How Do Anti-Static Mats Work? – Fast Facts
If anti-static mats have been installed in your workplace, you might want to know more about their function.
In this article, we will satisfy your curiosity about how do anti-static mats work. Scroll on to learn facts about this kind of matting.
Static, in electronics, is the buildup of charge between two surfaces. It is the result of two surfaces rubbing together that results in excess of electrons on one surface and a deficiency on the other.
For example, when a computer comes in contact with another surface, such as your hand, a rapid transfer of electrostatic charge happens. It is because the two surfaces have ground potential differences.
ESD has shown effects on electronic devices; hence, workplaces are proofed with ESD matting to protect equipment against such effects.
Anti-static floor mat or electrostatic discharge (ESD) matting drains static discharge from items that are placed on its surface.
It slows down the flow of static charge. This process then neutralizes static electricity and allows the charge to go into the grounded mat, keeping it away from electronic devices and other components.
Vinyl and rubber are the most common materials used to create anti-static mats, be they multi-layer, single-layer, or solid sheets.
You can find these types of anti-static mats in the market:
- Homogenous mats. These are single-layer solid mats made of either vinyl or rubber. These mats offer good mechanical service, with electrical performance limited to about 109 to 1010 RTG.
- Three-layer vinyl mats. These mats feature a conductive metal or carbon layer between a front vinyl layer and a back vinyl layer. The conductive layer improves the electrical components to speed up the movement of the static charge to the ground. The back layer works as a cushion or foam.
- Two-layer vinyl mats. These mats are composed of foam from the three-layer mat and the dissipative vinyl from homogenous mats. It has no conductive layer; thus, it only provides average electrical performance.
- Two-layer rubber mats. These mats are composed of a top layer of static dissipative rubber and conductive rubber as a back layer. It performs similarly as the vinyl three-layer mat. However, these mats have a greater tolerance to heat and chemicals. It is probably the most expensive form of an anti-static mat.
There are two categories of ESD matting:
- ESD table top mats. These mats are often used in desktop workstations. They come in light colors so the worker can see small components easily.
- ESD floor mats. These mats are used on floors and have grooves that prevent workers and equipment from slipping. They come in dark colors, so dirt and marks are not too visible.
How To Use Anti-Static Mats
This method will guide you on how to use anti-static mat step by step when repairing a computer.
- Take your anti-static mat and lay it on the desktop surface.
- Locate the grounding connector attached to the mat. Plug it into a wall socket. If your mat only has an alligator clip, skip this step.
- Place the computer on top of the mat. Unplug the computer from the power source.
- Attach your mat’s alligator clip to the metal chassis of the computer.
- Wear an anti-static wrist band.
- Attach the wrist band’s alligator clip to the mat. Once you are done, you are ready to work on the computer safely.
Now that you know how do anti static mats work, make sure that you use them well to be safe and to improve your efficiency during your daily grind.