BOT-3000E Manufacturer Advises Against Using ANSI/NFSI B101.3 and B101.1 to Assess Floor Slip Resistance

The manufacturer of the BOT-3000E digital tribometer is Regan Scientific Instruments of Carrollton (Dallas), Texas. Recently we asked Regan for an update on ANSI B101.3, “Test Method for Measuring Wet DCOF of Common Hard-Surface Floor Materials,” approved January 18, 2012, and ANSI/NFSI B101.1. We received a reply from Peter Ermish, President. Here’s part of his kind reply [we have added links].

“Until recently, there were four American National Standards Institute (ANSI) standards for measuring the COF of walkways using the BOT 3000E tribometer. The following developments have now, effectively reduced that number to one:

“1. The standards development committee that created the A137.1 and A326.3 standards is ANSI A108. In 2017, ANSI A108 incorporated the ANSI A326.3 measurement method standard into the A137.1 Standard which covers the full specification for manufacturing ceramic tile. Although the internet has many references to measuring slip resistance per ANSI A137.1, that standard itself calls for using ANSI A326.3 which is a method valid for all hard surface floors and not just ceramic [tile]. Effectively, ANSI A326.3 is the one standard needed for both laboratory and field testing of hard surface flooring.”

(Since the original publication of this blog post, ASTM E303-22 was published in June of 2022, which is now the latest slip resistance test method for assessing real-world slip resistance based on 50 years of international research in at least 50 nations. This is the test we recommend for assessing slip risk.

“2. In January 2020, the National Floor Surface Institute [NFSI] announced that their ANSI accreditation to develop floor safety standards has been terminated. The two NFSI/ANSI standards for measuring floor slip resistance, B101.1 and B101.3 had both missed their respective deadlines (2009 and 2012) to be revised/renewed by the NFSI and have been, until January 2020, in an uncertain status. With the termination of the NFSI/ANSI accreditation, there can no longer be a renewal and those two standards effectively lapse.

“With these developments, the ANSI A326.3 standard for measuring the Dynamic Coefficient of Friction (DCOF) emerges as the only ANSI standard for measuring floor traction. There is no longer any ANSI standard for measuring the Static Coefficient of Friction (SCOF), thus completing the transition in the United States away from the SCOF method to the globally recognized DCOF method.

The new ANSI A326.3 is virtually identical to ANSI A137.1 except that it did not involve the participation of the National Floor Safety Institute (NFSI). Tile Council of North America [TCNA] was Secretariat for A326.3, which was released in April 2017. There were 61 organizations (but not NFSI) represented in the approval of the A326.3 standard.

ANSI B101.1 was a method for assessing static coefficient of friction (SCOF) using the BOT-3000E. As discussed above, static friction applies only to pedestrians who are standing still and should not be used to assess the safety of moving pedestrians. This is why the ASTM C1028 SCOF method was withdrawn by the ASTM in 2014, and why the ANSI/NFSI B101.1 was allowed to lapse. The methods should never again be used to assess floor slip resistance.

BOT-3000E with current slip resistance test menu
BOT-3000E with current slip resistance test menu

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