Journal Published Online: 01 November 1996
Volume 24, Issue 6

Surface Roughness of Footwear Soling Materials: Relevance to Slip Resistance



The slip resistance of commercial safety boot and experimental footwear solings has been studied over a period of 15 years. Shoes, with experimental solings, were worn in a factory, and the coefficient of friction (CoF) measured at intervals, using a walking traction test. These measurements have shown that a microcellular polyurethane, AP66033 (formerly T66/103) gives the greatest slip resistance of any soling material on wet or oily factory floors and laboratory test surfaces. This performance is attributed to the statistically significant relationship between CoF and mean peak to trough roughness (Rtm). The surface structure of soling materials was examined using Scanning Electron Microscopy, and images compared with Rtm measurements. There is now sufficient experimental evidence to confirm that surface roughness is one of the determinants of CoF on lubricated floors. The wear characteristics of the floor/sole combination must be considered: some soling materials may become polished on certain floors. However, AP66033 cannot be polished.

Author Information

Rowland, FJ
Health & Safety Laboratory, Health & Safety Executive, Sheffield, UK
Jones, C
Occupational Health Department, Ford Motor Company, Halewood, Liverpool, UK
Manning, DP
Occupational Health Department, Ford Motor Company, Halewood, Liverpool, UK
Pages: 9
Price: $25.00
Reprints and Permissions
Reprints and copyright permissions can be requested through the
Copyright Clearance Center
Stock #: JTE11459J
ISSN: 0090-3973
DOI: 10.1520/JTE11459J