Testing

TuffTrak® Ground Protection Solutions, and parent company Checkers Safety Group, has worked with industry leaders and safety managers to field-test our products under various conditions to evaluate the safety and effectiveness of each product.

Our heavy duty ground protection solutions undergo rigorous laboratory testing to ensure the design and materials meet our high quality standards.

As part of our testing procedures, our TuffTrak® mats are compression tested at the National Physical Laboratory (NPL) in the UK under laboratory conditions.

Our High Density Polyethylene and Ultra High Molecular Weight Polyethylene materials have undergone testing on their material properties for chemical resistance, electrical properties, physical properties, and thermal properties. Further, we continually monitor material process control and verify specified properties

Finite Elemental Analysis via a computer simulation is also undertaken to calculate deflection for different California Bearing Ratio (CBR) values at various loading conditions applied to a 508 x 254 mm foot print area at the centre of the mat.

However, we understand that our mats are subject to a large number of different uses, and ground conditions, and regardless of the standard laboratory results, the selection of ground protection matting products for a project will depending on those specific ground conditions.

TuffTrak® has a team highly experienced engineers who are able to provide our customers with support and expert advice as to how to get the best performance from our products on their projects.

Load Compression Testing

A compression test is a method for determining the behavior of materials under a compressive load. Compression tests are conducted by loading the test specimen between two plates, and then applying a force to the specimen by moving the crossheads together. During the test, the specimen is compressed, and deformation versus the applied load is recorded. The compression test is used to determine elastic limit, proportional limit, yield point, yield strength, and (for some materials) compressive strength.

Thermal Analysis

Thermal analysis measures physical or chemical changes in a material as a function of temperature. Two common complimentary techniques in this category are differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) and thermogravimetric analysis (TGA). These methods are typically used to determine the material properties of organic polymers as the sample is heated or cooled in a controlled manner or held isothermally for a specified time. Differential thermal analysis (DTA) is a method similar to DSC, but performed at higher temperatures for metals, minerals, ceramics, and glasses.

Hardness

Durometer testing is used to determine the hardness of thermoplastic elastomers, vulcanized rubber, elastomeric materials, cellular materials, gel-like materials, and other plastics that are unsuitable for measurement by conventional Rockwell or micro-indentation hardness testing. The durometer apparatus measures the deflection of a calibrated spring as the indenter is pressed into the material either manually (by hand) or using an operating stand.

Determining the use of ground protection mats

The California bearing ratio (CBR) is a penetration test for evaluation of the mechanical strength of natural ground, subgrades and basecourses beneath new carriageway construction. It was developed by the California Department of Transportation before World War II.

The basic site test is performed by measuring the pressure required to penetrate soil or aggregate with a plunger of standard area. The measured pressure is then divided by the pressure required to achieve an equal penetration on a standard crushed rock material. The CBR test is described in ASTM Standards D1883-05 (for laboratory-prepared samples) and D4429 (for soils in place in field), and AASHTO T193. The CBR test is fully described in BS 1377 : Soils for civil engineering purposes : Part 4, Compaction related tests, and in Part 9: In-situ tests.

The CBR rating was developed for measuring the load-bearing capacity of soils used for building roads. The CBR can also be used for measuring the load-bearing capacity of unimproved airstrips or for soils under paved airstrips. The harder the surface, the higher the CBR rating. A CBR of 3 equates to tilled farmland, a CBR of 4.75 equates to turf or moist clay, while moist sand may have a CBR of 10. High quality crushed rock has a CBR over 80. The standard material for this test is crushed California limestone which has a value of 100, meaning that it is not unusual to see CBR values of over 100 in well compacted areas.