BOT-3000E Digital Tribometer

The BOT-3000E tribometer can measure both static and dynamic coefficient of friction in both wet and dry conditions. Static (SCOF) wet floor slip testing should never be used to assess the slip resistance of a floor. Virtually everyone who ever witnessed or performed the misleading and utterly meaningless ASTM C1028 SCOF test knew it was wrought with very serious problems, and the test therefore had to be withdrawn by the ASTM in 2014. It will never again return to being an active ASTM standard. Those who promoted that test, such as the Tile Council of North America (or TCNA), had to have known that they were using a bad test, or they were profoundly incompetent. We can only guess which it is.

The latest dynamic coefficient of friction (DCOF) test method for the BOT-3000E is ANSI A326.3 (available through the Tile Council of North America’s website for free), which superseded TCNA’s ANSI A137.1.

Unfortunately, both of these test methods having been mostly created and published by the Tile Council of North America (whose logo appears on the cover of both of these test standards) means that they cannot necessarily be trusted to assess the real-world slip resistance of flooring. In fact, the ANSI A326.3 test method itself says on page one of the standard that, “it can provide a useful comparison of surfaces, but does not predict the likelihood a person will or will not slip on a hard surface flooring material.” The ANSI A326.3 test method is chock full of disclaimers and warnings because it’s not meant for assessing the real-world slip resistance of a floor. The test method itself says so.

The TCNA previously had famously promoted the use of the now-withdrawn and horribly misleading ASTM C1028 test for nearly two decades. That test was severely flawed and was likely the cause of countless life-changing and life-ending slip and fall accidents in the USA. When this horrible test method was ultimately and permanently withdrawn in 2014, the TCNA needed another way to help major American tile manufacturers and floor polishing associations say that slippery floors aren’t slippery. And that’s how ANSI A326.3 was born and then distributed by the TCNA. The BOT-3000E can be a useful tool in a variety of situations, but it should never be used to determine that a flooring is not slippery. For that, we use the pendulum dynamic coefficient of friction test used all across the European Union, England, Australia, New Zealand, China, Israel, Singapore, and dozens of other nations.

After decades of testing floors for slip resistance ourselves in various nations and across the USA, we recommend using the British pendulum to assess real-world slip risk. The pendulum test has an official test method in at least 50 nations and has been in use for over 50 years now. It’s based on good science and decades of peer-reviewed international research on five continents. The SlipAlert (or iKnow Slip Meter as it’s now known) has been shown to have excellent correlation with the pendulum DCOF tester, and is available through Safety Direct America for less than $2,000, it’s easy to use, and can help property owners assess the real-world slip resistance of floors quickly, easily, and reliably.

Floor Slip Resistance Testing Services

Floor Slip Resistance Testing Lab: The charge for an engineer-stamped slip resistance test in our certified laboratory is around $230 depending on the slip resistance test method chosen. We often test with the ASTM E303-22 pendulum test, but can also run testing with the BOT-3000E for “comparing surfaces”, or to give you more data to make a more informed choice before installing a potentially slippery flooring.

Floor Slip Resistance Testing Lab

Field Slip Resistance Testing: The price for testing at your location (field floor slip resistance testing services) is based on time and expenses. We have clients from Florida to New York, Hawaii to Canada, Mexico to Europe, Singapore to Japan, and we are based in the Los Angeles area. Please call or email to set up your test. We were found in an international interlaboratory study to be one of the world’s most accurate slip resistance test labs.

Slip Resistance Testing for Tile/Floors

There was some German research done with the BOT-3000 test device (an older version of the machine used in the present ANSI A326.3 test), but a different test method was used than is described in ANSI A326.3, and changes have been made to the machine since that old German research was done. The ANSI A326.3 test is just the latest test promoted by American tile manufacturers to help them sell slippery tile. Many American architects and specifiers are asking for this test these days because it’s an “American test” with lots of advertising money behind it, but results from this test should not be trusted for assessing slip risk. The test method itself says so. For assessing real-world slip risk based on real-world slip and fall research in 50 nations over a period of over 50 years, we recommend using the pendulum DCOF test.

The BOT-3000E conformed to American National Standard B101.1, “Test Method for Measuring Wet SCOF of Common Hard-Surfaced Floor Materials”, which is now sold as an expired (or “historical”) standard. It also conformed to ANSI B101.3 (although that is now only sold as an “historical” standard as well), ANSI A137.1 (which was superseded by A326.3), and still conforms to TCNA’s latest ANSI A326.3, all of which measure dynamic coefficient of friction (DCOF).