To All Persons Who Require Scientific, Performance Based Methods for Measuring the Slip-Resistance of Walkway Materials and Coatings

Re: Static Coefficient of Friction (SCOF) Test of Blue/White Coating on Plate Glass


  1. VOSI V41.21-98 "Universal Specification /Test Method for Slip Resistant Walkways, in the Field & Laboratory, as Measured by a Drag Type Friction Tester";
  2. VOSI V41.23E "Standard for Slip & Trip Resistant Sidewalks & Swimming Pool Decks"
  3. "Bulletin #4: Surfaces"; The Access Board (Americans with Disabilities Act, ADA)
  4. ASTM F 462 - 79 "Standard Consumer Safety Specification for Slip Resistant Bathing Facilities"; American Society for Testing & Materials, Conshohocken, Pa.
  5. ASTM C 1028 "Standard Test Method for Evaluating the SCOF of Ceramic Tile and Other Like Surfaces by the Horizontal Dynamometer Pull Meter Method"
  6. ASTM D2047 "Test Method for Static Coefficient of Friction (SCOF) of Polish-Coated Floor Surfaces as Measured by the James Machine""
  7. "Directory of Professional/Trade Organization Laboratory Accreditation/Designation Programs", National Institute of Standards & Technology (NIST) Special Publication 831 99ED, pg.83 VOSI Slip Resistance Certification (see Appendix)
  8. My 9/14/01 report to you "The Static Coefficient of Friction (SCOF) of Clear and Blue/White Coatings on Plate Glass"

I received one 8" x 8" x 1/2" thick plate glass panel coated with a blue (47N1) and white (47T17) coating mixture. The Technical Products Co., Model 80, Floor & Footwear Friction Tester requires a minimum 2 3/4" x 4 " test area.

The SCOF of the coating and the uncoated plate glass of each panel were measured by rotating the panel in 90 degree increments through two revolutions for a total of eight readings, per ref. 1 Leather, Monarch EVA and 1/16" thick gray silicone rubber sensors were used per ref. 2. The leather and Monarch EVA pads were sanded before each set of measurements per ref. 1; the silicone rubber sensors were not sanded. The initial reading was discarded, and repeated., if it was greater than or less than the other readings.

Ref. 1 requires that both "standardized " leather and "standardized" Monarch EVA (rubber) be used dry and dry/wet SCOF testing respectively, in order to determine whether any walkway material is "slip resistant". A minimum SCOF of 0.45 for leather (dry), 0.50 for Monarch EVA (dry) and 0.35 (wet with distilled water) are the minimum SCOF requirements.

Ref. 2 uses 1/16" thick gray silicone rubber, to simulate bare feet, when wet testing swimming pool decks, in addition to the ref. 1 materials. This material was used since the subject material may be used in hotels where swimming pools may be present. The minimum required wet SCOF is the same as EVA: 0.35.

Ref. 3 uses the ref. 4, A382 Silastic rubber, to establish minimum SCOF requirements of 0.6 and 0.8 for level and ramped walkway surfaces. This sensor, 1 " x 3" x " thick was used to test the ref. 8 samples. Ref. 8 lists the test results with this sensor material that is replaced by the 1/16" gray silicone rubber per ref. 2.

Ref. 4 uses the Brungraber Mark I SCOF friction tester with the A382 Silastic rubber sensor together with a soap solution to measure the SCOF of bathtubs and showers. The Brungraber Mark II and the English XL are both dynamic COF (DCOF or KCOF) friction testers recognized by both ASTM and ANSI ASTM F1677 (Brungraber Mark II) and ASTM F1679(English XL). Dynamic friction is not recognized as the criteria for measuring the slip-resistance of flooring or footwear in the United States.

Ref. 5 uses Neolite, a material used for lining tanks and not currently used in footwear, to measure the SCOF of ceramic tiles both dry and wet. There is no minimum SCOF requirement for a "slip resistant" surface. This standard lists average SCOF of 0.70 dry and 0.47 wet when testing the "Florida" calibration tile. This is the identical ceramic tile specified as the test surface used when standardizing the Monarch EVA pads in ref. 1. This test method uses a 50-lb. weight that is too heavy for use as a portable SCOF tester. The 3"x3" Neolite sensor, in addition to giving significantly higher SCOF readings than typical footwear material (Monarch EVA) has a sensor pressure of 5.6 psi which is less than the ref. 1 minimum 10 psi pressure required in order to have SCOF test results correlate with slip/fall accident rate (ref. 1, appendix ref. 12).

Ref. 6 uses leather and the non-portable James Machine for testing polish coated floor samples in a laboratory. Since any instrument for measuring SCOF must be able to be used in both the field and laboratory, this method should be discontinued. Although polishes can be evaluated on any substrate, the method specifies "Official Vinyl Composition Tile" (OVCT) as the substrate to be used when evaluating polishes since the substrate affects the SCOF measurements of polishes. This is the only ASTM slip resistance test method that is performance based . The minimum SCOF for a "slip resistant" polish coated surface is 0.5 when tested only by ref. 6.

Ref. 7 , appendix 1, "Index by Products Tested", lists 56 product categories. Voices of Safety International is the only NIST recognized organization for accrediting test labs for measuring the "slip resistance of coatings, footwear and walkway materials". This is very significant since the VOSI slip resistance test methods are the only Universal Specification/Test Methods that standardize the sensor materials in order to eliminate the variability of the sensors that are sanded between tests. In addition correction factors are used to correct readings to a 50% laboratory humidity condition (ref. 6) and gage correction factors are used in order to eliminate force gage errors. Laboratory operators of the Model 80 SCOF tester must be certified since this is a manual tester. Operator certification requires that the initial SCOF of standardized leather on the secondary standard polypropylene test surface must be within 0.02 of the record maintained by VOSI and the range of 8 valid measurements must be within 0.05.

Table 1 lists the uncorrected and corrected SCOF for leather Monarch EVA, and gray silicone rubber. The gage, sensor and humidity correction factors (ref. 1) were used to calculate the corrected SCOF for Monarch EVA and leather; only the gage correction factor was used for the silicone rubber,. The standard deviation, S.D. is also listed. Ref. 6 lists the test results with Neolite, which is replaced by Monarch EVA, and A382 Silastic rubber (ref. 4) which is replaced by the 1/16" thick gray silicone rubber (ref. 2).


The "Florida" ceramic tile, used for standardizing the dry and wet Monarch EVA, was tested both before and after completing the Table 1 tests in order to calculate the average "rubber correction factor" required for correcting the SCOF to "standardized EVA". The gray silicone rubber was also tested before and after the Table 1 tests .



Ref. 5 uses a 50-lb. drag type friction tester with a 3" x 3" Neolite sensor. The Table 2 "Florida" ceramic tile is the identical "calibration" tile specified in ref. 5 wherein the average dry and wet SCOF is 0.70 and 0.47 respectively compared with the 0.42 and 0.34 values in Table 2. SCOF varies inversely with sensor pressure. The Model 80 tester uses a 10 lb. Weight and three 7/16" diameter sensor pads which results in an average pad pressure of 21.9 psi. compared with 5.6 psi. for the ref. 5 tester; this results in lower Model 80 SCOF readings. The ref. 3 tester, the Brungraber Mark I, uses a 10-lb. weight and a 3" x 3" sensor resulting in a 1.1 psi. pressure. A minimum 10.0 psi sensor pressure is required to have SCOF measurements correlate with slip/fall accident rate.

Ref. 1 explains the use of the "Traction Index" (T.I.), the ratio of the actual SCOF to the minimum required SCOF for a "slip resistant" surface. Table 3 shows the T.I. for all sensors tested and the test condition, dry or wet, for each coating and the plate glass substrate.



The ratio of the coating T.I. to the plate glass provides the best indicator of the effectiveness of the coating in increasing the slip resistance of the uncoated surface. Table 4 lists this ratio for each coating.




  1. Based on Table 3, the blue/white coating is slip resistant to leather, both dry and wet Monarch EVA, and the dry and wet gray silicone rubber.
  2. Based on Table 4, the dry leather, dry and wet Monarch EVA and wet gray silicone rubber all indicate that the slip resistance of the coating is greater that the uncoated plate glass. The greater slip-resistance of the plate glass compared with the blue/white coating, with the dry silicone rubber, is probably due to the smoothness of both surfaces.
  3. Based on examination of each coating at 10X magnification, the White coating consists of spherical white particles. The blue particles are smooth and fused between the spherical white particles. The white spherical particles would explain the greater slip resistance of the blue/white coating. Table 4 shows that the blue/white coating has more slip resistance than the uncoated glass for all sensor materials.
  4. All ASTM and ASTM/ANSI slip resistance test methods conflict with each other and should not be used by anyone interested in a universal specification/test method, that correlates with slip/fall accident rate, based on the needs of people and not the manufacturers of flooring materials and footwear. Only the VOSI methods standardize the leather and rubber surrogate footwear materials used when testing the SCOF of walkway materials both in the field and laboratory. ASTM D2047 is the only ASTM slip resistance standard which is performance based and specifies a minimum SCOF requirement for polish coated flooring. Since this method cannot be used in the field it is useless. The same test method must be able to be used both in the field and laboratory.
  5. All test labs that use the ASTM or ASTM/ANSI test methods for measuring the slip resistance of flooring materials and footwear should advise their customers that VOSI is the only NIST recognized laboratory accreditation organization which uses universal specification/test methods, which correlate with slip/fall accident rate, for measuring the SCOF of flooring and floor coatings with both rubber and leather standardized sensor materials in order to determine the SCOF under both dry and wet (water) conditions. Both the heels and soles of complete footwear and footwear materials can be tested under both dry and wet conditions using the same secondary standard test surfaces used to standardize sensor materials when testing flooring. The VOSI Universal Specification/Test Methods are the only scientifically based slip resistance test methods that correlate with slip/fall accident rate.


Donald C. Meserlian, P.E. Ref:



























NIST Special Publication 831 99ED "Directory of Professional/Trade Organization Laboratory Accreditation/Designation Programs"(Pg. 83) by Charles Hyer, Editor


Voices of Safety International (VOSI)


Mr. Donald Meserlian


264 Park Ave
N Caldwell NJ 07006


(973) 228-2258


(973) 228-0276




Slip Resistance Test Certification.


Ensure that test laboratories use VOSI specifications/test methods - V41.21 "Slip Resistant Walkways", and V41.22 "Slip Resistant Footwear" - correctly.



March 24, 1999.


Accredits laboratories for slip resistance, static coefficient of friction (SCOF) of walkway materials, coatings, and footwear.


Slip-resistance tested walkway materials, coatings and footwear products.



A list of standards used for the program is published on the internet at (



1 as of May 24, 1999.


Program does conform to ISO/IEC Guide 58.


Accreditation is valid for five years. Renewals are issued whenever the lab operator requires certification.


1 part-time assessor.


Test equipment operators' certification is based on passing SCOF testing of Polypropylene secondary standard test surface.


There is no assessor training program.


There is a fee to participate, and it is set by VOSI. There is no fee schedule available.


There is no appeals procedure.


The program is described in "Certification Procedures for VOSI" V41.21 and V41.22, which is published on the internet at (


VOSI has a logo.


Accreditation is available to all US private sector and government laboratories, all foreign private sector and government laboratories, and all purchasers of technical products for floor and footwear friction testing.


No directory of laboratories is published.



Assessment procedures are published in VOSI V41.21 and V41.22.

* See for a complete list of Standards/Standard Guides & proposed standards being balloted on-line. E-mail:

Ref: NIST Special Publication 831 99ED "Directory of Professional/Trade Organization Laboratory Accreditation/Designation Programs"(Pg. 84) by Charles Hyer, Editor



Must Be A Legal Entity

Must Be Financially Stable

Must Be Independent Of Manufacturers/Suppliers Of Products

Must Have An Effective Quality System

Must Have Procedures To Prevent Conflicts-Of-Interest

Must Have A Document Control System

Must Have A Contract Review Process

Must Have Procedures For Sub-Contracting Tests And Calibrations

Must Have A Documented Procurement Process

Must Have A Complaints/Appeals Process

Must Have A System To Control Nonconforming Testing And/or Calibration Work

Must Have A Corrective/Preventive Action Process

Must Have An Effective Record keeping Process

Must Have Documented Record Retention Requirements

Must Conduct Internal Audits Of Its Quality System

Laboratory Measurements Must Review Results of Internal Audits

Must Have Qualified Personnel

Laboratory Measurements Must Be Traceable To National Standards

Must (Where Applicable) Use Effective Sampling Techniques

Must Have A Process For Handling/Transport Of Test/Calibration Items

Must Participate In A Proficiency Testing Program

Must Have Adequate Instrumentation Facilities And Equipment

Must Ensure Adequate Equipment Maintenance/Calibration

Must Attend Program Laboratory Workshops/Conferences

Must Maintain Other Or Related Accreditation/Approvals


Requirements are comparable to ISO/IEC Guide 25


VOSI requirements for SCOF testing of walkways, coatings, and footwear, which utilize secondary standard test surfaces are more rigorous than comparable to those listed in ASTM D2047 and C1028 (Polishes and Ceramic Tiles).


Operators are certified based on a passing SCOF testing on secondary standard test surfaces (dry and wet test certification).


This is a new program. Have applied to the International Building Code to have VOSI V41.21 used as a reference in defining "slip resistant walkways".



Working with ASTM to reference VOSI Standards Guides in existing (13) slip resistance test methods.

Voices of Safety International (VOSI) - 1998 - 2018
Created: 2001-09-14