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Hygienic floors fit for purpose

17 May 2012

There are two main types of floors that are suitable for the food industry. But in order to determine which is suitable several factors that have to be taken into consideration including what is being produced and the likely effect of any spills on the floor, acids or alkalis the amount of water/detergents that are being used, the usage the floor will receive during its expected lifespan, Health & safety Regulations, and so the list goes on.

Back to the best types of flooring. Hygienic floors can be either resin or ceramic. The heavy duty resin floor can be laid directly to the installed structural concrete or onto a suitable underlayment screed. In either case the floors can be installed flat or more suitably to “falls” for drainage.

Heavy duty resin floors are designed to be hard wearing, provide both chemical and shock resistance and have a slip-resistant surface which complies with The Health and Safety Executives –Food Document number 22/slips and trips in the food industry. For specific areas an anti-static version is available where powder mixing or solvents are stored.

Recent developments include a fast cure resin floor which has been specifically designed for the food industry and can be returned to service after just 5 hours cure at 10ºC. Ucrete Fast has been designed and manufactured by BASF to meet food manufacturer’s expectations of a resin floor that it is solvent free and non-tainting during application so that any production areas close by can continue uninterrupted with no special ventilation requirements and finally it is moisture and low temperature tolerant, which means that areas that are cold and difficult to dry can be laid with Ucrete Fast.

Resin flooring can be coloured to specific colours. However with all Ucrete resin floors they need to be laid by a Licensed applicator with the right levels of skill and experience to complete a successful floor.

Ceramic tiles are the other type of flooring that could be considered. Heavy duty hexagon or rectangular tiles with spacer lugs provide a flat floor that only has a 2mm joint between the tiles. The Basic system, Kagetec BS, is quick to install and is suitable for dairies, breweries and food processing areas.

Other systems in the Kagetec range, GFK, AR and RP are all encassed in an epoxy slurry making these systems suitable for areas of high stress in the food, pharmaceutical and beverage industries where extremes of temperature are experienced.

Drains, kerbs and channels are an integral part of the food processing area. These need to be high quality stainless steel. One of Europe’s leading producers for the food industry is Wiedemann who have an extensive range of products all conforming to European and UK standards. These include drains, channels, kerbs to suit all types of food processing.

Food production also includes other areas that need the same levels of attention to detail that allows food production to continue in hygienic conditions. Walls and ceiling also need regular maintenance to keep them in the best condition. However when that reach a point where that is not possible and repairs are necessary a system called Protectorseal has been developed that allows the walls to be encased in a protective fibreglass system that is applied directly to the wall or ceiling. It is impact resistant and steam cleanable.

Protectorseal can be applied to any existing wall surface that is clean and grease free; it excludes any air pockets and gaps that could support bacterial growth, is resistant to impact and chemicals; is able to withstand hostile environments and has a fire rating of Class 1 on a Class 0 substrate. It is also virtually maintenance free with a long lifespan.

A One-source contractor of hygienic floors for the food industry
When you need to repair or replace your floor in the main production area it would be helpful if you could contact a company that can provide you with everything from laying the concrete slab to providing the finished floor, including advice on which floor is the most suitable to lay, advice on stainless steel drains and kerbs as well as wall and ceiling solutions.

Kemtile is one such company that has all these qualifications and is a multi-disciplined company that has been installing and repairing floors in the food and beverage industry for over 30 years. A spokesman for the company commented “we understand the design of floors and the specific needs/requirements of the food/beverage industry.”

This understanding is the core of the company’s philosophy and there are many instances where the company has been asked to work and install floors while production continues 24/7 which can sometimes be the only time that work can be completed or during unsociable hours or shut down periods.

For more information on any of the Kemtile range of products visit their web site www.kemtile.co.uk or ring 01925 763045


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