New Test Method for Quantifying and Classifying the Electrostatic Charging of Floor Coverings

02. March 2022


Walking on textile, resilient but also laminate floors, especially in dry and cool environments, may result in a high static personal charge. This is associated with the risk of sudden, unexpected and unpleasant discharges.

For testing such electrostatic charges on floor coverings, two standards are commonly used: EN 1815 (Resilient and laminate floor coverings) as well as ISO 6356 (Textile floor coverings). Both standards describe person-related walking procedures that differ in the sole material applied, the nature of the subfloor and the individual gait. Yet, in both cases the limit value of 2 kV applies to personal charging.

Walk-on tests, as currently used in standards, have clear shortcomings. The measured results of the electrostatic charge depend not only on fixed variables such as climate, material or surface condition, but also to a considerable extent on parameters set by the test person. For example, the speed of lifting the walking shoe from the test surface, the gait or even the clothing play a role. The current normative test methods are imprecise, material-intensive, time-consuming and physically stressful for the test personnel.

Based on the results from previous research projects, the knowledge gained by way of the lab setup investigated there and then shall be transferred into a technical solution applicable to above-mentioned floorings.

Therefore, the objective of a joint research project between the TFI and IHD is to develop a ready-to-use test method for quantifying and classifying the electrostatic charging of floor coverings.

The development of the test method consists of a measuring device for machine-generated electrostatic charging of a floor covering and its measurement by the TFI on the one hand and of the test method for classifying the charging behaviour under standard and real-life conditions by the IHD on the other. A machine-based worst case of the motion sequence is focussed on to generate a characteristic charge between the friction partners sole and floor. The methodological evaluation will then decide on the electrostatic classification of the floor covering.

The project is supported by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action withing the scope of market-oriented research and development via the innovation-funding programme of INNO-KOM. The project promoter is the EuroNorm GmbH.

Project contact at the IHD:

Petra Schulz