s schedule, you’ll need to take special notes to the owner’s requests for whether or not a discharging floor is their best option.