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Standard Tests for Carpet Tiles
Defining the floor for a commercial application requires at least a passing understanding of how it will perform in the workplace. Unfortunately, indicators such as “contract quality” or “heavy interior” are open to interpretation, and it is difficult for the specifier to make an informed decision. decision
Simon Lawrence of UK carpet flooring specialist, Bürofloor, offers some insight into the standard tests that can be applied to carpet that needs to perform – and last – in a sanctioned trade environment.
Commercial establishments place heavy performance requirements on any type of floor covering. When coffee is spilled at home, immediate washing and spraying with stain remover occurs. In the workplace one is likely to not change and then walk in unclean outdoor shoes. Your sofa at home moves when you need to remove dust or dirty toys from under it. The castor chairs in your office move for miles, making boring holes in the carpet rugs as they do so.
This means that we need a standard to be able to judge the suitability of the carpet or rugs for commercial contract use. Fortunately there are standardized tests that provide Euronorm (EN) and International Standards Organization (ISO) approval. Genuine heavy duty products must meet the standards described here.
ISO 8543 – Effective Pile Weight
Carpet tiles require a dense, closely packed pile to provide the necessary wear resistance. In order to provide a standard for this, ISO 8543 defines a method of washing the carpet on its back. It simply measures the mass of pile removed in grams per square meter. In general, the larger the pile mass, the harder the carpet will be.
ISO 1765 – Total thickness
This is another relatively simple test. In this case, the carpet sheet is pressed to a standard weight, and then its thickness is measured to the nearest 0.1 mm.
EN 1963 – Lisson Treadwheel Test
This test measures the carpet’s resistance to abrasion, particularly highlighting how firmly the pile’s seams are secured. The tire wheel is placed on top of the mat to be tested and rolled back and forth across the sample 400 times. The wheel spins a little faster than it travels on the carpet, creating an intense damping effect. The sample of the test carpet is compared with the master samples and evaluated accordingly. This is a particularly aggressive test, literally tearing some types of carpet to shreds. A pass under EN1963 is a strong indication of good wear resistance.
ISO 10361 – Accelerated Acceptance Testing
This standard is particularly relevant for carpet tiles that will be used in an office. It consists of two tests, the Vetterman drum test and the castor seat test.
Vetterman Drum Test
The Vetterman Drum Test is intended to simulate a heavy, focused foot. Foot traffic is concentrated around doors or narrow aisles between tables, and these areas can quickly become crowded.
The mat for testing is fixed inside a rotating metal drum. A heavy ball (7.5 Kg), covered in hard rubber pads, is placed inside the drum and allowed to rotate freely. The carpet is subjected to two test programs, one of 5,000 rotations of the drum and one of 22,000 rotations.
The carpet is then visually judged against the master cloth samples and given a rating for how well it has withstood the effects of the test.
Visual checks of the score from 1 to 5 for 5000 and 22000 spins and the final result is a sum of two results according to the following formula;
Total Result = 0.75 x Result after 5,000 spins + 0.25 x Result after 22,000 spins
A result is 2 or more passes
A score of 2.4 or higher is a pass for intensive use
Castor seat test
Caster seats are particularly vulnerable, and the gaping holes they hold in floor joists can present a tripping hazard. The results of this test should be an essential part of the office carpet specification.
The test bench is a three-legged chair, which carries a weight of 90 kg, on the mat. Two samples are used, one for 5,000 and one for 25,000 cycles.
Test samples are visually evaluated against standard samples and rated on a scale of 1-5. The final result of the test is given according to the following formula;
Total Result = 0.75 x Result after 5,000 spins + 0.25 x Result after 25,000 spins
ISO/DIS 10965 – Electrical Resistance
This test is especially important for contract carpet that can find itself in computer rooms where static electricity build-up can damage valuable equipment.
The carpet sample to be tested must be acclimatized at a temperature of 23+/-1°C and relative humidity of 25+/-2% for at least 7 days prior to testing. This is because moisture greatly affects the deformation of the textile and must be strictly controlled to obtain a meaningful test.
In this test regime, the horizontal resistance and vertical resistance of the carpet (in Ohms) are measured.
Horizontal resistance: A separate underlay is placed under the carpet tile pattern that must be rolled upwards. 2 electrodes are connected to the wire 200 mm apart and the resistance is measured in Ohm between them.
Vertical resistance: Here the electrodes are above and below the carpet plate and the resistance is measured in Ohms between them.
Measurements of less than 1010 Ohms are required for computer rooms.
ISO 3415 – Static Load (Tension Test)
This test is designed to see how well the carpet will compress with the weight placed on it. It reproduces the effect of the furniture on the carpet.
Thickness is measured before assembly
A pressure of 220 kPa is applied for 15, 30 and 60 minutes.
The result is given only in the loss of thickness in mm
recovery time 1 hour.
Acoustic properties ISO 140-8
The test equipment of this standard consists of two places, one on top of the other and 5 hammers, each of 500 gr. The first test is to measure impact absorption – that is, how much impact sound is absorbed by the carpet pattern.
First of all, the hammers are allowed to fall freely from a height of 4 cm on the floor of the upper space, each hitting the floor 10 times/second. Sound is recorded in decibels at the following location.
The test is then repeated by adding the sample mat to the higher space layer.
The difference in decibels is the amount of impact sound absorbed by the carpet pattern. This test is interesting because it shows how well carpet performs to stop sound transmission compared to other types of flooring such as wood or vinyl.
Ambient sound absorption is measured for ISO 354. Sound of different frequencies; (125 – 250 – 500 – 1000 – 2000) are emitted in a room of 200 m³ and the amount of sound reflected from the floor is measured. This is then compared to the sound reflected by the floor when covered with the sample material. A result of 0.5 in this test indicates that 50% of the sound that will be reflected is absorbed by the test sample and that the remaining 50% is reflected by it.
ISO 2551 – Dimensional stability and EN 986 for tiles
Carpet tiles must maintain their dimensions ± 0.02% after the following treatments:
For 2 hours the temperature is 60 ° C
Wash in water at 20°C for 2 hours
Further heating at 60°C for 24 hours
48 hours change in normal atmospheric conditions
These measures ensure that the shoes will maintain their integrity in the most difficult conditions such as hot water cleaning and extreme temperatures.
All floor coverings carry a hidden cost in the form of replacement costs. In commercial buildings this cost is further increased by the business constraint of installing new carpet tiles. Buying unwisely will definitely lead to high cost. A reputable supplier must respond positively to a request for test data. We hope that the information in this article will help you understand the features of the test and support a properly informed choice.
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