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What Is ESD Matting and How Does It Work?

By Paige Cerulli Created: December, 2023

If you work with certain types of computer devices, medical and dental supplies, or other electrostatic-sensitive products, then controlling electrostatic discharge in your workplace becomes a major concern. Electrostatic discharge mats, or ESD mats, can help to maximize safety and help to protect the equipment that you work with every day.

What are ESD Mats?

ESD mats, also called antistatic mats, provide static shielding against static electricity discharge. You might use ESD floor mats to protect workers or pieces of equipment from static electricity.

When Do You Need ESD Matting?

ESD rubber mats are essential when you’re working in an environment or with materials that are sensitive to electrostatic discharge. The act of walking often generates static electricity, and that electricity can be discharged when you touch your workstation or a piece of equipment. Even a small discharge can have major implications.

For example, if you’re working with flammable substances, a small spark can be catastrophic. Sensitive electronics, like circuit boards, can also be damaged by static discharge, leading to financial losses for your business.

anti fatigue esd floor mat

You might find ESD matting in many different settings:

  • Clean Rooms

  • Computer repair workplaces

  • Medical and dental offices

  • Operating rooms

  • Equipment assembly and repair facilities

  • Computer server rooms

  • Spaces where flammable materials are used

green esd floor matting with electrocution protection

How Does ESD Matting Work?

ESD mats help to eliminate static in sensitive workplaces. These anti-static mats are typically designed to be either placed on the floor or on your workstation, and they provide a protective layer to prevent static discharge.

Most ESD matting features a multi-layer construction. The top layer is often made of vinyl, which helps to discharge static electricity. The middle layer helps to channel the discharged electricity into the ground. Most mats feature a bottom layer of an anti-skid foam to help keep the mat in place.

To help the mats channel electricity to the ground, it’s important to ground each mat with a grounding wire. The wire helps static to efficiently pass through to the ground, and it creates a controlled path for that static electricity. Mats come equipped with a terminal that you can connect a grounding wire to for an easy installation.

ESD matting is rated based on how quickly it accepts static electricity. An electrically conductive mat accepts static faster than any other mat type. Static dissipative mats are a mid-range options. Anti-static mats accept static the slowest, and they have the highest resistance of all the mat types.

What Types of ESD Mats are Available?

You’ll find several different types of ESD mats available. Mats differ in size and their construction, so it’s important to think about how you’ll use the mat when you make your purchase. Many mats are designed to be connected together, so you can make a larger floor or even extend that floor later on if you expand your workplace.

At Greatmats, we offer ESD matting that’s available in various sizes. In addition to individual mats, ESD matting is available for purchase by the foot, so you can buy lengths sized for your workplace while minimizing any wasted material.

Installing the mats is as simple as laying them on your subfloor and connecting the grounding wire. They’re highly durable.

What are Some Other Ways to Prevent Static Charge?

ESD mats are just one step in helping to protect your workers and your workplace. Taking the time to create an ESD plan can help ensure that you’re addressing all potential risks in your workplace, and that you have multi-layered protection for your employees.

In addition to a ground wire attached to the ESD mat, workers who have rubber soles on their shoes can also wear heel grounders. The heel grounder lets electricity pass around the shoe and into the matting.

Other devices are also available, including antistatic clothing for workers, grounding wrist straps, antistatic tools, and even antistatic packaging.

What are Some Additional Benefits of ESD Matting?

Many ESD mats also have anti-fatigue properties. The mats may offer valuable shock absorption, but they may also help to promote small muscle movements as workers stand. Those muscle movements can help to prevent fatigue and soreness, leaving your staff more comfortable, more productive, and better able to focus on their work.

Additionally, many ESD mats are designed to help maximize traction. You’ll find a variety of textures available on the mats to help prevent slips and falls. These mats tend to be highly durable and often are water-repellent, too.

Buying ESD Matting

If you’re ready to invest in ESD matting for your business, Greatmats can help. We carry a great selection of ESD mat products designed for many different applications. Contact Greatmats customer service if you have any questions. We’re happy to provide shipping quotes, answer any questions, and help you choose the ESD mats that are best for your business and your specific needs.