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United-Fram, SABS resolve test dispute

1st Jun 2008 , Ed

PRETORIA (SA) – United-Fram Footwear and the SA Bureau of Standards have settled a dispute over testing which had “threatened to undermine United-Fram’s faith in the SABS’ ability to perform tests”, and which potentially also threatened the future of safety footwear standards and testing in SA.

At issue was a tear strength test for soling, which a United-Fram style, being tested for a government tender, ‘failed’ in three successive tests. United-Fram production director Kenny Lazarus took a fourth sample and stayed to observe the testing. After watching, he felt it was not being conducted according to the specification.
The test was for ISO 20347 and ISO 20345, which require that the outersole complies to 5.8.2 (Tear Strength - When non-leather outersoles are tested in accordance with EN ISO 20344:2004, 8.2, the tear strength shall be not less than 8kN/m for a density higher than 0,9 g/cm3 or 5 N/m for a material with a density lower or equal to 0,9 g/cm3). The test method, method A of ISO 34-1: 1994, states “the test piece shall be taken transverse to the longitudinal axis in the waist region, if possible”. It also states the “test pieces shall be cut from a sheet of uniform thickness”.
“My reading of that is that the test refers to stuck-on footwear, not direct injection moulded footwear,” Lazarus said. “The test method calls for a sample piece 100mm long, of uniform thickness – you try to find that on a direct injection sole with a cleated tread pattern.”

United-Fram took up the issue with SATRA, “and were told they couldn’t do the test either”, MD Jeff Burland said. The outcome was a joint technical discussion on June 6 at SABS Head Office, between the SABS and United-Fram, and chaired by Alexis Trollip, of Standards SA (StanSA).

The following resolutions were taken and signed:
“In future when samples need to be tested for tearing strength of outer soles against ISO 34-1 Method A, and an appropriate size or thickness of sample cannot be obtained due to the nature and design of the outer sole, the test report shall not state a failure. It shall have a footnote depicting that the test could not be conducted due to the above.
“Alexis Trollip to formulate a request to the ISO TC 94 SC3 WG 1 & 2 convenor, Horst Heid to amend ISO Test Method 34-1 method A.”




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