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Question I work for a rather large computer company in christiansburg Virginia. One of the aspects of my job is updating and maintaining our production area. I considering different products to use for ESD mating on our benches. Our old ones are worn out. I have a budget to maintain and a large amount of benches to remat. I have about 40 benches each about 4ft wide and 6ft long. The mats for us just do not hold up. We do a lot of heavy industrial type computer building. My question is what kind of hard surface material is out on the market, if any at all, and where could I find it at. Keep in mind I can't spend a 1000 per bench. Also, is there any more readily availiable material to use that may be more cost efficient. We have a full ESD floor, so the bench mat is being used in conjuction, not alone. Thank you for your help and time. -Brian, Christiansburg, VA
Answer You want to identify the mat material that is best for your particular application. There are laminates that you could use to cover the surface of your ESD work benches, such as our Micastat® material. There is a concern with hard mats and that is with charge retention. It is more difficult to dissipate a charge from a charged material onto a hard mat than it is a soft mat. Soft mats are superior to hard mats in removing charges. In some cases, hard mats may be the best alternative, but my recommendation would be to use a good rubber (soft) mat with a sufficient durometer (hardness) to hold up under heavy use. I would recommend our Type T2 mat material in a roll form (4’x40’). This would give you (6) 4’x6’ mats per roll making this endeavor more economical. You’d need to acquire the proper grounding hardware and a common point ground.
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