All Keope products are tested and classified according to the UPEC standards, in order to certify their appropriateness with regard to the intended uses. The tests which the tiles undergo at the "Centre Scientifique du Bâtiment (CSTB)" - in accordance with current ISO regulations - are extremely selective and are aimed at establishing the resistance and performance of the products with respect to four fundamental "dimensions": resistance to wear (U), perforation (P), water (E) and chemical attack (C).
All tiles can be classified in accordance with UPEC standards. This classification makes it possible to find out easily the most appropriate uses for each product and to compare products from the point of view of their technical performance. UPEC certification is carried out by subjecting the tiles to various tests organised by the CSTB using ISO test methods in order to test their technical characteristics and check their behaviour.
A number is associated with each letter to indicate the performance of the material. The higher the number, the better are the technical characteristics of the material examined.
DETERMINATION OF THE DYNAMIC COEFFICIENT OF FRICTION DCOF
The method involves the use of a small, autonomously moving machine to measure slip resistance. A standardised rubber pad is dragged over wet and dry tile surfaces, under constant conditions.
The measured value, the dynamic coefficient of friction, helps to determine to what extent the tile surface contributes or otherwise towards slippage when walking over it. The test is described in ANSI standards and tiles are divided into 3 classes, based on results.
Based on intended use or the applied standard, the designer can request the passing of certain values. ANSI standards already prescribe certain minimum values — for ramps, for example, values greater than 0.46 are required.
COEFFICIENT OF FRICTION ACCORDING TO THE BS 7976-2:2002 STANDARD (CEN/TS 16165, ANNEX C) PENDULUM FRICTION TEST
The pendulum is the most widespread anti-slip test in the world; even though there are several types, the only difference between some is in the expression of the result. They all measure slip using a rubber or leather skid on a dry or wet surface, which is moved to simulate the trampling of a person. The BS 7976-2:2002 describes the English pendulum for which values greater than 36 indicate surfaces with a low slip potential; values ranging from 25 to 35 indicate moderate slip potential, whereas values lower than 24 indicate high slip potential.
SLIP RESISTANCE /DIN 51097
The test requires a person to walk barefoot over a wet surface (a wetting agent is used) which is gradually inclined. When the test person first slips, he stops the surface inclination: this angle expresses the slip resistance of the tested surface. This is a "direct" determination method insofar as surface slip resistance is measured directly on the pedestrian. Each floor tile classification (from A to C) corresponds to different intended uses. The test is repeated twice, with two different test people.
SLIP RESISTANCE /DIN 51130
The test requires a person wearing standardised footwear to walk on a wet surface (standardised oil) which is progressively inclined. When the test person first slips, the surface inclination stops: this angle expresses the slip resistance of the tested surface. The test is repeated twice, with two different test people. This is a "direct" determination method insofar as surface slip resistance is measured directly on the pedestrian. Floor tile classifications (from R9 to R13) are required for different intended uses.
WATER ABSORPTION / UNI EN ISO 10545-3
The coefficient of absorption indicates to what extent water permeates a ceramic product and as such is extremely important in determining the product's mechanical qualities. Porcelain tiles are one of the least porous materials on the market, with a water absorption coefficient of less than 0.5%.
DETERMINATION OF RESISTANCE TO STAINS / UNI EN ISO 10545-14
This test is carried out on ceramic tile test surfaces to determine how easy it is to remove different kinds of stains.
Staining agents - tincture of iodine, olive oil and chromium green - are applied to at least 5 previously cleaned and dried test surface samples and left on for 24 hours. Stains are then removed, starting from the mildest cleaning agent. If ineffective, increasingly stronger agents are used until the stain is removed. Material is then classified on a scale of 1 to 5, based on the ease of stain removal.
BENDING STRENGTH/ BREAKING STRENGTH - UNI EN ISO 10545-4 + AMERICAN STANDARD ASTM C648
The test method determines the force required to break a tile, under specific conditions. A force is applied on the middle of the tile which is placed on two stands, positioned 1 cm from the edge. For the obtained value to be comparable across different sizes, strength is converted into stress (N) and into modulus (N/mm2), for which the standard defines a minimum acceptable value.
In the case of the American standard, the test is carried out on a tripod stand and a force is applied to the middle of the tile. Ultimate tensile strength must be >= 250 lbs
RESISTANCE TO SURFACE ABRASION - EN ISO 10545-7 (GLAZED - GL- TILES)
Resistance to surface abrasion is the capacity of a surface to resist wear caused by trampling or the rubbing of mechanical parts. Wear depends on mechanical agents which ceramic material comes into contact with (such as carts, rubber or leather soles); on material on the surface (water, sand, mud) and traffic intensity. The standard divides tiles into five PEI classes, according to the intended use.
MAZAUD METHOD / CAHIER CSTB 3778_V3 10/2018, ANNEX 10
The passing of this test determines U4 in the French UPEC classification. During the test a 60 kg weight is positioned on a steel wheel which is turned 22320 times (approximately 14 km) on a 30x30 tile positioned on a rotating stand. The test is passed when no surface wear is observed after rolling