As mandatory surface friction testing for Helidecks is becoming more and more likely, it will be imperative that Helideck operators and maintenance teams have the correct equipment in order to comply with the impending regulations
There are multiple continuous surface friction testing devices available on the market to choose from, all with slightly different methods for measuring friction.
A recent study of Helidecks friction measurement techniques has concluded that the test method should involve a friction measuring device that employs the braked wheel technique, is able to electronically control the wetness of the deck during testing, includes electronic data collection, storage and processing and allows the whole of the deck surface to be covered to a resolution of not less than 1m2.
The minimum average surface friction value of 0.65 should be achieved across the area inside the touchdown/positioning marking, outside the touchdown/positioning marking and on the paint markings themselves. This should help to ensure that suitable levels of surface friction are available consistently at all Helidecks and allow operators to monitor levels in order to take effective action when levels begin to drop and improve safety.
Findlay Irvine has developed a continuous surface friction-measuring device, micro GripTester mGT which meets all the criteria and operates in push mode. The computer controlled water delivery system ensures that a controlled set of accurate data is collected allowing friction to be monitored constantly and delivering trusted results. The simple to use software installed on the micro GripTester’s touch screen display guides the user through the friction test procedure and stores the data straight onto the unit’s built in hard drive or directly onto a USB drive, to allow for easy transfer of data.
The micro GripTester will apparently give a true surface friction measurement regardless of the location – from offshore Oil rigs, mobile support shipping, to hospital Helidecks and major Airports – and can be stored easily, weighing in at just 23kg.