Keeping people safe with floor graphics

Authored By David Morgan, Technical Assistance, Drytac Europe

Floor graphics are an effective tool in many scenarios and are increasingly used to guide the public around a space safely. By reminding people to keep their distance, often acting as a visual barrier, floor graphics can play a key role in maintaining a safe but efficient flow of shoppers and other groups. However, if the intention is to protect people the last thing anyone wants is to create an injury risk.

To ensure floor graphics are appropriate for their setting, invest in the right product. When public safety is a priority, it’s not enough to use any self-adhesive graphics media that sticks to the floor – only a product designed specifically for this application should be used. This, partly, is because it will have been tested and rated for its slip resistance.

The test standards used to measure slip resistance vary across different geographical regions and even within the same country. In the USA, ANSI/NFSI B101.3 is commonly referenced but you will also see ASTM E303 and ANSI A137.1 /A326.3. In Europe, look for EN 13036-4 or DIN 51130. AS HB198:2014 and AS/NZS 4586 are used in Australia and New Zealand. Comparison between the standards is difficult as each will either differ slightly in test method or by using completely different instruments, but all are essentially measuring the same thing: floor friction.

The tables below go into further detail and give some guidance on the recommended rating required for the intended environment. For example, with DIN 51130, slip resistance is measured with R ratings: an R9-rated product is only suitable for dry indoor areas such as offices; R10 would be suitable for areas that are kept mostly dry but have potential for spillages such as supermarket aisles, hospital corridors and warehouses; while R11 can be used in areas that can get wet like external walkways, bathrooms or serving areas. It is important to carefully consider all the conditions a floor graphic will be subjected to – and not just wet or dry situations. Contaminates like oil will affect floor friction more so than water, floors at a gradient are also different to level floors, and the amount or type of traffic endured by the graphic will impact the durability.

Fire ratings are also applicable to floor graphics. Ensure all products used in a public space have achieved a sufficient fire safety certification. The manufacturer or supplier of your selected floor graphics product will be able to tell you both the slip rating and fire rating – and to help you choose the right media for your specific environment.

Another reason for choosing a specialist floor graphics media is to avoid a trip hazard. These products will have been developed to adhere securely to most typical floor surfaces – but, again, check your intended setting – without tearing or curling at the edges. They may have been engineered to withstand heavy foot traffic, high-heeled shoes and machinery without being damaged.

It’s important to keep floor graphics clean, and crucial if they display safety or directional information. Even with a specifically designed product, special care should be taken to minimise the adhesive’s exposure to water and cleaning products as these can degrade the bond to the floor and create a tripping hazard. You can minimise the risk of lifting by edge-sealing the graphic upon application.

The print itself should withstand cleaning chemicals too – as well as potential fading from UV light – so check that the product is compatible with both your cleaning solutions and the ink technology used to print it. Most specialist floor graphics films are designed for vibrant, long-lasting results with all major digital printing technologies.

Safety is paramount. If you have any questions or concerns, contact your product manufacturer or supplier for expert advice.

Click here for a pdf of the above!

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ArtSoft weathers temperature challenges to collect award with Drytac Polar Premium

ArtSoft Expo Solutions has completed an eye-catching project for the Grocery Innovations Canada conference in challenging weather conditions, thanks to Drytac Polar Premium printable vinyl. 

Founded over 20 years ago, ArtSoft provides complete trade show display solutions to customers across North America, offering services from project management all the way through design, manufacturing, logistics, on-site installation and dismantling to storage.

For three consecutive years ArtSoft has worked with the Canadian Federation of Independent Grocers on its Grocery Innovations Canada event. Most recently, this project included a building wrap design inspired by virtual reality – an application recognized by Big Picture magazine’s Best of Wide Format Awards.

On such a large-scale design, it was essential for ArtSoft’s in-house designer to carefully cross-check elements to enable application with minimal issues, for the production team to ensure the final product’s print consistency to make it appear as if one seamless piece of work, and for the installation team to apply the design quickly and without problems.

Every step of the process depended on using the right printable media. Joe Chan, President, ArtSoft Expo Solutions, comments: “We tested over ten different types of adhesive vinyl to find the best to install onto glass and aluminium trim. At the end we picked Drytac Polar Premium as when we were installing the wrap in October we faced a big challenge of temperature changes: in the morning it could be 10ºC (50ºF) and at noon it might get up to 30ºC (86ºF).

“With Polar Premium, our installers managed to work very well during the installation process. Furthermore, there is no residue left on the glass or aluminium frame surfaces after removal.”

Drytac developed its Polar range specifically to deliver exceptional quality performance in extreme temperature ranges. Compatible with all standard digital printing technologies, Polar Premium is an ideal choice for stunning graphics on flat surfaces such as external walls and windows.

ArtSoft sourced Polar Premium from ND Graphics, who also supplies Drytac FloorTac for floor graphics – currently used by ArtSoft for social distancing floor stickers.

“I enjoy working with Drytac products and services,” Joe adds. “Before the start of the Grocery Innovations Canada project I was shown several types of Drytac materials and received all the samples that I needed for testing. Thanks to ND Graphics and Drytac this was a very successful project.”

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Drytac announces new PVC-free floor graphic solutions in Europe

Drytac has launched two new PVC-free floor graphic products in Europe to meet the growing demand for non-slip, easy-to-apply solutions in this market.

Drytac Polar® Floor PET 170 is a new print media for indoor floor graphics that meets essential anti-slip requirements without the need for lamination. Part of the popular Polar range, Polar Floor PET 170 PVC-free polyester film has achieved a post-printed anti-slip rating of R10 according to DIN 51130, has been classed as low slip potential by the UK Pendulum Test and is certified to the US ANSI A137.1 slip test. These credentials are crucial for ensuring safety throughout floor graphics campaigns in high-traffic areas.

Drytac has also ensured Polar Floor PET 170 is scuff- and tear-resistant for short-term indoor applications – even able to withstand high-heeled shoes – so printed graphics remain visible and vibrant. The white, ink-receptive film has a textured, matte finish that is perfect for directional notices, retail promotions, POS advertising and decals in place for up to six months.

Polar Floor PET 170 is coated on one side with a clear, pressure-sensitive adhesive which enables installers to apply, reposition and remove graphics easily. This dimensionally stable film has been tested to endure extreme temperatures and is compatible with standard flooring surfaces including ceramic tiles, sealed wood, concrete, waxed vinyl and short pile carpets.

Also new from Drytac is SpotOn® SynTac Floor. One half of a two-part solution with Drytac’s Interlam EcoTex PVC-free overlaminating film, this new product has been developed with the environment in mind. Featuring Drytac’s unique SpotOn dot-pattern adhesive, SpotOn SynTac Floor is easily applied to and removed from smooth floor surfaces including ceramic tiles, sealed wood and concrete. When paired with Interlam EcoTex, this printable matte white, self-adhesive film gives floor graphics a pebble-texture finish.

Like Polar Floor PET 170, the SpotOn SynTac Floor and Interlam EcoTex combination solution is a safe choice for short-term indoor floor graphics. Interlam EcoTex has been tested in accordance with DIN 51130 standards and has been awarded an R10 anti-slip rating to give end users peace of mind.

“Floor graphics play many roles in a wide range of environments but it’s essential they remain safe for public use,” says Shaun Holdom, Global Product Manager, Drytac. “Polar Floor PET 170 from Drytac has been designed to be non-slip and scuff-resistant without the need for lamination so users can apply them straightaway, speeding up the process for fast-moving projects.

“Drytac’s SpotOn SynTac Floor and Interlam EcoTex solution provides an environmentally friendly option to ensure users retain their sustainability credentials while creating impactful, safe floor graphics.”

Drytac Polar Floor PET 170 has a thickness of 170μ (6.8 mil) and is available in widths up to 1524mm. SpotOn SynTac Floor and Interlam EcoTex have a combined thickness of 240μ and is available in roll widths of up to 1370mm.

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Warwick Printing builds excitement for new store with striking Drytac graphics

Warwick Printing has installed a huge storefront wall graphic using Drytac ReTac, building excitement for a new beauty store.

Founded in 1995 as an offset press commercial printer, Warwick Printing has increasingly moved into digital printing and adopted wide format technologies in the last two years. This has helped the Lethbridge, AB business to increase its client base and to offer new services to its existing customers.

In March 2020 Warwick Printing undertook a substantial wall graphics project to promote a new Sephora store in Park Place Mall in Lethbridge. Sephora sells cosmetics and beauty products from over 2,600 stores in 34 countries around the world, attracting loyal customers and a significant following online.

Lee Weighill, Owner of Warwick Printing, says that it ‘seems many people are excited about this store judging by the comments heard during the install’.

He explains that his team worked with a USA-based design firm on the hoarding, which measured 54′ wide by 12′ high (16.5m x 3.7m).

“We did a site survey, sent the updated specs to their design team, and had the files back printed and installed within four to five days. The actual install took about six hours,” says Lee.

“We chose Drytac ReTac because we have used it previously and know the properties of it, what to expect when printing and installing. Because the panels were very wide (52″) and were over 12 feet tall we wanted a fairly thick, stable vinyl and also one that would be easy to remove in a couple of months.”

Drytac ReTac Smooth 150 is a polymeric printable PVC film coated with ReTac ultra-removable adhesive technology. This enables easy installation, repositioning and removal of indoor wall graphics, even on curved, textured or angled surfaces. ReTac Smooth 150 has several fire ratings, making it suitable for public areas that require compliance with strict fire regulations such as malls and retail stores. This 150 micron (6 mil) product is available in matte and gloss finishes and is compatible with latex, UV, solvent and eco-solvent printing technologies for stunning wall graphics.

“We use Drytac products whenever possible because they perform excellently for us, both printing and installing,” says Lee. “We use on a regular basis ReTac Smooth and Textures in the Canvas finish, SpotOn, Printable Eclipse for banners, Polar polymeric films and Polar Premium, Interlam Pro textured laminate and have recently done a few projects with Polar Chrome Silver Satin which is really cool stuff. We love all the Drytac products we have used so far, all are excellent.”

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