Decreasing Facility Hazards with Epoxy Flooring
We were contacted by a facility about increasing the slip-resistance around their dock doors. Currently, whenever the dock floors get cold and wet, they get to be very slippery, causing fork-lifts to slip and slide. And an out-of-control fork-lift is a huge safety concern.
So our solution was to increase the floor’s slip-resistance. But achieving this isn’t as simple as laying textured tape onto the floor. When dealing with fork lifts, you have to consider the weight of the machines, and also that these fork lifts are dragging skids across the floor. That’s a lot of pressure and tension being exposed to the floor. So it’s important to find an epoxy coating that can tolerate this type of environment.
So the best floor application for this specific environment is the following system:
- 1st coat – 8mil 100% solid epoxy
- 2nd coat – 8mil 100% solid epoxy with anti-slip aggregate
- top coat – 12mil 100% solid epoxy
But before we install the floor, we need to adequately prepare it. And the best prep method for epoxy floors is diamond grinding.
Here is the floor completely prepped with diamond grinders. The diamond grinders groove and abrade the concrete, so that it has a profile for the epoxy to adhere to. An unprepped floor can be catastrophic when trying to install a coating. And it can lead to premature failure.
Installing the Epoxy
As detailed in our specifications, we have a textured broadcast to include in the 2nd coat. And because we have to try and prevent fork-lifts from sliding, we are going to use the most aggressive sand aggregates: the Q11.
After installing the 2nd coat of epoxy, our installers broadcast the sand aggregate into the wet epoxy. And when the epoxy cures, it captures the sand to create a textured, slip-resistant floor. And in this case, with the Q11 sand, this is an aggressively slip-resistant floor.
But even though the sand is locked into the epoxy, it is still vulnerable to turning fork-lift tires over time. So you still need to install another grout coat over the exposed sand aggregate.
And now our floor is complete, with the final top coat, sealing in the aggregate.
Here is a closer look at the anti-slip floor:
Some draw backs with a floor this textured is that they are difficult to clean. So if you have exposed food or product in the area, then you might need to find another solution. Because the dreads in a mop can get snared in the aggregate. There are less aggressive broadcast textures on the market. But even those might have trouble with the mop. So if you do need the texture, then the best recommendation is to use a floor scrubber in these areas.
Overall, a textured floor with Q11 broadcast will yield a coefficient friction of greater than 0.9. Which is a very aggressive floor, and should keep those fork lifts from slipping and sliding.
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.
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