Avoid Legal Concerns - Stay away from products that don’t certify slip resistance with the Pendulum Test
As a result of the recent Covid-19 Pandemic, many commercial properties including retail stores, restaurants, and school buildings, have rushed to apply “social distance” signage onto their floors. At the onset of the Pandemic, this created a gold rush of sorts, with digital graphic printers looking for materials that were suitable for the job. The high demand was unprecedented and created a material shortage. Sign shops and suppliers were desperate to fill orders. Dreamscape took the opportunity to fill this demand by updating an existing wall graphic material with capabilities suitable for flooring. What we learned in the process was that most of the products being utilized for floor graphics are not properly certified, especially in respect to slip resistance testing standards. In fact, they are relying on ancient test methods which can’t effectively determine the slipperiness” of a surface.
The purpose of this discussion is to clarify some of the false claims we have discovered and point out the advantages of using a product that has been properly certified. To do this we have consulted with slip certification experts. We will distill the most important points below.
Below is a list of common slip certifications we have discovered while reviewing popular self adhesive floor materials in the digital print industry. The comments that follow are taken from guidance of our third party expert.
PENDULUM: AS HB198:2014 - Excellent. The only test to assess real slip resistance. Pendulum is based on peer- reviewed science and utilized around the world. Results relate to specific recommendations on where you should and should not use a product.
ANSI A137.1 / A326.3 - Fair. A more recent American test, devised to replace ASTM C1028. This is inferior to Pendulum but often referenced in the USA. This test should not be used alone to assess the slipperiness of a floor because it works on a pass fail basis which is too broad to describe variations in the real world. It is relevant simply due to its popularity.
ASTM C1028 - Invalid. This test method was withdrawn in 2014 because it was found to be bogus and gives any product a passing grade. No product should be using this today, unfortunately they do. Misleading at best, potentially fraudulent. Here is a link to more information on this test.
RAMP TEST: DIN 51130 - Invalid. This is a German ramp test where products get a R rating between R13 ( not slippery) and R9 ( very slippery). This test measures people walking with work boots on an oily, wet ramp. Unless your intention is to understand work boots on an oily surface, this test is not applicable. Even so we see products claiming “R10” scores, which is not only irrelevant for studying floor graphics, but actually a poor result for this test. More information about this test is available here.
ASTM D-2047 - Invalid. An old test from the 1950’s created for testing floor wax, it is a static test which has been shown to be useless. This tests how slippery a floor is to someone who is standing still ( static), not someone who is walking on it. Completely useless for our purpose.
UL410 - Invalid. Another old test from the 1950’s for measuring floor wax. Completely invalid for the purpose of measuring slipperiness of moving people on various surfaces. Most likely a misused test simply because of its association with a popular laboratory.
Caviar and Ravello features:
ONE STEP PROCESS - our product can be printed and installed without the need of an additional laminated top layer or coating. This streamlines the process of creating floor graphics and reduces cost.
PERMANENTLY REMOVABLE - our product utilizes a special microspheric self adhesive that is designed to be removable, but also strong enough to last after being peeled off and reapplied.
3 PLY DURABILITY - our product is made with multiple layers of polymeric vinyl and reinforced with a rip free fabric. Caviar and Ravello will out last competitive SAV vinyls
HEAVY DUTY - 13 mil thick | 14.5 oz per linear yard
DECORATIVE EMBOSSING - Caviar and Ravello offer designers and specifiers unique aesthetics that can enhance a signage campaign. Caviar has a heavy sand paper look, while Ravello looks like a quality canvas
SLIP RESISTANCE -certified with two tests: Pendulum AS HB198:2014 | ANSI A137.1/A326.3
FLAME CERTIFICATION - ASTM E84 - CLASS A, ASTM E648 - Class 1
100% MADE IN THE USA
PDF version of this discussion available below