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Ramp slip test for floor coverings

The ramp slip test method of measuring slip resistance is ideal for comparative testing of flooring materials.

SATRA has many years of experience in slip testing and has several ways of measuring the slip resistance of flooring materials and floor coverings. The purpose-built SATRA ramp test machine is recognised by a large number of flooring customers across Europe. It fully conforms to several standards and test methods – see box 1. Currently, these standards do not form part of the requirements for UKCA or CE marking of floor coverings.

The ramp test machine offers testing facilities for dry, wet and contaminated floor surfaces. Built in SATRA’s own engineering facilities, it incorporates a ramp which is 0.65 m wide and 2 m long. The fully adjustable ramp has a digital readout to indicate the angle of the ramp during the test. There is the facility to contaminate the flooring undergoing testing with three different liquids and to collect and dispose of the liquid. A safety system protects the operator against falling during the test.

Floor coverings are tested by fitting them to the surface of the ramp. An operator then moves or walks forwards and backwards, in the manner specified in the test method, while simultaneously tilting the table at a set speed, using a remote controller. During the tilting process, the operator cannot see the readout which depicts the angle of the table. When slip occurs and the operator loses his or her grip on the floor covering, a reading of the inclined angle is taken. Some tests are performed barefoot. In others, the operator uses special footwear with a specified soling material to prevent the footwear from being a variable factor in the assessment. The operator’s safety is assured by wearing a safety harness attached to an overhead gantry. Consistency of the operator is checked at intervals using specially made calibration floor plates.

This ramp method of measuring slip resistance allows SATRA to offer an important service to clients across Europe. The ramp test machine and associated test methods are ideal for comparative testing, to judge the performance of two or more floor covering materials. SATRA expects that the machine will be in high demand by companies supplying floor coverings and wanting to demonstrate that their products meet the expectations of the users or operators of buildings.

Box 1: The SATRA ramp test machine fully conforms to the following standards and test methods

EN 16165:2021 Annex A – Determination of slip resistance of pedestrian surfaces – Methods of evaluation – Barefoot ramp test

EN 16165:2021 Annex A – Determination of slip resistance of pedestrian surfaces – Methods of evaluation – Shod ramp test

EN 13845:2017+C1:2017 Annex C – Resilient floor coverings – Polyvinyl chloride floor coverings with particle-based enhanced slip resistance – Specification. Determinitaion of slip resistance

BS 8445:2012 – Bath and shower mats. Testing. Assessment of slip resistance

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Please email or visit SATRA's slip research and testing page for more information.