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Acousto-Scan is an independent laboratory and testing institute accredited by NATA in Australia to the requirements of ISO 17025:2005 “General Requirements for the Competence of Calibration and Testing Laboratories

Accredited for playground surfacing and determination of critical fall height to AS4422 Playground surfacing – Specifications, requirements and test method.

Standards Australia have updated the Impact Attenuation Standard AS4422 and AS4685.0 maintenance .

For  council, and  owners of playgrounds, the Standard requires impact testing at the commissioning of new products. This includes tile, factory pad, bark/much, engineered wood systems, wet pour rubber and artificial grass systems, which are pre-certified and quality controlled. These surfaces need to be certified in the laboratory by an ISO17025 NATA laboratory before use, and every three years in the field.

The supplier of the wetpour IAS must supply the client with a test report from an independent NATA ILAC registered test laboratory who is preferably a member of the Sports Contractors Association of SAPIA.

This product test report must show that each product (or thickness of product) being offered has been tested to AS4422:2016 for Critical Fall Height determination. These products are retested every three years.

Loose fill material also needs to be retested every 3 years to confirm that the trees and supply of bark and wood chip are constituent. This is important as the Drop test onsite of bark is not necessary, only the correct depth of installation of the bark is tested. The CFH is not tested. The loose fill material should be installed to a depth of 300mm with a minimum of 200mm.

To determine the critical fall height for a surface the Head impact criteria HIC  is determined by dropping an instrumented headform from various heights onto the surface and measuring the point where one of two safety criteria are exceeded. Head Injury Criterion exceeding 1000, and the maximum acceleration due to the impact exceeding 200g. gmax

CS005 included a third criteria which is the width of the curve , The width of t1-t2 <3ms.

This means that if the impact happens over a very short time period < 3ms the energy that is impacted into the brain is more likely to cause damaged. The short time period impact is like hitting your head on concrete when falling. This causes the impact to reach 200g max or the time of the impact is less than (T1 - T2 < 3ms)

The HIC is basically the energy absorbed  by the impact and when it is more than 1000 the brain can be suspect to a concussion. On a soft impact.

HIC is the energy that is imparted into the head graphed by the area under the curve .

If a surface that is being tested in the laboratory and the surface has a Gmax >200 or a T1-T2<3ms the surface should not be classified as an impact material.  These means it is to hard and stops the head in a short period of time and therefore can crack the skull also causing head trama.

The HIC should reach 1000 HIC before Gmax reaches 200g or T1-T2 <3ms

This way the impact will happen over a period of time >3ms and the impact is not likely to cause injury.

New Standards

Standards Australia Playground Committee CS005 is working on a draft standard for exercise equipment the draft should be out by July 2018.

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