Introduction to the Pendulum Tester
The Pendulum Tester was originally designed in the 1940s by Percy Sigler to measure the slip resistance of floors in government buildings. During the late 1950s the instrument was adopted and redesigned by the Road Research Laboratory to study problems in the design and maintenance of public highways, road markings and iron works.
It is now most commonly used to assess the slip potential of indoor and outdoor pedestrian surfaces. The swing of the pendulum has been shown to replicate the heel strike and resulting uplift motion that occur when a person slips in liquid-contaminated conditions.
In operation, a pendulum of a known mass rotates about a vertical spindle. The head of the pendulum is fitted with a rubber slider with a specific hardness and resilience. When released from a horizontal position, the pendulum head strikes the sample surface with a constant velocity. The distance travelled by the pendulum after striking the sample is determined by the friction resistance of the sample surface. The Pendulum Test Value (PTV), which is a measure of the dynamic coefficient of friction, is read directly from an engraved scale.
The Pendulum Tester is universally recognised as a floor slip resistance measuring device. It is the subject of many international standards and is the preferred test method of the UK Slip Resistance Group (UKSRG) and Health & Safety Executive (HSE). Owing to its size and portability, it can be used both on site and for laboratory testing of floor and tile samples.
It used extensively around the world by health and safety consultants, floor and tile manufacturers, material testing laboratories, expert witnesses, civil engineers, highway agencies, local councils and facilities managers.
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