Industrial Floors in Cold Facilities
Although you can’t tell from the picture, that room is actually 45 degrees F. And according to most tech sheets, it’s recommended that most epoxies be installed in 65 degrees or warmer. So, when this meat and seafood processing plant called us about their desire to upgrade their epoxy floors, it was obvious that this project would require some additional project management and solutions.
The room pictured above has a thin film coating. This room is the shipping area, where after the meat gets packaged, it is transferred by fork lifts, onto shipping vessels to be delivered to their destination. And the fork lifts are what’s causing this floor to fail. The customer is looking for a floor that will not peal and delaminate from the substrate, and will provide some slip-resistant texture.
The dilemma is working in this cold environment. Epoxies require an ambient temp of about 65 to be installed. So, the best flooring options reside in the urethane family.
Urethane Cement floors can be installed in temperatures as low as 40 degrees. When they are mixed, their reaction generates enough heat that they are able to displace their cold surrounding with enough warmth to cure in temps this cold. Additionally, urethane cement will offer an excellent resurfacing option for this facility. The current floor is pitted, damaged, and even displays spaulled concrete. The solution to a floor this damaged is a troweled in resurfacing floor. Urethane cement can be installed as heavy as 1/4″. And if you get the self-leveling variety, then it can level out to give smooth surface.
It is possible to resurface with other flooring options. But, another benefit to urethane cement is that it offers enough tensile strength and hardness, to prevent forklifts and other heavy machinery from compromising its adhesion.
Now, due to the customer’s request, we would need to do more than just trowel in this urethane cement resurfacer. Additionally, we would broadcast #00 sand into the cement while it is wet. The broadcast sand will bond to the urethane cement, creating the anti-slip surface that the customer is requesting.
Now, you can’t just leave a broadcast sand texture, without installing a grout coat. Ungrouted sand texture is a sanitation problem in food facilities, and needs to be sealed into the floor with a grout coat. Typically, grout coats are installed with epoxy. But, as mentioned earlier, epoxy is a floor that can’t be installed in this cold room. But, there is a new product, called polyaspartics, that can actually be installed as low as 35 degree temperatures. The benefit of polyaspartic is that they not only can be installed in low temperatures, but they also cure very quickly, which is ideal for every installed, because they cant usually get 2 grout coats applied in 1 day.
So, once the floor receives it’s final 2 grout coats of polyaspartic, the floor will be enough to fulfill the customer’s requests. However, an optional service we like to offer is saw-cutting and installing joints. With so much movement ontop of the surface through the forklifts, and contraction and expansion through the varying temperatures, it would be ideal to install joints at the end of the project.
If the customer agreed to joints, then prior to installing the urethane cement, we would mark the existing joints with nails. When we install the urethane cement, the nails would protrude from the joints, marking where we would need to saw cut at the end of the installation. So, fast forward to the end of the installation, after the polyaspartic grout coats have been installed. We would saw cut the joints, and then install polyurea joints. Polyurea is a great joint compound for interior facilities, because its shore hardness is strong enough to prevent nails and stone from getting embedded into it. But it also has enough elongation so that it will expand and contract if the floor shifts.
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 toPennsylvania,New Jersey, Maryland, and Delaware. And we coverYork,Lancaster,Philadelphia,Chester,Montgomery,Baltimore,Harrisburg,Dauphin,Bucks,Berks, and other counties in the surrounding area.
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