Author Topic: ESD mats - when is grounding not required?  (Read 693 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline steaky1212

  • Regular Contributor
  • *
  • Posts: 90
  • Country: gb
    • Steaky - Sleep is overrated
ESD mats - when is grounding not required?
« on: May 28, 2020, 10:41:02 am »
Hi all,

I've been having a disagreement with someone at work about whether or not some ESD floor matting needs attaching to a ground point, and was hoping some collective wisdom would shed some light one way or another.

- His view is that connecting to ground is not required as it is so big that it should dissipate constantly.
- My view is that BSEN 61340-5-1 clearly states that flooring system needs to be attached to the common ground point. I've never heard of the argument of large mats not requiring grounding.

Is there a case that can be made, that says that if the matting is large enough then a connection to ground is not required?
I could probably use a flash tester to measure the resistance, but we are all in lockdown so it's very difficult for me to perform any sort of testing.

Other notes: The matting is on painted concrete floor - the floor paint isn't anything special. However, I did conduct some burn-in breakdown tests elsewhere in the factory (so may have had a different floor paint) and noticed some arcing to the floor - so maybe there is something there? I can't remember what values I was running through, but it was arcing from black nylon wheels so must've been fairly high.

Any insight is greatly appreciated, thanks.


EDIT: This is in a production environment where the electronics are installed inside the product next to a row of benches. It is impractical to use to use wristbands, so we have implemented matting/floor paint and footwear.
« Last Edit: May 28, 2020, 11:28:13 am by steaky1212 »
 

Offline Elasia

  • Frequent Contributor
  • **
  • Posts: 515
  • Country: us
Re: ESD mats - when is grounding not required?
« Reply #1 on: May 28, 2020, 11:09:12 am »
double sided copper tape to whatever grounding point if you are in an industrial/commercial setting.. its cheap insurance

Thing is, its a risk control product.. not a guarantee you wont zap something, same reason you use the wrist guard when working on someone elses item

Now beyond that, i've never connected a floor mat to direct ground myself in my labs.. only time you even really need a floor mat is if carpet *or* like the above and you need to par down your risk on sensitive items
 

Offline wraper

  • Supporter
  • ****
  • Posts: 11513
  • Country: lv
Re: ESD mats - when is grounding not required?
« Reply #2 on: May 28, 2020, 11:12:41 am »
- His view is that connecting to ground is not required as it is so big that it should dissipate constantly.
So big that it might act as capacitor plate.
 
The following users thanked this post: mcovington

Offline thm_w

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 2147
  • Country: ca
Re: ESD mats - when is grounding not required?
« Reply #3 on: May 28, 2020, 07:35:51 pm »
- My view is that BSEN 61340-5-1 clearly states that flooring system needs to be attached to the common ground point. I've never heard of the argument of large mats not requiring grounding.

Well if you can quote from the spec and they cannot, then it sounds like you know what you are talking about.

This page says: "The EPA ground provides a low resistance path (<2 ) to ground, usually to mains protective earth. A single EPA ground must be used within one EPA facility. "
http://www.compliance-club.com/archive/old_archive/030923.htm

So question is what ground is, if its defined in the spec somewhere.
Maybe they just mean alternative to mains earth would be a grounded rod, pipe, etc.
 

Offline tooki

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 5012
  • Country: ch
Re: ESD mats - when is grounding not required?
« Reply #4 on: May 28, 2020, 07:58:35 pm »
Why not have proper ESD floor paint applied? That just needs one ground point, and then just equip everyone with ESD footwear and that’s all you need. (That’s how my workplace is set up.)
 

Offline thm_w

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 2147
  • Country: ca
Re: ESD mats - when is grounding not required?
« Reply #5 on: May 28, 2020, 08:05:59 pm »
Why not have proper ESD floor paint applied? That just needs one ground point, and then just equip everyone with ESD footwear and that’s all you need. (That’s how my workplace is set up.)

The point is the person he is arguing with says the ground point is not required.
 

Offline Gregg

  • Frequent Contributor
  • **
  • Posts: 801
  • Country: us
Re: ESD mats - when is grounding not required?
« Reply #6 on: May 28, 2020, 08:19:29 pm »
I think OP is being trolled.  Whenever the situation arises where some Dunning Kruger sufferer offers an opinion that must be true unless you can disprove it, you are being trolled.   |O
 

Offline steaky1212

  • Regular Contributor
  • *
  • Posts: 90
  • Country: gb
    • Steaky - Sleep is overrated
Re: ESD mats - when is grounding not required?
« Reply #7 on: May 29, 2020, 09:29:34 am »
I think the main issue was that they are under the illusion that static dissapative means that it will dissipate static to the environment - and therefore a connection to ground is not required.

(side note, this is a tricky situation as I have butted heads with the same person before as I wanted to decommission a hipot tester that had sucked in metal dust, whereas he was fine blowing it through with an air-line).
 

Offline Mr. Scram

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 9258
  • Country: 00
  • Display aficionado
Re: ESD mats - when is grounding not required?
« Reply #8 on: May 29, 2020, 10:44:38 am »
I think OP is being trolled.  Whenever the situation arises where some Dunning Kruger sufferer offers an opinion that must be true unless you can disprove it, you are being trolled.   |O
Trolling is intentional while Dunning-Kruger by definition is not. I'm sorry to be a bit pedantic but it seems to be a trend to label any and all dissent as trolling.
 
The following users thanked this post: tooki

Offline tooki

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 5012
  • Country: ch
Re: ESD mats - when is grounding not required?
« Reply #9 on: May 29, 2020, 08:59:38 pm »
I think OP is being trolled.  Whenever the situation arises where some Dunning Kruger sufferer offers an opinion that must be true unless you can disprove it, you are being trolled.   |O
Trolling is intentional while Dunning-Kruger by definition is not. I'm sorry to be a bit pedantic but it seems to be a trend to label any and all dissent as trolling.
1000% truth. It’s super annoying.
 

Offline tkamiya

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 1368
  • Country: us
Re: ESD mats - when is grounding not required?
« Reply #10 on: May 29, 2020, 09:07:52 pm »
Concrete itself is somewhat conducting.  Rebar inside is grounded at some point.  So if it is painted with a proper conductive paint, it is grounded,.
 

Offline wraper

  • Supporter
  • ****
  • Posts: 11513
  • Country: lv
Re: ESD mats - when is grounding not required?
« Reply #11 on: May 29, 2020, 10:11:47 pm »
Concrete itself is somewhat conducting.  Rebar inside is grounded at some point.  So if it is painted with a proper conductive paint, it is grounded,.
It's at potential you can only guess about and might not be the same as any equipment and other things connected to mains earth. The fact is, it might work OK but does not adhere to any standards and you might get screwed over legally/ losing customers say when business partner finds out or by physically damaging things.
« Last Edit: May 29, 2020, 10:17:15 pm by wraper »
 
The following users thanked this post: thm_w

Offline thm_w

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 2147
  • Country: ca
Re: ESD mats - when is grounding not required?
« Reply #12 on: May 29, 2020, 10:13:01 pm »
Concrete itself is somewhat conducting.  Rebar inside is grounded at some point.  So if it is painted with a proper conductive paint, it is grounded,.

Probably, but thats not what the spec requires.
Perhaps you can make that argument if you tie directly to the rebar.
 

Offline SparkyFX

  • Frequent Contributor
  • **
  • Posts: 630
  • Country: de
Re: ESD mats - when is grounding not required?
« Reply #13 on: May 29, 2020, 11:36:00 pm »
Is there a case that can be made, that says that if the matting is large enough then a connection to ground is not required?
I could probably use a flash tester to measure the resistance, but we are all in lockdown so it's very difficult for me to perform any sort of testing.
Testing is the best way to settle the discussion.

In my opinion both points of view have something to it, as in this is not an "either - or" question, but which effect dominates. But without grounding the floor mats the actual conductivity might depend on humidity and temperature in a way that might exceed acceptable limits. That might also influence how or when to test.

Support your local planet.
 

Offline tkamiya

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 1368
  • Country: us
Re: ESD mats - when is grounding not required?
« Reply #14 on: May 30, 2020, 12:38:22 am »
Use of rebar as electrical ground is called "reefer ground" and is approved by NEC.  It's perfectly legal substitute for ground rods. 

Now, just painting anti-static paint on that is approved or not, I have no idea. 
 

Offline jh15

  • Frequent Contributor
  • **
  • Posts: 479
  • Country: us
Re: ESD mats - when is grounding not required?
« Reply #15 on: May 30, 2020, 10:30:45 am »
It is Ufer earthing or grounding method.
tek 575 curve tracer top shape, 535 top shape, 465. 545 hickok clone, Telsa Model S,  Ohio Scientific c24P single board computer, many c-64 from my club days, Giant electric bicycle, Rigol stuff, Heathkit AR-15 receivers 2, Heathkit et 3400a trainer and interface,
 

Offline tkamiya

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 1368
  • Country: us
Re: ESD mats - when is grounding not required?
« Reply #16 on: May 30, 2020, 05:24:31 pm »
You are right!  I always mess this one up.  Appreciate your correction.

The point I wanted to make was, during construction, rebar can be welded and portion of it exposed.  ("inspectable" is a requirement for this type of ground)  In that case, it can be used as a ground for mains.
 

Online SilverSolder

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 2225
  • Country: 00
Re: ESD mats - when is grounding not required?
« Reply #17 on: May 30, 2020, 07:32:03 pm »

Ufer madness?  :D
 

Offline DanielMilkov

  • Newbie
  • Posts: 1
  • Country: bg
Re: ESD mats - when is grounding not required?
« Reply #18 on: May 31, 2020, 09:24:56 am »

- His view is that connecting to ground is not required as it is so big that it should dissipate constantly.
- My view is that BSEN 61340-5-1 clearly states that flooring system needs to be attached to the common ground point. I've never heard of the argument of large mats not requiring grounding.

If you are working with sensitive devices its always a good idea to ground the whole mat just in case becouse dust/residue on the surface could compromise its electrical properties.You can also attenuate its properties by dragging heavy objects over the surface, abrasion or cuts, chemical cleaners, or direct heat caused by soldering or rework.I personally always keep my matt grounded and wear a wrist strap only in extreme cases.But overall these wrist straps are a big pain.And i avoid them as often as i can.But I always keep my matt grounded just in case I work on something more sensitive.

You can read the artical here : https://blog.gotopac.com/2017/09/06/do-you-need-a-esd-worksurface-mat-if-your-workstation-has-esd-laminate-do-you-need-an-esd-chair-if-you-have-an-esd-floormat/
 


Share me

Digg  Facebook  SlashDot  Delicious  Technorati  Twitter  Google  Yahoo
Smf