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Ehsan Ekrami

PhD in Textile chemistry and fiber sciences

Agent of OEKO-TEX in IRAN

 

 

 

Today, textile flooring is used in many different applications from low-rise living rooms to the public and industrial environments and open spaces. Naturally, the expected qualitative features of these products vary in different applications, and this issue is important for manufacturers in terms of both qualitative requirements and consumers in choosing the right product. According to this, in the European Union single categorical pattern (EN ISO 10874) is used to evaluate the features and determine the type of application of textile floorings, which in addition to determining the essential quality features in various applications, the test methods and required standard terms along with distinctive signs and indicates these categories (CEN / TS 15398) has been defined. This international standard is based on practical experience, quality requirements for flooring for use in different areas and also the severity of product use in three general categories in each group, there are other subgroups based on the intensity of consumption between different products (Table 1). The test methods and criteria that used to carry out these categories in related standards (EN 1307) are defined and include the following:

 

 

  1. The main criteria for flooring Categories: resistance features against abrasion (Lisson Pedal wheel test, EN 1963), appearance and surface changes (ISO 10361- Drum test), etc.
  2. The general criteria for flooring: features that are independent of the categories of product applications are evaluated such as dimensions / thickness / weight, color stability, dimensional stability, etc.
  3. Additional features: specifications of the product that are measured by standard methods (EN 1307) and show different aspects of flooring performance  such as wheelchair treatment, suitable for use on stairs, heat transfer feature (Floor Heating Transfer), antistatic features, acoustic properties, thermal resistance and etc.

 

 

 

Table 1. Applied Classification of Textile Flooring

 

 

group

class

Intensity of use

Use areas

Sample Application

Domestic

21

Moderate/Light

Low or temporary use

bedroom

22

General/Medium

Medium use

reception room

23

Heavy

Intense use

Reception room, entrance hall and corridors

Commercial

31

Moderate/Light

Use with low traffic

Hotels bedrooms, conference rooms, small offices

32

General/Medium

Use with moderate traffic

Small companies,

 Classrooms, shops

33

heavy

Use with extreme traffic

Hotel lobby, schools, cinema

34

Very heavy

Use with very intense traffic

Large stores, airports

Light industry

41

Moderate/Light

Work in a sitting position or moving light items

Small workshops

42

General/Medium

Work in a standing position and / or moving vehicles

storerooms, workshops

43

heavy

Industrial environments

Production halls, storerooms

 

 

 

Also in each classes, flooring may be distinguished in terms of the value of the luxury of the product that this criterion can be provided with five different signs (LC1 to LC5) that based on that the most luxurious flooring with five signs get into class (LC5), (Fig. 3).

 

 

Fig1. Signs of Textile flooring Application classes

 

 

 

Figure 2. Luxury valuation signs for textile flooring

 

In addition to the basic standards of flooring classification, there are also additional features which is used to provide the quality and performance of the flooring as well as to help the consumer (through symbols or pictograms) to select the correct goods in the final application. In the following, the most important ones are mentioned.

 

 

_ Wheelchair Behavior

 

If Flooring application is accompanied with Using wheelchairs, in case of having the minimum standard criteria are based on the EN 985 A test, the corresponding symbol is used to provide product performance.

 

 

Domestic Use

 

 Permanent use (workplace and ...)

 

 

 

_ Behavior versus stairs

 

If the floors are used on the stairs, parts of the goods on the stairs edge will be subject to more permanent pressure. Based on the results of the EN 1963 test method, product-related symbols will be assigned and usable.

 

Domestic Use

 

Permanent use

 

 

 

 

_Floor heating

 

In case of installation of flooring in places with a floor heating system, the minimum thermal insulation characteristics are desirable. The range of acceptable values of thermal resistance is less than (m2K / W) 17/0  (EN 1307 and ISO 8302). Related sign indicates the ability to use flooring in such applications.

 

thermal conductivity sign

 

 

_ Crash or slip

 

According to the instructions EN 1404 standard, in production of flooring

Consumer safety regulations must be considered. One of these criteria is resistance to slipping. In the event that the manufacturer claims that the product manufactured in a dry and clean condition has a dynamic friction coefficient of less than 0.3, can be used the DS symbol, otherwise, NPD symbols used in the product ID.

 

   

 

 

 

_Antistatic feature

 

Based on the results that obtained from the ISO 6356 standard test method, this sign indicates that the flooring has an antistatic feature and the static electricity (body voltage) is immediately discharged during movement.

 

Antistatic feature

 

 

_ Electrical resistance feature

 

Mostly, in the workplace such as rooms with electronic equipment safety requirements is needed. In these cases, based on the results of the ISO 10965 standard test method, the corresponding mark indicates that the flooring is loss of quiescent current or conductor of electrical current.

 

 

 Loss of quiescent current

 

 conductor

 

 

_ Light stability

 

 

This sign indicative having light stability feature that is suitable for flooring (More than 5) according to the EN ISO 105-B02 standard test method.

 

 

 

_ Sound absorption

 

If, according to EN ISO 354 standard the sound absorption coefficient of the flooring is specified in the range, the corresponding mark will be applicable.

 

 

 

 

 

_ Dimensional stability

 

Flooring with low relative density must be stable enough to shrink or expand the dimensions (EN 1407, EN 13497 and EN 15114 Standards). If there are enough conditions, the corresponding symbol conveys the concept of dimensional stability of the product.

 

 

 

_ Behavior against fire

 

Flooring behavior against fire is one of the main criteria for free trade (CE marking) in the European Union. Nowadays, the Flooring Fire-taking classes, from class A (Specifically for non-textile flooring) to class F, generally has been replaced the former national categories in union countries. Classes D, C, and B are divided into S1 and S2 subgroups, that the amount of smoke emitted in S1 class is less than S2 class, and this means, better relative performance flooring in the same fire class. Select the correct fire class depends on the place of consumption and the national regulations of the countries. Generally, the Efl class is sufficient for residential applications and the Cfl and Bfl classes are usable in a commercial and public place. If the manufacturer does not have enough information about the product's performance against fire, then the product should be marketed with the Ffl label.

 

Textile flooring Fire-taking classes

 

 

The purpose of the functional classification and the creation of international standards for product performance is to provide transparency conditions and to create a quality distinction for manufacturers, as well as to provide the basis for targeted consumer goods. Nowadays, this issue, has been raised as an international language, the concepts of quality of products in the field of production and trade of flooring are transmitted, And familiarity with it, is considered from the initial conditions of attendance in international competitive markets.

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