Pendulum: The Most Widely Used Slip Resistance Test Worldwide

The pendulum skid tester, known in the U.S. as the “British pendulum” although it was invented at the U.S. National Bureau of Standards, is the most widely used floor slip resistance tester worldwide for measuring the slip resistance of pedestrian surfaces (DCOF rating). It is a national floor slip test standard in at least 49 nations.

There are at least 22 DCOF slip test standards involving the pendulum tester, as shown in the table below. Abbreviations include:

  • AS          Standards Australia
  • ASTM     American Society for Testing and Materials
  • BS          British Standards
  • CEN       Comité Européen de Normalisation (European Committee for Standardization)
  • SI           Standards Institution of Israel
  • SS          Singapore Standards
  • TS         Technical Specification

An advantage of pendulum slip tests is that there are many situation-specific safety standards, e.g. wet Pendulum Test Value (or DCOF rating) of 12 or higher for normally dry areas; 35 or higher for fresh fruit and vegetable areas in supermarkets; or 55 or higher for external ramps with slopes steeper than 1 in 14 (4.1 degrees). These are usually more realistic and helpful than a “one size fits all” criterion that purports to apply to all indoor and outdoor situations. Such criteria do not mean the floor is safe, just that it meets a certain bare minimum that might have been selected to help sell slippery products.

The pendulum also is used for Sustainable Slip Resistance testing, devised by McDonalds Restaurants to aid in selecting flooring that will retain its wet slip resistance for years.

Safety Direct America can conduct most of the pendulum slip tests, either in our laboratory or onsite. Contact George Sotter in the U.S.: 949-582-0889. Our SparkleTuff™ clear coating for any type of floor has adequate wet and dry slip resistance for virtually any situation. It gives designers the freedom to select any attractive flooring and make it safe wet and dry.

Line no.Pendulum Test Methods and Specifications for Slip Resistance
1AS 4586 Pendulum Test for Slip Resistance of New Pedestrian Surface Material
2AS 4663 Pendulum Test for Slip Resistance of Existing Pedestrian Surfaces
3ASTM E303 Standard Test Method for Measuring Surface Frictional Properties Using the British Pendulum Tester
4ASTM F2772-11 Standard Specification for Athletic Performance Properties of Indoor Sports Floor Systems
5BS 5385-3 Ceramic Floor Tiling Design refers to Pendulum Testing
6BS 5395 Stairs Design refers to Pendulum Testing
7BS 7932 Pendulum Test of Surfacing Units
8BS 7976 Pendulum Testers
9BS EN 14411 Pendulum Test for Ceramic Tiles (refers to TS 16165)
10CEN/TS 15676 Pendulum Test for Wood Flooring Slip Resistance
11CEN/TS 16165 Pendulum Test for Slip Resistance of Pedestrian Surfaces
12CEN/TS 16165:2012 Determination of slip resistance of pedestrian surfaces – Methods of evaluation
13Ceramic Tile Institute of America (CTIOA) endorsement of pendulum, 2001
14EN 13036 Pendulum Test for Road and Airfield Surface Characteristics
15EN 1338 Pendulum Test for Concrete Paving Blocks
16EN 1339 Pendulum Test for Concrete Paving Flags
17EN 1344 Pendulum Test for Clay Pavers
18EN 14231 Pendulum Test for Natural Stone
19EN 14904 Surfaces for Sports Areas
20SI 2279 Slip Resistance of Existing Pedestrian Surfaces and of New Products Pedestrian Surfaces (Israel)
21SS 485, Specification for Classification of Slip Pedestrian Surface Materials (Singapore)

pendulum slip tester

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