esd-safe mat

When Should You Clean Your ESD-Safe Mats?

by Andy on October 29, 2012

ESD-Safe Mat CleanerHere at All-Spec Industries we carry a lot of ESD-safe mats, as well as some mat cleaners. While using mat cleaner is typically simple enough (spray mat with cleaner, let it soak, wipe it off), you may not know when you need to clean your mats. Here are a few times that you should get out your cleaning supplies to keep your ESD-safe mats working correctly.

This first and most obvious time to clean your ESD-safe mats is when there is a visible layer of dirt or grime. If you can see the dirt on your mat then it is thick enough to interfere with its ESD-safe properties. A layer of dirt or dust could create an insulative layer on top of your mat, eliminating or reducing its ESD-safe protection.

Next is if you get flux, solder, or other chemicals on your mat. While it may seem like enough to just wipe your mat off with a dry paper towel, many liquids used in ESD-safe production can leave behind residues. These residues not only can create an insulative layer, but if they are from strong chemicals then they could corrode your mat or the products that come in contact with it.

Lastly, you should clean your mat if your RTT or RTG tests come out with a rating that is lower than expected. It is always best to test your mats regularly to ensure complete protection for your products, and if your mat fails the test cleaning can often help. This will give you a chance to bring your mat back up to its full potential, and increase its life span.

Have any more questions on cleaning ESD-safe mats? Leave a comment below, or visit our website at www.All-Spec.com!

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How to Test RTT and RTG Ratings

by Andy on October 22, 2012

Voltage Meter for RTT and RTG TestingIf you use ESD-safe mats you’ve probably seen RTT (Resistance Top to Top or Resistance poinT to poinT) and RTG (Resistance Top to Ground or Resistance poinT to Ground) ratings. These are important ratings that show how mats conduct electrical charges. RTT confirms that the surface of the mat conducts electricity uniformly, while RTG shows that the mat can conduct electricity from its surface to a ground point.

While you can always look up the specifications for your mats if you need to know the RTT or RTG ratings, you may find that you want to test your mats to ensure they are meeting their expectations. To fully test an ESD-safe mat you need a surface resistivity meter. The ANSI ESD S20.20 standard recommends using a meter with 5 lb weighted electrodes. If you have the electrodes on 5 lb weights then they should give you a consistent reading.

To test RTT you simply position both of the electrodes on the surface of the mat, preferably as far apart as possible. You want to have them far away from each other so that you can test as much of the surface at once as possible. If you put the electrodes next to each other, you can only confirm that a small portion of the mat has the correct rating.

For RTG you place one of the electrodes on the surface of the mat, and connect the second one to the ground point. The ground point of a mat is typically a snap, so here you can use an electrode that can snap onto the ground. If you do use a weighted electrode then you must ensure that it is only touching the ground point and not the general surface of the mat.

That is the basic way to test RTT and RTG ratings. Do you have any more questions? Leave a comment below and we will find you the answer!

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3M 6800 Series ESD-Safe MatsWe have recently added new ESD-safe mats from 3M to our website! These 2-layer dissipative/conductive mats are made from durable Nitrile™ rubber that is resistant to oil, grease, and most common solvents. Nitrile™ rubber also provides excellent heat resistance, much more than typical vinyl or olefinic materials.

Features:

  • Static dissipative top layer and conductive bottom layer
  • Includes snaps only
  • Thickness: 0.065”
  • Hardness: 65 Shore A
  • RTG: <108 ohms
  • RTT: <108 ohms
  • Available colors: Blue/Black or Grey/Black
  • Available sizes: 48” x 50’, 36” x 50’, 24” x 50’, 24” x 48”

Check out these and all the other benchtop matting we carry, from 2-layer rubber mats to 3-layer vinyl mats, as well as combination bench and floor mat kits. Have any questions? Call customer service at (800) 537-0351, or leave a comment below!

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