TCNA introduces product use classification system

TCNAClemson, SC—The Tile Council of North America (TCNA) added a five-category “product use classification system” in ANSI A326.3 “american National Standard Test Method for Measuring Dynamic Coefficient of Friction of Hard Surface Flooring Materials.” The five categories, developed by the ANSI Accredited Standards Committee, will allow manufacturers to directly communicate areas of use based on the slip resistance characteristics of their products, according to the company.

“This revision to A326.3, resulting from years of testing, research and consensus building, represents perhaps the most significant slip/fall communications advancement in the flooring industry since the 1950’s when standards were proposed to measure the frictional properties of flooring,” said Bill Grise, director of standards development and sustainability initiatives, TCNA. “This classification system is a key step forward for better specifications and consumer safety.”

The five product use categories are as follows:

  • Interior, Dry (ID)
  • Interior, Law (IW)
  • Interior, Wet Plus (IW+)
  • Exterior, Law (EW)
  • Oils/Greases (O/G)

According to the standard, hard surface flooring products will be classified into one or more of the categories. Additionally, the standard provides information “possible areas of use” for each category.

To assist manufacturers in providing product use classification ratings, TCNA said its Product Performance Testing Laboratory has testing options that can help assess a product’s slip resistance properties. These tests can assist manufacturers in determining product use classification in conjunction with their internal quality control criteria, manufacturing parameters and experience with similar surfaces.

“The TCNA lab is prioritizing testing needed for product use classification to achieve widespread adoption, communication and use of this classification system,” said Katelyn Simpson, director of laboratory services, TCNA.

According to Eric Astrachan, executive director, TCNA, the products use classifications in ANSI A326.3 are simple, clear and easily understood. “Most importantly, the availability of this product use information in the marketplace will lead to a reduction in slip events,” he said.

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