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What’s the difference between ESD mats and anti-static workplace mats?

ESD mats and anti-static mats for the workplace are both conductive products. This means that both, anti-static and ESD mats, dissipate electrical energy into the floor and thus prevent static discharge or even shock.

ESD mats

Why ESD mats and anti-static mats are important

A static shock may not seem to be so severe at first glance, everyone is familiar with the experience of receiving a small electric shock after walking across carpet. Certainly unpleasant, but hardly a major concern, is it?

However, sensitive components and control groups in electronics can be damaged or destroyed. This can lead to far greater damage if these elements fail during operation or supply incorrect signals.

esd mat

And the effects that can occur as a result of a spark during a static discharge can be far more dramatic. In environments with gases or highly flammable solvents, this can lead to the burning of the solvents or even to explosions.

Even a small electric shock can have fatal consequences. Did you know that the explosion that led to the famous Hindenburg air disaster was caused by an electrostatic discharge?

Conductive floor mats and bench mats are used in industries where static charge could be a problem or cause a fire or explosion. However, they should not be confused with switchboard matting, which protect against the closure of an electrical circuit with the floor.

The difference between ESD mats and anti-static mats

The terms anti-static and ESD (or Electrostatic Discharge/Discharge) often cause confusion and not only when it comes to workplace mats.

It’s a bit like the zebra and the horse, every zebra is a horse but not every horse is a zebra.

Likewise, every ESD mat is anti-static but not every anti-static mat can be called an ESD mat. Although both terms relate to resistance, there are fundamental differences between the two.

esd mat

Anti-static mats have a low electrical resistance of between 0.1 and 1000 MegaOhm (MΩ). The use of anti-static mats prevents the build-up of electrostatic charge in the body by dissipating this charge and thus prevents a sudden discharge between electrically charged objects on contact.

ESD flooring or ESD table top mats have a low upper limit for electrical resistance between 0.1 and 100 MΩ. The use of them prevents the build-up of electrostatic charge in the body through a safe and very controlled discharge of the charge. They guarantee the suppression of sudden electrical discharge between electrically charged objects on contact.

Take a look at our range of ESD and anti-static mats.

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We offer site surveys throughout the UK and Europe, often accompanying our distributors. Our experienced sales team will visit your premises in order to assess your specific working environment and associated risk factors. Using this information we will then be able to recommend the most effective floor level safety solutions

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