Slip Testing

Daniels Associates provide on-site slip testing services for wet and dry floors. These tests being the WET Pendulum test method and DRY floor friction test method. The information below provides a brief explanation of the various test methods and machinery used for each test method.

Existing Surfaces

There are two on-site slip testing methods specified in the Australian Standards AS 4663:2013 Slip Resistance Measurement of Existing Pedestrian Surfaces. These tests being

  • Wet pendulum test method
  • Dry floor friction test method

Wet Pendulum testing is carried out using two types of rubber materials:

  • 96 rubber slider testing smoother indoor surfaces, as it provides greater discrimination between smooth surface textures including polished stones, timber, polished concrete, polished aggregates and ceramic tiles.
  • 55 rubber sliders, which has been traditionally used for testing outdoor surfaces including highly textured and porous materials such as various types of stone, clay/brick pavers and highly textured ceramic tiles.

New Surfaces

There are four slip testing methods specified in the Australian Standard ASNZS 4586:2013 Slip Resistance Classification of New Pedestrian Surface Materials. These tests being:

  • Wet pendulum slip test
  • Dry floor friction slip test
  • Wet barefoot slip test
  • Oil wet ramp slip test

The objective of this Standard is to provide users and specifiers of pedestrian surface materials (architects, engineers, ergonomists, facility managers, manufacturers and the like) with means for classifying such surfaces according to their pedestrian slip resistance for use in the selection of surfaces.

Slip Testing Methods

The slip resistance classifications have been determined for unused surfaces using specific conditions, for instance special rubbers, barefoot testing, and so on. These classifications are based on an assessment of the contribution of a pedestrian surface to the risk of slipping and they will assist in the specification of a surface material suitable for most pedestrian applications. Factors such as usage, cleaning systems, applied coatings and patterns of wear may affect the characteristics of the surface after classification.

Wet Pendulum Slip Resistance Test

The wet pendulum slip resistance test is generally conducted using a Wessex or Munro Pendulum Friction Tester.

This pendulum device is portable and consists of a weighted foot with a test slider that swings down and slides across the surface wetted with water for 125mm. The weighted foot comprises a spring-loaded rubber test slider that exerts a prescribed force over the specimen as it slides across the surface

Dry Floor Friction Slip Resistance Test

The dry floor friction slip resistance slip test uses a battery/electric operated machine commonly referred to as the “DRY Floor Friction Tester” or “Tortus”.

The DRY Floor Friction Tester measures the force opposing the motion of a small (9 mm) diameter test slider made of Four S rubber. The machine motor moves the test device across the flooring surface at a constant speed of 1m/min. The average of two measurements of 800 mm is taken and the results are expressed as Coefficient of Friction (CoF). The result for this slip test on an existing surfaces is generally interpreted as a pass (Coefficient of Friction (CoF) GREATER than 0.4) OR (Coefficient of Friction (CoF) LESS than 0.4).

Wet Barefoot Ramp Slip Resistance Test

The wet barefoot ramp slip resistance test uses a panel of the test surface which is constructed on a ramp large enough for a person to walk on the test surface while the angle of the platform is increased until the limit of safe walking is achieved. The angle that the limit of safe walking is obtained is known as the mean angle of inclination. Three calibration boards A, B & C are also tested, with the classification of the test panel based on the mean angle of inclination obtained in comparison with the calibration boards.

Oil Wet Ramp Slip Resistance Test

The oil wet ramp slip resistance test differs to the wet barefoot ramp test, in that instead of water, an amount of motor oil is placed on the test surface and the two test persons wear safety boots rather than barefoot. Three calibration boards are walked on in a similar manner to the wet barefoot ramp test. These calibration boards are then used to provide a correction factor to standardise the walkers. The slip resistance test classification is determined by the mean angle of inclination achieved and a correction factor based on the angle of inclination of the 3 calibration panels.

Note there is no DIRECT correlation between ramp and pendulum slip test methods.

Classification Of Pedestrian Surface Materials According To The Wet Pendulum Test