Mat economics

Mat economics

To the Editor:

I would like to respond to a letter in the April 1997 issue by Dennis K. Baldwin, vice president and director of sales for ALMA, pertaining to the polymeric flooring article in the November 1996 issue.

I support Mr. Baldwin in his response to author, Dr. Geoffrey F.C. Barrett, B.Sc, Li.B, Asst. S&#165E, Glouster, England, when he states “for the two types of mats to continue to function at similar rates, the dirt must be removed from both at similar intervals.”

The bottom line, in my opinion, is economics. As stated, changing the surface of a disposable mat is a 10 to 15 second operation and can be literally changed as a function of the foot traffic over the area. Large foot traffic requires frequent changes of the sheets; light traffic, less frequent changes of the sheets. To completely clean a polymeric floor, as stated by Mr. Baldwin, “to continue to function at a comparable rate, it must be washed, squeegeed and dried at the same interval [and] may take upwards of 15 minutes to accomplish.” As a result, because of the inconvenience of blocking the cleanroom entry way for this extended amount of time, coupled with the janitorial costs, it is only done once a day, irrespective of the level of foot traffic or the amount of contamination picked up on the floor.

My father, John J. Nappi, Sr., invented and patented the Tacky Mat over 30 years ago to be used in conjunction with a shoe cleaner just to eliminate the problems associated with a polymeric floor. The disposable, or multi-layered, contamination control dry mat material replaced the washable material. What appears is that Dr. Barrett would like to revisit technology in vogue over 50 years ago before the invention of the disposable peel-off mat.

Dr. Barrett further states the disposable mat can not be effectively disposed of. It should be noted that when incinerated, they turn into carbon dioxide. Unfortunately, this is not the case with polymeric flooring. Again, from an economic point of view, the cost to remove the flooring and replace it can be prohibitive.

In closing, it has been proven that disposable mats offer quality, improved cost efficiency and remove more particles per sheet. The marketplace definitely supports Mr. Baldwin`s statement that “[it] has determined a preference of almost 10 to 1 in favor of the peel-off product compared to polymeric or washable matting.” Anyone who purchases polymeric flooring should remember the metaphor-caveat: “Let the buyer beware.”

John J. Nappi Jr.


East Berlin, CT


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