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24 May 2018

First Mats explains how matting can keep floors clean in industrial environments

Do you find that, despite using high-quality entrance mats with a regular cleaning routine, dirt and grime still manages to find its way around your workplace? If you work in an industrial facility such as a manufacturing plant or workshop, then the chances are that the answer is yes.

The benefits of using good entrance matting systems have been covered extensively by Cleaning Matters magazine over the years. Because of this, readers like you now have access to a wealth of information about how to choose the right types of matting for your building’s entrances, how big they should be and the different types available. But whilst this helps us in the constant battle to keep the elements outside of the premises, many of the contaminants found in an industrial environment originate from inside the building. That’s why using effective internal matting is a must if you want to keep the floors in the surrounding facility clean, and in this article, we will introduce some of the different types available and how they can help.

The type of dirt and contaminants that are produced inside a building depend largely on what is being made in the facility. One of the more common contaminants is Swarf. This is the debris that is emitted as part of a machining process, including small shavings that are flung from a piece of spinning metal on a lathe, or chippings in a woodworking facility. Without any kind of matting in place, these tiny swarf pieces can easily be carried far around the building on the shoes of your workforce. Fortunately, with the right matting in place, this can be kept to a minimum.

Improving floorcare with swarf mats

One of the most popular types of industrial matting is the Anti-Swarf Ring-Mat; made completely from rubber which, as the name suggests, features a pattern of circular wells. These allow for fluids to drain on to the floor area underneath the mat and capture swarf pieces, isolating them within the footprint of mat. At the end of the working day, the mat can then be lifted revealing all the liquids and shards of swarf that would have otherwise been free to spread wherever feet may take them. These swarf mats are normally used around machines, with individual machine operators standing on them throughout the day, but they can also be used in between factory cells as well as outdoors.

Another type of swarf mat that can be used for industrial facilities is the scraper-mat. These feature coarse, textured surfaces that work by scraping all types of swarf away from shoes and onto the mat. Many variants have a low profile of around 5mm, making them ideal in or around doorways between factory and office areas as an internal doormat.

For places where cleanliness requirements are more extreme, such as hospitals, laboratories and clean rooms, a sticky mat can be used. These unusual types of matting are made from plastic sheets with an adhesive covering, which pulls finer particles of dust and dirt away from your shoes as you walk over them. When the mat has been used several times and is starting to lose stickiness, the top sheet can simply be peeled away revealing a new layer instantly ready to be used.

Internal entrance mats

Using mats around internal doorways is also a great way to limit the amount of dirt moving from production areas into offices, but it is important to choose a mat that is appropriate for the environment and traffic it will need to cope with. Using either a solid rubber or coarser nylon textured entrance mat will be more effective at scraping dirt and dust away from shoes, keeping it away from the surrounding floors.

Mats are the first line of defence when it comes to keeping your floors clean, whether that’s in your home or a bustling factory. With the appropriate matting in place your floors will remain cleaner for longer and greatly reduce the risks of slips; the most common type of injury that occurs in the workplace.