Choosing the best adhesive mats requires consideration of the product's thickness, intended purpose, and size. In addition, you should evaluate whether a disposable or plastic mat type would function well for the application. These adhesive mats allow workers to move between a normal workspace and a cleanroom without transporting contaminants on the soles of their shoes. The adhesive, or sticky, portion of the mat grabs contaminants from the shoe and holds the debris in place.
One main factor you should consider is the mat's thickness. The majority of mats use removable layers of adhesive; once the sticky feeling is no longer felt by the workers walking across the mat, the top layer is simply peeled away to reveal a new adhesive sheet. Cleanroom businesses that have a lot of foot traffic should invest in adhesive mats with many layers. As a result, the mat will last longer even though the layers will be peeled off more frequently.
Some adhesive mats have an added portion of carpet. This carpet pulls large debris off of the shoes while the attached sticky portion grabs the remaining small debris away from the shoe. The combination of carpet and adhesive is especially helpful when employees are tracking in dirt or mud from outdoors.
If the mat's intended purpose is to be installed near hazardous materials, it's best to purchase a durable mat that can withstand accidental spills of toxic substances. Some inexpensive adhesive mats are constructed of very thin layers that can be damaged by hazardous liquids. As a result, the mat may not function correctly, resulting in contaminants being brought inside the cleanroom area. Thick layers of stiff material may be needed for particularly hazardous business practices, such as laboratory work with dangerous chemicals.
Smaller adhesive mats are more budget friendly, but sometimes a larger mat is worth the investment so that all people entering and exiting the cleanroom can have their shoes thoroughly cleaned. Improperly-sized adhesive mats can be easily stepped over, which causes contaminants to enter the cleanroom. Contamination of a cleanroom space will cost more to fix than purchasing a larger adhesive mat size.
Some newer mat products do not use the disposable sheets, but actually use a specially designed plastic resin to adhere debris into the surface layer. These mats can be cleaned and reused when debris has been accumulated within the plastic. After cleaning, the mat is free to be used again; this is a more environmentally friendly choice of mat since there are no disposable sheets that will end up in a landfill.