Transit Flooring Stands Up to Foot Traffic

Posted on December 23, 2010 by Brittany-Marie Swanson, Assistant Editor

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[IMAGE]MET1flooring-RCARubber-2.jpg[/IMAGE]Safety First

Unless transit flooring is safe under changing conditions like weather and foot traffic, its durability and ease of maintenance won't matter. This is why manufacturers must concentrate their efforts on providing flooring that will keep passengers comfortable and safe.

Altro Transflor has been focused on safety flooring for 90 years. It produced a non-slip floor tile containing aluminum trioxide grains before inventing slip resistant vinyl flooring in 1954.

The company's Tungsten flooring for railway, tramway, light rail and metro applications is fire resistant, hygienic and slip resistant — even in wet conditions. Under U.K. Slip Resistance Guidelines, which rates flooring based on pendulum test value (PTV), Altro Transflor's flooring is rated greater than or equal to 36 - or "low slip potential."

Similarly, R.C.A. Rubber's latest transit product, Transit-Flor LGF, is safer as well as lighter than previous products.

"[Transit-Flor LGF has] a better coefficient of friction," explains Bullock. This means passengers are less likely to slip on its surface. "It's actually a more durable product; a longer-wearing product because of the higher content of natural rubber."

R.C.A. Rubber's transit flooring is also dimensionally stable, meaning it does not expand or contract under varying weather conditions.

"In a vinyl construction where vinyl is more susceptible to the changes in temperature, the expansion and contraction of that product can cause problems with seam integrity," adds Bullock. Damaged seams can be dangerous to passengers who might trip and fall due to irregularities in the floor surface.

To combat slippage, Koroseal offers flooring and step treads in a number of different surface textures, each with a high coefficient of friction.

"Our nonmetallic Pebble Tread represent a new product innovation for us," explains Woodyard. "They are routinely praised in the marketplace for dramatically reducing passenger and driver slip-and-fall events, while their bonded construction provides for long life without the corrosion normally associated with the step well."

Flooring can also be customized to include safety-related visuals. Inlays can allow transit authorities to define passenger walkways, add way-finding graphics, and highlight the edges of stairs or other risers.

Nora provides its clients with the option to incorporate custom floor inlays for safety or aesthetic purposes.

"Some things that are becoming more important are inlays and luminescence," says Tom Hume, market segment manager for nora's industry and transportation segments in North America. "This includes wheelchair inlays; we can mark our flooring for wheelchair or bicycle luminescence strips."

Colorful inlays can also cultivate a more agreeable and visually interesting environment for rail and bus ­passengers.

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