KRADAL FLOORING - It's an Attitude towards an active & sustained, quality of life.

A steadily ageing population, along with increased life expectancy, has resulted in an increasing number of elderly people who suffer falls. 

These falls often result in injuries and associated trauma. The cost of injuries is considerable and as the proportion of elderly people increase, the costs associated with injuries through falls will also increase, see

Options to Prevent Falls Injuries in the Elderly
  • Hip protectors/head protectors/personal air bags – These prevention methods have shown some success. An identified issue is whether people will want and remember to wear them at all times (including during the night). Hip protectors are the least cumbersome but in a study by Kerse, N., Peri, K., Fitch, J. Hip Protectors Compliance Study, prepared for the Accident Compensation Corporation, Wellington, New Zealand in 2006 found that at six months after the start of the trial, only 48% of elders were still wearing hip protectors.
  • Vinyl and hard floorings like marble, wood, concrete provide no or very little impact absorbance and because they have no compliance are not comfortable to stand on especially for elderly people.
  • Carpet and underlay – these provide some measure of impact absorbance, although Kradal reduces the peak force of impact by 20-40% compared to carpet and underlay. Also carpet has the following other issues;
    • When an elderly person walks they do not lift their feet as high as for a younger person, so consequently they tend to “scuff” their feet upon the floor. Carpet with its thick weave tends to catch the “scuffing” feet and create a tripping hazard.
    • Carpet is not waterproof so is not suitable for certain applications
    • Carpet can create the potential to grow bacteria and microbes.
  • Bedside mats – soft and thick “crash” mats are placed beside the bed. These are effective in reducing the injuries but have the following drawbacks;
  • They are too soft to bring in equipment such as wheelchairs and mechanical devices close to the bed.
  • They are very unstable for elderly people to stand on while trying to enter of exit the bed.
  • It creates a large unstable step (at the edge of the mat) that can increase the chance of tripping and hence falling.
  • They only cover a small area around the bed anyone not falling as they immediately enter or exit the bed will not be protected.
  • Soft compliant floors like those used in children’s playground safety areas – there are two key problems with this approach.
  • Soft floors are not practical for moving wheelchairs, walkers, mechanical bed hoists etc around on.
  • Soft floors are less stable for the elderly to stand and walk on, so halving the injury rate but doubling the fall rate would not improve the situation.
Key properties of an effective and practical solution
  • Have a high level of impact absorbance.
  • Be of sufficient hardness so equipment that is required for elderly care can still be used without difficulty.
  • Be of a similar thickness to current flooring products so where there are transitions occurring, they are minimal and easily handled with standard trimmings.
  • Be waterproof and easy to clean.
  • Have a non-slippery surface, especially when wet.
  • Also the solution should improve the quality of life for the elderly – reduce noise, provide thermal insulation, and be comfortable to stand on.
  • It should have anti-bacterial properties.
The Solution – Kradal Floor Tiles

Technical Description
  • The flooring is very firm and comfortable to walk on. Therefore it does not increase the risk of an elderly person having a fall. It is comparable thickness to other flooring materials at 12mm (approximately ½ inch).
  • In the advent of a fall the load is spread on the hard top surface and then dissipated through the closed celled foam base layer. This causes the peak load reduction of around 70% and hence the reduction in the likelihood of injury in the advent of a fall. The testing was carried out at Otago University according to Standard ASTM F 355-01-A. 
  • The product is waterproof and light stable. Consequently it can be used both inside (even in bathrooms) and also outside.
  • The flooring is an excellent heat insulator and would reduce energy costs when used in a building.
  • It is also a very good sound insulator, which would make it very suitable in a retirement home, hospital or high-rise apartment.
  • The product contains a fungicide / bactericide.
  • The product contains fire retardant.
Kradal flooring is currently made as 500mm x 500mm tiles in a moulding process. Kradal has passed all other relevant tests required for flooring. Tests have been carried out by University of Otago, Agresearch Ltd, and BRANZ Ltd in New Zealand (Agresearch Ltd and BRANZ Ltd are government testing facilities in New Zealand) - Test reports are available.

Fully Recyclable
Acma Industries have developed Kradal Flooring with the intention that the flooring be fully recyclable. Obsolete tiles can be granulated and ground up and then used as a filler in the manufacture of subsequent tiles.

Sustainable Practice
We have used a proportion of renewable based polyols in the formulation.

Kradal tiles have excellent heat insulation properties that could considerably reduce the energy requirement in a typical building for temperature control (heating or air conditioning).

Papers due to be published:
Study of cost effectiveness of impact absorbent flooring in reducing fractures amongst institutionalised elderly. Frida Njogu, Paul Brown / School of Population Health, Tamaki Campus, University of Auckland.SAFETY FLOORING: ENERGY ABSORPTION, POSTURAL STABILITY, AND GAIT PATTERNS Robertson MC1, Milburn PD2, Carman AB2, Campbell AJ1 / 1 Dunedin School of Medicine, University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand / 2 School of Physiotherapy, University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand

    ID105 - Product Testing Summary report