Upon entering a data center or computer room, most people focus their eyes on the equipment. The racks or the servers housed in those racks grab their attention. The sound of equipment humming away, processing information at staggering speeds, fills the room.
However, what is supporting these technological marvels? Looking down, you will see data center floor tiles. Often referred to as raised flooring or an access floor system, understructure systems support data center floor tiles. Pedestals and stringers elevate the raised access floor understructure system off of the concrete slab.
Forming a 24” x 24” square grid pattern
The removable tile or data center raised floor panel as some call them, provide the means to not only act as a platform to support equipment but also to create a plenum space. It is important to route wiring and distribute conditioned air in the plenum space. In essence, 24 x 24 floor tiles are an integral part of the room and are the platform of a functioning data processing center.
Data center tiles, they are just squares, right?
Literally they are, however there is a lot more than meets the eye. You would think data center tiles are all the same. Not a chance! Flooring solutions for computer rooms are incredibly unique.
Raised floor tiles are available as die cast aluminum, particle board core, high strength hollow steel and concrete filled steel. All with various profiles.
So, what are data center floor tiles? Being that they are a structural element supporting hundreds of thousands of dollars of equipment, they have various load carrying capabilities. From 1,000# psi to over 3,000# psi, these removable floor tiles support specified anticipated loads. These concentrated loads are critical.
How about moving equipment in and out of the data center?
Use a pallet jack or other moving device to move equipment in and out of the data center. Loads moving across a floor tile are rolling loads. As you can surmise, floor tiles supplied meet various rolling load capabilities. That is another variable to consider.
Data centers use laminated floor tiles with static dissipative high pressure laminate. In addition, HPL offers a clean appearance and dissipates any static charge built up on the floor surface. This is critical in assuring that sensitive equipment is operating smoothly without interruption. High pressure laminate is also available in various colors and thicknesses.
When describing data center floor tiles, we cannot overlook the benefit they provide as it relates to mechanical services.
We all know that data processing equipment is generating a tremendous amount of heat. Conditioned air to cool the equipment is pumped into the cold aisle plenum space through raised access floor systems.
How to deliver cool air to troublesome hotspot areas.
We recommend air conditioning delivering cool air to the space via perforated high flow floor tiles. In some cases today, standard perforated floor tiles do not deliver enough cold air to cool higher heat loads. In order to solve this issue, the access floor industry has introduced high performance air flow grating floor tiles. Furthermore, these high density tiles are fast becoming a critical component in the data center envelope.
Above all, the raised floor tiles we see upon entering a data center are serving an important task. A data center raised floor system is more than what meets the eye.