Holderchem’s range of industrial flooring materials include long service life products used in heavy-duty environments such as assembly lines, manufacturing environments and warehouses, where high chemical slip and thermal resistance may be required. A wide range of epoxy and polyurethane coatings available within the batimix flooring product range are designed to withstand the demands of busy commercial facilities such as shopping malls, airports, schools and hospitals. Ultra hygienic floors may also be supplied, with silver anti-bacterial ions incorporated and homogeneously distributed to actively target bacteria that may spread. Car-park deck shield coatings are available that create colorful, UV stable, watertight and highly resistant floors for multistory and underground parking structures. A range of floor screeds underneath floor coatings can be supplied to smooth out substrates and provide a heavy-duty self-smoothing underlayment that will bond well to surface treatments. Appropriate screeds installed under floor heating / cooling systems can save on energy costs. The aesthetic and decorative potential of flooring products are limitless and so is the number of options available.
To determine the appropriate floor treatment it is important to ascertain the properties of the substrate, the factors and abrasion resistance required, and the type of industry, operating conditions environment and use the floor must sustain. The choice of product and finish is important to get the right floor particularly as the cost of reinstalling or repairs might prove high. Installation is also a key factor to a successful flooring application. Prior to the application of the floor treatment, it is important the substrate be tested to ensure it has a compressive strength of not less than 25 MPa. Furthermore, moisture must be tested to ensure selection of a system with water vapor permeability characteristics that will release the pressure from floor rising damp, albeit it should be noted in this context that most floor treatments offered are not vapor permeable and thus moisture should be measured to ensure it is below an acceptable threshold, as otherwise the floor treatment will crack. Pull-off tests and impact resistance tests should also be carried out on samples to ensure floor treatment system appropriateness.
To achieve the successful selection of industrial floors, it is important the selected flooring products meet required usage and specification requirements as well as color aesthetics. The floor resistance to abrasion caused by traffic and the frequency, type and location of wear must be ascertained. The probability of impact damage from falling objects should be considered. The spillage likelihood of chemicals and possible spillage concentrations should be determined. The floor crack bridging ability must be considered particularly with regard effect on the floor of vibrations from machinery and traffic. Temperature the floor may be subjected to should also be considered as a factor that may result in early floor damage. Many industries have very demanding hygiene and type of floor finishing requirements. In many instances they require totally dust free flooring without cracks or angled corners that can be easily cleaned. The type of cleaning systems that will be used and drainage systems installed should also play a part in the product selection process. As a skirting, it is recommended contractors make a mortar similar to the final treatment or as may be otherwise appropriate from a decorative standpoint.
It is equally important to ensure products are applied by experienced applicators on surfaces that have been well prepared. Holderchem works closely with an approved network of applicators to ensure projects are completed in a timely manner and in accordance with agreed specification samples and budgets. Applicators must have prior experience in surface preparation, which must be done appropriately to ensure good adhesion between the substrate and floor treatment. Methods of surface preparation include pressure spraying the substrate with metal particles also known as grid blasting or milling carried out by a machine with rotating discs and polishing, which is simply done with a polishing disc to remove the laitance from new concrete. When the concrete is not leveled or needs to be treated with a slope, then the flooring system should be chosen with sufficient layer thickness to ensure the surface is leveled. As this might require substantially more flooring product quantities, an epoxy scrape layer may be laid first. Alternatively, the system applied should be self- flowing rather than self-leveling.
Concrete joints should be treated prior to the flooring surface treatment being applied. Concrete floor slabs have three different kinds of joints, which require different treatments. Expansion joints on the one hand designed normally to absorb movements arising from floor temperature gradients and, construction joints and control joints, which are essentially non- moving. Prior to applying an epoxy based concrete coating or topping, construction and control joints should be treated. To do so, initially saw cut the joint and vacuum clean it from debris or blow debris away. Prime surfaces of joints with epoxy primer and thereafter fill joints with epoxy mortar. Prime the concrete floor with a 25 to 30 cm wide strip. Bridge a joint by laying on the primed surface a 10 cm wide strip of strand fiberglass and saturate it with a primer, removing air bubbles. Thereafter, proceed as directed with the application of the floor coating.
Floor maintenance should specify action that must be taken in case spillages occur to minimize impact on floors. Damage from wear and tear at any production plant should be expected and allowance for this may be required particularly when special colors and/or finishing is selected as this may prove difficult to reproduce subsequently if required.
Floor coatings in layer thicknesses of less than 1 mm usually consist of two component products or more. They are usually formulated on the basis of epoxy or polyurethane on a water base, with or without solvents. Chemical and physical properties and finishing depend on the actual product formulation and are as provided in the respective product datasheets. Once mixed, they are applied with a roller in two layers, with a layer thickness hovering around 0.2 to 0.6 mm to yield a glossy or matte surface with or without slip.
Self-flowing poured floors are applied in layer thicknesses of 1 to 5 mm with a trowel or toothed spreader. The prepared surface is coated with an epoxy primer and broadcast with a light scattering of quartz. This is recommended to promote inter- coat adhesion particularly when the self-leveling coat is to be applied more than 24 hours afterwards. The epoxy, which is mixed with fine fillers, is then laid by trowel or with a screed pin rake to a depth of 2 - 5mm and then with a spiked roller applied to the wet resin. Self-flowing poured floors have flowing properties when applied, to form a flow level. They are usually formulated on the basis of epoxy or polyurethane that can be supplied pigmented. These products are usually glossy because of the high resin component required to achieve self-flowing properties. As the product is normally not leveled out, it is not possible to achieve a smooth surface.
Trowel floors applied in thicknesses of 5 to 12 mm are based on epoxies, polyurethanes or metacrylic resins incorporating inert graded quartz material. These systems are both mechanically very strong and matte in appearance because of their high filler content. A sealing compound may be applied to increase chemical resistance and enhance finishing appearance.
Cementitious floor systems have traditionally been used as underlays for carpets and linoleum. These products produce a fast setting underlayment with exceptional adhesion to most prepared flooring materials. Advancements in epoxy and polymer modified cementitious flooring products manufactured incorporate the benefits of copolymer and epoxy resin technologies into a self smoothing cementitious system with high degree of flow that yields hard durable coatings with excellent resistance to abrasion, water chloride ions and aggressive chemicals and thus can be used for industrial floors. Designed for the protection of concrete floors and decks, these products form a dense, hard wear and traffic resistant low permeability to water coating with high long-term performances.