Functional Floors in the baking Industry
Functional Floors in the baking Industry.
Finding the right floor and proper prior planning prevents poor performance.
By selecting and planning for the correct flooring solution from the word ‘go’, a facility is able to spare itself a number of serious headaches later.
In a bid to increase and ensure health safety within the food production sector more stringent standards apply when it comes to clean room design, materials of construction – such as flooring – and factory layout.
The old SABS standards required that floors and walls be tiled, which is no longer acceptable as tiles are prone to cracking and the grouting prone to coming loose. The result offers ample opportunity for bacteria to grow behind the tiles and within the cracks where it cannot be cleaned out, creating a health hazard where there should be none.
Pic – courtesy of Floorshield
Building finishes are set to be emphasised in the new standards, ensuring application of coatings that are easy to clean and are more resistant, suggested solutions include epoxy-floors, polyurethane flooring and becoming increasingly popular is the steel floor option.
Consumers have also become highly sensitive to foreign body complaints or anything that might affect their individual health, calling for a good amount of funds to be invested in food safety equipment and measures, including flooring.
One of the main considerations in selecting a flooring option includes considering the volume and type of traffic that a floor is expected to carry. Processing plant managers are compelled to consider skid-resistant floors to ensure personnel safety and potential liability issues by using textured or grit surfaces. The degree of texture is typically determined by the conditions of operation, frequency of cleaning and maintenance, and presence of oils, greases and other potentially slippery substances.
Environments are often damp or wet, either from cleaning agents or from the inherent exposure to oils and grease. A flexible membrane may be a viable option applied beneath floor coatings where high impact and heavy loads are part of the traffic pattern.
Pic – courtesy of Floorshield
The floor, or subsequent floor coating, must be durable enough to handle vigorous cleaning procedures that typically incorporate the use of very hot water, steam and aggressive cleaning chemicals. Only high-performance floor coatings will withstand such punishing maintenance.
Differing plant areas have differing corrosive conditions, such as dry storage areas, cold storage rooms, and mixing areas.
Another deciding factor in floor and coating selection includes application conditions. While not so relevant in new facilities, it is indeed important when updating or refurbishing an existing facility.
Apart from limiting downtime, food processing areas are often damp, sometimes cool or even cold, and sometimes hot – all in a typical day. The selected coating must be able to be installed under any and all of these conditions. There are specialty coatings that have the ability to cure even under this unusually broad range of conditions. Urethane modified cementitious flooring systems, for example, can perform in steam heat as well as freezing or below zero temperatures. Some of these systems also offer a rapid return to service which could be critical to plant operations.
Methyl Methacrylate (MMA) is a system that can cure in 45 minutes and also be applied in conditions of up to -25 degrees. This is ideal in environments that have a limited shutdown of sometimes 12-18 hours.
Pic – courtesy of Floormaster
A strong driver for food production hygiene standards is the Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) food safety management system. The HACCP principles require that throughout the various processes within a facility, all possible points of risk should be designed out of the system, and where the risk points cannot be excluded altogether, sufficient monitoring and control systems should be put in place to best manage the risk.
Consequently, the bakery environment calls for smooth, non-porous operating surfaces across a variety of plant areas that promote easy cleaning within a strict cleaning regime. Coatings should be durable enough and thick enough to create a protective barrier to prevent contaminants from permeating the concrete substrate and ensuring a hygienic surface.
Uncoated concrete floors may be perfectly acceptable in warehouses and light industrial areas, but cleanliness and purity are of paramount importance to hygiene and safety requirements, calling for seamless, hygienic floor coating systems.
Selecting the correct type of floor coating is therefore one of the most important product specifications a plant manager is likely to make and each product caters for a number of requirements and are available in several formulations.
Types of floor coating
Epoxies are available in a range of flooring systems including high-solids or 100% solids epoxy flooring products that provide outstanding protection against acids and alkalis. Key benefits include outstanding adhesion; an excellent ability to withstand abrasive cleaning procedures and chemicals; fast curing properties for minimized downtime of the area being treated; and compatibility with textured, anti-slip additives. Additionally, high-solids formulations are low in Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs).
100 % solids epoxies, on the other hand, are a wise choice for coating floors when a rapid return to service is required. Benefits include having strong bonding characteristics, resistance to thermal and mechanical shock, and the ability to endure frequent cleaning with hot water at high pressure.
In less demanding environments like food packaging, waterborne epoxies are a good fit since these areas don’t have the same high protection demands. In general, though, the use of waterborne epoxies for this industry is limited.
Erethanes are also a popular option in the food industry. Polyurethane coatings are generally supplied in slurry form and, although initially more costly, its service life often outlasts other product categories.
When compared to epoxy and vinyl coatings, urethane cement slurry and mortar systems provide better resistance to thermal cycling, as well as excellent long-lasting performance. They also have a very low odour during application and have a seamless, easy-to-clean surface when dry.
But without a doubt, the most significant benefit of some mortar systems is their quick drying capabilities as plants can be returned to service in a few hours. However, slurries are not recommended for floors that are sloped to drain.
Polyureas prove excellent when the environmental demand is for tough, flexible and impact resistant asfloors. They provide a seamless and flexible surface that has the ability to withstand temperatures as low as -20°F to 250°F. All polyureas are formulated with no VOCs, have no odour and dry tack free in as little as 45 seconds. Their elasticity makes them ideal for substrates such as concrete, which tends to crack. As an elastomer, these coatings have the ability to stretch and bridge gaps and are not limited by temperature extremes.
MMA are clean, extremely durable, seamless and quick to install – Silikal reactive resins are the perfect basis in all utility areas at bakeries, butchers, slaughterhouses and meat processing facilities everywhere. Extremely short curing times; no interruptions in business when renovations or maintenance is done. Easy to lay, even at temperatures below zero.
Good news is that there is a wealth of local suppliers that are just waiting to assist with these difficult choices.
Bakerite Industrial Bakeware – Are you looking for a solution that will not crack or break under heavy loads? Enter the Bakerite steel floor tile, supplied in 340 x 340 x 15mm size and manufactured to order by Bakerite Industrial Bakeware in Durban for both local and export markets.
“The steel floor tile is primarily specified for bakeries. While the tiles are usually supplied and used in mild steel, they can be galvanised or, alternately, manufactured in stainless steel.
The main benefit is that there is no maintenance or replacement cost once installed, the product is also unaffected by continuous wear and temperature fluctuations and remains rigid.
Cape Industrial Flooring – Cape Industrial Flooring is a premier provider of epoxy flooring solutions in Cape Town, South Africa. In the commercial food preparation and processing industry it is essential that floors are hygienic, hardwearing, food safe, resilient and slip resistant. Pending on the nature of operations it might also have to be chemical resistant.
Traditionally commercial kitchens have made use of tiles or vinyl – however when it comes to food and health safety, Polyurethane has been proven to be the favourite!
Floormaster, a Cape Town-based industrial and commercial flooring company, are approved applicators for ABE, STONCOR, FLOWCRETE, SIKA, TECHNICAL FINISHES, MCC & BASF industrial & commercial flooring systems.
The specialist contracting company offers high chemical resistant, seamless, non-slip, hygienic, epoxy & polyurethane screeds and coatings while also catering PVC and rubber interlocking and self-drainage safety flooring systems for the industrial, commercial and food and beverage industries.
Floormaster – Specialist applicator of Industrial Polyurethane & Epoxy Flooring and installers of Interlocking Rubber and PVC safety flooring systems for the Industrial and Commercial market sectors.
We are approved by all leading manufacturers, providing the backup and technical support for the best possible Industrial Flooring Solutions to suit your requirements.
Floorshield installs high-performance epoxy flooring and industrial flooring, epoxy screeds and stonecarpet for all industrial and commercial environments. The core focus of the company is the installation of floor finishes in the Industrial, Commercial, Pharmaceutical and Food and Beverage producing enviroments.
Heavy duty epoxy screeds are often used in factories where floors are subject to high impact, wear, abrasion and chemical attack. These floors have very good mechanical strength, and epoxy and polymer screeds on concrete floors provide a seamless floor with heavy duty wear characteristics and the ability to perform in areas with forklift and heavy truck traffic.
We apply the following systems (Products from Stoncor, BASF, Mapei, Silikal, Sika, Flowcrete)
• Poly Urethane – 4-12mm
• Epoxy – 1-3mm
• Chemical Protection
• Decorative Coloured Quartz”
Flowcrete offers hygienic flooring options that specifically caters a number of flooring solutions targeted to meet the needs of food processing facilities. Their developments of faster-installation floors have also gone hand-in-hand with offering lighter, energy-saving and cleaner floors.
Flowfresh heads up the hygienic floor offering and is the latest in antimicrobial resin flooring. It is recommended specifically to the food and drinks manufacturing industries, including bakeries, industrial kitchens and catering units, as well as wet and dry processing zones. It uses a natural silver ion based technology to reduce the bacterial population on the surface of the floor by up to 99.9%.
Resin Floor Design – Coupled with a vast choice of products from various reputable manufacturers, we are able to find a solution for most industrial sectors of the industry. This ranges from primarily the food and beverage industry and stretches to motor vehicle manufacture, pharmaceutical, electronics and even explosives manufacture.
Robex – The food and beverage processing industry, including manufacturing plants, restaurants, commercial kitchens and food franchises are characterised by hygiene – sensitive processes that require specialised floor coatings to ensure the safety and protection of surfaces from the spread of harmful bacteria. Robex provides anti-bacterial and non-slip systems for commercial and industrial kitchens, cafeterias, breweries, bottling and packaging plants, and refrigerated warehouses.
RX Foodsafe is the ultimate fast-curing MMA resin system that meets the food industry’s operational needs for a clean, safe and sanitary environment. Combining the strength of superior inter-coat adhesion with chemical, wear and slip resistance, RX Foodsafe offers a completely seamless hygienic flooring solution.
RXPU 6290 is a high-strength, hygienic, non-slip, polyurethane floor screed designed to provide excellent heavy-duty usage with resistance to thermal shock, abrasion and chemicals. The entire finished system is seamless, hygienic, non-slip and completely waterproof.
RX Polar Coat is a smart tech coating that is perfect for cold storage warehouses, food handling and food processing rooms, cold rooms, coating of refrigerations boxes on delivery and transport vehicles, as well as abattoirs. It’s easy to clean, odourless, 100% solvent-free, contains no voc’s, extremely versatile, monolithic and retards bacterial growth.
Silikal South Africa –
Verni, a Gauteng-based company, which operates throughout Southern Africa, offers a full range of seamless floor coating & screeding systems for every industrial & commercial requirement.
The Supaflor range of flooring systems are fast curing, minimum plant downtime is required for installation, can withstand extreme temperatures & thermal shock, hard wearing and can withstand forklift & truck traffic, hygienic (will not harbour bacterial growth), chemical resistant and non-slip and remains easy to clean.
From Vehicle manufacturing plants, airport hangars, food & beverage processing plants, pharmaceutical, chemical processing plants, warehouses, etc. Verni has a system suitable for each environment.
It also has a solution offering significant resistance to heavy-duty traffic and wear – the Supaflor PU HD is a heavy-duty polyurethane flooring that is suited to the industrial flooring arena in areas that are subject to severe mechanical and chemical service.
The product delivers both slip-resistance and eases of cleaning and is applied at 6mm and 9mm thickness for thermal shock (steam cleaning). Verni Supaflor PU HD will not harbour bacterial growth and is non-tainting, making it ideal for the food industry.
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