ANTI STATIC CLEAN ROOM FLOORING
Cleanroom floors are frequently found in electronics, pharmaceutical, biopharmaceutical, medical device industries, aerospace, and other critical manufacturing environments. ESD standards or industry evaluation practices for measuring the effectiveness of selected products used in the control of ESD events or ESA (electrostatic attraction) include the following products and materials
ESD Clean Room Flooring (this is the surface that “ties everything together in an static controlled environment), Workstations, Conveyors, Racks, Plastic Enclosures,Transfer Carts, Chairs, Garments,Ionizations, ESD Monitoring.
ANSI/ESD Association S20.20-2007 is an excellent evaluation method for measuring the point-to-point (PPT) and resistance-to-ground (RTG) resistance for evaluating a ESD clean room floor. Anti Static and Conductive floors are designed to measure at or below 35 Million ohms. Typical office building air contains from 500,000 to 1,000,000 particles (0.5 microns or larger) per cubic foot of air. A Class 100 cleanroom is designed to never allow more than 100 particles (0.5 microns or larger) per cubic foot of air. Class 1000 and Class 10,000 cleanrooms are designed to limit particles to 1000 and 10,000 respectively (In comparison, a human hair is about 75-100 microns in diameter). A particle 200 times smaller (0.5 micron) than the human hair can cause major disaster in a cleanroom ! Contamination can lead to expensive downtime and increased production costs. In fact, the billion dollar NASA Hubble Space Telescope was damaged and did not perform as designed because of a particle smaller than 0.5 microns.
Electrostatic charge generation control is necessary in cleanrooms, since it can reduce: yield, disruption of automatic equipment from electromagnetic interference (EMI), and surface particle collection by ESA. ESA is becoming more of a concern as static charges have been seen to actually bond contaminants to surfaces of products or tooling.
Example: for a 4” wafer, charged to 1000 volts, a particle of 1 micron in diameter would have the bonding force of over 830,000 pounds per square inch. Electrostatic attraction between charged objects and particles can be quite strong compared to gravitational, aerodynamic, or adhesion forces. With the heavy use of insulating materials such as glass, Teflon, and polymers, items can become highly charged. Grounded workstations are a potential concern, as is the use of stainless steel work surfaces compared to static dissipative work surfaces. Conductive work surfaces can be considered a current-carrying hazard to people and ESD-sensitive devices.
ESD control measures traditionally have been required for: defense, electronics assembly, wafer manufacturing, semiconductor, & the disk drive industry. In the area of ESA control, these industries have ramped up ESA programs for their cleanrooms: fiber optics, medical, pharmaceutical, wafer, and disk drive manufacturing. Controlling static electricity and ESD events in the cleanroom is important for these industries. However, depending upon the sensitivity level of electronic components or MR heads, ESD may be of greater concern whereas ESA could weigh more heavily in wafer manufacturing and in areas where contamination control is foremost.
Surface Resistance versus Relative Humidity (RH):
ESD S20.20 recommends a target RH between 30% – 70%.
< 30% RH, materials have a greater tendency to charge.
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