Cleaning & Maintenance Management Online

NFSI release 4.16

April 16, 2013

The National Floor Safety Institute (NFSI) Has Announced the First NFSI-Approved Tribometers

SOUTHLAKE, TX — The National Floor Safety Institute (NFSI) has announced the first NFSI-approved tribometers to enable effective field measurement of walkway traction, based on the wet Coefficient of Friction (COF) of floors, as part of a comprehensive floor safety program.
 
As of March 25, 2013 the following tribometers have been approved by the NFSI:
 
SCOF:  
•    Universal Walkway Tester
•    GS-1
      
DCOF:  
•    BOT-3000/3000e
•    GS-1
•    GMG-200
 
Note: The  only device approved to measure both wet Static Coefficient of Friction (SCOF) and Dynamic Coefficient of Friction (DCOF) is the GS-1 device.
 
NFSI has approved these devices based on seminal research resulting in the standard entitled:  "Standard Method for Conducting an Interlaboratory Study (ILS) to Establish Validity, Repeatability and Reproducibility of a Walkway Tribometer Measuring Wet Static Coefficient of Friction (SCOF) for a Common Hard-Surface Walkway" and "Standard Method for Conducting an Interlaboratory Study (ILS) to Establish Validity, Repeatability and Reproducibility of a Walkway Tribometer Measuring Wet Dynamic Coefficient of Friction (DCOF) for a Common Hard-Surface Walkway".

“There are two ILS's  - one for SCOF and the other for DCOF.  Tribometers measure SCOF and/or DCOF, and we require separate ILS reports for each. The ILS is - not a standard - but a scientific/engineering procedure by which to analyze specific testing devices. The NFSI is the only organization that requires manufacturers to complete an ILS and NFSI’s are the most stringent in the industry,”  said Russell J. Kendzior, president of NFSI.

The Standard evaluates and verifies the validity, repeatability and reproducibility of data produced by instruments and methods employed to evaluate the wet - not dry – SCOF or DCOF of common hard-surface floor materials such as ceramic, porcelain, polished stone, vinyl, wood laminates, as well as coatings, polishes, etc., across a typical traction range.
 
"We are pleased to recognize devices that facilitate measurement on wet floors, because people most often slip on wet, not dry, floors,"   said Kendzior.  "An assessment of wet walkway traction is a better barometer of floor safety than an assessment on a dry floor, and NFSI-approved tribometers supply this metric with the goal of raising floor care to floor safety via high traction floors."
 
The new standard builds upon and/or references other standards or publications including:
 
ANSI/NFSI B101.1-2009 - Test Method for Measuring the Wet SCOF of Common Hard-Surface Floor Materials
ASTM D297-93(2006) Standard Test Method for Rubber Products Chemical Analysis
ASTM D2240-05 Standard Test Method for Rubber Property Durometer Hardness
ASTM E691-92 Standard Practice for Conducting an Interlaboratory Study to Determine the Precision of a Test Method
ASTM F1469-11 Standard Guide for Conducting a Repeatability and Reproducibility Study on Test Equipment for Nondestructive Testing
ASTM F2508-11 Standard Practice for Validation and Calibration of Walkway Tribometers Using Reference Surfaces
ASTM F1646-03 Standard Terminology Relating to Safety and Traction of Footwear
 
Definitions
 
High Traction. The physical property of a floor or walkway that is designed to mitigate slipping during normal human ambulation by providing a reasonably sufficient level of available contact friction.
 
Interlaboratory Study (ILS). A controlled study designed to evaluate the consistency of two or more laboratories purporting to measure the same object or phenomenon.

About  National Floor Safety Institute (NFSI)

The National Floor Safety Institute was founded in 1997 as a not-for-profit 501 (c)(3) organization whose mission is to aid in the prevention of slips, trips-and-falls through education, research, and standards development. The NFSI is led by a fifteen-member Board of Directors representing product manufacturers, insurance underwriters, trade associations, and independent consultants.