There’s a new standard for measuring a tile’s frictional resistance, closely related to traction and slipperiness: Dynamic Coefficient of Friction or DCOF. Developed by the Tile Council of North America (TCNA) and already adopted by tile manufacturers (i.e. – Crossville currently provides DCOF and COF specifications for its products), this new standard is poised to be the measurement designers and architects call upon to ensure the right tile is installed for the potential use in commercial and residential settings.
By early 2014, many manufacturers will convert solely to DCOF in technical specifications, so now is the time to become educated on this important specification. The DCOF AcuTestTM method replaces the ASTM C1028 as the specified method for COF testing. The new method provides a better indication of actual slip potential on a tile surface.
The industry standard has previously been gauged on measuring the static COF (SCOF), which is the ratio of forces necessary to start two surfaces sliding. The importance of measuring DCOF comes into play by measuring the forces necessary to keep two surfaces sliding, such as a person in motion on a wet tile. With worldwide acceptance, the new standard measurement is a DCOF value of 0.42.
Crossville’s technical experts have been highly involved in TCNA’s development and implementation of DCOF, and for over a year, we’ve led the transition to the new standard. At present, our products are easily marked with both COF and DCOF ratings to help best determine suitable selections for commercial applications.
“By adopting DCOF, we have created a test method that more accurately relates to the way people walk, and ultimately the way they may fall. Given the automated nature of the equipment, the test has also become more repeatable and less operator dependent. This, along with its portability, has made the device much more useful for field measurements on installed tile,” explains Noah Chitty, director of technical services at Crossville.
The new DCOF AcuTest utilizes a portable robot with an SBR rubber sensor and the application of slightly soapy water to measure the coefficient of friction. As with scientific research, the robot allows for a repeatable and reproducible method that does not rely on human bias. The test also offers a standardized minimum threshold.
Look for another #TileTuesday Tip, coming your way next week!