Perma Inc.

Electro-Static Discharge Control (ESDC) programs and the products used in them, have become an area of required knowledge for those janitorial supply distributors, and contractors, who sell or maintain facilities in which the manufacture, assembly, or use of sensitive electronic components is being conducted. The transfer of even imperceptible static electric charges can damage memory chips or microcircuitry, with the potential for rendering millions of dollars of equipment inoperative. Manufacturers and users of computers, photocopying machines, medical instruments, communications and defense related equipment, are all faced with this situation, and many have opted to implement Electro-Static Discharge Control (ESDC) programs to stop potential problems before they become reality.

The highly specialized finish, sealer, cleaner, and spray buff/maintainer included in Perma's ESDC program are specifically designed to dissipate static charges on all flooring surfaces before they can reach, and damage critical electronic components.

Many of the procedures for applying and maintaining #27 Stat-Coat, and #29 Stat-Seal, are similar to those used for regular resilient tile finishes or water-based masonry and ceramic tile finishes, but with some variations in detail that must be observed to obtain optimum results.

1. It is advisable to remove existing finishes prior to applying #27 Stat-Coat to avoid potential incompatibility or adhesion problems. Stripping should be done with Perma's #118 Eliminator, No-Rinse Stripper. Alkaline strippers of any kind which can leave a residue should be avoided, as any residue will degrade the finish, and reduce or destroy its static dissipating properties.
#29 Stat-Seal may be applied over existing concrete and hard surface finishes or sealers, but a test area should be applied to assure compatibility, prior to coating large areas.

2. Stat-Coat and Stat-Seal are somewhat more moisture- and water-sensitive than conventional floor coatings, so it is advisable to apply them under controlled conditions of between 40-65% relative humidity to assure positive drying and adhesion. Positive air circulation will also facilitate more effective and rapid drying. Care should be taken to allow initial coats of finish to dry completely before recoating. Partially dried or tacky surfaces should never be recoated as they will be partially redissolved by subsequent coats, causing loss of gloss, powdering, and poor conductivity. The best results will be obtained with thin, even coats of finish. No more than three coats should be applied in one day.

3. Obtaining optimum results from this program requires that consistent maintenance procedures be implemented and continued. Using #137 Stat-Clean and #28 Stat-Buff, which are specifically designed for the ESDC program will provide the best results. Floor surfaces coated with #27 Stat-Coat or #29 Stat-Seal should be swept and washed daily with #137 Stat-Clean. For daily damp mopping Stat-Clean should be diluted at a ration of 8-10 ounces per gallon of luke warm water. Following damp mopping the floor should be allow to dry without rinsing. For heavier soil conditions Stat-Clean may be used at up to 12-16 ounces per gallon of water. The use of regular alkaline all purpose cleaners to damp mop or wash Stat-Coat will strip out the static dissipating properties of the finish rendering it ineffective. A good quality synthetic neutral cleaner, such as Perma's #127, may be used, but it will reduce the static dissipating properties of the finish more rapidly than damp mopping with #137 Stat-Clean. The gloss can b e effectively restored by periodically spray buffing or burnishing with #28 Stat-Buff and a 300-2000 Rpm buffing machine and soft pad. Stat-Buff may also be diluted at a ration of 32 ounces per gallon of cold water, and used as a mop on restorer. Regular spray buffs, or maintainers, will sublimate the Stat-Coat and form an insulating coat which will eliminate its static dissipating properties. Dry buffing or burnishing is not recommended.

4. Although, using the products which are specifically designed for use with #27 Stat-Coat and #29 Stat-Seal will noticeably extend the static dissipating properties of the finish, over time they will begin to diminish. The static dissipating properties of Stat-Coat and Stat-Seal exist throughout the entire thickness of the film. As the film ages, the reduction in conductivity occurs throughout the entire film. Although, readings can be restored temporarily by recoating, the conductivity will be restored primarily within the additional coats. More satisfactory and longer term conductivity properties can be obtained by completely removing the existing coats of finish and establishing a new base foundation. The frequency of stripping and refinishing will vary somewhat depending on the environmental conditions within a particular facility, but field experience indicates that monthly refinishing generally provides optimum results.

5. The placement of static dissipating walk-off mats at entrance areas will help extend the working life of Stat-Coat and Stat-Seal by reducing tracked-in abrasive sand, dirt, salt and contamination.

6. Effective implementation of an ESD control program requires the use of some specialized testing equipment. Perma's #27 Stat-Coat and #29 Stat-Seal are formulated to provide effective static dissipating performance at resistivity readings of 10 8 - 10 9 Ohms/Cm 2 at 40% relative humidity. Verifying the effectiveness of ESD coatings requires the use of a quality resistivity meter. There are a number of meters available from different sources. Some meters are more accurate than others, and individual companies quality control requirements should be considered when making a purchasing decision.

7. Another important factor in obtaining optimum performance from ESD floor care products is maintaining an appropriate relative humidity level. ESD coatings perform most effectively at relative humidity levels of 40% or higher. Some ESD coatings simply stop dissipating static charges at anything below 15-20% relative humidity. Perma has encountered application situations in which #27 Stat Coat continued to provide resistivity readings of 10 8 - 10 9 Ohms/Cm 2 with relative humidity levels as low as 13%. This, however, is pushing the performance envelope far beyond what it is formulated for, and is definitely not recommended. To determine whether acceptable humidity levels are being maintained Perma advises conducting scheduled testing, particularly during the winter months, with a humidity meter. Humidity meters are widely available from laboratory and instrument supply companies.

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