Increasing Facility Safety – Installing Stencil STOPS for Fork Lift Traffic

Facility Safety Can Be Supplemented With Epoxy Coatings

The picture above is a “STOP” sign that was installed into this facility’s concrete.  The facility has a lot of forklifts driving through aisles and racking, which intersects with pedestrian walkways.  It was the customer’s request to install some fork lift “STOPS,” to increase the safety for the pedestrians.  Although this sounds like an easy procedure, there are numerous steps needed to make sure the stencils are well adhered to the floor.  Remember, fork lifts can weigh over 3000 pounds, and a solid floor is required to ensure its longevity.

The first step is to get the stencil made.  Most stencils are created so that you can peal the lettering, and apply the lettering.  However, because those pealed letters don’t adhere well enough to the substrate, it creates a weak point in the floor.  So, to prevent stencil failure, we’ve contacted our local print shop, to create a “reverse-stencil.”  This allows us to apply material onto the stencil, that lets the material create the letters.  The benefit is that the material bonds to the stencil, and does not tear like stickers would.

Applying The Material:

The challenge with applying material is that you don’t want to apply too much.  Too much material can run over the stencil, or worst, underneath the stencil.  So to counteract these challenges, we have 2 options:

  1. Spray Paint: in the example above, we used spray paint to fill in the stencils.  Spray paint works well because you can apply a light amount of material through the stencils.  This way, you don’t need to worry about excess material running beneath the stencil, or over the stencil.
  2. Polyaspartic coating: the advantage of polyaspartic coatings is that they cure, and get tacky relatively quickly.  Unlike epoxies, polyaspartics can begin to settle within 20 minutes, making them an advantageous material to use.  You can apply the polyaspartic, without worrying about the run off, because of its fast curing time.

Both options look very similar, which makes them viable solutions.

But once the stencil is applied, you’ll want to add a clear coat to embed it into the floor.  The weakest point on the floor is its edge.  And the closer the edges, the weaker the application.  Which is why letter stencils are so difficult.  Our solution is to apply a clear coat on top of the stencils, so that the edges are protected.

Here, we are embedding the stencils with a clear polyaspartic.  The polyaspartic doesn’t amber like epoxies, retaining its clarity.  And you can apply it heavily, so that there is more material embedded on top of the stencils, providing greater protection.

So overall, although providing stencils is a clear solution to herding traffic in an y facility, there are critical steps to take, so that you maximize the longevity for each stencil.

PennCoat, Inc. has been providing industrial painting, commercial painting, epoxy flooring, and polished concrete services for nearly 30 years.  Our experienced installers are trained and equipped with the proper knowledge and tools to ensure that every installation is installed efficiently and safely.  PennCoat, Inc. provides service to Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Maryland, and Delaware.  And we cover York, Lancaster, Philadelphia, Chester, Montgomery, Baltimore, Harrisburg, Dauphin, Bucks, Berks, and other counties in the surrounding area.

Sign up for our exclusive Painting & Epoxy Flooring Forum to provide questions and answers for common situations.