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Content archived on 2024-06-12

Development of a validated universal slip resistance test for pedestrian and workplace floor surfaces


- To establish a validated universal test method for measuring the slip resistance of floorings under dry, wet and contaminated conditions.
- To identify or develop suitable portable test apparatus for in-situ measurement of flooring slip resistance according to the above method.
- To determine the correlation between the defined method and the best available method for determining the slip resistance of footwear (EC contract MATI CT940059)
It was found that the performance ranking of the benchmark floorings depended on both the contaminant and the shoe type, effectively giving four different rankings. This meant that the final test method would have to include a number of different sets of test conditions in order to give a meaningful representation of in-service performance.
A range of test conditions was evaluated using versatile laboratory devices and a final draft test method was successfully derived. The defined approach was confirmed as giving more consistent and higher levels of correlation against the four rankings of the benchmark floorings than any of the other portable slip devices. The correlation coefficients ranged from 0.75 to 0.92. A standard plain soling slider material was developed for the test but it was beyond the scope of the project to develop a standard patterned slider. The RRL Pendulum performed well but cannot test patterned sliders.
A new prototype portable test was designed and built to comply with the method. Initial trials with the device were encouraging but engineering modifications were required to eliminate vibration, which exceeded the resources and timeframe of the project.
The test method is available to all CEN TC's who wish to consider adopting it. The RTD partners will provide laboratory testing services on a commercial basis and the prototype portable device is subsequently being developed into a commercial product.

The Construction Products Directive (89/106/EEC) lists the essential requirements for products incorporated in a permanent manner in building works, including 'safety in use'. Floorings are also covered by the General Product Safety Directive (92/59/EEC). A Draft Mandate from the EC to CEN dated March 1996 called for harmonisation on the key characteristics of floorings, including slip resistance. There was currently no agreement across Europe, or among the flooring sectors (resilient, ceramic, stone, etc.), on a slip resistance test method for either laboratory use and/or on site slip testing.

Work Programme
Fifteen benchmark floorings were identified by seven partners as exhibiting a wide range of slip properties. These were evaluated by quantitative subjective protocol in six laboratories to determine a realistic real world ranking. Two contaminants (high and low viscosity) and two different shoe solings were used (one plain and one patterned). This generated reference data against which various test methods could be correlated.
Biomechanical studies using motion analysis and force plates determined the optimum values of the key gait parameters (e.g. load, speed, angle) associated with slipping.
The leading test devices were then assessed against the benchmark surfaces and the biomechanical criteria to establish the highest level of correlation. The sensitivity of the coefficient of friction to variation in test conditions was also assessed to set the requisite tolerances on parameter values in the final test method.

Call for proposal

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Satra Footwear Technology Centre Ltd.
EU contribution
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Footwear Technology Centre Rockingham Road
NN16 9JH Kettering
United Kingdom

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Participants (12)