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An anti-static floor mat or ground mat is an anti-static device that safeguards an individual or piece of equipment like a PC from an electrostatic discharge (ESD). Computer components that are sensitive to static electricity or ESD are motherboards, CPUs, expansion cards and memory devices.
Antistatic mats are used under keyboards or mice and may also be placed on or under other equipment. They are particularly useful when working on computer components. Once an anti-static mat is grounded, it is important not to lift the component off the mat because it will be susceptible to ESD.
An anti-static mat is designed to help lessen the effects of an electrostatic discharge (ESD) on an individual or static-sensitive component. It also assists in preventing explosions and fires when working with flammable material found in certain gases and liquids.
An anti-static mat contains a conductive material that accumulates static. Because it collects electricity, it needs to be grounded or earthed. This is accomplished by plugging it into a grounded electrical outlet.
Devices that are sensitive to an electrostatic discharge are mostly electrical components. Common modules on a PC that are electrostatic-sensitive are:
Aside from an anti-static mat, there are other electrostatic devices, including anti-static straps, anti-static bags, anti-static agents and anti-static garments.