By Noemi Nagy
- Free Movement Floors
Testing TR34 (4th edition) Floor Tolerances
Your being here and reading this paragraph tells me that you are a forward-thinking and skilled concrete floor installer. As such, you will find useful information on floor project management, on how to increase your customers' satisfaction, and on how to enhance your company's image in the eyes of your clients.
So just bear with me, and work your way through the post. If you liked it, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, and ask for a sample TR34 Free Movement Floor Tolerance Report.
Thank you for your interest!
Lack of feedback
I will start by asking flat out: Do you routinely measure the flatness and levelness of your floors? Please note: checking the floor's level at doors, drains, or along the construction joints does not qualify as flatness measurement.
If your answer to the above question is NO, don't worry. By most concrete floor installers flatness testing has been viewed as a major pain in the neck. And I do have to admit that I completely understand them, and I agree with them 100%. Why would you spend hours kneeling on the floor and trying to read the gap under the straight edge...??? There is no use in doing that, you hardly learn anything about the flatness and it is extremely time consuming. In other words, incompetent and inefficient.
And yet, feedback is important. Feedback means: information about the floor's flatness which is directly linked to the performance of the work crews and the operation of the flooring company.
Floor flatness is among the most important characteristics of any concrete floor. Adequate floor flatness provides good rideability for lift trucks, besides, flat floors are pleasing to the eye.
Flatness testing provides the feedback that labor and managers in a flooring company unknowingly demand. Feedback assists people to know how they perform. Without feedback employees lose motivation and they won't feel involved in the company anymore...there goes your high standard...Floor flatness testing "happens" to give an objective and unbiased feedback. It is one of the most powerful, yet under used management tools.
As a result of 30 years of innovation and experience, today, floor flatness testing is not as demanding as it used to be. As a matter of fact, it is fairly simple and quick. Any concrete flooring company can incorporate flatness testing in their daily routine.
DIY (Do It Yourself!)
Although our floor profiling devices -D-Meter and F-Meter- were primarily engineered for measuring FF and FL (floor tolerances set forth in ASTM E 1155), the newly developed companion software package allows anyone to test floors and analyse the collected data versus all major European specifications: TR34, DIN and EN 15620.
Do It Yourself! If you have a computer that runs Excel(R), and you have an hour to learn how the floor profiling instrument works, you are pretty much prepared to test your floor for any of the above tolerance systems.
Since 95% of all industrial concrete floors is so-called Free Movement or Random Traffic (lift trucks can travel in any direction), l decided to discuss only those in this post.
TR34 defines four classifications for Free Movement floors: FM1, FM2, FM3, FM4, and it looks at two distinct features of the floor's surface: Property F (the change in elevation difference, elevation difference readings every 300mm) and Property E (elevation difference between fixed points 3m apart).
Property F (used to be Property II in TR34 3rd edition) is to control flatness.
Property E (used to be Property IV in TR34 3rd edition) is to control levelness.
In addition, the level of the floor is controlled to datum.
It is not the goal of this post to explain TR34 FM floor tolerances, but to let you know that both F-Meter and D-Meter is capable of measuring Property F and Property E.
(You can purchase TR34 4th edition at the British Concrete Society's bookshop, @ www.concretebookshop.com)
Upon testing, you can download the collected data to Excel(R) and analyse versus the specified tolerance class (FM1/FM2/FM3/FM4).
The generated test report shows the analysis of the individual runs, then combines them to show the overall compliance or incompliance of the floor.
TR34 Free Movement Floor Tolerance Results
The test results are also shown in graphical format.
Run #9, Property F and E versus TR34 FM2
Run #10, Property F and E versus TR34 FM2
Any flooring company can test floor flatness for themselves and prepare the test reports automatically (using the software package) without involving an often expensive specialty testing firm.
Initially, as a contractor, you might be wary - maybe even hostile.
Much history has shown, however, that this skepticism will soon give way to the realization that our technology actually offers both general and flooring contractors enormous advantages in securing their customer's satisfaction, in improving the quality of the work, and in enhancing their corporate prestige and image.
Just to give you a few examples:
Without modern floor profiling instruments (D-Meter and F-Meter), it is quite impossible to test large areas on a daily basis.
Thus, you miss out on the chance to give your employees their much deserved objective daily feedback. This feedback would help them identify what they are currently doing well and what areas require improvement.
Testing and documenting the results protects you from unwarranted claims.
According to public belief, contractors are not the most trustworthy people on Earth. Imagine the impression that you could make on your customers by conducting daily flatness testing as part of your QUALITY CONTROL PROTOCOL, and sending them the test reports after each day's pour. This could make them certain that you are delivering what you promised and they get what they pay for.
Soon, you will have a really good reputation in your area and might even be able to increase your income - there are numerous examples of this.
Therefore, if you are an installer of industrial concrete floors, I would like to encourage you to test the flatness of your floors.