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Gate Safety & Force Testing

Several weeks ago, we wrote an article on the new SEA Position Gate device, demonstrating how an SEA Half Tank or Mini Tank system could pass force tests with ease. But what is a Force Test? Put simply when a powered gate meets an obstruction, be it a person, animal or vehicle, the gate applies a force to that person. A small force from a safe gate would result in, at worst, a bruise. However, a large force applied by an unsafe electric gate could result in serious injury or severe property damage.

The gate Force Tester was created to help electric gate installers test the safety systems on their gates. The test results show that the installed gates comply with EN12453, EN12445 and EN13859 safety legislation. Proof of compliance is required for any gate operated by a business or in a public place.

Force Testers measure the initial impact force and how the force changes over time. The results combine to show a graph like the example on the left (used in our previous blog). Force is shown on the vertical X axis and time on the horizontal Y axis. Notice that a larger force, shown by the pink area, is acceptable for a short time on initial impact, providing it drops away over time through the yellow area before disappearing completely.

Passing a force test can be achieved in different ways and each gate system is unique. Some can use current sensing systems such as our Field or Surf. Others will make use of encoders, like our Half Tank or Lepus. For the rest, safety edges and light curtains can still be used to make any gate system safe. In each case the same force test will prove if the chosen safety system is performing its roll correctly.

Force Testers as pictured above have revolutionised gate safety and every day thousands of force tests are carried out across the county. As a member of the DHF (Door and Hardware Federation) SEA UK is at the fore front of gate safety legislation. We regularly provide training for full compliance, which covers: the proper use of force testers, how to use force test data to produce hand over documents and how-to CE mark gates.

Contact us today for more information!