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66 INTERIORS


in wet conditions should meet EN 13845, which is the European Safety Flooring standard for particle based flooring. To meet the criteria for this standard, safety flooring must pass the ‘50,000 cycles’ abrasion test to ensure long term, sustainable slip resistant performance of the aggregates used within the product. Products specified as safety floors should also be Health & Safety Executive (HSE) compliant and offer a low potential for slip. The production processes used to develop HSE compliant safety flooring are highly sophisticated with slip resistance generated through use of aggregates such as quartz, aluminium oxide, silicon carbide and recycled natural aggregates incorporated in the full performance layer. This ensures that slip resistance is provided throughout the guaranteed life of the product. To meet HSE requirements, a safety floor must achieve a result of 36+ in the Pendulum Wet Test with a surface roughness of 20 + microns. These tests are portable and can be used to take live readings on site to demonstrate slip resistance over the life of the floor. Specification of safety flooring must not be made solely against Ramp Test (DIN 51130) R value ratings such as R10 as this is an ex-factory method of assessing slip resistance that takes no account of wear and maintenance carried out to the floor over time. Hence, a product with a rough emboss but no embedded particles may be sold as a pseudo safety flooring with an ex-factory R10 rating but in time the emboss will wear, leaving a smooth floor that is not slip resistant in wet conditions.


It is also important that slip resistance does not impinge on the flooring’s overall look and subsequent ease of cleaning. Dispelling the myth that safety flooring is difficult to clean, the development of protective maintenance enhancements mean improved maintenance benefits, optimum appearance retention and life cycle maintenance cost savings. The key to specifying the right safety floor for your next project is to seek advice from a trusted flooring manufacturer who can advise on suitable products that will perform safely for years to come and can demonstrate conformance to the industry standards.


Tom Rollo is marketing manager at Polyflor


WWW.ARCHITECTSDATAFILE.CO.UK


ADF MARCH 2018


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