June 12, 2018

Taking the shock out of flooring

Warehouse storage racking is an essential component in the modern logistics industry but it is not without its risks. In areas where flammable and sensitive goods are kept, and sparks, fire and heat need to be avoided, measures need to be put in place to eliminate the chances of electrostatic discharge occurring. An appropriate floor coating can be installed to dissipate static across its surface so that enough charge is never allowed to build up to dangerous levels.

Electrostatic discharge occurs when there is a sudden flow of electricity between two objects that are electrically charged – either through contact, an electrical short or dielectric breakdown – often creating a spark.

Tribocharging, or static, is also a problem. Almost any movement within an environment can produce static electricity, including the everyday movement of vehicles or repetitive movements and vibrations.

An electrostatic charge can be seen in the form of a spark, or it can be invisible. Both forms are dangerous and can cause damage to flammable and sensitive equipment such as chemicals and electrical equipment. It can also pose a threat to data storage and can cause lost or corrupted data.

Environmental factors such as humidity can increase the chances of an electrostatic discharge while hot and dry conditions can increase the fire risk.

Therefore, in environments where such products are stored, it is important to prevent electrostatic discharge from occurring.

Anti-static and conductive systems

Chris Bauer, Head of Flooring at Hychem, said there are various ways warehouses can reduce electrostatic charge around its products, with an appropriate floor coating one of the options available.

“One way to reduce electrostatic charge is by dissipating static using a conductive system across the surface of the floor to prevent electrostatic charges from building up and causing any unwanted reactions,” Mr Bauer said.

“Our Hycrete PU technology is one of the flooring products available that has been developed to withstand the toughest environments and has design options available for almost every flooring scenario. It’s a great choice for warehouses as it’s fire resistant, offers electrostatic propensity protection and can be installed with additional anti-static and conductive systems.

“It works by taking the static electricity that builds up and moving it through the floor to the ground. This grounds the charge so that electrostatic discharge can’t build up and discharge.”

Hycrete flooring systems can be tailored to suit specific requirements, and are designed and proven for use in Australian industry and climatic conditions. The system can be used in a wide variety of areas including storage spaces, warehouse and distribution centres, chemical and minerals processing plants, mining, ammonium nitrate storage facilities and engineering workshops.

Getting the right advice

The selection of an effective flooring solution should always begin with a thorough evaluation of the intended use and environmental factors of the area.

“At Hychem, we pride ourselves on our market knowledge, and being able to advise clients on what the best products are for their application,” Mr Bauer said.

“We have open communication with both the applicator and the end user to ensure that the client gets the product they need. This is important for projects that have specific requirements – such as anti-static – as there are numerous products on the market and by understanding the exact conditions of each individual project, we can recommend the solution that will give them the best results.”

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