Slip Resistance of Pedestrian Surfaces
Tables 3A and 3B describe slip resistance considered suitable for particular applications, based on the wet pendulum test method and oil-wet inclining platform test method as specified in AS 4586—2013.
For other applications not listed herein, guidance may be obtained from various scientific papers, references, overseas Standards and the like. This includes values derived from the wet pendulum test, wet barefoot inclining platform test and oil-wet inclining platform test.
NOTE: NCC compliance is demonstrated by achieving the values set out in this Table for either the wet pendulum test or the oil-wet inclining ramp test. It is not necessary to meet both criteria.
NOTES TO TABLE 3B:
1. The slip resistances of pedestrian surface materials set out in Table 3B are intended as guidance in the context of design for pedestrian safety, taking account other factors including abnormal wear, maintenance, abnormal contamination, the presence (or otherwise) of water or other lubricants, the nature of the pedestrian traffic (including age, gait and crowding), the footwear (or lack thereof), slope, lighting and handrails.
2. The contents of Table 3B are subject to further review by Committee BD-094, in its on-going project to provide guidance on the specification and testing of slip resistance.
3. The minimum classifications listed in Table 3B are P1 and R9. It is inappropriate for Table 3B to list the lower classification, P0, since there is no lower limit on Classification P0. Notwithstanding, some smooth and polished floor surfaces, which do not achieve Classification P1, may be considered to provide a safe walking environment for normal pedestrians walking at a moderate pace, provided the surfaces are kept clean and dry; however, should these surfaces become contaminated by either wet or dry materials, or be used by pedestrians in any other manner, then they may become unsafe. Therefore, the type of maintenance, the in-service inspection of floors, other environmental conditions and use should be taken in to account when selecting such products.
4. When using the oil-wet inclining platform ‘R’ classifications, consideration should also be given to the determination and use of volumetric displacement ‘V’ classifications. In some cases, a specifier may choose either a particular combination of R and V values, or a more severe R value alone. For example, either R10 + V4, or R11.
Wet Pendulum Test
The wet pendulum test method is a relatively inexpensive test, and may be performed either in a testing laboratory or on site. The test instrument utilises a pendulum slider making contact with the test surface over a prescribed distance and measures the quantity of resistance to the motion of the pendulum created by the contact. The contact surface of the slider material is prepared to a consistent level of smoothness prior to each group of tests.
Except in the case of internal textile floor coverings, AS 4586—2013 requires that the test be performed under wet conditions, and refers to it as the wet pendulum test method. The terminology ‘wet pendulum test method’ is adopted throughout this Handbook, notwithstanding that internal textile floor coverings are tested dry.
This test provides the greatest flexibility to designers and specifiers, and enables verification of classifications either during manufacture and/or at the completion of construction.
Clause 5 of this Handbook describes the design of pedestrian surfaces using the classifications given in Table 1.
1. The test is known as the ‘wet pendulum test method’, reflecting the fact that it is commonly applied to hard or resilient surfaces to which water is applied. One exception is for internal textile floor coverings, which are tested dry.
2 .While either Slider 96 or Slider 55 rubbers may be used depending on the material and its intended application, the test report requires that the rubber that was used be specified.
3. For surfaces that are particularly slippery, it is appropriate to use slider 96 rubber.
Ramp Test (Oil-Wet Inclining Platform Test)
Pedestrian surfacing products, intended for a range of industrial applications, may be classified by the oil-wet inclining platform test method.
Test operators, wearing regulated footwear with highly profiled soles, walk down (forward) and up (backwards) the test surface on the platform using half steps. Prior to conducting each test, the test surface is coated with oil. The operator controls the gradual increase in platform angle.
Similar to the wet-barefoot inclining platform test, the oil-wet inclining platform test classifies surfaces by the specific angle at which slip occurs on the material under controlled laboratory conditions. The measurement and reporting of this angle provides a means of classification, and is not a suggestion that the material is safe to walk on at the slope reported in the test results. Pedestrian surfaces should not be installed at the angles reported in this test.
There are a number of Australian testing laboratories with the necessary testing apparatus, thus enabling the laboratory verification of an overseas classification if required.
Oil-wet inclining platform tests performed overseas may be deemed compatible with AS 4586—2013, in the appropriate circumstances and with appropriate quality assurance.
Wet Barefoot Inclining Platform Test
Pedestrian surfacing products intended for applications, which become wet during normal usage and are subject to barefoot traffic, may be classified by the wet-barefoot inclining platform test method. Barefoot test operators walk down (forward) and up (backwards) the test surface on the platform using half steps. During the test there is a continuous regulated flow of water (with wetting agent) on the test surface. The operator controls the gradual increase in platform angle. The wet-barefoot inclining platform test classifies surfaces by the specific angle at which slip occurs on the material under controlled laboratory conditions. The measurement and reporting of this angle provides a means of classification, and is not a suggestion that the material is safe to walk on at the slope reported in the test results. Pedestrian surfaces should not be installed at the angles reported in this test.
There are a number of Australian testing laboratories with the necessary testing apparatus, thus enabling the laboratory verification of an overseas classification, if required. Wet-barefoot inclining platform tests performed overseas may be deemed compatible with AS 4586—2013, in the appropriate circumstances and with appropriate quality assurance.
Dry Floor Friction (FFT)
The dry floor friction test method employs a simple apparatus that drags a small slider across a dry pedestrian surface, giving a continuous reading of the apparent coefficient of friction of the specimen. This is assessed by determining the dynamic friction between the specimen and a slider moving at a constant speed of 1 Å}0.1 m/min across the surface, by measuring the ratio of the tangential force to the vertical load.
This test provides a quick and simple assessment of the slip resistance of dry surfaces; however, the results of the dry floor friction test are not appropriate for surfaces in the wet condition. If a pedestrian surface is liable to become wet, and remain wet and unattended for any significant length of time, the wet pendulum test method, wet-barefoot inclining platform test method or the oil-wet inclining platform test method (as appropriate) should be used.
A new nomenclature was also introduced in AS 4586—2013 (see Table 2) for the dry floor friction test, replacing classifications F and G with D1 and D0.
Sustainable Slip Resistance
An Accelerated Wear Test (AWT) is used to measure Sustainable Slip Resistance. This test simulates the long-term wear and changes in slip resistance, and takes into account the life-cycle performance of materials together with the associated aspects of abrasion resistance and clean ability, as a component of wider durability studies. Sustainable Slip Resistance tests are recommended for high traffic floors with high maintenance regimes.
The above information should not be relied upon without reference to Australian Standards SA HB 198:2014. Information and tables sourced from Australian Standards SA HB 198:2014.