Types of Flooring to Consider for High-Tech Construction Projects
There are many flooring options for high-tech construction projects, including cleanroom construction. The decision-making process might seem complicated due to considerations such as the work to be performed, the ISO classification (if applicable), the size of the space, airflow design, and other key factors.
To simplify the selection process, we will focus on these categories of flooring for high-tech construction and cleanroom projects:
- Raised Access Flooring
- Slab Flooring
Raised Access Flooring for High-Tech Construction Projects
Raised flooring is ideal for large computer rooms, data centers, or other high-tech facilities that require massive amounts of electrical wiring. The wiring runs underneath the floor to supply power to equipment throughout the facility.
This type of floor allows for conditioned air to travel throughout the facility to cool electronic equipment. When configured properly during construction, air will flow from underneath the floor to designated hot spots, reducing the risk of overheating.
A raised floor is also useful to manage the particles, dust, and debris that accumulate during production, reducing the risk of contamination. This is especially critical for lower-level ISO cleanrooms that can only allow a certain number and type of particles in the cleanroom.
– Within the category of raised access flooring is ESD (Electrostatic Discharge) Flooring. ESD flooring is ideal for high-tech facilities and cleanrooms that use commercial or industrial electronics. This type of flooring acts as an insulator for the energy produced by high-voltage electronics.
For people, ESD flooring helps prevent electric shock to personnel walking on the floor near heavy-duty electronic equipment. As an individual walks across an ESD floor wearing special footwear, the electrostatic charge is transferred to the flooring, reducing the risk of physical harm to the person.
For electronics, ESD flooring helps prevent damage to other equipment through electrostatic discharge. The idea is to prevent one highly-charged piece of equipment from transferring its charge to another piece of equipment.
– Another subcategory of raised access flooring is non-ESD Flooring. Non-ESD or standard flooring cannot be grounded. Additionally, special ESD footwear will not prevent static electricity discharge.
When an electric charge is generated on non-ESD flooring, the charge does not have a place to travel. Therefore, you need a separate path for the charge so that it does not potentially damage people or equipment through electric shock.
Slab Flooring for High-Tech Construction Projects
A second major category of high-tech construction flooring is slab or concrete flooring.
– The main type of slab flooring is Epoxy Flooring. This type of flooring is ideal for semiconductor facilities that must contain certain size particles (depending on the ISO classification) to prevent contamination and damage.
When applied to concrete or other hard surfaces, the epoxy finish creates a universal, smooth surface. The surface prevents cracks or gaps in the floor where particles and microbes otherwise would collect. This reduces the risk of undesired particles or microbiological contaminants from entering production.
Epoxy floors can easily be cleaned with a commercial or industrial cleaning solution. The solution will remove particles, dust, and other debris that collect on the floor to maintain the desired level of cleanliness.
– Another main type of slab flooring is Vinyl Composite Tile (VCT) Flooring. This type of flooring is ideal for cleanrooms with heavy usage.
The tiles are configured for the specific dimensions of your space to create durable resistance for both heavy foot traffic and rolling usage of heavy-duty equipment.
VCT flooring is easy to maintain and clean to prevent chemical build-up and to reduce the risk of contaminants entering into production.
– ESD Flooring is another flooring option that can be used on slabs.
It is a common misconception that concrete floors do not produce an electrical charge. However, concrete floors that have not been sealed have the ability to produce an electrical charge. Therefore, it’s worth considering adding a layer of protection to these types of concrete floors to prevent electrostatic shock causing damage to equipment.
Contact AMCBP to Discuss High-Tech Flooring Options
Our team of experts are capable of helping you determine the best flooring option for your specific function.
We will discuss the construction project, the nature of the work to be performed, the ISO classification requirements, the size of the space, the different grades for floors such as raised access, and other details to find the optimal flooring solution.
Our company has more than 20 years of high-tech construction experience, including building various types of cleanrooms. Contact AM Cleanroom Build and Performance today to schedule a consultation with our expert team.