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What is a Tactile Surface Indicator?

1. Definition of tactile surface indicator

The tactile surface indicator is used in various pavement surfaces as a tactile indicator of potential hazards, especially for the visually impaired. Such indicators are needed in places where the public enters and exits, and such indicators can be used, for example, at street intersections, or at the edges of railway platforms. Optionally inside buildings, they can be used near stairs, elevators, etc.

In some cases, legislation is passed that requires the use of tactile indicators and specifies standards for their manufacture, size, and how they are arranged.

2. The structure of the tactile surface indicator

Tactile surface indicators are commonly used as an array of upwardly facing protrusions that can be felt through footwear. The tactile indicator may take a directional form, where the directional tactile indicator is elongated, which is particularly suitable for visually impaired persons to indicate, for example, the directionality of a sidewalk. They may be non-directional and include an array of upwardly extending protrusions, each upwardly extending protrusion being generally circular in a top plan view.

3. Some special tactile surface indicators

Tactile indicators used indoors take aesthetics as an important consideration. In the low-end products on the market, these road signs are made of hard, wear-resistant polymer materials and are often made into a monolithic structure. High-end tactile indicators include metals such as stainless steel, brass, or bronze, and for appearance, the upper surface of such tactile indicators is polished. Each road sign has at least one anchor pin that is fastened to a hole that has been drilled through the road or wall. Generally speaking, non-directional tactile indicators have one anchor, while directional tactile indicators have two or more anchors.

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