Anechoic Chambers has brought us to the forefront of Shielded and Anechoic Chamber technology. Many facilities planners, concerned about contamination or potential scheduling delays, once dismissed the thought of installing electrostatic discharge (ESD) safe tile in operational clean spaces. Ripping up old flooring, grinding concrete, and pouring epoxies and leveling compounds in a functional cleanroom would be a production manager's worst nightmare.
The alternative is a temporary production shutdown during flooring demolition and installation which may pose an even worse proposition. Let us start with the reasons why a functioning cleanroom facility manager might want or need to replace a floor. 1) The existing floor, while conductive, may not meet increasingly stringent cleanroom criteria.
2) The existing flooring material is improperly bonded to the concrete and has become a safety or maintenance problem. 4) The current floor does not meet minimum standards for static control without the use of ESD waxes or dissipative floor finishes. In any of the four replacement scenarios above, before any serious plans are made or dismissed, it makes sense to start with a broad evaluation of various ESD flooring alternatives. Properly installed and adequately maintained, any of the eight options will provide some level of static protection in an electronics handling application. Although option 4, the raised floor, is the defacto standard in most wafer fabrication areas, it is probably an expensive overkill for many cleanroom applications, other than offering access to wires and cables and air exchange; otherwise, there is little advantage to a cleanroom raised floor system. Option 5, resinous flooring (epoxy or urethane) is rarely installed in occupied spaces due to odors, drying times and dust generated during floor preparation. Floor mats and runners, option 6, are usually used as stop-gap solutions until a more permanent flooring material is identified. Most ESD floors are purchased with the assumption that conductive footwear will be used judicially.
This compliance issue is particularly important when comparing the performance of ESD vinyl with conductive rubber.
Before fully cured concrete is covered or sealed, moisture vapor easily passes through without a problem. Despite the obvious costs of tile removal and reinstallation, facility managers are usually as concerned about meeting project deadlines as they are about maintaining budgets.
The single biggest obstacle in installing new flooring is dealing with the removal of old flooring.
The second most time consuming aspect in a flooring installation is waiting for adhesives to dry and cure before the new floor is fit for traffic and equipment movement.
One large medical electronics manufacturer used conductive release adhesives to install small segments of ESD rubber flooring over old vinyl tile until the entire facility was covered.
No construction project should ever begin without a contingency plan that includes a thorough understanding of what could go wrong.
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That said, there are a lot of interesting design and product decisions in the Survivor Truck.  Some of these elements are sure to give you ideas about how to make a truck camper better for boondocking, or escaping the apocalypse du jour.
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Alive After The Fall Advice : Do you want to learn how you can cope with a food shortage, a mass pandemic a natural disaster or any other type of emergency situations?Stay safe. TCM: You have the Survivor Truck to get you out of trouble, but one thing it is not is stealthy.  Isn’t that an important part of security during an emergency situation? The truck has forced me to meet people who introduce me to other people that I need to meet.  It’s been a great experience. How to Build a Greenhouse from Used Windows or Storm Doors & Expert Advice on Greenhouse Growing ! As one defense electronics facility manager put it, "Even though we absolutely need a conductive floor in our cleanroom, we can't afford contaminating our HVAC system with dust and odors from flooring installation processes like shotblasting, concrete repair and skim coating. Horror stories abound about companies expecting a one week installation schedule for shutting down manufacturing and moving equipment into rented trailers, only to watch one week become 10, 15, and even 20 days. Regardless of the issues involved, one does not replace an existing floor unless it is absolutely necessary. This problem could be the result of any number of issues including vapor drive (commonly referred to as moisture problems), alkalinity from the concrete subflooring or poor installation of the original floor.
After installation, epoxies and urethanes must cure for 24 to 72 hours which may make them undesirable flooring materials in any occupied space that must be turned over quickly. Floor runners offer limited protection because they are able to ground static charges on people or carts only if and when the latter are in direct physical contact with the runner or mat.
Previous testing [1] has documented that without the use of conductive footwear, conductive vinyl floors offer little or no benefit. These vapors combine with the chemistry of concrete and over time will destroy and undermine the bond between flooring materials and concrete. Moisture vapor typically remains undetected until it becomes trapped in the concrete subflooring when a non-permeable membrane like rubber, vinyl or epoxy flooring is installed. One additional day of shutdown could potentially cost their company more dollars than the entire expense of new flooring and labor.
This issue is painlessly solved by leaving the failed floor in place and covering it with new subflooring. This 48 to 72 hour step can be eliminated by selecting flooring materials and cleanroom compatible adhesives that bond immediately.
This installation occurred over a six week period until all 25,000 feet were covered with ESD flooring. For these reasons, space planners with an eye on risk management are asking for installation methods that will neither disrupt production nor potentially corrupt their controlled environments. Floors are only replaced when the existing flooring, usually a seamless epoxy or tile, becomes incompatible with ongoing needs.
The material loss from the floor can contaminate electro-optics or giant magnetoresitive (GMR) head manufacturing processes (see Figure 1). For example, the present floor may generate over 100 volts when people wearing conductive footwear walk from one place to another or the floor and footwear system resistance may exceed 35 Megohms to ground.
At this point it is usually advisable to create a decision matrix or at least give a cursory glance at ESD flooring solutions.
Epoxies are also difficult to repair in a cleanroom without closing off the area with plastic shrouds and air exhausts during grinding and reapplication process. People wearing uncontrolled footwear on conductive or dissipative vinyl flooring will generate static just as they would on any standard insulative vinyl floor. Unfortunately, this type of moisture is not visible in the form of a puddle of water on the floor. Over time, vapor pressure increases against the tile or epoxy until the flooring breaks away causing delamination from the concrete.
It is well known that delays from unanticipated events are an everyday part of any construction project.
Interlocking subflooring like GroundLock™ can be installed directly over almost any surface regardless of the root cause of the floor's failure. The entire process was done without interrupting traffic or production and since the tile could be walked on right away, minimal labor was required for equipment movement. Until recently, installing a new ESD floor most often included the difficult task of removing the old floor first.
Of course most of the options will be quickly dismissed based on contamination control parameters or unsatisfactory electrical properties (point to point resistance, and resistance to a groundable point). In the case of ESD prevention, the weak link almost always involves compliance or the failure of personnel to adhere to rigid policies.


Walking body voltages (WBV) in excess of 3000 volts [2] can be measured on people walking on conductive vinyl when conventional footwear is worn without heel straps.
Despite the availability of moisture indicating test kits that can assist in predicting (and preventing) this difficult problem, moisture related issues are usually discovered after a flooring installation failure.
Tiles become loose, air entrainment bubbles develop in the tile or epoxy coatings followed by eventual black liquids oozing through cracks and seams. In the case of flooring, demolition will often reveal invisible unforeseen problems like moisture vapor or damaged concrete that must be addressed before any new flooring can be installed.
A floating subflooring system (see Figure 2) can be installed without the use of adhesives or chemicals. Larger pieces of equipment were moved just a few feet and then repositioned immediately after tiles were placed on the adhesive.
Often, even a failing floor will look perfectly fine, so one does not realize it has lost its bond with the concrete.
Thus, it would be reckless to make assumptions regarding compliance without first conducting a serious reality check.
Improper handling of these problems could add days or even a week to an installation schedule that was already overly optimistic. They can be spread directly over old well secured tile or on top of new floating subflooring. And the best attribute of this installation method is the lack of smell, so the installation was done during normal manufacturing hours. Credit will be applied after the returned items have passed incoming inspection at the Staticworx warehouse.
Quality-sensitive customers fear that their parts might be compromised any time their supplier's janitorial department fails to wax a floor that might be losing conductivity between maintenance intervals. ESD waxes and floor finishes generate dust and fine particulates from abrasion caused by traffic and standard janitorial practices like buffing. Ensuring continuous ESD protection also requires redundant grounding through the combination of wrist straps and ground cords (which inhibits mobility). For instance, will every employee actually wear conductive footwear while he or she is physically present in the ESD protected cleanroom? Although employees should always wear controlled footwear in the ESD Protected Area (EPA), conductive rubber floors inhibit the generation of static charges regardless of footwear.
Repairs are almost impossible because water vapor continuously rehydrates the repaired area, often before the new installation has had the opportunity to cure. To avoid contamination, floating subflooring tiles can be cut outside of the cleanroom and then brought inside where they are snapped together.
Since these adhesive dry and develop a high tack in one hour or less, the new ESD floor can facilitate foot traffic almost immediately after installation. Wrist straps must be connected and disconnected every time parts are removed from packaging or transported through ungrounded areas.
After the problem first emerges, most companies that have experienced this problem find themselves replacing compromised sections on an ever increasing basis. Once the subflooring is in place any resilient ESD flooring can then be installed on top.
Moreover, if an extended installation conflicts with production schedules and environmental conditions, it is wise to either cancel the project or proactively seek a creative alternative to the surprises demolition will surely bring. Any carpet or textile-based flooring, option 3, will naturally capture and accumulate particles and eventually become a dirt generator. So through a process of elimination, let us explore the real benefits of using option 7 and 8 in this article. A permanent fix entails ripping up the failed floor, shot blasting the concrete, repairing imperfections, installing a moisture vapor barrier and then reinstalling new flooring. The cost for this cure could run as high as fifteen to twenty dollars per square foot depending on working conditions, this is exclusive of the cost of shutdowns, equipment moving and auxiliary support.



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