The latest anti-slip stainless steel surface designed and developed by Outokumpu and Schmidt uses a cold rolling process to create a deeper embossed pattern, resulting in thinner sheets and minimized material usage.
Schmidt Edelstahl GmbH is the largest distributor for pattern-rolled stainless steel in Germany. Over the last three decades, Outokumpu and Schmidt Edelstahl have forged an exclusive partnership to produce high-quality, R11 anti-slip stainless steel surfaces under the brand SE - TB1®. The latest innovation to join this lineup is SE-Trios - the R12 anti-slip sheet.
In Europe, anti-slip classes categorize surfaces on a scale from R9 to R13, indicating varying levels of slip resistance that inform safety and flooring choices across different environments. Lately, there has been a growing demand for higher anti-slip classes, according to Thomas Schmidt, Managing Director of Schmidt Edelstahl.
“Earlier, to achieve the R12 class, we had to specially grind over our SE - TB1® surface to enhance the anti-slip resistance. Unfortunately, grinding has a negative effect on the hygienic properties of the surface, which could be a disadvantage, particularly in the food industry. So along with Outokumpu, we set out to achieve the rating without the extra grinding. After trial and error, we created a unique pattern that earned the R12 classification. We are pretty happy about our new SE-Trios,” Schmidt says.
He is confident that the Trios will follow the success of its predecessor, the SE - TB1®.
Unique embossed pattern offers an improved design and significant material savings
The conception and development of SE-Trios spanned approximately two years. To enhance the anti-slip resistance, one of the biggest challenges was to create a novel and deeper embossed pattern on the surface of the sheet.
The traditional ‘almond’ pattern commonly found on anti-slip surfaces embossed during hot-rolling is quite raised and high, with a pattern height of 1,5 mm. Hot-rolled sheets are thicker, heavier, and harder to handle, which also makes them more expensive.
To achieve the R12 class, the key strategy involved not only upgrading the design but also pushing the rolling mill to its limit to create a deeper, embossed pattern. The cold rolling team in Outokumpu’s Dillenburg mill perfectly implemented and executed this maxing out of the rolling parameters.
The fact that SE-Trios can be produced in a cold rolling process brings a distinct advantage— it can be produced in a lower thickness down to 0,8 mm. Cladding the floor with thinner plates not only reduces weight but also minimizes material usage and makes it easier to handle during installation.
“This combination of a novel design with a higher pattern depth in our view, is the most significant achievement of the improved anti-slip SE-Trios. Our customers have appreciated the new pattern since it looks less industrial and has a greater design appeal,” Schmidt says.
SE-Trios meets the stringent anti-slip regulations of diverse industries
SE-Trios finds its application in diverse spaces, including cold storage rooms, stairs, transition spaces between rooms, and landing areas in front of elevators or sliding doors.
The product also works particularly well in the food processing sector, where stringent regulations dictate slip resistance requirements based on the produced item and its volume. This includes everything from restaurant kitchens and slaughterhouses to cheese and ice cream production units.
SE-Trio's adaptability also extends to sectors like cruise ships, where the storage rooms often require anti-slip sheets. As cruise ships travel globally, they must comply with the laws of the destination port, and some of these regulations often demand the high R12 slip-resistant class.
A winning partnership that combines innovation with high technical expertise
The partnership between the two companies successfully combines the flexibility and agility of Schmidt Edelstahl with the technical prowess of an industry leader like Outokumpu.
“Outokumpu always aims to go one step ahead and set new goals, be it in green steel and sustainability or production capabilities. They set the standards and that’s what makes Outokumpu a perfect partner for us,” Schmidt says.
Throughout the process, the Outokumpu team worked closely with Schmidt to explore possibilities, brainstorm, exchange ideas, and tap into each other’s market insights.
“The end result is a high-quality product that offers what the market needs — an optimized, more hygienic, and sustainable stainless steel surface with most importantly, an increased R12 slip resistance. We have had a successful partnership with Outokumpu and we aim to travel on this journey together in the future. Who knows, maybe R13 is next?” Schmidt quips.