A durable floor lasts a long time, remains functional, and resists deterioration or loss of performance. Durable floors begin with high-quality coatings, good design, and sound workmanship.
Floors Must Be Able To Resist Many Types of Exposure
Chemical, Mechanical, and Thermal Shocks
Wall and floor finishes must be strong enough to withstand the demands of the room they’re placed in. In slaughterhouses, it’s common for hooks with heavy weights to fall onto the floor or for equipment to get knocked over. In storage facilities, freezers and warehouses, floors need to have sufficient physical resistance and substrate adhesion to withstand regular wear and abrasion caused by frequent forklifts and other equipment use. Flooring systems that are not resistant to impacts are likely to require periodic repair or replacement.
Abrasive cleaning agents pose another possibility of danger. Flooring with weak chemical resistance not just wears out more quickly but creates traps in which bacteria and viruses can hide.
Additional stresses can be caused by temperatures shock. Some instances could be unintentional, like hot grease falling onto the floor during potato chip production. Some other instances, like wash downs, are deliberate. These processes use liquids that can often exceed 100 degrees C and steam which may be much hotter. The flooring system should endure frequent, fast, and frequently very wide temperature variations.
What Makes A Durable Floor?
Floors that last are constructed with top-quality materials with a good design and solid workmanship. The floor’s entire structure and the components (sub-base and load-carrying slab screed and the upper protective layer) are separate. They can work together to deliver the necessary levels of performance and endurance. If the sub-base and ground fail, for instance, the concrete slab might crack under the weight of heavy loads. In addition, if the coating cannot provide resistance against chemicals and corrosive substances, it might not be capable of protecting the slab beneath from degradation.
Long-Lasting Floors: Save the cost of long-term maintenance
The lifespan of any finish is based on the combination of both chemicals and thermal stress. These aspects are to be considered when creating or installing flooring. The flooring should ensure that it isn’t over-built or under-built and is just right for the application that is being used.
Flooring that is practical and durable is the most affordable and efficient investment for the owner. Particularly within the restaurant and drink industry, floors that are not functional are the most costly.
Durable Floor Considerations for Floors
There are many examples of floor stresses that can affect flooring in food processing facilities are:
- mechanical shocks as well as the impact
- wear and abrasion
- Exposure to chemical agents
- Thermal shocks and extreme temperature fluctuations
- High point loads
- Moving and dragging pallets
- fall of large objects like hooks, knives, or any other sharp object
Impact of Thermal and Chemical on floors
In the case of chemical resistance, the different flooring coatings react differently depending on the type of chemical to the chemical’s concentration, type, temperature, and duration. All of these to the type of chemical, concentration, temperature, and duration. The most difficult chemicals are nitric or phosphoric acids and caustic or chlorine solutions for cleaning flooring, production equipment, and walls. Each one should be evaluated separately.
Other potential hazards include elements present in normal production, such as citric, lactic, and acetic acids blood, wet sugars oils, fats, greases, and much more. It is crucial to remember that, even if the quantity of these chemicals is small, the evaporation process could increase their concentration and corrosive properties.
Temperatures inside the food or beverage industry will often fluctuate widely and swiftly. For example, the flooring temperature adjacent to a freezer can be as low as 0degC or lower to 21 deg C or greater. The flooring system should be able to function under both conditions.
One of the most difficult issues to manage is thermal shock, due to a quick shift in temperature that can reach as high as 100 degrees C or more, returning to normal in just a few minutes or minutes. These shocks are often caused by high-temperature spills that result from cooking or cleaning pans and vessels. It could also result from hot CIP (cleaning-in-place) fluids and hot water rinses that are drained from production equipment and deposited on the floor following high temperatures of sanitation and cleaning.
The effects of thermal shock could cause the flooring to crack and, in certain cases, cause it to delaminate. To avoid this, the flooring should have a thermal expansion coefficient similar to the concrete substrate below, a good cohesive strength, and a low elastic modulus.
The thickness of the floor plays a significant role. The floor’s top layer should be at least nine millimeters thick when it comes to the water and chemical discharge temperatures ranging from 90deg C and higher.
Important to consider the thickness of your floor to ensure durability
The thicker flooring, more the chance it has of providing excellent
resistance to the numerous stressors and causes of the deterioration.
The thickness recommended is based on an in-depth analysis of the kind and amount of stress the floor will experience. In the case of flooring made from the resin used in food processing facilities, the recommended thickness is 3 millimeters. A thickness of six millimeters or greater is preferred, particularly in wet areas. For tiles, the typical thickness is 8.5 up to 20 millimeters; however, a minimum of 12 millimeters can protect areas with a heavy load.
The Right Floor From the beginning
We suggest going with a professional coating company such as ArmorThane. They can help you choose the best flooring systems and products put in place correctly from the beginning. Don’t be afraid to contact us or them if you have any questions.
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