Articles on Residential, Commercial and Industrial Coatings

Articles on Residential, Commercial and Industrial Coatings

February, 2014

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Floor Slip Resistance Tests – Why are they so Important

Floor slip resistance tests

Getting a new Floor?  Thought about Floor Slip Resistance Tests?

Having a non-slip or slip resistant finish is important for any flooring application, whether it be in the home, commercial premises or industrial warehouses and factories.  The reason?  Safety.  The avoidance of any trip or slip incident depends greatly on a slip resistant floor, in a nutshell that’s why floor slip resistance tests are so important.

In an effort to verify safe flooring, it is fast becoming a routine practice for property owners, specifiers and architects to request floor slip resistant tests prior to specifying any floor coating for an upcoming project.  The advantage here is that the building owner can be confident that the new flooring will sustain its slip resistance for a period of years as well as help guard the safety of the people who visit, work or live onsite from slips and trips.

It should be noted that here, in Australia, the slip resistance of any new floor surface should be measured in accordance with AS/NZS 4586:2004Slip Resistance Classification of New Pedestrian Surface Materials.  This standard outlines five different methods to measure slip resistance including:

  • Wet Pendulum
  • Wet Pendulum and Dry Floor Friction
  • Dry Floor Friction
  • Wet/Barefoot Ramp
  • Oil-Wet Ramp

The AS4586-2004, Appendix A “Wet Pendulum Method” the preferred test method Rhino Linings request our flooring contractors to carry out when completing any flooring project.  The test is a safe guard ensuring there is no doubt of the finished floors slip resistance properties prior to handover. This can be especially important in the case of a later ‘slip’ and especially where there is the possibility of litigation against the property owner.  The “Wet Pendulum Method” can be carried either onsite or in a laboratory by testing sample swatches of the product or the completed flooring.  Results are provided as a British Pendulum Number (BPN) and allocated a slip resistance classification ranging from Z to V – with Z being the lowest.

Another consideration that needs to be taken into account is the slope of the flooring surface.  This is where the older Ramp Test or ‘R’ Rating was used.  This test is carried out by a laboratory technician standing on a coated ramp at various angles of incline either barefoot or with a simulated standard shoe sole (Four S) which is generally accepted as the material to assess the slip resistance.  However, it is not always possible to carry out a Ramp Test on site and that is why Standards Australia and Rhino Linings recommend a “Wet Pendulum Method” to determine the slip resistance.

 

The relationship between the Pendulum Test and Ramp Test

Mean Pendulum

Wet Pendulum Class

Ramp Test (‘R’ Rating)

(35-44)

X

R9  – slippage at a 3 to 10 degree angle of elevation (this surface is fairly slippery)

(45-54)

W

R10 – slippage at a 10 to 19 degree angle of elevation

(45-54)

W

R11 – slippage at a 19 to 27 degree angle of elevation

(>54)

V

R12  – slippage at a 27 to 35 degree angle of elevation

(>54)

V

R13 – slippage upwards of 35 degree (this surface is highly slip resistant)

Slip Resistant Flooring - Rhino ArmaFloor

Table 3, noted below, defines the Minimum Pendulum and equivalent Ramp Rating Recommendations for Specific Locations This is provided for informational purposes only.  Sourced from CSIRO Standard HB 197:1999 An Introductory Guide to the Slip Resistance of Pedestrian Surface Materials.

 

Minimum Pendulum and Older Ramp Ratings for Specific Locations

Location (These are a guide only)

Pendulum Rating

Ramp Rating

Accessible internal stair nosings (dry) – handrails present

X

R10

Accessible internal stair nosings (wet) – handrails present

W

B or R11

Communal change rooms

X

A

Entry foyers hotel, office, public building – wet

X

R10

Entry foyers hotel, office, public building – dry

Z

R9

External colonnade, walkways & pedestrian crossing

W

R10

External ramps

V

R11

External stair nosings

W

R11

Fast food outlets, buffet food servery areas

Z

R9

Hospitals and aged care facilities – dry areas

Z

R9

Hospitals and aged care facilities – ensuites

X

A or R10

Internal ramps, slopes (greater than 2 degrees) – dry

X

R10

Lift lobbies above external entry foyer

Z

R9

Other separate shops inside shopping centres

Z

R9

Other shops with external entrances – entry area

X

R10

Shopping centre excluding food servery areas

Z

R9

Shopping centre – food court

X

R10

Shop and supermarket fresh fruit & vegetable areas

X

R10

Supermarket aisles except fresh food areas

Z

R9

Swimming pool surrounds & communal shower rooms

W

B

Swimming pool ramps and stairs leading into water

V

C

Toilet facilities in offices, hotels, shopping centres

X

R10

Undercover concourse areas of sports stadium

X

R10

 

Cleaning Slip Resistant Flooring Surfaces

Finally, cleaning of a slip resistant floor is also very important and the grease/dirt can build up in between the highs and lows, thereby significantly reducing the grip. Cleaning with a foaming agent in warm water is the best way to remove dirt, grease and grime.  Be aware that some cleaning chemicals can also make your floor slippery. Rhino Linings also try to have our flooring contractor’s state in their Warranty that proper cleaning and regular inspection (6 to 12 months) is an essential part of maintaining the Warranty of a floor.

In addition to correct maintenance and cleaning,  always keep in mind that when choosing a suitable floor coating for your next project, whether it be epoxy, polyaspartic, polyurea, polyurethane, vinyl or even tile, it is extremely important that you make sure that your choice provides a suitable slip resistant surface throughout the entire lifespan of the coating.  Most importantly, ensure  you have floor slip resistance tests done to safeguard yourself against possible legal action from slips and trips.

For further information contact Rhino Linings Head Office on 07 5585 7000, email info@rhinolinings.com.au  or visit our website at www.rhinolinings.com.au

 

DISCLAIMER:

Note that this article is Rhino Linings Australasia Pty Ltd interpretation of AS/NZS 4586:2004 – Slip Resistance Classification of New Pedestrian Surface Materials and accepts no liability for the content supplied in this article, or for the consequences of any actions taken on the basis of the information provided, unless that information is subsequently confirmed in writing.  Please refer to the actual standard available at Sai Global  prior to making any decision.

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