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Question I would like to know if there is any point in having ESD foot straps if you have a regular painted concrete floo? Do you know if the foot strap is still effective even if you don't have ESD floors?
Answer If you have ESD susceptible products, the ESD Foot Grounders will not provide ESD protection without being used on ESD protected flooring. A limited amount of electrostatic charge removal will occur, however, new charge generation will likely be much greater. In addition, the wearing of the Foot Grounders may mislead workers in thinking that they are practicing ESD control procedures, so it’s worse wearing than not wearing the Foot Grounders.

A person walking across a floor is a perfect example of tribocharging where static electricity charges are generated when two dissimilar materials are placed into intimate contact and then separated.

An ESD Foot Grounder is designed to provide ESD protection for ESDS assemblies and devices, however, they must be used properly. The rubber material of the Foot Grounder has the important electrical properties of being antistatic or low tribocharging, and dissipative allowing it to conduct charges to ground.

A person carrying ESD susceptible products, and not electrically connected to an ESD protected floor via Foot Grounders will generate charges that will likely damage the ESDS products. Outside of an ESDS protected area, ESDS products are to be stored or transported in a Faraday Cage [such as a completely closed ESD Shielding Bag]. However, for standing or mobile workers ESD Footwear in conjunction with ESD protected flooring is a requirement of ANSI/ESD S20.20. See Paragraph Personnel Grounding Guidance:

“The personnel grounding system in all cases includes the person, the control item(s) and connection to ground. …. ESD protective flooring, used with approved footwear, may be used as an alternative to the wrist strap system for standing operations. Footwear includes foot grounders, shoes or booties.”

Your “regular painted concrete floor” may provide an acceptable base for our Statguard® Dissipative Floor Finish or Statproof® Zinc Free Floor Finish, which, with proper application and maintenance, can turn most any floor into ESD protected flooring.

Tech Briefs can be viewed and/or downloaded from web site. The applicable Tech Brief is PS-2026.

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