This is a short post about our experience of field testing eight newly installed floors. These floors were specified to meet DIN 18032-2, and the owner/architect took the extra step of requiring that they deliver these performance levels to their installations, by requiring the installations met many of the requirements in DIN 18032-2 (2001).
Background: There are a variety of performance standards for sports surfaces. Some of the most commonly used standards for wood floors in North America are DIN 18032-2 (2001 & 1991), EN 14904, and ASTM F2772. The Maple Flooring Manufacturers Association (MFMA™) recently adopted a slightly modified version of DIN 18032-2 which is marketed as the PUR Standard ™. All of these standards share common testing methods for these four properties: force reduction, vertical deformation, ball rebound and area deflection (EN 14904 and ASTM F2772 do not include this property).
Many specifications require DIN 18032-2 “certification” or compliance. Traditionally the only verification submitted has been a suitability report issued by the manufacturer. Suitability tests are conducted under ideal installation and environmental conditions, and are typically performed by a 3rd party product testing company. Architects and owners typically tell us that by including the performance levels in their specification they feel they are requiring that their installation met those performance levels. They fail to realize that the suitability report does not guarantee the performance of their installation.
This Project: Over the past 5 years we’ve had a chance to explain this with key personnel at the US Army Corp of Engineers. We explained that these reports simply showed the performance that the floor might deliver and that suitability reports do not guarantee that these performance levels would be delivered. They understood that the only way to know their floor performed to the specified levels was to have the floor tested. They developed a ‘true-performance’ specification that required the floors to deliver the performance levels that were promised (If you want to see the section of the specification, click here). We tested all 8 newly installed wood surfaces in 2015.
Results: We can not discuss the details of the projects, but in general we found the following:
Not a single floor met all of the requirements of the 2001 version of DIN 18032-2. In fact not a single floor met all of the requirements of the less stringent 1991 version of the standard, or the MFMA PUR™ standard.
Our Position: If safety and performance levels are important enough to specify, and you want to know that your floor performs to that same level then your project needs to include a field testing section as part of a ‘True-Performance’ specification that at the minimum give you the option of evaluating your actual performance.