Flowcrete South Africa provided a range of high performance resin flooring solutions for the food producer Bakhresa Group.
The USD800 million food producer Bakhresa Group recently specified a hardwearing epoxy floor as part of a renovation project to turn an ageing facility in Durban into a state-of-the-art flour mill.
Bakhresa knew that the floor coating would need to maintain a hygienic surface despite the challenging working conditions that are unavoidable within large-scale food production facilities, including heavy equipment, intense cleaning regimes, corrosive by-products, thermal shock and frequent foot traffic.
To ensure the floor would meet the requirements, a combination of high performance resin flooring solutions from Flowcrete South Africa was chosen for the revitalised flour mill.
The resilient, self-smoothing epoxy flooring system Flowshield SL was applied within the mill’s critical production area. The ability of Flowshield SL to withstand high mechanical and chemical stress made it the perfect fit for this part of the site, as it will be able to maintain a seamless finish in the face of Bakhresa’s busy daily workload.
The joint-free, impervious nature of this system makes it a hygiene asset within food and beverage facilities, as it leaves no hard-to-clean gaps for bacteria, mould, mildew and fungi to get trapped within. Instead, any dirt or grime within the plant can be quickly and easily washed away by the site’s cleaning routine, minimising the risk of contamination incidents.
The epoxy resin floor finish Flowshield SL 1000 was used for the non-critical areas, such as the warehouse, packaging and logistics spaces. This system was suitable as it would provide the same hygienic and aesthetic properties as the production room floor but it would not have to endure such rigorous conditions.
In total, 11 000m2 of resin flooring was required to bring the facility’s floor up to the necessary standard. Flowcrete South Africa supplied the floors in a custom colour called Sand Yellow in order to meet the client’s aesthetic requirements.
As well as being able to provide floors that met the various practical demands across Bakhresa’s new site, Flowcrete South Africa was the only manufacturer that was able to deliver the materials quickly enough to meet the renovation’s strict deadline.
Flowshield SL is ideal for businesses that want to limit the time required to complete a flooring project, as it can be quickly installed and its fast cure formulation avoids long waiting periods where it is impossible to walk across the site or send in follow-on trades.
Bakhresa chose Flowcrete for the project, as it was aware that the resin specialist had supplied a long list of food and beverage producers with floors designed to overcome the industry’s specific challenges.
In fact, Unilever also specified Flowshield SL for its new manufacturing plant in Durban thanks to the resin flooring solution’s food-safe properties. This facility would be producing a number of world famous dry-food brands, including Knorr, Robertson’s, Knorrox, Aromat and Rajah. As a critical factor in the hygienic integrity of the site, it was imperative that the floor delivered the exceptionally high standards synonymous with the company.
20 000m2 of Flowshield SL was installed in the general warehousing and manufacturing areas as well as in all staff locker and changing facilities. 500m2 of a specialist antistatic version of this system, Flowshield ESD SL, was applied in the raw materials area to enhance safety levels while ensuring that this part of the site would have a clean, hardwearing floor finish.
A variety of other resin systems from Flowcrete were required across the different zones of Unilever’s vast new facility. For example the heavy-duty, antimicrobial polyurethane system Flowfresh HF was used in the kitchen and shower areas while the decorative quartz flooring system Peran STB was applied in the staff canteen to create a vibrant and welcoming platform underfoot. For the site’s external loading bay, Flowcrete’s waterproof deck coating system Deckshield ED was selected for its ability to withstand heavy traffic and impact.
Prior to laying down the resin finishes, Flowcem DPM was first applied across the site to provide a damp-proof layer that would control moisture levels within the substrate. Flowcem DPM will effectively adhere to concrete and screeds, and it is able to tolerate up to 99% relative humidity in the substrate.
The ability of Flowshield SL to retain a seamless, easy to clean finish has made it a popular flooring choice for a variety of industrial sectors outside of the food and beverage industry. The electrical parts manufacturer Eaton utilised this solution to ensure that the floor in its Wadeville facility wouldn’t fail when faced with forklift truck traffic, point loading from heavy pallets and equipment as well as potential impacts from dropped items. Flowshield SL’s high level of resistance to most acids and alkalis also meant that it wouldn’t deteriorate when faced with corrosive industrial chemicals and substances.
The flooring project initially began with the installation of 57m2 of Flowshield SL in the Gearbox Workshop as well as some joint repair work. Eaton was so impressed by the functionality and quality of the floor that the project expanded to become 400m2 of Flowshield SL.
600m2 of the industrial flooring solution Flowcoat SF41 was also installed in the Gearbox Workshop and a further 1 800m2 was applied 1mm thick in the Electric Warehouse of the Wadeville complex. Also an epoxy resin coating, Flowcoat SF41 is a solvent free, low odour system, well suited to a warehouse setting. The types of chemicals and exposure levels that the floor is liable to face within a warehouse have been factored into the formulation of this floor to provide a suitable solution.
Health and safety is a constant concern within large-scale facilities such as Bakhresa, Unilever and Eaton. When it comes to flooring, it is important to take precautions so that the floor won’t become a slip or trip hazard. To ensure that the floor provides the necessary amount of traction underfoot, the anti-slip profile of a resin finish can be adjusted by tailoring the quantity of graded aggregates added in-between coats.
The versatility, cleanability and durability of resin flooring solutions makes them ideally suited to the complex and difficult conditions that are inherent to busy industrial facilities. The above examples show how Flowshield SL exemplifies this, as it has been able to provide an effective surface for a flour mill, a food production plant and even a high-value electronics manufacturer.