As a construction or electronics professional you understand that the smallest details matter, especially when it comes to fire and electrical safety. Antistatic fire retardant plastic sheeting is one of the most important components of an ESD-safe dust containment system, but there are levels to ESD Safety. All ESD-safe materials are antistatic, but not all antistatic materials are ESD-safe.
Electrostatic discharge (ESD) isn’t usually an issue on a jobsite, unless there are electronics present where a small electric shock can have expensive or devastating consequences. This is especially true in the telecommunications industry, where the materials are particularly sensitive to electrostatic discharge, and in construction sites, where small sparks can ignite flammable materials.
Related Article: What is Anti-Static Poly?
“It’s important to speak to an expert when shopping for your ESD safe environment, because the terms ‘antistatic’ and ‘ESD Safe’ are sometimes used interchangeably, but they are not the same thing,” says Lisa Richards, a plastic sheeting expert at Americover Inc.
Speak with an ESD expert by calling 760-388-6294 and reaching out via direct chat to discuss your plastic sheeting needs.
What Does ESD Safe Mean? Is Anti Static Fire Retardant Plastic ESD Safe?
Electrostatic discharge occurs due to static electricity caused by the triboelectric effect. Therefore, when two surfaces come into contact with each other, they can exchange charges and produce a small electric shock. The voltage of the charge depends on the materials and the amount of tribocharging.
Materials are classified into three categories of surface resistivity.
- Conductive: has a surface resistivity less than 1 x 105 Ω/sq or a volume resistivity less than 1 x 104 Ω-cm. If a material is conductive, it removes static surface charges.
- Dissipative: has a surface resistivity equal to or greater than 1 x 105 Ω/sq but less than 1 x 1012 Ω/sq or a volume resistivity equal to or greater than 1 x 104 Ω-cm but less than 1 x 1011 Ω-cm.2. When a material is static dissipative it prevents discharge by slowing the speed of electrical charges.
- Insulative: has a surface resistivity less than 1 x 105 Ω/sq or a volume resistivity less than 1 x 104 Ω-cm. When a material is insulative it is extremely resistant to electrical charges.
An ESD-safe environment is created when all surfaces, containers, and tools are covered in dissipative conductive materials that bond all objects, surfaces, and people to ground.
Related Article: Which Plastic Sheeting Fits NFPA 99 Standard?
What is the Role of Anti Static Fire Retardant Plastic Sheeting in Creating an ESD Safe Environment?
An ESD-safe environment heavily relies on the ability of a material to control the flow of electric charges. Unlike insulative materials, antistatic properties are temporary. And in contrast to dissipative materials that remove electrical charges from an object, an antistatic material prevents them from building up on the surface by slowing the flow.
Antistatic fire retardant plastic sheeting is a cost-effective solution for short-term construction projects where ESD is a concern. It is ideal for applications that cover surfaces or enclose an area.
At Americover, we understood the need for a lightweight material compatible with ESD-sensitive environments, so we created ASFR6. A 6 mil antistatic fire retardant plastic sheeting material that prevents the buildup of static electricity.
Our antistatic plastic sheeting meets these standards:
- ANSI/ESD STM 11.11-2015 Surface Resistivity Standards
- TP 76300MP 1.2.7 for Dust Containment in the Telecommunications Industry
Technically, anti-static fire retardant plastic sheeting is ESD-safe, but it’s important to understand your application requirements before determining your product needs. If your project does require an antistatic material, we recommend these products:
Tuff Scrim™ Antistatic Fire Retardant Reinforced Poly Sheeting: passes NFPA 701 Large Scale, Passes NFPA-99 for static decay, and has a Class I / Class A Flame Spread rating per UBC-42 and ASTM E-84. It is lightweight yet highly puncture and tear-resistant.
Antistatic Fire Retardant Plastic Sheeting: the ideal plastic sheeting to use in hospitals, healthcare environments, data centers, and anywhere you want to protect electrical equipment or create an antistatic dust barrier.
There are many benefits to using antistatic fire retardant plastic sheeting aside from its static disspative properties, it also repels dust, helps to minimize fire damage, and meets the minimum requirements for 6 mil plastic sheeting dust barriers.
Trusted by Builders, Growers, and Distributors
Americover is the smart source for plastic and polyethylene sheeting. Trusted by contractors and distributors across the construction and agriculture industries, our American-made products combine reliability with quality and innovation.
As an Americover customer, you will receive the personalized support of a dedicated account manager to simplify the ordering process and ensure the best solution for every one of your projects. Our friendly, knowledgeable staff is here to answer your questions and fulfill orders Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Pacific Standard Time. If you want to speak with a representative, call us at 760-388-6294 or contact us.