Mat Testing & Standards

Various tests are used to assess the safety and comfort of mats.  Below are brief descriptions of several of the more common tests.  If you have specific questions about testing criteria or results, we encourage you to reach out to your M+A representative.

Flammability Testing

The surface flammability of carpet can be tested in several ways.  The most common testing methods for small carpets/rugs are DOC FF1-70, commonly called the "pill test," and DOC FF2-70. With DOC FF1-70, eight 9" x 9" specimens are tested.  A hole is cut in each one and a tablet (often referred to as a pill) is placed on the mat and ignited.  If the charred area does not extend to within one inch of the edge of the hole on at least seven of the eight samples, the mat meets the criterion.  

Other flammability testing standards include BS 4790, ISO 11925-2, and ISO 9239-1.

Slip Resistance Testing

There are many test methods used to determine slip resistance including the British Pendulum test (ASTM E303), NFSI 101-C, dynamic coefficient of friction (ES 13893), and static coefficient of friction testing (ASTM C1028). 

For ES 13893, the dynamic coefficient of friction (DCOF) is measured using a specified heel assembly.  The assembly with a 10-kilogram load is pulled horizontally with a tensile tester to measure the force required to cause the assembly to slip.  After the sample is tested for five pulls in the traverse and cross directions, measurements are calculated and reported as dynamic coefficient of friction.

For ASTM C1028, the static coefficient of friction (SCOF) is measured using a neolite heel assembly.  The assembly with a 50-pound load is pulled horizontally across the mat with a dynamometer.  The dynamometer measures the force required to cause the assembly to slip.  The higher the number, the more slip resistant the surface.  For reference, a rubber tire on dry pavement has a SCOF of 0.90.  For surfaces to be considered slip resistant by ASTM C1028, the SCOF must be 0.60 or above.

Hardness - Durometer (ASTM D2240-05)

The hardness of a surface is measured by means of a Type A Shore Durometer.  The durometer measures the penetration of a specified indentor forced into the mat under specified conditions.  The lower the reading, the softer the material.  

Comfort - Compression Deflection

Compression deflection is a measurement designed to assess and compare performance characteristics of anti-fatigue mats.  Two specific loads, typically 20 psi and 40 psi, are applied to the mat and the deflection is measured.  20 psi is equivalent to a 150-pound person; 40 psi is equivalent to a 600-pound person.  Test results are reported as a percentage.

Studies suggests that surfaces with a compression deflection of less than 20% are perceived as too hard, and surfaces greater than 60% are perceived as too soft.  Mats with a compression deflection between 20% and 60% tend to provide the most anti-fatigue benefits.  

ESD Rating - Electrostatic Discharge (ANSI/ESD S7.1)

Electrical resistance is measured to determine a mat's electrostatic discharge (ESD) rating.  In the ANSI/ED S7.1 testing method, measurements are made from the mat's surface to groundable points (surface to ground), and from the mat's surface to other areas of the mat's surface (surface to surface).  Since humidity (moisture content in the air) effects static electricity, both tests are performed at varying humidity, typically 50% and 12%.  The results are measured in ohms.  The lower the resistance, the more quickly static electricity is accepted by the mat.

  • A reading of 101 to 105 ohms means the mat accepts static very quickly and earns a rating of electrically conductive.
  • Mats with a reading of 106 to 109 ohms are in the mid-range and earn a rating of static dissipative.
  • A reading of 1010 to 1012 ohms means the mat is more resistant to static and earns a rating of anti-static.

For more information on electrical resistance and how M+A mats are rated, check out this article.