Many blind people can move in space without outside help. They use various tools and techniques, a white cane, echolocation or a guiding dog. To increase their safety and make their travel easier, public buildings are currently being equipped with signs for better and faster orientation of the visually impaired. In the countries of the European Union, this equipment is already mandatory.
If blind or partially sighted people travel alone, they may encounter problems and dangers. They use information from the natural and man-made environment to find direction, including tactile, acoustic and visual information. However, environmental information is not always reliable. Therefore, tactile indicators have been developed that are perceived using a long white cane, shoe soles and the rest of eyesight.
Tactile indicators were invented in Japan in 1965. They are now used around the world to help blind and partially sighted people travel alone. The patterns, dimensions and installation methods of tactile indicators vary from country to country.
OLEJÁR manufactures tactile indicators according to specifications of a particular country, so our products meet international regulations.
To ensure the maximum effect of information transmission via tactile indicators, it is important that they are installed on a smooth surface and that a blind or partially sighted person can identify them without interfering with the irregular surface.
Tactile indicators should be designed and installed on the basis of a simple, logical and consistent arrangement. In this way, they will facilitate independent travel of blind or partially sighted people in places where they travel frequently and encourage their independent travel in places they visit for the first time.
For visually impaired people who have some residual vision, tactile indicators should be easily detectable by visual contrast between them and the surrounding surface. Visual contrast is affected by luminance contrast and colour difference. Good visibility requires sufficient non-glare lighting and visual contrast between the tactile indicators and the surrounding surface. Tactile indicators should be made of a suitable material with the correct surface structure, so that all pedestrians can use them safely and effectively.
Tactile floor indicators are embossed elements on sidewalks and in corridors used to navigate and increase safety of blind pedestrians. We divide them into warning strips, guiding strips and signal strips.
Tactile warning strips (fields) are assembled from tactile warning studs.
Tactile warning studs in the shape of a dome or a truncated cone are recognizable with feet, a white cane and can also be captured visually. They are designed to alert and inform blind and partially sighted people of imminent danger or to provide them with directional instructions.
Tactile floor warning studs are located at the top and bottom of each flight of stairs, on ramps, in front of escalators, on each side of a pedestrian crossing, along public transport platforms (bus stops, train platforms, trams, metro), sea and river traffic, and in all spaces described in the standard of the particular country.
Although tactile indicators are used by blind or partially sighted people, the design and installation of tactile indicators should take into account the needs of people with reduced mobility.
- The tactile warning strip consists of a relief of studs in the shape of a truncated cone or a dome in a diagonal or parallel layout.
- The tactile warning strip alerts to the location of devices, potential danger or change of direction.
- Individual tactile warning studs are ideal for retrofitting.
- Individual tactile warning studs show the floor between the tactile warning studs (great architectural look).
- Quick and easy installation using a template.
- They are suitable for application to interiors and exteriors
Tactile floor strips are used to assemble a tactile guiding line.
Tactile floor strips create a direction on the ground that is recognizable by feet or a white cane and can also be captured visually. The tactile guiding line allows the blind and partially sighted to travel quickly and safely from the place of origin to their destination.
Guiding strips can be used alone or in combination with warning studs.
According to the Disability Discrimination Act, it is mandatory to place tactile guiding lines in shopping centers, train and bus stations, and in all public spaces that are described by the standard.
If tactile guiding strips are surrounded by extremely smooth surfaces, such as terrazzo, plastic or rubber, they can be more easily detected than when they are surrounded by rougher surfaces like concrete, bricks or manufactured tiles. However, greater height than necessary for reliable detection can cause tripping.
- The tactile guiding line is composed of longitudinal ribs that provide directional and guiding instructions.
- Tactile floor guiding strips are ideal for retrofitting.
- Tactile guiding strips show the floor between the individual tactile guiding strips (architecturally great appearance).
- Location and placement of tactile guiding strips in accordance with the applicable national standard.
- Quick and easy installation using a template.
- They are suitable for application to interiors and exteriors.
The signaling strip informs that there is an important place nearby and brings the visually impaired to this place. The role of the signaling strip is to guiding the person to an important place, that's why its lines point vertically to the place it marks. The signaling strip is used to guiding the blind to the pedestrian crossing and to separate the sidewalk from the cycle path.
All tactile indicators must:
- be easily recognizable from the surrounding surface by raised tactile profiles and visual contrast,
- maintain detectability throughout their life,
- be designed to prevent tripping,
- have a non-slip surface,
- be used in a logical and sequential manner,
- be properly installed to last a long time.
Tactile warning studs and guiding strips are made of various materials:
On request, we can produce tactile indicators from other materials.
Tactile warning studs, warning plates, guiding strips and guiding plates are designed to ensure long-lasting stable performance. The materials are highly durable, strong and give a noble impression. They are also characterized by good abrasion resistance, excellent resistance to weathering, ozone, sunlight and oxidation.
Stainless steel 316L
STN 17 349 W Nr. 1.4404 AISI 316L is an austenitic acid-resistant chromium-nickel-molybdenum steel with carbon content of up to 0.03%, highly resistant to acids and corrosion, with a slight tendency to pitting corrosion in chlorine-containing solutions. It is used in exteriors and interiors, where there is high physical (railway stations, airports) and chemical stress (hospitals) of tactile floor elements and contact with sea water (coastal piers).
Stainless steel 303
STN 17 243 W Nr. 1.4305 AISI 303 is an austenitic chrome-nickel steel, sulfur-alloyed. It has slightly impaired mechanical properties and reduced corrosion resistance (higher sulfur content). It is used indoors, where there is no high chemical stress (presence of chlorides).
Tactile warning studs and guiding strips for the blind are produced in various designs - smooth, grooved, pyramidal and with a possibility of inserting a coloured insert into the product.
The surface patterns of tactile indicators meet anti-slip requirements, individual patterns have coefficient of friction from R10 to R13. In interiors, we recommend using the minimum coefficient of friction of tactile elements R10, in exteriors R12.
Warning studs and guiding strips are available with a range of inserts, with different levels of contrast and anti-slip properties.
- anti-slip tape
- TPU insert
- PVC insert
- photoluminescent insert
The anti-slip tape represents abrasive minerals applied to a self-adhesive carrier. It is an effective and globally popular type of insert. It is produced in various colours and grain levels:
- Standard - used in most common situations, provides good friction.
- Coarse - deeper material with an industrial degree of resistance.
- Supercoarse - the insert is designed for the most demanding industrial conditions, very coarse grain prevents collection of dirt and dust.
Polyurethane is a polymer formed by the reaction between isocyanates and polyalcohols. It is produced in various levels of hardness, has a relatively high load capacity, is flexible and resistant to abrasion and impact. It also withstands contact with water, grease and mold, has insulating properties and withstands extreme air temperatures.
Tactile floor warning studs, warning plates, guiding strips and guiding plates are available in these standard and commonly used colours:
Customers can also request their own colouring (with respect to the minimum ordered quantity) so that their tactile warning studs and guiding strips fit into any design, style and colour scheme.
Polyvinyl chloride is the third most widely used synthetic polymer in the world. Our colour insert gives the warning studs and guiding strips even higher quality and a cleaner appearance. There are many colours and three levels of anti-slip properties to choose from.
Glow-in-the-dark insert (photoluminescent)
Some tactile guiding systems perform also the function of marking an escape route in the event of a power failure or fire. For this purpose, we offer guiding strips and warning studs with glow-in-the-dark inserts. It is a thin aluminium sheet coated with photoluminescent material. The standard radiance is 300 mcd/m2 (millicandela per square meter).
On request, we can apply other inserts into the product.
We also offer various metal surface treatments of tactile indicators:
- polished surface
- sandblasted surface
- PVD (physical vapor deposition) surface, black or gold
- bluing of non-ferrous metals
The combination of the surface of the tactile indicator and its insert ensures luminance contrast between the indicator and the surrounding floor surface.
The luminance contrast value between tactile indicators and surrounding surfaces must be greater than 30% using the Michelson formula calculation.
If individual tactile indicators are used, the luminance contrast should be 50% or higher.
If tactile indicators are used to indicate a hazard, the luminance contrast value should be 50% or higher.
If it is not possible to obtain the required luminance contrast between tactile indicators and the surrounding surface, a continuous adjacent strip with a suitable contrast must be used. The contrast strip must have a minimum width of 100 mm.
Tactile indicators must be easily detectable and distinguishable from surrounding surfaces by blind persons. The perception of visual contrast is enhanced by high light. Visual contrast has two components: luminance contrast and colour difference.
Differences in colour and shade
The difference in colour or shade between tactile indicators and surrounding areas increases detectability.
It is necessary to avoid a combination of red and green tones, this is the most difficult one for the human eye to detect.
Safety yellow, as defined in ISO 3864-1, has the best colour visibility (according to research on blind and partially sighted people).
Tactile indicators should be well lit.
Warning studs are produced in the following dimensions:
diameter 15 mm, 25 mm, 30 mm, 35 mm and 50 mm
height 1.5 mm, 3 mm, 3.5 mm, 4 mm, 4.5 mm and 5 mm
Tactile warning studs with a height of 1.5 mm are used to mark the stair edges.
Guiding strips are produced in the following dimensions:
width 17 mm, 25 mm, 30 mm, 35 mm and 40 mm
height 3 mm, 3.5 mm, 4 mm, 4.5 mm and 5 mm
Warning studs and guiding strips with a height of 3 mm, 3.5 mm and 4 mm are mainly used indoors. Tactile warning studs and guiding strips with a height of 4.5 and 5 mm are used for better tactility on rough surfaces in exteriors.
Tactile indicators can be produced in other dimensions and shapes according to customer requirements.
ARRANGEMENT OF WARNING STUDS
Tactile warning studs in the shape of a truncated cone or a domed should be arranged in a square grid, parallely or diagonally at a 45-degree angle to the main direction of walking.
1. Warning strip with warning studs in diagonal layout, vertical and isometric view.
2. Warning strip with warning studs in parallel layout, vertical view.
Recommended distances between tactile warning studs:
|Upper level diameter of warning studs (mm)||Axial distance between warning studs (mm)|
|12||42 to 61|
|15||45 to 63|
|18||48 to 65|
|20||50 to 68|
|25||55 to 70|
The spacing refers to the shortest distance between the centers of two adjacent tactile warning studs, which may be parallel or diagonal at an angle of 45 degrees to the direction of walking. The spacing must be within the ranges shown in the table above.
ARRANGEMENT OF THE GUIDING STRIPS
The tactile guiding line is composed of parallel longitudinal guiding strips with a flat top.
Recommended distances between tactile guiding strips:
|Upper level width of guiding strips (mm)||Axial distance between guiding strips (mm)|
|17||57 to 78|
|20||60 to 80|
|25||65 to 83|
|30||70 to 85|
The layout and number of strips shown are illustrative, your layout may vary depending on the size of the guiding strip used and the overall width of the guiding line according to the standard of the particular country.
Tactile warning studs, warning plates, guiding strips and guiding plates are manufactured in various designs according to the method of anchoring into the floor:
- with pin
- without pin
- with screw openings
It is possible to make screw holes on all guiding strips and warning studs (with and without a colour insert).
We offer three types of pins:
- Welded pin is additionally welded to the finished product.
- Monolithic pin is milled together with the stud from one piece of material.
- Pressed pin is pushed through the product and invisibly milled over. It is used for tactile guiding strips made of brass and bronze, which cannot be welded properly.
All pins are used for drilling installation and have comparable strength. Welded pins are cheaper as more material is saved. The standard size of the monolithic pin is 12 x 6 mm, the welded pin is 16 x 6 mm (length x diameter).
On request, we can produce other dimensions of pins.
We offer four installation methods:
- gluing with liquid glue
- gluing with glue in the tape
- screw mounting
The installation method is chosen with respect to the particular project and floor type.
The most reliable installation. Tactile elements with pins are installed by drilling holes in the floor and then glued with a chemical anchor based on polyester resin. The installation uses core drilling technology and diamond bits, which will ensure clean boreholes without cracks in the pavement. A drilling template is used to drill the holes to achieve a precise layout of tactile elements. One hole is drilled for the warning stud, several holes are drilled for the guiding strip, depending on its length. This installation ensures 100% durability of the guiding system, the customer doesn't have to worry about the release of components from the floor.
Gluing installation with liquid glue
Pinless tactile elements can be installed by applying liquid glue on the floor and sticking the elements in place using a template. The adhesive is determined depending on the material of the product and floor type. During this installation, we propose to test whether the glued elements hold well and do not come loose from the floor.
Gluing installation using glue in tape
Self-adhesive tactile products have pre-glued tape on their bottom side and are installed by removing the foil from the glue. The adhesive tape (glue in tape) is determined depending on the material of the product and floor type.
For self-adhesive installation, a template is used to place the individual elements. During this installation, we propose to test whether the glued elements hold well and do not come loose from the floor.
Please note that during gluing installations, the indicators may come loose from the floor over time due to unforeseen circumstances (most often floor moisture).
The gluing installation of tactile plates is reliable thanks to a large contact surface. We can make all products in a self-adhesive design, which significantly speeds up and simplifies the installation. We also supply arrangement templates for installation. We recommend self-adhesive installation only indoors.
The main advantages of gluing installations is cost saving:
- quick installation
- lower labour costs
- no expensive tools or equipment necessary
For self-adhesive products, there are several adhesives in tape to choose from:
is a double-sided adhesive tape interwoven with a manually tearable cotton fabric and covered with a shear-resistant synthetic rubber adhesive. The upper tape carrier is made of silicone paper. Used for gluing polyurethane warning studs and guiding strips. It is suitable for interiors on smooth non-porous surfaces, such as ceramic tiles, artificial stone and other materials that don't contain plasticizers.
provides high adhesion strength to most surfaces, including many low surface energy plastics. Acrylic glue provides excellent adhesion to concrete, but before gluing to concrete we recommend using a primer (penetration coating).
3M VHB 4936
is an adaptable, very strong acrylic foam tape, which offers higher strength when gluing on soft vinyl and, thanks to the special composition of the adhesive, has increased resistance to plasticizers. Its increased adaptability allows better contact when bonding solid or irregular materials. This product has lower adhesion strength, tensile strength and shear strength than other VHB tapes.
3M VHB 5925
The strongest adhesive tape on the market, suitable for bonding a wide range of materials, including low surface energy materials. The tape has a thickness of 0.5 mm, after sticking down it "fills up" all the unevenness of the contact surface, thus strengthening the connection of the indicator with the floor.
A cheaper alternative to 3M VHB 5925, it is becoming increasingly popular on medium-demanding floor materials.
Tactile indicators for this installation method have countersunk screw openings and are anchored on floors with standard screws. During installation, a template is used to place down the individual elements. This installation method is used on wooden floors, meshed stairs (with bolts and washers) and when installing the tactile guiding system on a carpet.
We only give warranty on drilling installations and we always recommend it as the most reliable method.
Tactile floor indicators can be installed on any surface: wood, marble, granite, asphalt, concrete, tiles, PVC flooring and others.
- Minimal impact on workers / pedestrians during installation.
- Quick and easy installation using a template on all floors.
- Embossed surface is safe and non-slippery.
- Long-lasting performance of the product, impact resistant.
- Low maintenance.
- Walking possible immediately after installation, full load after 24 hours.
- They are modular and their versatility allows an infinite number of configurations to adapt to new or existing surfaces and design styles.
- The materials used ensure stability of the product in interiors and exteriors.
- The products preserve the aesthetics of the floor without limiting tactile performance.
- The enormous variability and flexibility of tactile floor warning studs and guiding strips means they can be easily incorporated into virtually any building without compromising on creative design and architecture.
- Whether used in new or older facilities, they always work the same way.
- Our tactile systems have proven themselves in banks, museums, railway stations, universities, courts, exhibition grounds, etc.