Did you know that an electrostatic discharge (ESD) can cause severe damage, like a fire or explosion?
This happens when you come into contact with ungrounded electrons from your computer system. But you can prevent this through an anti-static chair mat.
But do anti-static chair mats work? Where do you use anti-static chair mats?
Let’s find out in this short article. Please read on.
Important article What Is An Anti-Static Mat? Must Read!
What are Anti-static Chair Mats & Where Do You Use Them?
An anti-static mat is a protective covering that shields you or your equipment from static electricity discharge (ESD). You use these mats in an office or industrial setting with electronic devices, such as computers, which can easily discharge charges.
You must have undergone an electrostatic discharge (ESD) in your lifetime. It is what happens when you walk with socks on the carpet or rub a balloon in your hair.
Although these actions are mostly harmless, ESD can wreak serious havoc on many industrial and technical devices.
In such scenarios, a tiny shock from your finger can result in a disaster costing thousands. It’s even possible for a sudden ESD to reach up to 15,000 volts – enough power capacity to damage delicate electronic equipment instantly.
The science behind an ESD is simple: when two objects come into contact, electrons move around and charge up the touched object. After acquiring the charge, the touched object can transfer the charge to any other item that gets to contact with it.
The transfer of electrons to another ungrounded object produces ESD.
As you may have seen, many products have emerged to battle the effects of ESD. But only a handful have proven to be effective in this battle.
The anti-static chair mat is on the cutting edge of the items fighting the impacts of ESD effectively. Installing to any of your office or industrial floor.
An anti-static chair mat deals with the problem from the bottom up, preventing those harmful electrons from moving to your devices or body parts.
For them to work best, you must install anti-static chair mats on your office floor or workstation surface.
Are Anti-static Chair Mats Necessary?
Anti-static chair mats are essential in various office and workplace settings. No wonder they are in plenty within many industries such as computer repair shops, healthcare offices, assembly lines, computer server rooms, auto shops, and anywhere flammable items are used, like in manufacturing industries.
Besides posing a fatal danger to sensitive technologies, static electricity can create potentially fatal accidents in your workstation or office. Static electricity can cause the following harm:
- Electric shock because electricity flows through the body.
- Uncomfortable zaps or falls because of the electric shock.
- Burns or stopping the heart.
- Fires and explosions because of ignitions of flammable or explosive mixtures.
Luckily for you, there are different ways of countering ESD, which include using anti-static chair mats and anti-static wrist straps. An anti-static wrist strap works behind the same principle as the anti-static chair mat to keep you grounded.
Although you can try to counter ESD with several other options, using an anti-static chair mat is the most effective means of diverting ESD-related issues.
An anti-static chair mat offers the highest level of ESD protection and remains effective regardless of what kind of footwear you may have on.
The effectiveness of an anti-static mat boils down to Ohms (electric resistance). An anti-static chair mat provides an electrical resistance ranging from 106-109 Ohms.
So ESD flows more slowly in anti-static chair mats than in conductive matting, which drains ESD faster with a lower Ohms rate. Either way, you drain ESD from your sensitive equipment and reduce the risk of ESD impacts on your body and those devices.
Should You Use Anti-static Chair Mats on Carpet?
Yes, you should use anti-static chair mats on carpet. Having an anti-static mat in your office allows you to move your office chair easily without fear of floor damage.
Although these anti-static mats may seem mundane, they can help preserve the health of your joints and the good outlook of your carpet or hardwood. Flooring manufacturers have taken note of this, and started giving warranties void for customers who don’t use chair mats.
They are aware that operating your office without an anti-static chair mat can cause your office chair to snag carpets and damage floors with its wheels.
The use of an anti-static chair mat goes beyond protection because these mats can give a completely new outlook to your office floor. That is ideal if you want to decorate your office floor with a long-lasting option.
What’s more, anti-static floor mats are ideal for providing optimum protection to your floor and floor carpets. You can use them in your office, living room, or dining room.
There are different sizes and styles for your specific uses.
For your living and dining room to fit perfect, the rug should be larger than the furniture and the table. Conversely, if your room is square, you should choose an anti-static chair mat of the same style and shape to fit perfectly.
The most vital detail to consider in your living or office room is how you place your chairs and tables on the mat. The correct setting should entail placing your anti-static chair mat beneath the legs of your desks, chairs, or tables.
If you use a small chair mat just for your coffee table, the room will look much smaller and the setting may not make sense.
The bottom line is that you should choose an anti-static chair mat that matches the shape and size of specific areas you want to maximize protection against ESD. An anti-static chair mat provides protection and beauty in your room.
What is the Best Thickness for an Anti-static Chair Mat?
The ideal thickness for an anti-static chair mat should range between 0.4 inches to one inch. So go for a thickness between these two if you’re still unaware of the exact thickness that will suit you.
Don’t pick a mat that’s thicker than one inch because it will cause discomfort. Too thick anti-static chair mats can be quite inconvenient than their worth.
But start by considering the type of area you intend to cover with your anti-static chair mat to get the correct thickness. If it’s a place you spend time walking or standing, you’ll require a moderately thick mat to avoid hurting your joints.
Prolonged standing on thick flooring can harm your joints and bones.
Besides considering the type of room you want to use the chair mat in, you should also consider whether the space is carpeted or with a hard floor surface. Anti-static chair mats are made for carpeted floor surfaces and hard floor surfaces.
But there is a distinction between chair mats made for hard floor surfaces and those for carpeted floor surfaces. Chair mats for carpets feature cleated backs to prevent slips that damage hard floor finishes.
So you should specifically use a chair mat for carpeted finishes in your carpeted room, or those made for hard floor finishes for your uncarpeted room with the hard floor surface.
To select the most suitable anti-static chair mat for your room, you should answer these questions:
- What type of floor do you have?
- What’s the size of your work space?
- How is your furniture arranged?
How Does Floor Type Dictate The Suitable Anti-static Mat Thickness?
The best way to determine the thickness of your ideal anti-static chair mat is the type of floor you intend to cover. If your office has hard floor finishes, a thin anti-static mat will be the most suitable.
But using a thin chair mat on a carpeted floor finish, it’ll crack and break. So, let’s analyze both floor types to know what works on what floor and why.
1. Hard Floors
These are floors covered with wood, tiles, or concrete. They cause more friction with office chair caster wheels.
This can damage both your chair wheels and your floor over time. So, a chair mat for hard floors provides a smooth and consistent surface for your chairs to roll on.
Reducing friction makes it even easy to move the chair while using it. In turn, this minimizes repetitive stress injuries to your knees and ankle joints to the benefit of your overall health.
Vinyl chair mats are the best for hard floors, although there are several made using other materials. These mats are transparent and provide a great rolling surface without obstructing your office aesthetics.
Even better, vinyl chair mats come in an array of colors. So, besides covering previous damage in your floor finishes and providing protection, they match perfectly with your office decorum.
2. Carpet Floors
The thickness of anti-static chair mats in carpeted floor finishes should correspond to the thickness of the carpet in your office. The main reason for this is to have your chair firmly on the mat, without sinking into the carpet.
A mismatch between the carpet depth and mat thickness can cause the chair to sink into the carpet. This can result in the loss of traction and support for the user.
You shouldn’t pair a thin mat with a thick carpet. Always select a thicker mat to cover a thinner carpet.
This will provide a sturdier surface for your chair to roll on and increase support for the user. Here are general guidelines to consider:
- Low pile carpets are ¼-inch thick, or less, and match perfectly with ⅛-inch anti-static chair mats.
- Medium pile carpets are ¾-inch thick and pair well with ⅕-inch thick anti-static chair mats.
- Plush pile carpets are thicker than ½ of an inch and can be paired with ¼-inch thick chair mats.
It is now clear that anti-static chair mats work. They provide protection to you and your office floor finishes from random movement of your office chairs.
They also guard you and your devices from ESD.
Considering the type of floor you have, you should purchase the right anti-static chair mat to stay safe from ESD and floor damage.