Slip Resistance in Resin Flooring Part Two
MEASURING THE LEVEL OF SLIP RESISTANCE PROVIDED BY RESIN FLOORING
As with any basic measure of performance, regardless of industry, most countries will have their own opinions and approved standards / methods by which performance should be assessed. Across Europe, there are a number of test methods that architects and specifiers refer to, but there are only 2 that are formally recognised in the UK within official standards that relate to flooring.
UK formally Recognised Methods for Measuring Slip Resistance
The most widely recognised scientific approach for the assessment of whether a floor offers an acceptable level of slip resistance is measurement of the dynamic co-efficient of friction. This assessment is normally carried out using swinging ‘pendulum’ equipment, which whilst of US origin, was further developed by the Transport & Road Research Laboratory (TRRL) for assessing both the skid resistance of road surfaces, and the slip resistance of pedestrian areas. This method has since been adopted by BSI for the British Standards in the BS 8204 series dealing with in-situ floorings (BS 8204-6 relates to Synthetic Resin Flooring in particular).
The construction and use of the Pendulum is specified in BS 7976. This equipment is used widely both in the UK and overseas because it is portable and can be used to determine the slip resistance of even small areas in situ. It is the standard reference method adopted by the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) Laboratories, Sheffield.
However, whilst the TRL pendulum is portable, it is relatively difficult and time consuming to use (and requires specialist training), which has resulted in the development of a quick and easy to use device known as SlipAlert.
SlipAlert, also adopted by BS 8204, was designed to reproduce the characteristics of the lubricating film which is uniquely generated by both the TRL Pendulum and a slipping pedestrian under their heel. As a result it correlates well with Pendulum test results and has opened up the testing of floors to those who would previously never have considered such a test due to the complexities of using the Pendulum Tester. As such, SlipAlert is increasingly being used by flooring contractors and many specifiers to measure slip resistance.