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Understanding Slip Resistance from ACO Polycrete

stainless steel anti slip surface
Stainless 5 Star Heelsafe® Anti-Slip

Understanding slip resistance: changes to AS 4586

June 2013 brought changes to the testing methods and classification of AS 4586: Slip resistance classification of new pedestrian surface materials.

The accompanying handbook (HB 197) outlines the acceptable minimum standard of slip resistance in various pedestrian areas, such as walkways; shopping centres and supermarkets. HB 197 is a guide for selecting appropriate materials during specification of pedestrian surfaces.

In order to assess how slip resistant a floor surface is, there are two tests specified within AS 4586: oil wet ramp and wet pendulum.

Oil Wet Ramp (R-rating)

The Oil Wet Ramp test uses an inclining platform to assess the slip resistance of a material. The test determines the angle of inclination at which safe walking no longer occurs on the test surface, which is coated with engine lubricating oil. The test person moves back and forth across the test surface where the angle of inclination is increased until the safe limit of walking is reached.

The angle of inclination obtained is used to classify the degree of slip resistance with an 'R' rating, from R9 to R13. R9 is the lowest inclination rating the Standard classifies and is therefore the lowest slip resistance. (Refer to Table 2 for HB 197 recommended R-rating for pedestrian areas.)

Wet Pendulum test (P-rating)

The updated AS 4586, released in June 2013, shows the wet pendulum test having the most significant change in its test methodology and classification.

The Wet Pendulum test uses a Pendulum Friction Tester and a rubber slider. The rubber slider material has been altered in the 2013 Standard to more accurately represent a worn and polished heel. This means that the test is more difficult to achieve 'higher' levels of slip resistance than previous revisions of the Standard.

The classification methodology has also been changed: previously, the 2004 version of AS 4586 used V to Z classifications. This has been superseded by the 2013 release of AS 4586 with P1 to P5 classifications - P5 being the highest achievable level of slip resistance.

HB 197: An introductory guide to the slip resistance of pedestrian surface materials

HB 197 has not yet been updated to reflect the changes in wet pendulum classification of AS 4586 - 2013. In the interim, it is possible to draw parallel between the 2004 and 2013 Standards using the table (Table 1) below.

table 1

Table 2 is taken from HB197 and makes recommendations for pedestrian surface materials in some locations. The column titled 'Pendulum - 2013' is an interpretation of the 2013 release of AS 4586 to compare with the 2004 classification.

table 2

Heelsafe® Anti-Slip grates

To help prevent public falls and injuries, ACO believes that small slotted grates should also be slip resistant. Each grate complies to various user and legislative requirements, including AS 4586 for slip resistance. Heelsafe® Anti-Slip grates have raised mechanical nodes for tread durability and are available in a choice of stainless steel, ductile iron and plastic designs.

Grates with raised mechanical nodes have excellent durability compared with those produced by manufacturers who apply coatings or mechanically alter (blast etc.) to attain a level of slip resistance. These processes will not only ensure a short term slip resistance due to the wearing process, but can introduce impurities in the material, which will accelerate corrosion.
anti slip grates approved symbol
For ease of identification of Heelsafe® Anti-Slip grates are identified by using this approved symbol. This symbol is a mark of compliance for pedestrian friendly grates: identifying grates suitable for heels, wheelchairs and bikes with a slip resistant rating.

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1300 765 226

Emu Plains, NSW, 2750



Aco Profile

1300 765 226



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