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Testing durability of floor coverings with SATRA Pedatron

Ensuring that floor coverings are fit for purpose is important to suppliers and specifiers alike.

Manufacturers – as well as others in the supply chain – need to be able to test the durability of floor coverings, as premature wear can prove costly in terms of complaints, product recalls and damage to reputation.

At SATRA, we realise that durability is a vital issue. Therefore, we have developed a method for testing different floor coverings to help determine how they will wear and how well they retain their appearance. This test involves the interaction between a moving shoe and a floor covering, based onā€ˆSATRA’s comprehensive gait research.

Accelerated wear simulation

The SATRA STM 528 Pedatron provides an accelerated wear simulation under realistic conditions and can be used as an effective means of assessing the wear characteristics of floor coverings. It is applicable to many flooring surfaces and also flooring hardware such as stair nosings.

The floor covering specimen is subjected to a cyclic walking action from a standard shoe, where the specimen rotates incrementally while the forepart of the shoe is in contact with the floor covering. These individual footsteps are designed to replicate a mixture of walking in a straight line and turning a corner. The floor covering specimen under test rotates such that it completes a full 360º rotation every 150 footfalls. The specimen is visually assessed and a subjective assessment of wear and appearance retention made.

Testing a floor covering on the SATRA STM 528 machine using a cyclic walking action from a standard shoe

For stairnosings, the specimen remains stationary during the test with the footfall positioned to ensure that the centre forepart of the shoe strikes the nosing edge, representing either walking down or up the stairs. The specimen is visually checked for any movement of the nosing insert and also to ensure if any damage or cracking of the nosing has occurred.

As well as just checking the floor for wear, SATRA can use the STM 528 Pedatron to replicate wear on floor coverings in order to assess slip resistance of worn products and it can simulate wear in relatively short periods of time. As a result, it is able to give floor covering manufacturers and suppliers an indication of the long-term effects of wear on the slip resistance of their floors. This is undertaken in conjunction with the pendulum test BS 7976-2:2002 + A1:2013, with a test preformed on a specific area of the specimen after various numbers of footfalls (normally every 250,000).

The use of the STM 528 Pedatron is valuable whether it is to assess an existing floor covering or a new product that is under development before being released onto the market.

How can we help?

15 PER CENT DISCOUNT ON FIRST SATRA TEST - please click here.

Please email flooring@satra.com for further information on the testing of floor coverings using the SATRA STM 528 Pedatron.