There are many different factors to consider when building an ESD safe cleanroom or manufacturing environment. One of these considerations is the question of what clothing is suitable for use in an anti-static workplace. Several types of fabric present an ESD threat in the workplace, including materials used to make employee uniforms, carpets and cleaning supplies. For this reason, many companies choose to use a wide range of antistatic fabric-based products to ensure that accidental electrostatic discharge is minimised.
Although common in garments used in static-sensitive work environments, antistatic fabrics have been specifically designed to be stronger and more reliable than what is typically found in fabric garments or items, including water resistance and overall durability.
The following are definitions of the three different classifications.
Antistatic - refers to the property of a material that inhibits the effect of frictional charges. Frictional charges are essentially static electricity.
Static Dissipative - A material that will dissipate a static charge rapidly over its surface or volume and has a resistivity range between conductive and insulating.
Conductive - A material defined as having a surface or volume that is electrically conductive. These materials may be metallic or impregnated with metal, carbon particles or other conductive components, or their surfaces may have been treated with these materials through a painting, plating, metallising or printing process.
In addition to clothing and employee uniforms, antistatic fabrics are also used for: work chairs, grounding straps, gloves, workplace mats and packaging. The popularity of the material in a manufacturing environment or cleanroom depends on the overall level of ESD safety required; in addition, there is a 'category' of antistatic fabric, which is used to rank the overall resistance of the material to static build-up.
Fabrics should always be used in conjunction with common ESD safety measures such as anti-static mats, workstations and grounding strips. Companies should conduct annual ESD safety audits to ensure that their warehouse and manufacturing environments comply with a comprehensive ESD safety plan.
ESD fabric clothing is available in a variety of styles including lab coats, safety vests, T-shirts, polo shirts, sweatshirts and trousers. When purchasing, please consult with your staff and safety supervisor to determine your team's needs, desires and goals.
We sell high quality anti-static belts and welcome your enquiries and we will let you know the answers you want via email.