* Ulster University User Experience Report
SENSTEC are a NI family owned business that have developed a unique type of shower tray.
In the current market, all shower trays have to be CE marked in accordance with BS EN 14527:2016, Shower Trays for Domestic Purposes. However, within this British standard no reference is made to anti-slip properties. So for a barefoot, wet and soapy environment anti-slip properties are not considered.
Because anti-slip properties are not addressed in the CE marking, marketers have exploited the concept of anti-slip post-sprayed properties in their small print with a limited guarantee on slip resistance properties, typically three years and limitations of use - e.g. not allowed to use hair dyes with their products.
Classic Marble (Showers) Ltd have taken the relevant British and German standards which deal with slip potential (BS 7976-2:2002 and DIN 51 097) and developed a shower tray which comfortably meets the lowest slip potential that can be declared. The company have even added a soaping agent to the tray before testing to the British Standard and double the level of soaping agent as required by the German standard and still comfortably exceed the lowest slip potential.
The company’s product is unique because the anti-slip properties are tooled into the design of the shower tray (i.e. not a post spraying operation). The tooling design consists This means that the shower tray anti-slip properties will be guaranteed for the lifetime of the product and there are no limitations on use, i.e. you will be able to use hair dyes with the tray.
The specific issue the company needs addressed is how the end user will perceive the experience of showering on the new surface, across a range of ages. They require external independent validation as to whether this new design will be accepted in the market or if they need to reconsider the design before production. The company have obtained an innovation voucher from Invest NI and approached the Podiatry department at Ulster to devise a small trial on a sample of people, replicating a showering experience, complete the trial and obtain feedback/results on the perceived comfort/added safety provided by the product. The company have requested a report and a recommendation as to whether to proceed to production or review the surface design.