Tier 3000 Series Technical Reports
EXTENDED TIME TEST FOR COEFFICIENT OF FRICTION
AND MAJOR CLEANERS ON MOST COMMON TILE GROUPS
pHluorus Inc. PO box 95870 South Jordan UT,
Copyright 1990, - pHluorus Inc.,
The purpose of this test is to determine how pHluorus, an acid-based
cleaning compound produced by pHluorus Inc., and five other industrial cleaners
effect the surface abrasiveness of various floor tiles. The experiment simulates the wear
and cleaning floor tiles would receive in a commercial area or restaurant kitchen
environment over a ten month period. The experiment shows how effective the cleaners are
with respect to one another in maintaining an abrasive slip-resistant surface.
The following equipment and instruments were used in the experiment:
1. A force dial scale from Wagner Instruments, with a range from 1
to 11 pounds.
2. A pull spring scale, with a range of 0 to 15 pounds.
3. Three inch square samples of pyrolite, rubber, and leather shoe
sole material each glued to a wooden block. An eye bolt was attached to
one end for pulling and sufficient weight was added on top so that each
unit weighed 5 pounds.
4. A five inch by ten inch sample of leather shoe sole material
glued to a wooden box. A nylon rope was attached at one end and
sufficient weights were added inside the box until the entire unit
weighed 10 pounds.
5. A large size stranded mop of cotton/polyester blend, cut into
6. Hamburger grease.
7. Terry cloth towel, cut into small squares.
8. Six commercially available industrial cleaners: Clorox, Kadet
Quarry Tile Floor Cleaner, Regain, pHluorus' pHluorus, Sure Trac Quarry
Tile Floor Cleaner, and Tide.
9. Manufacturer; Dal Tile Company, ceramic floor tile samples:
Red quarry tile with corundum particles embedded in the
surface (abrasive), about 6" square by 1/2"
Granitie de ceramica from Italy; brown
"granite appearing" unglazed ceramic tile, about 8" square
by 5/16" thick;
Dura-floor white glazed tile with a rough granular
textured surface, about 8" square by 5/16" thick;
Mosaic unglazed bath tiles of various colors, about
1" square by 3/16" thick.
III. TILE LAYOUT:
Seven lots, each composed of the first four
above listed tile types, were organized on tables. A large sample of mosaic unglazed
bath tiles was prepared and partitioned into seven sections. The bath tiles were laid in
grout. Cleaning compounds were assigned to each lot.
The following experimental procedure was
taken in part from tests performed in 1987 by the Smith-Emery Company at the Ceramic Tile
Institute in Los Angeles, California. [These earlier tests were conducted for pHluorus
under the direction of Donald W. Kaufmann, P.E. (Quality Engineer No. 3882), and are
identified by the Institute as File No. 1086, Lab No. L-87-2703.]
In order to simulate the treatment floor tiles would receive over a
ten month period in a commercial area or restaurant kitchen environment, seven groups
(lots) of five different kinds of floor tiles each were lightly smeared with hamburger
grease (except for the granite de ceramica tiles which are not used in kitchen areas),
after which all tiles were blow dried, washed with their respective cleaners, and then
rinsed with water. This wash cycle constituted "one day" of wear. The tiles went
through 30 wash cycles (equivalent to one month) and then were tested for surface
abrasiveness using the method listed below. "10 months" of wash cycles and
testings were completed, using the following cleaner concentrations as recommended by the
Lot #1: 0.75 cup Tide in 3 gallons water.
Lot #2: 2.25 cups Clorox and 0.75 cup Tide in 3 gallons water.
Lot #3: 2 ounces liquid Regain in 1 gallon of water.
Lot #4: 1 part pHluorus's pHluorus in 40 parts water.
Lot #5: 1 part Kadet in 32 parts water.
Lots one through six were washed with their assigned cleaner for the
ten month period. Lot #7 was washed with various cleaners: lot #1's cleaner was used for
months 1 and 2, lot #2's cleaner for 3 and 4, lot #3's cleaner for 5 and 6, lot #5's
cleaner for 7,8, and 9, and Lot #6's cleaner for month 10. Lot #7 represents an
environment where various cleaning compounds are used.
The tiles were initially tested for abrasiveness before any wash
cycle was performed. At the end of the "10 month" period each lot was washed
with a concentrated solution of their respective cleaners, rinsed with water, and allowed
to dry. Measurements of slip-resistance were then taken using the 10 pound
Following this special washing all of the lots were washed with
a concentrated solution of pHluorus's pHluorus compound and
measurements of abrasiveness again were taken using the 10 pound leather-surfaced box.
The experiment was conducted blindly; those performing the
experiment had no knowledge of which cleaners were being used at which lots; cleaners were
designated by numbers associated with the lot. The compounds were mixed in the presence of
two or more people to verify correct mixing proportions.
WASH CYCLE (Specific Procedure):
1. Grease Application:
Grease was applied to the regular quarry, abrasive quarry, white
glazed, and bath tiles using squares of cotton terry toweling. Separate applicators were
used for each lot. The grease was applied in a thin layer to simulate the amount
accumulated on a restaurant floor in a day.
2. Blow Dry:
Using a 1250 watt blow dryer at maximum power, the lots were dried
over a two minute period.
The lots were washed with their respective cleaners. The brown
granite tile was washed first, the bath tiles last, and the others in random order. To
wash, a mop was dipped in the cleaner and then swirled over a tile using light pressure.
The mop was dipped in the cleaning solution in between individual washing as was needed to
keep the mop wet.
After use at a lot, the mops were washed in a Tide solution and
rinsed thoroughly twice in water. Mops were assigned to lots and were used at those
locations only. The lab technician rinsed his hands in water between washing of lots
to prevent contamination of one cleaning compound by another.
After washing, each lot was allowed to stand for four to five
minutes with the cleaning compound upon the face of the tiles.
The lots were rinsed with water, the brown granite tile first, the
bath tiles last, and the others in a random order. Rinsing solutions and mops were
assigned to each lot to prevent cross-contamination. Rinse water was changed after each
use at a lot, and the mops were washed and rinsed as described above. The lab technician
rinsed his hands in water between each lot.
After one month of washing, tiles were allowed to dry completely and
were brushed with a towel to remove any foreign material. The surfaces of the testing
blocks were prepared in the following manner before use at a lot:
All tests; months 1-6: washed with pHluorus solution;
Wet tests; months 7 on: washed with water;
Dry tests; months 7 on: wiped with dry towel.
To measure friction, a test block was placed in the middle of a tile
and the amounts of force required to start the block slipping and to keep it sliding
across the tile were measured. As one person worked the blocks, the other recorded the
measurements and conformed that the blocks were being pulled parallel to the horizon.
Four measurements on each tile surface were
made during a single test, each measurement perpendicular to the previous one. These
measurements were averaged together to give a description of slip-resistance. This average
figure was reproducible consistently within a plus or minus 0.1 and 0.2 range when
obtained with the five and ten pound blocks respectively.
For each tile sample, five such averaged
values were obtained by using five different blocks: five pound blocks consisting of
pyrolite, rubber, and leather surfaces, and a ten pound leather surfaced block pulled by
two different spring systems. All blocks were pulled by a Wagner force dial scale, and the
ten pound block was pulled a second time using a pull spring scale. Values obtained by the
five-pound blocks were multiplied by two to present them on the same order of magnitude as
values obtained by the twice as massive ten-pound block. These five measurements made
on each tile have been averaged together and are presented here. They represent the
average amount of slip-resistance present at a given tile surface which has been washed
using a certain cleaning compound over time. Divided by ten, they represent the actual
coefficient of friction associated with tile surfaces. Measurement / data enclosed as
enclosures 1, 2, 3, 4.
Dry Surface Static Measurements: Of all dry
tile samples tested, tile types washed with pHluorus's pHluorus had the highest average
static coefficient of friction with one exception: quarry abrasive tiles washed with
pHluorus had a static coefficient of 7.0, while all other cleaners measured either a 6.9,
7.0, or 7.1. As experimental months passed, the coefficients of friction tended to
increase over time for all tile types and cleaning solutions. Averaging data over all time
and all five tile types gives the following single values:
Cleaner Coefficient of Friction
All (Lot #7) 5.6
Of these compounds, pHluorus's pHluorus
proves to be the most effective at generating a slip-resistive dry surface.
Dry Surface Kinetic Measurements:
There are no general trends over time for these tests. Most all values of the kinetic
coefficient for any dry tile sample washed with any cleaner lied within the range 5.3 plus
or minus 1.2 . There are no dramatic differences between values averaged over all time and
tile types with the exception of Lot #7:
Cleaner Coefficient of Friction
All (Lot #7)4.5
pHluorus's pHluorus generated a slightly
higher resistance on dry surfaces than all but one of these other compounds.
Wet Surface Static Measurements: For
a given tile type and cleaning compound, the coefficient of static friction generally
tended to fluctuate over time within a 1-1.5 point range. Among the tiles washed with
various cleaners, surface abrasiveness varied significantly:
Cleaner Coefficient of Friction
All (Lot #7)5.0
Tiles washed with pHluorus's pHluorus were
overall more slip-resistant than tiles washed with these other compounds.
Wet Surface Kinetic Measurements:
These tests were the most difficult to obtain an accurate value for. The five-pound blocks
would occasionally stick to the tile surfaces through capillary action and thus give
unreliable readings. The large ten-pound block sometimes proved difficult to pull at a
constant speed without having it skip across the tile. In general, tiles washed with
Kadet, Regain, and Sure Trac compounds were associated with these effects while tiles
washed with the other compounds were not. With the large number of measurements made over
time, significant errors should be minimal, and the tiles give the following average
values over all time and tiles:
Cleaner Coefficient of Friction
All (Lot #7)4.3
pHluorus's pHluorus compound is the most
effective of these compounds at generating a resistive surface when the surface is wet.
Tests using Concentrated Solutions and
pHluorus Compound: When each lot was washed with a concentrated solution of the
cleaning compound assigned to that lot, the static coefficient of friction measured on a
wet surface jumped significantly; when the lots were washed with a concentrated solution
of pHluorus's pHluorus (one part pure compound in one part water), the coefficient climbed
Coef. Static Coef. Static
ten's (After wash with (After wash with
solns.) pHluorus conc.)
All (Lot #7)6.9n.a.8.8
All concentrated cleaning solutions were
prepared by combining one part pure compound with one part water.
This demonstrates that a slip-resistant
surface may be generated by applying a concentrated solution of pHluorus to a tile surface
that has previously been treated with any of these other industrial cleaners.
Because of the extensive number of
measurements taken in these tests, the potential for error is highly minimized. These
results therefore are reproducible.
Tests were also conducted to determine if
pHluorus deteriorates tile surfaces. The widths of the tiles washed with pHluorus were
measured using a micrometer after the ten month washing period. These measurements
compared with those taken on new tile show that the tiles treated with pHluorus did not
deteriorate to an observable extent. The following are the mean averages of the
measurements taken on various individual tiles. Values are in inches; N is equivalent to
the number of measurements used to calculate these values at a 95% confidence level.
NEW TILETREATED TILE
Durafloor.3158 ± .0012 (N=16).305 ± .002 (N=9)
Glazed.3171 ± .002 (N=16)
Granite de.3177 ± .0005 (N=16).3150 ± .0009 (N=9)
Ceramica.3171 ± .0011 (N=16).3153 ± .0006 (N=16)
Quarry.454 ± .002 (N=16).467 ± .004 (N=12)
Abrasive.459 ± .003 (N=16).467 ± .003 (N=12)
Quarry.4667 ± .0007 (N=16).4670 ± .002 (N=12)
Regular.4674 ± .0010 (N=16).4658 ± .0007 (N=12)
.4661 ± .0006 (N=16)
Among the commonly used industrial cleaning
compounds, pHluorus, when properly used, is superior at maintaining a slip-resistant
floor. Businesses using pHluorus may have the confidence that they are creating a safe
environment in which slip-fall accidents are minimized. The general safety of customers
and employees is assured, and with pHluorus's guarantee that these tests and results are
correct and replicable, businesses are protected legally should a slip\fall accident claim
be brought against them. pHluorus will provide an affidavit upholding the results of this
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