Flooring / US / Exploring Four Types of Anti-static Agents for Conductive Flooring

Author: Philippe Bichot
3 minutes read


What is the most essential parameter for you when choosing a conductive filler? Is it the required loading, the price, its influence on color and smoothness of the floor surface, or the stability of anti-static properties over time?


Achieving the targeted uniform conductivity level in epoxy and polyurethane self-leveling static dissipative floors is heavily dependent on choosing the right anti-static additive. This article compares chopped and milled carbon fibers, graphene nanotubes and antimony tin oxide (ATO), and identifies the so-called “price per property” for each conductive filler.

ParameterChopped carbon fiberMilled carbon fiberATOGraphene nanotubes
Working dosage1—4 wt. %1—10 wt. %> 10 wt. %0.01—0.04 wt. %
Resistance range (surface to ground)1011-104Ω
Black dots on surfacepossibleyesnonenone
Available color rangewidelimitedlimitedwide
Floor thicknessmin 2 mmmin 0.5 mmup to 16 milsany
Resistance remains stable after abrasion defects on surfaceproblematicyesyesyes
Influence on mechanical perfomancesmall negativestrong negativesmall negativenone
Influence on rheologysmall negativestrong negativesmall negativeacceptable
"Hot spots" (resistance varies on surface)possiblepossiblepossiblenone
Stable resistance over timeyesyesyesyes
Settling during storagepossiblepossibleyesminimal
Cost of anti-static propertyacceptableacceptablehighacceptable

✅  Large variety of suppliers
✅  Good price per property

❌  Occurrence of insulative “hot spots”
❌  Problematic installation
❌  High cost of floors due to coating thickness
❌  Can’t be used without conductive primer

Carbon fiber is the most frequently applied anti-static agent for static dissipative flooring. Together, chopped and milled carbon fiber represent more than a half of the whole self-leveling anti-static flooring market share. They comprise 10–15 µm diameter carbon fibers based on coal tar pitch that are either chopped to a length of 2–6 mm or milled to a length of 0.13–2 mm. The working dosage for chopped carbon fiber is 1–2 wt.%, while for milled carbon fiber it is 1–6 wt.%. Both of these carbon fiber options have a good price per property ($0.2 – $1.5) because of the relatively low initial fiber price and concentration required.

However, because of the length of chopped carbon fiber (2 mm or longer), the thickness of the top/base layer must be at least as much. This limitation results in increased costs, as the top/base layer accounts for almost 60% of the total cost to the customer. Anti-static flooring with chopped carbon fiber has a better appearance than flooring containing milled carbon fiber, but is more sensitive to installation defects, and suffers from the occurrence of insulating “hot spots”.

✅  No black dots on the surface
✅  Little influence on rheology and durability

❌  High price per property
❌  Occurrence of insulative “hot spots”
❌  Graying effect due to high loading dosage

Conductive pigments, such as antimony tin oxide (ATO), are usually supplied in powder form. ATO has the highest price per property at around 5–12 $/kg, which is a result of the high initial high price of the additive combined with the high working dosage required of 8–20 wt.%.

Antimony tin oxide has a negative impact on the color of the floor the due to its high loading rate. Applying this anti-static pigment coating, applications are limited to 16 mm. Otherwise, if the coating is thicker, the ATO will settle, leaving an insulative surface. And because most ATO systems incorporate the ATO as a part C, variations can appear from mix to mix, resulting in “hot spots” or “dead spots”.

✅  100% ESD protection without “hot spots”
✅  Wide color range of flooring
✅  Reduced cost due to less raw material required
✅  Can be applied with standard equipment
✅  Can be used without conductive primer

❌  Need to follow dilution guideline

Graphene nanotubes (also known as single wall carbon nanotubes) are a relatively new product that is now being welcomed by the market. Their key advantage in comparison with traditional anti-static additives lies in the extremely low working dosage required to achieve the targeted level of conductivity – from as little as 0.01% of the total compound weight.

Thanks to their small diameter and high aspect ratio, this minimal dosage of graphene nanotubes is sufficient to create a uniform conductive network. Extra-low working dosages open the door to reducing the thickness of the ESD coating (as low as 25 microns DFT) and to a full color palette. Graphene nanotubes help to significantly reduce installation and maintenance time, yielding additional cost savings. Learn more about the performance of graphene nanotubes in ESD flooring

OCSiAl produces TUBALL graphene nanotube concentrates for anti-static epoxy and polyurethane flooring that make it easier to apply nanotubes in a standard manufacturing process. Request a sample of nanotube concentrate that suits your ESD flooring formulation:

Target system

Sovent-free epoxy

Solvent-based epoxy

Additive carrier

Plasticizer & stabilizing agent
Fatty acid glycidyl ester
Ethoxylated alcohol
Fatty acid glycidyl ester, ammonium salt of polyolefins-based derivative


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If you have any questions or need assistance with choosing the most effective graphene nanotube solution for your compound, please contact our experts.

Contact us to discuss your project specifications or to request a TUBALL™ MATRIX sample