OmniGrip HF High friction surface treatment (HFST) to reduce skidding and decrease braking distances

OMNIGRIP HF, a calcined-bauxite high-friction surface treatment (HFST), is a thin overlay applied to asphalt and concrete roads and highways to improve surface friction. OmniGrip HF decreases braking distances, skidding and sliding, assisting drivers and motorcycle riders to retain control on urban and rural roads.

Calcined-bauxite high-friction surfaces are essential to eliminating crash Black Spots from a road network.

OmniGrip HF is fully-compliant with the most stringent road surface standards in each State and Territory. OmniGrip HF is the first high-friction surface treatment to achieve Level 3 TIPES certification in Queensland – the toughest product certification process for road surfaces in Australia. TIPES requires Level 3 products to demonstrate on-road performance with specification for at least five years. 

Crash Reduction Benefits

A High-Friction Surface Treatment like OmniGrip HF is an internationally proven road safety solution. OmniGrip HF is a ‘silent saver’ – drivers and riders won’t know it’s there until they need it. 

“Used appropriately, they can help stop vehicles from skidding on or off roads, and increase a vehicle’s ability to brake more effectively at critical times”

The Australian Road Research Board (ARRB) says “Used appropriately, they (HFST) can help stop vehicles from skidding on or off roads, and increase a vehicle’s ability to brake more effectively at critical times” and that “…known accident blackspots, approaches to intersections and pedestrian crossings, and tricky-to-negotiate corners can all benefit from proper use of High-Friction Surface Treatments” (ARRB, 30 August 2018).

In Australia, Crash Reduction Factors (CRF) for calcined bauxite surfaces like OmniGrip HF ranges from 40% for all casualty crashes, to 50% for wet weather crashes.  However, a comprehensive study funded published by the US Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration in September 2020 recommends new CRF for high-friction surface treatments.

Crash Type Curves CRF Ramps CRF
Total Crashes 57.0% 78.8%
Injury Crashes 48.5% 63.5%
Run-Off-Road (ROR) Crashes 72.1% 79.8%
Wet-Road Crashes 83.2% 92.1%
Head-On, Side-Swipe, Opposite-Direction (HOSSOD) crashes 30.9%
Benefit-Cost Ratio 6.0 18.7

Adapted from Table 37 in Merrit, Lyon, Persaud & Torres (2020), “Developing crash-modification factors for High-Friction Surface Treatments”, FHWA-HRT-20-061. CRF, not CMF, shown.

Watch our video to see why and where you can reduce road crashes with OmniGrip HF high friction surfaces.

Download our free Guide to find out more about high-friction surfaces, with references to leading international publications about how they reduce crashes on road networks.

How it works

OmniGrip HF uses a proven resin binder to hold high-PSV calcined bauxite in position so that it doesn’t become embedded or displaced under the heaviest of braking. With its high PSV, calcined-bauxite resists polishing, ensuring it maintains its micro-texture for longer than other road surfaces.

Vehicle tyres adhere to the micro-texture of the calcined bauxite, providing better grip on bends and curves or when braking hard, enabling the driver or rider to maintain control.  The vehicle is more likely to stay within its lane, reducing the risk of losing control and leaving the road to hit a barrier, roadside object or another vehicle.

Used at intersection, vehicles can stop in a shorter-distance, reducing the likeihood of a crash and reducing impact speeds should one occur.

OmniGrip HF is resistant to road contaminants including oil, petrol and de-icing salts. It has excellent adhesion to asphalt and concrete surfaces so it can be used on all sealed roads and driveways.

With its high PSV and high skid-resistance, calcined-bauxite OmniGrip HF is much better than temporary treatments like spray seals, and short-term measures like water-blasting conventional road surfaces to reduce binder and temporarily increase texture. The skid-resistance of calcined-bauxite surfaces are over 70 BPN, compared to the aggregates used in conventional road surfaces that are around 45 BPN.

OmniGrip HF is also available as OmniGrip Hybrid HF, comprising 60% post-consumer recycled-glass. This new blend was developed with funding from Sustainability Victoria, and research by the Australian Road Research Board to ensure it met the skid-resistance and texture requirements of Australian specifications.

Compliance

OmniGrip HF is compliant with the most-stringent Australian road agency specifications, such Queensland’s MRTS111 and Victoria’s Department of Transport’s Specification 430.

On site NATA accredited skid-resistance testing of calcined-bauxite OmniGrip HF sites on arterial roads in Melbourne, have retained their skid-resistance well past their expected life of 7-10 years. This is supported by retention of their surface texture when measured using ARRB’s iSSAVe automated laser data collection equipment.

You may see contractors claiming APAS Certification for their HFST. APAS is the Australian Paint Approval Scheme. APAS does not accredit paints for compliance with Australian High Friction Surface Specifications (see list of APAS Specifications).

OmniGrip Direct uses much stronger resins than APAS products used on roads, with one HFST application in Melbourne found by the CSIRO to be still compliant for skid resistance after 18 years of use on an arterial road.

If you require compliance testing in your project, please let us know at the time of quoting so that the independent NATA testing and associated traffic management can be incorporated in your project.

OmniGrip HF is a vital component of a road manager’s Safe System road safety strategy that aims to eliminate injury on roads.

How to select a High Friction Surface Treatment for your safety project

It is vital that you understand your local State road specification for High Friction Surface Treatment. For example in Queensland it is MRTS111 and in Victoria it is Standard Section 430.

In Queensland you must also check that the product is on the TIPES register at an appropriate level for your project.  OmniGrip HF is Level 3, having demonstrated it will remain compliant for at least five years, and that its product specifications are safe and suitable to deliver a high quality, long-lasting, safety surface.  If you are in another State or Territory, such as Victoria and Tasmania, checking for TIPES Certification will also give you certainty that the product and the contractor has been independently assessed and certified.

You must ask the contractor for:

  • details of their application methodology
  • details of their test plan
  • evidence of a five year history (required in Queensland and Victoria) for the product being within specification (ie independent field testing by a NATA laboratory of on-road sites)
  • mandatory sweeping, post application, is included in accordance with the Specification
  • appropriately sized calcined-bauxite is being used
  • an approved binder is being used. In Victoria, paint is prohibited as a binder by Standard Section 430.

Compliance testing should be at the completion of the first shift’s work, and prior to the end of the defect liability period, at random locations within the project area, in accordance with relevant State and Territory Specifications. The field testing must be by an independent testing contractor.

British Pendulum Testing on OmniGrip HF calcined bauxite surfacing on Victoria's Great Ocean Road

British Pendulum Testing on OmniGrip HF calcined bauxite surfacing on Victoria’s Great Ocean Road

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TIPES Certification for OmniGrip HF

OmniGrip HF is the first high friction surface treatment to achieve TIPES Certification

Road Safety Benefits

  • Whole of Life Skid Resistance >70 BPN
  • Sideways Co-efficient of Friction Levels > 0.85
  • Increased Surface Texture
  • Reduction Vehicle Braking Distances
  • Reduced Threshold Braking Speeds
  • Crash Reduction Factor (CRF) > 40%
  • Proven 10 years plus design life

Applications

  • Approaches to School & Pedestrian Crossings
  • Intersections & Roundabouts
  • Tight Radius Corners and Slip Lanes
  • Steep Inclines / Declines
  • Freeway Ramps
  • Winding Country Highways and Roads
  • Sharp Bends and Corners in Urban Areas
  • Black Spot Locations
  • Black Lengths
  • Australian Government Black Spot Program
  • Hoon Bars to deter hoon driving

GRANT FUNDING OPPORTUNITIES

Applications of HFST can meet eligibility criteria for State and Federal Grants. Research based Crash Reduction Factors (Crash Modification Factors) can be used to estimate crash reductions for the development of Benefit Cost Ratios.  The Australian Government Black Spot Programme and other State and Territory Local Government grants and road safety grants are available to co-fund HFST applications.

References

The following guides are available to help road managers considering how HFST can reduce crashes, reduce injuries and save lives.

Download our FREE Guide to High Friction Surface Treatments!

Guide to High Friction Surface Treatment cover

Download the OmniGrip Direct Guide to High Friction Surface Treatment

Omnigrip HF in action

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