ESD Carpet Tile Testing
Static Dissipative Carpet Tile: Accelerated Life Testing
Specifying an antistatic carpet tile for an electronics manufacturing space or a 24/7 critical environment application requires at least a passing understanding of how the carpet's electrical properties might perform after repeated abuse from roller caster chairs. Unfortunately, descriptions like "mission critical" or "made with robust fibers" are open to interpretation, making it difficult for the specifier to make an informed decision about long-term performance.
Static control specifications are readily available on the back of every carpet tile sample book. Most carpet manufacturers only perform basic AATCC 134 static generation testing, and their electrical measurements are always generated from tests on brand new samples under controlled conditions in an uninstalled condition. But what about the electrical performance after a carpet tile has been installed and abused? Will the carpet tile still offer the necessary level of static protection after several months or years of chair caster traffic and periodic wet maintenance?
Load Weight: 90 kg
Number of Cycles: 100,000
The roller caster: Your floor's number one enemy
The Roller Caster Electrical Test (CET), an accelerated life test for static resistant carpet tile, determines how well a carpet tile will retain its electrical properties after 12 to 24 months exposure to abuse from chairs rolling over the floor. Rolling casters splinter and fracture the carbon fibers in static resistant carpet tile. From years of abuse, fractured carbon fibers lose electrical continuity with the carpet tile backing thereby creating an open electrical circuit = no path to ground; in a poorly designed conductive or static dissipative carpet tile, excessive chair caster damage will deteriorate the electrical properties to the point where the - once antistatic carpet tile - will actually generate more static electricity than the typical carpet found in the family room in residential environments.
The ohms resistance of static dissipative carpet should always be measured before and after a Phillips chair caster durability test or CET. The CET simulates carpet fiber face damage from the torque and compression of swivel caster point loads rotating within a defined and limited radius; among other things, this abusive procedure quantifies delaminating and edge ravel resistance per ASTM D7267. The most demanding environments for any carpet tile are spaces where roller caster chairs are in constant use. Because fractured fibers can render the static control properties useless, the CET provides an essential metric for evaluating the long-term static dissipative performance of any carpet tile.
How is the CET test conducted?
To make the test as realistic as possible, we slice each tile with a carpet knife prior to testing. In addition, the carpet tiles are installed over a cushion, which dramatically increases flexing at the seams, the most vulnerable point in any carpet. The flexing action, coupled with 198 pounds (90 kilograms) pressure and 25,000 caster chair cycles, accelerates fatiguing of the carpet, seams and backing. A high-grade commercial carpet tile should exhibit no edge ravel or delaminating after 100,000 cycles. Products that can successfully withstand this level of punishment will provide many years of useful life. Poor results help identify potential problems before the carpet is installed. Because the static control properties of a conductive carpet can be destroyed by repeated wear from rolling casters, floors with carbon coated yarn systems should receive exposure to a minimum of 100,000 cycles (less than two years of installed use in a 24/7 mission-critical space).
The electrical properties of carpet tiles should meet performance standards both before and after the CET. Caution should be observed when evaluating any highly conductive carpet tile. In some cases the resistance of an unsafe highly conductive carpet tile will increase from unacceptable into the acceptable range as a result of abuse from this durability test procedure. A passing grade at the end of the test does not warrant the installation of a carpet tile that measured too conductive at the outset of the test. Unlike a stiff pair of boots in need of wear, the electrical properties of carpet tiles should never be viewed as requiring a break-in period. An acceptable ohms range for any static control carpet tile is less than 1.0 X 10 E8 and greater than 1.0 X 10 E6. This ohms range satisfies ANSI/ESD S20.20-2007 for electronic parts handling as well as critical environment end user grounding standards in Motorola R56, ATIS 0600321 and FAA STD 019e.
ShadowFX is the only modular carpet tile capable of meeting ANSI/ESD 20.20 at the same time as meeting operational equipment environment standards like Motorola R56 and FAA STD 019e after exposure to 100,000 cycles of the Phillips chair caster test.
Staticworx® ShadowFX carpet tiles with GroundSafe approved static dissipative backing come with a lifetime static control warranty for any electronics handling application.
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