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21 Jul

Can New Flooring Be Installed Over Old?

Can New Flooring be installed over Old Flooring?

Whether your company has just invested in a new to them facility or is upgrading their current locations due to time or elevated ANSI/ESD standards, one of the largest expenses they will face is replacing the existing flooring.

Based on the existing installation, this can be a very time consuming task – days to strip off the old flooring, etch or acid burn off any leftover adhesive residue.  Plus the very real possibility of damaging the concrete itself or a pre-existing moisture barrier.

Which leads to a popular question from facility and production managers – can new ESD flooring be installed over existing flooring?

And depending on who you talk to, the answer is: Yes. No. And, of course, Maybe.

Yes.

If an existing floor is well-bonded, ANSI/ESD 20.20 compliant and in reasonably good condition, theoretically, the answer is yes.

Certain flooring options pose a lower risk and are considerably easier to install over an older floor. Vinyl, for example, generally can be installed over top existing vinyl. Generally.

Problems arise when the old floor has become hard and stiff.  It may be harder to install over it, and if the initial bond doesn’t take, vinyl is unforgiving and may delaminate – requiring a complete stripping and reinstallation that is likely to cost more than the initial money saved, not to mention the time lost during the removal and reinstallation.

An additional choice to consider is installing carpet tiles over old vinyl. Carpet has become a popular choice to install over existing floors because the irregularities of the surface below the carpeting are virtually hidden behind its barely reflective surface.

Another option is Zero Stat Crete – a state of the art water-based epoxy coating – which can, after proper testing, be applied over an area that has had the previous vinyl or carpeting tile removed – often without needing to strip off any leftover adhesive.

No.

Some experts caution that you should NEVER install a new floor covering over an old one. Along with the warnings above, the old flooring might hide structural defects, might not be properly bonded or might result in a plasticizer contamination of the new flooring, which could radically affect the quality and effectiveness of its ESD prevention.

Also, by not removing the old flooring, moisture concerns that need to be addressed may not be discovered.

Additionally, depending on the age of the old flooring, it might have been made with asbestos, a manufacturing material that causes severe respiratory problems and may lead to death.

Maybe.

Experts say that almost any floor can be installed over an old floor as long as the old floor is in good condition and well-bonded to the sub floor. BUT…

There are just too many variables to accurately consider or discuss every flooring replacement or recovering option in a single posting.

Even if your scenario is similar one of the ones we’ve elucidated above, there may be additional factors in your specific facility that are not taken into account in our hypothetical illustrations.

Which is why we always recommend speaking to a qualified flooring professional before making any final decisions. There is not usually a financial cost associated with their consultation and/or site visit, but the preventative savings far outweigh any nominal up front cost.

For a free consultation – or any other questions you may have, please contact us.  We would love to be your full service, seamless ESD solution provider!

20 Apr

How Do You Care for Your ESD Floor?

How to Care for Your ESD Floors

So you’ve finally got your brand spanking new Electrostatic Discharge (ESD) preventative flooring installed. It looks great, it works great. But how do you keep it that way?

You’re smart enough to know that just like this is a specialized floor, it requires specialized care. Not just any cleaning products will work. You certainly don’t want to void the warranty, or even worse, compromise the ESD properties of the floor. That could drastically escalate costs – replacement of the damaged electronics, replacing the floor itself – having to apologize to your clients and replace the electronics they trusted you to provide.

You can’t find anything in the installation instructions. You hear the boss’ voice around the corner, you know he’s going to ask these questions. You don’t have the answers. You look down and you’re not wearing any pants!

Well, we can’t do anything about your pants, but we do have some answers to avoid that other nightmarish scenario.

For starters, take a break – for the first 5 days following a new installation, don’t wash or machine scrub the floor. This allows the adhesive to properly bond with the concrete base, as well as to prevent excess moisture – the #1 enemy of ESD flooring – to interfere with the adhesive.

The First Steps

Once the first week has passed, do an initial maintenance cleanup. Sweep or dust mop the surface to clear it of all sand, grit, debris, or dirt. Then mix a neutral pH detergent with a small bit of water in a mop bucket.

Dip the mop in the solution and fully wring it out. It is important to ONLY use a damp mop. Do not flood the floor with cleaning solution. Use as little liquid as possible to clean the surface.

If needed, scrub the floor using a rotary scrubber with scrubbing pad or automatic scrubber with scrubbing pads. Again, using as little water as possible!

Use the wrung out mop or a wet vac to wipe up any excess cleaning solution. Carefully rinse the surface with cool, clear water, but not too much, and again vacuum or damp mop up the water and let it dry.

Never use standard floor wax or standard floor finish!  Doing so will destroy the floor’s ability to prevent ESD. A high gloss appearance can be achieved with a high speed buffing machine with an untreated polishing pad.

Daily Care & Cleaning – Two Options

For your day to day cleaning and upkeep, there are two standard approaches for ESD flooring. Both are viable, but for obvious reasons, we prefer the first method.

Safety First!

Always be aware that a wet floor is more slippery, and therefore more dangerous to personnel. Try to coordinate cleaning of the floor to the end of the workday when fewer people are around, put up appropriate signs, and always exercise caution to prevent workplace injuries.

The first step in either case is to sweep or dust/dry mop the surface.

Dry Maintenance Method (Option 1)

By limiting the amount of liquid your floor is exposed to, you stand they best chance of avoiding the #1 enemy of ESD flooring – moisture. The Dry Maintenance Method is a simple, single step process.

Spray clean or burnish floor using a 1200 – 1500 rpm rotary buffing machine with appropriate pads (usually white) and a spray buff solution containing water, alcohol and a pH neutral detergent.

If heavy cleaning is necessary use a more concentrated pH neutral detergent and a brown pad.

Wet Maintenance Method (Option 2)

Similar to our initial cleanup procedures following installation, the wet maintenance method uses a damp mop and a cleaning solution that includes a neutral pH detergent.

If the floor is exposed to grease or oil, a pH neutral, citrus-based degreasing detergent may be used.

Scrub with rotary scrubber with scrubbing pad or automatic scrubber with scrubbing pads. Again, do not flood the floor with solution, water or any liquid.

Wipe up the solution with a damp mop or wet vac.

Carefully rinse with clean cool water, wipe it up, then let the floor dry (generally overnight).

Two final notes:

Several times we’ve mentioned using a pH neutral detergent. While there are many options, we highly recommend the industry standard – ZeroStat products. They can be purchased through our site or any reputable supplier of ESD preventative products.

Earlier, we recommended not using a standard floor wax. While there are professional ESD waxes available from ZeroStat that maintain the ESD preventative properties of your flooring, even those waxes generally cut five to ten tears off the life of your ESD floor and should be used with caution.

We would love to be your full service, seamless ESD solution provider.  Contact us today for more information.

07 Jul

Can we make our own ESD tools?

Q: Can we make our own ESD Tools?

A: Perhaps.  Since common hand tools can be at risk of creating an ESD event via CDM, what do we do about it?  I was able to treat the screw driver in my last installation with our ESD anti-stat chemical Shock Stop.  We also have Ultra Spray which lasts for a good deal longer than gimmicky products on the market, which are probably based on a fabric softener.

Our industrial products mentioned above will last longer, but need to be re-applied depending on usage.

I was brainstorming and came up with a more permanent solution to the ESD Screw Driver.  Pretty effective, huh?

1-measuring-resistance-of-non-esd-screw-driver3

1-measuring-resistance-of-non-esd-screw-driver3

2-esd-chemical-shock-stop

2-esd-chemical-shock-stop

3-treating-non-esd-screw-driver-with-anti-stat-shock-stop

3-treating-non-esd-screw-driver-with-anti-stat-shock-stop

4-remeasuring-screw-driver-resistance

4-remeasuring-screw-driver-resistance

5-looking-for-a-more-permanent-esd-screw-driver

5-looking-for-a-more-permanent-esd-screw-driver

6-ground-zero-esd-modified-screw-driver

6-ground-zero-esd-modified-screw-driver

6.5 esd-modified

6.5 esd-modified

7-measuring-resistance-of-gz-esd-modified-sd

7-measuring-resistance-of-gz-esd-modified-sd

Until I can work out a deal with Western Forge in Colorado Springs (dreaming a bit here), ESD Finger Cots!  Ground Zero ElectroStatics, Inc. has got them.  We’ve also got GZ-Shock Stop and GZ Ultra Spray for industrial uses in the EPA.

www.gndzero.com

1-719-676-2548

Order a sample today.

07 Jul

Demonstrating CDM Discharge using Common Hand Tools

Q:

What is the significance of the time to the charge generation in tribocharging?

Why is it that in tribocharging, there is a big charge produce in short period of time while small charge will be generated at long time? ( at the same force)

(I took the liberty here to respond to the question and go a bit further and look at CDM Testing as described in a recent issue of Conformity.)

A: First a little background about charge as it relates to ESD (ElectroStatic Discharge).

Triboelectric charge is merely the contact and separation of materials.  “It involves the transfer of electrons between materials.”  Which materials lose electrons and which gain them depends on the materials.

Static electricity can be measured in coulombs, and related to voltage potential via the equation: q=CV.  q = charge in coulombs, C = Capacitance, V = Voltage

The industry typically uses electrostatic potential and thus uses voltage to look at this energy form.  Voltage is merely charge potential with respect to a ground point or reference and measured in volts (v).

Insulators or materials with high resistance restricts or prevents flow of electrons across (surface) or through (volume) it’s material.

Conductors or materials with low resistance easily allows the flow of electrons across it (surface) or through (volume)  it’s material.

Insulators and isolated conductors can tribocharge to high voltages and will remain for a long time… so long as energy is not transferred via induction (isolated conductors) by bringing other objects into it’s vicinity and grounding the other object, by grounding the isolated conductor, or by balanced ionization (isolated conductors or insulators).

When isolated conductors are grounded, they (becoming grounded conductors) will enable electrons to flow easily to ground and the charge upon it will become neutralized and reduced to near zero.

Insulators cannot be grounded.  They can induce charge to isolated conductors and can cause electrical overstress/ESD events to isolated conductors at the time they are grounded via the charge field and do not need to contact the isolated conductors in order to do so.

Here’s another way to say that; “CDM (Charged Device Model) charging can produce two separate discharge events.  Here’s how it works.  If you ground a conductor (the conductive blade of a screwdriver for example) while it is in the presence of any item carrying an electrostatic field ( a charged piece of plastic or clothing), the conductor will acquire an electrostatic charge that may be sufficient to cause damage when discharged.”

Human Body Model, as is described in ANSI/ESD S20.20-2007… and the ESD control thereof, is concerned with limiting the voltage in the EPA for the protection of ESDS devices (ESD sensitive devices) to 100 volts and a discharge to within that level in less than 0.3 seconds for ESD Technical Elements (some quicker) at minimum.

I need to know what specifically are you interested in; the HBM, MM (Machine Model), or CDM (Charged Device Model)?  Keep in mind, that “volt per volt, MM discharge is an order magnitude more powerful than HBM discharge because the resistance of human body has been removed from the equation.”

In the article in Conformity, “Demonstrating CDM Discharge Using Common Hand Tools” provided by the ESDA, they state; “The damage threat from hand tools is CDM charging of the hand tool, accompanied by MM discharge to the component or device.”

Source: Conformity : ESD Open Forum April 2009 pg 20.

The following pics depict the testing I did in my lab in accordance with what I’d learned from a recent Conformity article from the ESD Open Forum entitled Demonstrating CDM Discharge using Common Hand Tools.  It involves charge, not by contact, but by induction;

1-non-esd-screwdriver2

1-non-esd-screwdriver2

2-shockstop-treated-screw-driver2

2-shockstop-treated-screw-driver2

3-gz-shock-stop-sample1

3-gz-shock-stop-sample1

4-charging-dp-with-silk1

4-charging-dp-with-silk1

5-zeroing-field-meter1

5-zeroing-field-meter1

6-donning-wrist-strap1

6-donning-wrist-strap1

7-confirm-blade-is-at-zero-on-non-esd-sd4

7-confirm-blade-is-at-zero-on-non-esd-sd4

8-touching-blade-for-cdm-charge2

8-touching-blade-for-cdm-charge2

9-cdm-charge-potential-measurement1

9-cdm-charge-potential-measurement1

10-zeroing-shock-stop-treated-sd-blade4

10-zeroing-shock-stop-treated-sd-blade4

11-confirm-zero-volts-on-shock-stop-treated-sd1

11-confirm-zero-volts-on-shock-stop-treated-sd1

12-recharging-dp-with-silk1

12-recharging-dp-with-silk1

13-touching-blade-on-esd-treated-sd-for-cdm-charge1

13-touching-blade-on-esd-treated-sd-for-cdm-charge1

14-cdm-measurement-for-esd-treated-sd1

14-cdm-measurement-for-esd-treated-sd1

15-rechecking-cdm-on-non-esd-sd1

15-rechecking-cdm-on-non-esd-sd1

16-remeasuring-cdm-on-non-esd-sd1

16-remeasuring-cdm-on-non-esd-sd1