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Development of a high grip designing tool

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Giving workplace injuries the slip

Slipping is responsible for more than 40 % of workplace injuries. A recent project has developed tools for footwear and flooring manufacturers to help improve anti-slip features.

Industrial Technologies

Footwear manufacturers have, in the past, often relied on intuition and previous experience to design soles for shoes. This approach has contributed to the large number of accidents caused by slipping, and also makes the design process more expensive and time consuming. The EU-funded 'Development of a high grip designing tool' (ULTRAGRIP) project aimed to produce a range of software tools and guidelines for footwear and flooring manufacturers to design better soles and flooring. The project also developed several technological tools. Researchers produced two documents that contain recommendations and requirements to improve slip resistance under different conditions. These were intended to improve on current government legislation regarding this topic. The project also developed a 'wear and tear' simulator to allow manufacturers to investigate the durability of their anti-slip designs. Another technological tool created was high-speed image acquisition and the accompanying software. This allows manufacturers to study in great detail the interaction between sole, floor and various slippery substances. Lastly, several design tools were advanced and tested. These include slip behaviour prediction software and a tool to correlate the slip testing methods used in the two industries. The ULTRAGRIP project will improve the competitiveness of the two manufacturing sectors by streamlining and improving the design process. In the long-term, the work done here will help to make working environments a safer place.

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