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Resin floor considerations

07 June 2019

The most appropriate flooring for any situation will always depend upon the particular conditions to which it will be subjected. Do consider the following. 

Durability: In general terms, the service life will be proportional to the applied thickness of the resin flooring system. However, many operational factors will directly affect the performance including the severity of trafficking (wheel type and loading), the frequency and efficiency of cleaning, mechanical handling abuse and impact etc. In most facilities there will a variety of situations for each of which a different type of resin flooring will be most appropriate. Conversely there will be areas where some types are completely inappropriate. 

Surface smoothness and slip resistance: As a general rule, the smoother and less porous a floor surface, the easier it is to keep clean. However, while resin-based flooring can be formulated to produce smooth, non-porous surfaces with good slip resistance under dry conditions, the surface may have to be textured if it is to have slip resistance under contaminated conditions. The heavier the likely build-up of contaminants, the coarser the surface texture has to be. However, coarse textured surfaces are more difficult to clean, so where both slip resistance and ease of cleaning are important, a compromise must be made. Flooring should be selected with sufficient texture to suit specific working conditions and hygiene standards, and a programme of frequent effective cleaning must be set in place. 

Floor design: The correct design of any resin flooring installation is vital. If regular spillages and or wash down regimes are a likely, provision for adequate drainage must be incorporated into the design. The correct rate of fall should be incorporated into the floor design and, in new installations; this feature can be built into the new concrete specifications. Rate of fall on floor surfaces is dependent on in-service conditions but generally, falls of 1:80 to 1:100 are suitable in wet food processing areas. Another design consideration is the floor/wall interface. 

Temperature resistance: Care should be taken in the design of the resin flooring where extreme temperature variations are likely. The movement of these areas, in relation to the surrounding floor, must be carefully considered and appropriate flexible joints installed. Most synthetic resin flooring systems have relatively low heat distortion temperatures (HDT) with epoxy resin-based products being generally between 50°C and 70°C. 

Taint: Correctly formulated and fully cured resin flooring systems should be satisfactory for use in the proximity of food stuffs. However, this cannot be taken to imply that these floorings are also suitable for direct contact with unwrapped food stuffs. Generally, the critical period when tainting is likely to be problematic during the application of the floor system and also within the following cure period. During these time periods, all food stuffs should be removed from the work area and particular care taken to ensure contaminated air from the work area is not discharged towards areas where food stuffs are stored.

Substrate suitability: The majority of substrates which are overlaid with resin flooring systems will be concrete. A few basic tips for concrete which is to be overlaid with resin flooring are:

• On new build projects always install concrete over an effective damp proof membrane. 
• Always specify concrete of a strength greater than C35: (Newton strength). 
• Wherever possible, specify a powerfloat finish. 
• Allow for suitable cure times. 
• Specify the correct surface tolerances that are required of the finished floor for the concrete specification. This will avoid costly corrective work prior to resin flooring installation. 

Service penetrations: Although not desirable, in some circumstances services may be required to pass through the resin flooring surface or plant needs to be bolted into the floor. A suitable method of achieving successful penetrations is to have a protective sleeve cast into the base concrete. This sleeve permits the services to pass through without direct contact with the flooring. This is particularly important if the services include pipes carrying liquid at temperatures other than ambient. The sleeve also acts as an upstand to prevent liquids flowing down through the floor. In the case of equipment bolted through the floor surface, always use proprietary chemical fixings and bed the plant legs on a suitable resin based flexible mastic to seal the interface. 

Information kindly supplied by John L. Lord & Son

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