Most machines rely on liquids such as oils and coolants to lubricate and cool moving parts, which means that overspray and leaks go hand-in-hand with the machining process. As a result, floors in production areas are often covered with oil and coolants, which looks bad and can present a slipping hazard for workers.
Absorbent mats can help keep production areas cleaner and safer by absorbing liquids and providing a drier walking surface. There are a few factors which should be taken into consideration when selecting the right mat for your application, such as the type and amount of liquid being absorbed and the strength needed for the specific application.
The perfect match
Mats come in many different varieties, and picking the correct one for the application can sometimes seem like a daunting task. This wide variety, however, helps ensure that there is a task-specific mat for nearly every application.
Mat selection can be made easy by asking yourself the following questions:
1. What is being absorbed?
In many facilities, water, oil, coolants and solvents are some common liquids being absorbed. Universal mats will absorb most common industrial fluids quickly and effectively.
Some situations require a mat that will absorb oils but repel water. Examples include fuelling operations, removing oil that is floating on a body of water, and outdoor oil storage areas. Oil-Only mats are the answer for these scenarios.
Sometimes the liquids being absorbed may be unknown or harmful, such as acids and caustics. HazMat Absorbents are ideal for this type of situation as they are specifically treated to absorb acids, caustics and unknown fluids.
2. Does Colour Matter?
Universal mats are offered in both grey and yellow. Grey mats blend into industrial settings well and hide spills longer than lighter coloured mats. Blending into the surroundings can save money on usage and waste disposal costs.
Yellow mats are brighter and often used to provide a visual cue to workers to be cautious, or to alert them that maintenance, repairs or other non-routine operations are under way.
Like Universal mats, Oil-Only Mats are available in two colours. Brown mats blend into industrial settings and hide spills longer than their bright white counterparts, which tend to be reserved for spill response or used to help detect the source of a leak.
HazMat mats are typically pink. Pink is easy-to-see and is particularly effective at alerting workers to hazardous spills, making them ideal for emergency spill response in situations where caution is of utmost importance.
3. What kind of traffic is in the area?
The thermal bond points on both our Universal and our Oil-Only mats give them great durability and help wick liquids into the mat more quickly. This is an important feature, because the faster a mat can absorb liquids, the safer a walking surface will be.
Our light, medium and heavy weight mats are well suited in aisles and walkways as well as on ledges and under machinery that drips. For high-traffic entranceways, wheeled cart or forklift traffic, however, there are a few more durable options.
Zig-zag stitching gives Elephant Mat the increased durability and tread-resistance necessary for cart and forklift traffic without sacrificing absorbency. This mat is a good choice for entranceways during inclement winter weather.
Needle-punched Traffic Mat Rug has layers that are intertwined, providing an extremely durable, long-wearing mat. It is ideal for high traffic areas, forklift and cart traffic when absorbency is a secondary concern to durability.
Mats with protective top scrims, like our grime-hiding Ham-O Mat and versatile 4 in 1Mat are the choice for aisles where overspray, leaks and spills are most common and mats are not changed out until fully saturated. The scrim adds an additional layer of wear resistance, helping mats stay in service longer than traditional mats.
4. How much liquid is being absorbed?
Most absorbent mats come in three weights: heavy weight, medium weight and light weight. The volume of the liquid absorbed helps determine which weight is best for the application.
A heavy weight mat used in a low-volume application may be not be used to its full potential; that’s money lost when the mat is thrown away before it is fully saturated. Likewise, a light weight mat that needs to be changed out four times during a single shift means money lost on inefficient and unnecessary labour costs.
Find out more:
New Pig provide a comprehensive range of Absorbent Mats from our online shop. Or why not give us a call on 0800 919 900.