The 2013 version of the Australian Standard 4586 now recommends the application of wear to the items before slip resistance testing, where there is a requirement for long term durability of slip resistance.
AWT (Accelerated Wear Testing) provides an indication of how the slip resistance of an item will perform during long term use. The most common wear application is 500 wear cycles (or scrubs) by the laboratory wear apparatus as shown. The application of 500 wear cycles is an excellent method of rejecting poorly performing products that loose too much of their initial slip resistance following installation and the initial handover period.
Application of 5,000 wear cycles is excellent for predicting
which products will perform the best for the long term in heavy duty applications such as busy public access spaces for transport infrastructure, commercial buildings, shopping centres, sporting facilities etc
Following the application of wear, the item is then tested with the pendulum as per the normal pendulum test method. As the pendulum essentially measures the CoF (friction), these results can be correlated to what are considered known requirements of CoF for safe walking. Most experts will agree that a floor measured with a reading of greater than 35 BPN (= 0.35 CoF) is inherently safe for normal pedestrian access. The minimum slip resistance recommendations found in Handbooks 197 & 198 recognises that all items lose some amount of slip resistance is taken into account in the recommended minimum. Therefore a product that scores 35BPN out of the box is very likely to score much lower than this after use.
A number of designers and specifiers are now far more interested in what slip resistance a product will achieve once installed, rather than how a product performs straight from a carton. AWT is an excellent predictor of the real world floor slip resistance as the users will find it.
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