Types of Food Processing Floors
CEMENTITIOUS URETHANE FLOORS
Cementitious urethane floors are considered the modern standard in food processing facilities. Cement based urethanes bond extremely well to difficult concrete floors in damp and cool conditions, where other systems won’t. These products also tolerate wide temperature swings, with excellent chemical resistance. They are often considered the best of all worlds when it comes to choosing a flooring product for the food processing industry. AntiMicrobial additives can also be added to the formulation to create a floor that combats bacteria in between washdown cycles. These floors may be installed over brick and tile, in certain situations. The only downside to these products is that they are only color stable in tile red & dark gray. Other colors tend to fade and discolor under UV light. Find a manufacturer such as E P Floors Corp., that installs with their own company crews, including a turn-key installation and warranty.
Manufacturers of urethane mortar flooring include:
- E P Floors Corp: Puma-Crete HF, Puma-Crete HFB, Puma-Crete SL
- BASF: Ucrete UD200
- Sherwin Williams General Polymers: FasTop
- Sika: Sikafloor PurCem, PurCem 19N, Purcem 20N, PurCem 22N
- Flowcrete: Flowcrete RT, Flowcrete HF, Flowfresh RT, Flowfresh HF
- Dex-O-Tex: Tek-Crete, Tekcrete
- Rustoleum: Thermakrete
- Tnemec: Ultra-Tread
- Duraflex: DuraCrete
- Tufco: Tufcrete
- Cornerstone: FoodFloor
- Arizona Polymers: Castorcrete
- Stonhard: Stonclad UT
These products were at one time (before urethane mortar floors were developed) were thought to be a good choice. Unfortunately, lactic acid, damp and/or cold conditions & thermal shock, serve as an enemy of epoxy floors. Lactic acid is present in all food facilities as a byproduct of food decomposition. The lactic acid slowly creates “pits” in the floor surface when the surface becomes attacked by lactic acid, during normal wear and tear on the floor. The “pits” quickly degrade into holes, and spreads like “cancer”, as they expand and migrate throughout the floor. Hairline cracks develop in hot spill/washdown areas, which cause breakage, and water/chemicals to seep under the floor. Within a relatively short period of time, and epoxy floor will need to be replaced.
Methyl Methacrylate (MMA)
This material has a noxious odor during cure, and materials are flammable. If the flooring must be installed in a freezer during operation, MMA’s will cure down to -20 degrees Fahrenheit. They are a good choice for crack repair and leveling in these very cold areas. Due to temperature swings (thermal shock, thermal cycling) in washdown and production areas, MMA’s will tend to unbond and fail due to floor coating material expanding and contracting at different rate than the concrete.
Vinyl Ester (Tufco)
Another choice that has been used in the food processing industry, due to its high tolerance of nitric acids. Unfortunately, vinyl esters also have a very noxious odor during the application, which often required the installation crew to wear gas masks with forced air supply for breathing purposes. Repair of these floors is often a logistical challenge, that can only be due at plant shut downs, when no food is present, due to potential food product contamination.
Acid Brick Dairy Brick Tile
Acid brick and quarry tile are products that have widely been used in the food processing industry. These products were the only systems available, before the advent of seamless systems. These systems are only a viable choice for new construction and long production shutdowns. The added thickness of these systems, along with long installation duration, makes it difficult or impossible for renovation and fast turnaround projects. Another issue with these systems, is the grout lines between the bricks or tile. Grout creates harmful health effects if not cleaned properly, since harmful microbes,dirt, grease, stains and mold can accumulate in them. Dirty grout lines often contribute to foul odors and deteriorating indoor air quality. Substances penetrate the tiny grout pores, making sanitizing and thorough cleaning of the floor, extremely difficult. Additionally, the grout joints have to be “re-pointed” regularly, to prevent moisture from passing into the spongy grout bed under the bricks/tile. Once the grout bed becomes saturated with moisture, it quickly spreads under the brick or tile, and eventually undermines the entire floor. If you have an existing brick/tile floor, and your grout joints are deteriorating, urethane flooring may be able to be applied over it, if it is done early in the deterioration process. Once the tiles and bricks become loose in large areas, the brick/tile must be completely removed.
For a quotation, or more information on Puma-Crete, including a quotation, color availability, technical properties, or other properties of any of our systems, please contact the technical support team at E P Floors Corp.