The Oil-wet Ramp Test (commonly referred to as just the “Ramp test”) provides scores that are widely recognised by most designers from their R – rating results R9, R10 etc. The mechanism of achieving these results however is often poorly understood, as are the limitations of this test method. There are very significant limitations to the ramp test and the creation of designs and specifications using ramp test results alone has lead to many problems for designers, their clients and indeed users and operators of facilities.
An investigation of slip resistance following an accident will almost certainly not involve the ramp test results, but rather will consider on-site pendulum testing. It therefore follows that to design a floor without knowledge of the pendulum results of the floor surface selected is a significant risk.
A large part of recognising the ramp test’s limitations is obvious when the test method is explained. Approximately ½ a sqm of tiles to be tested is placed on a horizontal ramp panel, which is then inclined to the point where the test operator walking on it “slips”. The steepness of the angle of the ramp panel is then measured and given a category rating from R9 to R13.
The following is a brief list of the limitations of the ramp test method:-