Surface Effects – Friction

Surface Effects – Friction

With the recent addition of surface effects to ASTM F2772, ASET will now offer surface friction testing (per ASTM E303, and EN13036). The friction component of these standards is not intended to evaluate actual shoe/surface traction effects, rather to provide manufacturers and architects the assurance that the products chosen provide a friction range comparable with surfaces that shoes have been designed for.

Laboratory and Field Based Measurements

Traditionally the North American market has relied on ASTM D2047, commonly referred to as ‘James Machine’ testing. There are a number of drawbacks to this test. First and foremost, the James machine was designed to evaluated polished-coated surfaces, typically tile or stone. It was certainly not developed with synthetic resilient floors in mind. Another drawback to this standard is that non-destructive field testing is simply not an option.

Laboratory applications include evaluating wood finished (both factory and field applied), evaluating synthetic top coatings (poured-in-place and bio-resilient vinyl), evaluating compatibility with different coatings such as field applied paints and prefinished wood components.

Field friction levels may be affected by a number of items, improper application or installation, product changes over time, or contamination. Contamination of the surface is common when cleaning compounds are not completely removed during maintenance activities. This new standard not only allows the friction levels to be measured in the field, but it can also be a valuable tool in determining the cause of friction levels that are too high or too low.

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