We take a look at past and present anti-slip testing methods and discuss what the future holds for the coefficient of friction measurement in this blog.
Since the development of the first Coefficient of Friction (CoF) tests we have come a long way. The first simple, and mainly static machines, have now been supplanted by mainly dynamic testing methods with strict measures and controls to allow for some form of consistency from test to test. We now have excellent anti-slip testing methods, including;
Covered under the BS 7976-2 method. A dynamic test. Very prescriptive controls so provide excellent reliability. Uses 4S or TRRL sliders.
Floor Friction Tester
Commonly known as the Tortus method. Tests a dry floor using a dynamic method.
Typically covered by the German regulation BGR 181 (derived from ZH 1/571) these are a ‘real-life’ test using a ramp that inclines using either barefoot applications or shoes. DIN51130 is the most common. It uses an oil/water mixture to simulate an industrial slippage area, the operative wears Lupos Picasso S1 boots. The ramp is inclined to generate the CoF figure. DIN51130 test results are represented as an R figure. R9 being the least effective, R13 being the most effective. Be aware that R9 is only a plane angle inclination of 6°.
Inclined Ramp Test Inclined Ramp Test
DIN51097 is to simulate a barefoot slip test. A barefoot operative stands on a plane with water. DIN51097 is required by standard GUV-I 8527. DIN51097 figures are represented as either A, B or C. A being the least effective CoF and C being the most effective.
The most prevalent being the North American ASTM C1028. A static test using a weighted slider, the weight changes from 22.7 to 4.5kg. Now only typically used for archived test requirements, most requirements for this have been moved onto the aforementioned anti-slip testing methods.
A Hybrid Coefficient of Friction Future?
It is unlikely that in the present future one single unified international standard will prevail. Countries have their own standard for measuring non-slip values but also the different test methods have exposed that some are more accurate than others for different situations. An approval for an international standard ISO/DIS 10545-17 so far has come to nothing but it did provide solid discussion.
Australia and New Zealand issued their standard AS/NZS 3661.1. AS/NZS 3661.1 is a ground-breaking standard for anti-slip requirements, it brings in multiple testing methods, each one already proven. The test includes;
- Floor Friction Tester for dry tests.
- Pendulum with 4S and TRRL for wet tests.
- Inclined plane tests DIN51130 and DIN51097.
The standard later moved to AS/NZS 4586, handbook HB 197 and eventually AS/NZS 4663.
In 2003 work was performed on a European standard, SUA 1 brought in ENV 12633. Work is still ongoing but it encouraging to think that this may, eventually, evolve into something that can work across all borders and cover all materials.
Heskins is a proactive industry-leading manufacturer of non-slip materials. We provide this technical information, and all updates, free to all. We CoF test all our products and can provide you with external anti-slip testing house certificates. We take our responsibilities seriously; our advice is backed by deep technical knowledge and keep all our customers up to date with all relevant international standards. For further information please speak with our sales teams via phone, live chat or alternatively fill out the contact us form and a member of our sales team will get back in touch with you as soon as possible.
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