Pendulum Tester

The pendulum tester was originally designed by Percy Sigler in the USA in the 1940s for the U.S Bureau of Standards, to test pedestrian surfaces.

pendulum tester

It was adopted and further developed in the late 1950 / 60s in the United Kingdom by the then Road Research Laboratory (RRL, now known as the Transport Research Laboratory, TRL).

Over the years that followed much more work was done, in particular by Greater London Council (GLC) using the Pendulum at accident sites over a period of around 25 years. It was validated for use with pedestrian traction in the UK in 1971.

In 2002 a British Standard was drafted around this instrument in the form of BS 7976:2002

The Pendulum is now a standard test method for pedestrian slip resistance in 48 nations

The pendulum tester is suitable for measuring slip resistance for 2 main reasons;

  1. It reproduces the same hydrodynamic uplift characteristics that occur when a person slips in liquid contaminated conditions.
  2. A good correlation exists between readings given by the instrument and the incidence of pedestrian slipping accidents since its creation in the 1940s.

BS 7976-1:2002 – Specification:

This relates to the specification of pendulum testers.
It specifies the features, dimensions and characteristics of the pendulum tester including weight and centre of rotation.

BS 7976-2:2002 – Method of Operation:

Covers the use of the Pendulum for both field and laboratory testing

BS 7976-3:2002 – Method of Calibration:

Specifies a method of calibration for the Pendulum tester. It is applicable for all uses of the Pendulum

UKSRG Guidelines Issue 5 / 2016

The UK Slip Resistance Group Guidelines, Issue 5, 2016, also gives a method for using the Pendulum

Two main rubbers are used with the pendulum tester;

Face Consultants Ltd can test in a variety of locations from Dive Platforms to War Memorials and Train Station Platforms.

Slider 96


Slider 96 (formerly known as the 4’s standard simulated shoe sole rubber) which is used for almost all pedestrian area testing to represent standard shoe rubber.

Slider 55

Pendulum Tester

Slider 55 (formerly known as TRL rubber) is used for testing areas where a representation of in-situ bare foot testing is required, the same rubber is also used for the majority of Vehicular skid assessments and may also be used in areas where training shoes are used for example squash courts, gyms etc.

Further standards include

BS 13036-4:2011 The Pendulum can also be used to test in accordance with BS 13036-4:2011 – Method of measurement of Slip / Skid resistance of a surface.

ASTM E303 Standard test method for measuring surface frictional properties using the British Pendulum

AS/NZS 4586-2013 Slip resistance classification of new pedestrian surfaces

AS/NZS 4663-2013 Slip resistance measurement of existing pedestrian surfaces

AS 3661.1:1993 Slip Resistance of Pedestrian Surfaces

HB 197 An Introductory Guide to the Slip Resistance of Pedestrian Surfaces

HB 198:2014 Guide to the Specification and Testing of Slip Resistance of Pedestrian Surfaces

BS EN 13748-1:2004 Terrazzo Tiles, Terrazzo Tiles for internal use

BS EN 13748-2:2004 Terrazzo Tiles, Terrazzo Tiles for external use

EN 14231: 2003 Natural Stone Test Methods – Determination of Slip Resistance by means of the Pendulum Tester

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