The Small diameter ball test
The small ball is basically a small steel ball-bearing. It is placed into a calibrated machine and fired with varying levels of force, measured in Newtons (N) at the test sample until the surface of the laminate has been broken. The force required to break the laminate surface is then recorded as the small diameter ball test result.
The Large diameter ball test
This involves testing five samples of laminate flooring, laid over 3mm foam underlay, by dropping a solid steel ball of a specified weight and diameter, onto the samples from gradiating heights. A sheet of specified carbon paper is placed on top of the laminate flooring. This carbon paper will leave an imprint on the laminate flooring sample, caused by the falling steel ball. In effect, the drop height increases in 50mm increments until cracking of the laminate surface or an imprint measuring greater than 10mm in diameter has been caused. The drop height at which such damage is caused is recorded. Obviously the greater the height, the greater the products’ impact resistance.
Interpreting the Results
The European Standard EN13329 provides a table in which both small and large diameter ball test results are tabulated to formulate an Impact Class (IC) between 1 and 3, with IC3 being the best result achievable.
How Quick Step 800 Long Plank Performed
Quick Step 800 Long Plank achieved IC1 in the Impact Class testing prescribed by EN13329.
Again, while Impact Resistance might seem an important factor when deciding on a laminate flooring, factors like joining system, moisture resistance and wear resistance should also be considered to provide for a balanced decision making process.