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Different ESD Mats are used to work on surface mounts and to stand on. In the vicinity of electrostatic sensitive devices, the type of mat you will need depends on how many volts of current your device can withstand before the voltage causes damage to it.
There are two types of ESD Mats used in static control: "Anti Static" or "Static Dissipative" Mats, and Conductive Mats.
Anti Static Mats vs. Conductive Mats
As you move you generate static electricity, which can create electrostatic discharge (ESD). When working on a surface mount you need to have an "anti static" or "static dissipative" mat covering it to prevent charges from being created that create ESD.
An anti static or static dissipative mat that rests on a conductive surface (commonly the case in military facilities) are typically made of 3 layers (3-ply) with static dissipative vinyl layers surrounding a conductive substrate which is electrically attached to ground (earth). For commercial uses, rubber mats are traditionally used that are made of 2 layers (2-ply) with a tough solder resistant top layer that makes them last longer than the vinyl mats, and a conductive rubber bottom to ground the mat.
Conductive mats are made of carbon and used only on floors for the purpose of drawing static electricity from the person standing on them to ground as quickly as possible. Normally conductive mats are made with cushioning for standing and are referred to as "anti-fatigue" mats.