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What is a tactile stud?

Tactile studs and their uses

A tactile stud is a tactile indicator that is typically used in set configurations to relay messages through touch to blind and visually impaired members of the public. These messages are of upcoming hazards and obstacles that the pedestrian sensing them should alter their pace and trajectory to avoid.

Hazards include:

  • Controlled pedestrian crossings
  • Uncontrolled pedestrian crossings
  • Train platform edge

Tactile stud materials

Studs are manufactured in many materials, including:

  • Metal
    • 316L Stainless Steel
    • 304 Stainless Steel
    • 303 Stainless Steel
    • Aluminium
    • Brass
    • Bronze
  • TPU – Thermoplastic Polyurethane

Tactile stud sizes

Tactile studs can come in a wide variety of diameter sizes ranging from as small as 15mm to as large as 50mm for general use. However, tactile studs in the UK are generally 25mm in diameter in line with government guidance surrounding tactile surface implementation, they are otherwise referred to as DETR compliant.

In terms of stud height, this can range anywhere from 1.5mm to 5mm. In the case of their implementation in the UK, to be DETR compliant they need to be 5mm in height.

Tactile stud layouts

There are two main layouts for tactile studs and those are the blister pattern and off-set blister pattern. The blister pattern is found at crossings, both controlled and uncontrolled. The off-set blister pattern is found at train stations, specifically on the platform edge.

In the example of blister paving, there are six rows of six studs that are equally spaced which equates to thirty-six studs per section. These sections usually run right along the edge of the platform or kerb edge and go two sections deep. There is also an extended section on controlled crossing that directs pedestrians to the crossing from what is considered the main flow of traffic.

Off-set blister paving has an altered layout to make sure the message it transmits is distinct from its inline counterpart. This is to ensure that the pedestrian is aware that they are encountering a platform edge. This pattern is again six rows of six with each row shifted to the left and to the right sequentially creating the off-set message.

For how to achieve these layouts with tactile studs you can read more here.

How are tactile studs installed?

Tactile studs can be installed in multiple ways, these include:

  • Drill and resin
    • Holes are drilled for the fixing pins to be inserted into, resin is then inserted into the holes and the tactile stud is then installed.
  • Screw hole
    • Some tactile studs come with screw holes. These screw holes allow for a hole to be drilled in the underlying surface, and with a screw and rawl plug it can be installed.
  • Self-adhesive
    • Self-adhesive is a viable option for when temporary solutions are needed, particularly indoors.