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Matting Technical Information

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Basics of...Matting

Types of Anti-Fatigue Mats

Anti-fatigue Mats are designed by nature to provide comfort and increase the productivity of standing workers. However, all mats are not alike. They are designed with different functionality, comfort levels and life expectancy.

Anti-Fatigue Mats w/Wear Surface Bonded to Sponge: these are the most popular anti-fatigue mats on the market. Designed for dry areas, they have an abrasion- resistant surface bonded to a sponge base.

The surface can have a design molded in like diamond-plate, corrugations and circles, or be smooth. Surfaces with designs tend to be more slip resistant. Smooth mats are easier to clean, especially in the presence of fine dirt or dust particles.

The sponge base is generally between 3�?�8�? to 3�?�4�? thick. In general, the thicker the base, the softer the mat. The type of sponge is also important. 100% PVC sponge is usually found in economy products. 100% PVC sponge is stiffer and bounces back slower than blended sponge based material. A blend of PVC with Nitrile rubber sponge is over 50% softer than PVC alone and a better choice when the worker is to stand on the mat for extended periods of time. Anti-Fatigue mats with blended sponge bases can last 3-5 years of round the clock use. Mats with 100% PVC sponge will last about half as long.

PVC Sponge without a Wear Surface: another popular mat because of its low cost. This is the most basic and economical anti-fatigue product on the market. Designed for dry areas, this material can be easily cut to size and is commonly purchased in rolls. Average life expectancy is 6 to 12 months. After this period of time the mat does not fall apart but the sponge loses is resiliency (ability to bounce back) and flattens out. The more traffic the mat sees the quicker this will happen.

Molded Rubber: also very popular and available in many compounds and configurations. It is generally used in wet areas (water), oily/greasy areas (animal or mineral oils) or near machinery where cutting fluids are present. Each of these conditions requires a different rubber compound if the mat is to perform satisfactorily.

Molded Rubber Compounds:

Natural Rubber - Best in dry areas or around water. Most detergents will not adversely affect the mat.

50% Nitrile Rubber Blend - Same applications as above plus salt water, animal fats, mineral & vegetable oils, brake-fluid, hydraulic oils, & mineral based cutting oils.

Cutting Fluid Resistant (CFR) Rubber Blend - Same applications as above plus semi-synthetic cutting oils, and high concentrations of mineral, hydraulic or vegetable oils.

Molded Rubber Configurations: Most molded rubber mats are between 1�?�2�? and 7�?�8�? thick and are available in a great range of sizes. Keep in mind that thinner and smaller sized products are lighter in weight and generally easier to clean. The thicker mats are suitable when there is a need to get the worker as far off the floor as possible, such as a wash down area. Molded rubber mats are often perforated with drainage holes but some mats are solid which facilitates the cleaning of dry debris by simply sweeping the mat.

  1. Molded Rubber with Holes and Grit - the best in non-slip matting where floors are both wet and slippery.
  2. Molded Rubber with Holes - for wet areas where maximum slip resistance is not required.
  3. Molded Rubber with a Solid Surface and Grit - ideal for use in areas where slick substances like power, graphite, PTFE or other slippery dry compounds are present.
  4. Molded Rubber with a Solid Surface - the solid surface is easy to sweep clean, particularly if debris like metal shavings or wood chips are present.

Molded rubber mats have a life expectancy from 1 to 3 years depending on the harshness of the environment and the scheduled cleanings.

Modular Tiles - these modular interlocking tiles are designed to snap together quickly to cover large sections of the floor and are available in many different sizes and thicknesses. The thinner versions are generally designed for lighter duty such as locker rooms or shower areas. The thicker and larger tiles are designed to create a floor above a floor, and some can withstand heavy cart traffic and extreme use. Interlocking tiles are available with or without drainage holes, with or without grit and have ramp edging available to reduce trip hazards and to facilitate cart access.

Molded Urethane - this is a premium compound that’s just starting to show up in the form of Anti-Fatigue mats. It certainly is the “best of the best�? in terms of comfort, crush and chemical resistance. A 5�?�8�? thick Urethane mat offers more comfort than 1�? thick Anti-Fatigue mats made from other materials. Great for dry areas and around many chemical spills, Urethane has a life expectancy of over 5 years.

Runner Mats - made of vinyl or rubber and do not have any sponge backing. They are designed to protect floors and also to provide additional traction in highly trafficked areas. Solid runners are designed for use in dry areas. The thicker the material, the more traffic it will withstand. Slotted runners are designed for extra traction and slip resistance in wet areas.

Types of Entrance Mats

Carpet Mats are designed for indoor applications. They scrape dirt and water from shoes. The design of the surface, including fiber type and weight, dramatically affects the mat’s functionality.

Polypropylene - These fibers trap and hold more water than most other fibers.

Nylon - These fibers dry more quickly than polypropylene.

The higher the fiber content, the more water the mat will hold. Carpet mats have three types of surface designs:

  1. Tightly woven, closed-loop shows less traffic patterns and holds up longer.
  2. A “High-low�? or ribbed surface scrapes as well as collects large volumes of dirt between cleanings.
  3. A plush pile holds the most water but shows footprints.

Molded Rubber entrance mats are designed for outdoor use. They function as scraper mats keeping dirt, snow and water outside. For best results in keeping your building clean and dry, place a molded rubber mat outside your entrance and a carpet mat inside the doors.

Specialty Mats

Electrically Conductive: designed to quickly drain static electricity from workers before it can be passed onto sensitive equipment. The lower the ohm reading, (i.e. 104 ohm is lower than 105 ohm) the faster the static electricity is drawn off the worker. Mats with lower ohm readings should be used in very sensitive areas. A ground cord and heel grounders are mandatory accessories.

Non-conductive or Switchboard: designed for use in dry areas around high voltage equipment. These mats ground the worker and protect them from deadly voltage.

Clean Room: trap impurities in areas that require dirt control. The tacky surface pulls dirt from shoe soles before they contaminate a “Clean Room�?. Each mat consists of 30 layers of tacky film that can be peeled away and discarded as they become dirty.

Emergency Shower Station: for use under Emergency Showers and Eyewash Stations. These color coded mats draw attention to the emergency equipment and keep accident victims from slipping.

Welding Anti-Fatigue Mats: sponge-backed mats that are highly resistant to weld sparks and hot metal shards. Their thick durable surface is bonded to a resilient and comfortable sponge base.

Absorbent Matting: a disposable product that absorbs leaks, drips, over-sprays and small spills. Can be used alone or placed under other perforated matting. Simply dispose of these mats when they become saturated and replace with a clean dry piece. This matting comes in rolls and is easily cut to size.

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