Certain floors have stringent healthcare and safety needs, and the Manufacturers have taken several measures to ensure that they provide solutions to meet such demands.

Creating a hygienic floor area requires installing a floor that meets several key sanitation criteria, such as being seamless, impervious and easy to clean. A thorough analysis of the building’s future use and how it could affect the floor should also be undertaken.

This process is important as, prior to specifying the floor, it is crucial to be aware of what sorts of chemicals, impacts and potentially damaging factors the floor needs to withstand. Failing to choose a floor system that can cope with the location’s daily operational activity can lead to an early floor failure that turns a previously spotless surface into an unsightly, unhygienic surface prone to potentially dangerous bacteria buildup.  

To deal with these issues, seamless, impermeable and crack-free, resin-based systems are increasingly being specified in hygiene-sensitive facilities on account of their easy-to-clean nature, hardwearing performance characteristics and ability to include antimicrobial additives in their formulation.

The food and beverage and manufacturing industries in particular are frequently installing thick, polyurethane floors such as Flowcrete South Africa’s Flowfresh range, especially in the heavy-duty industrial areas. The high cross-linked density typical of polyurethane floors makes them robust and able to withstand conditions within intense, large-scale industrial environments.

Chemical attack is a particular problem in the food and beverage industry, as it could break down the polymer structure of the floor. The chemical resistance of a resin floor is affected by its thickness, resin/polymer basis and the reactivity of the chemical agent. This is where the Flowfresh range offers effective protection against chemical attack.

Flowcrete has an exclusive partnership with Polygiene, which is a manufacturer of natural silver-ion-based antimicrobial agents. This additive has been incorporated into the polyurethane matrix of Flowfresh to offer an advanced surface protection against harmful bacteria, mould and yeasts.

Polygiene is highly effective at attacking bacteria including SARS, E-coli, MRSA, C. difficile and Salmonella typhi, amongst others. International studies have shown a 99.9% reduction in the bacterial population on the surface of a polyurethane floor containing Polygiene.

Unlike many antimicrobial alternatives, the Polygiene additive is homogeneously distributed throughout the resin system. This formulation means that its antimicrobial properties will remain active over the lifetime of the floor, even if it becomes worn or damaged.

What adds to Flowfresh systems’ appeal is the fact that they are non-porous, preventing bacteria and mould spores from surviving in the joints and cracks.

Many industrial plants take advantage of the fact that signage can be incorporated into a Flowfresh finish to enhance on-site safety. The bright and colourful systems available in the range allow walkways to be clearly marked out, helping staff and visitors avoid getting unnecessarily close to machinery and produce.

The colourful nature of the product is also ideal for segregating different working areas. This is advantageous for locations where, for example, raw and cooked meats are in close proximity to each other, as they can be easily separated with a simple colour-coded system.

By carefully considering the demands placed on the floor of a food and beverage facility, developers can ensure that they choose a product that will work with the environment. Antimicrobial flooring such as Flowfresh makes it easier to achieve these goals, as it will continuously work to minimise the risks of bacteria for 24 hours a day.

*Polygiene is a Registered Trademark