Is Anti Slip Epoxy the right choice?

Is Anti Slip Epoxy the right choice?

More and more we are being called out to sites where the pedestrian surface was coated with Anti Slip Epoxy with a broadcast grit added, and after a period as short as 18 months have become very slippery again.
After many years in this risk reduction industry a few things have become glaringly obvious when Epoxies are used inappropriately or installed poorly as a solution for slip fall prevention.

 

THE FACTS:
• Epoxies are great before the grit wears down
• They are extremely hard on joints and feet if used all day
• Epoxies are extremely dangerous if exposed to water when the grit is worn
• The Anti Slip quality is dependent on the installer
• Epoxies are not the perfect solution in every situation

 

Let’s take a closer look at each of these statements…

Epoxies are great before the grit wears down
Correctly laid and with even grit distribution Epoxy flooring is a great way to increase traction. Some of the surfaces we have tested over the years have provider very high anti slip characteristics some up to an R13 ramp rating using a coarse broadcast grit.
 
They are extremely hard on joints and feet if used all day
Hardness is one of the features that make Epoxy flooring an attractive option it’s tough and almost bulletproof for factory floors. Unfortunately this hardness is the same feature that makes it very punishing on feet and joints and muscles if you’re on it for long periods during the day.
 
Epoxies are extremely dangerous if exposed to water when the grit is worn
Unlike some of its competitors who maintain a level of anti slip safety once the grit has ground down, the self-leveling nature of the Epoxy creates an incredibly smooth glossy finish with characteristics similar to glazed ceramic tiles, with BPN (British Pendulum Number) readings to match. We have tested 2 year old Epoxy installations reading a .23 wet BPN which is considered a HIGH RISK surface.
 
The Anti Slip quality is dependent on the installer 
Floating the Epoxy surface is just one part of a good safe installation. With increasing industry competition in this type of flooring it’s no surprise to see shortcuts and rushed applications.

A good safe installation can be identified by

• An average thickness between 1.5 and 3mm
• Even distribution of grit across entire surface (no clumping or bald areas)
• No roller marks

Epoxies are not the perfect solution in every situation
Many installations we are call out to treat are simply not appropriate for the environment. Typically, Epoxy flooring was developed for Light Industry where a chemical resistance was required. Like a lot of products it morphed into a one size fits all solution, sadly that’s where the inappropriate use of a great solution started to create consumer dissatisfaction.

 

It is important to point out that “Friction Systems Australia does not supply or install Epoxy solutions”, our business is to find and apply viable options to make these surfaces safe again for pedestrian traffic.
If you would like further information on options to improve traction on Epoxy floors please contact us anytime at Friction Systems