Sika products were selected by contractor Projects International when the Port Bell Brewery in Uganda needed renovations to the flooring in its packline area.

Situated on the shores of Lake Victoria, Port Bell Brewery lies just seven miles from central Kampala. A division of East African Breweries Ltd, which in turn is a subsidiary of the global beverage giant Diageo, Port Bell Brewery was completely modernised in 1999 thereby expanding its brewing capacity to 750 000 hectolitres per annum.

More recently however, the NCT tiling in the packline area of the brewery had problems due to spillages causing the epoxy grouting to crack, which resulted in the tiles cracking and delaminating. Diageo therefore requisitioned the installation of new, high-impact flooring that would be resistant to heat and caustic soda; the specification of Sika’s high-performance flooring products was the next step.

Approximately 1 850m2 of the packline area that contains conveyors and which is not subjected to heat, was coated with a 5mm layer of Sikafloor-261 ZA MTR screed.

This is a two-part, multipurpose binder based on epoxy resin that is used with combinations of fillers to produce self-smoothing and broadcast layers, as well as textured layers, mortar screeds, and sealer coats.

Sikafloor-261 ZA BCT – the broadcast system of this product – is ideal for wet process areas, as found in the food and beverage industry. Sikafloor-261 ZA is easy to apply and provides good chemical and mechanical resistance. This economical product is liquid-proof, solvent-free and produces a tight, glossy surface, which is also slip-resistant.

The remaining 1 650m2 floor area, which is subjected to heat and caustic soda from the bottle washers, pasteurisers, fillers and label machines, was coated with a 7mm layer of Sikafloor-20 N PurCem, a three-part, resin-rich, high-strength, cement and aggregate screed.

This product possesses a similar coefficient of thermal expansion to concrete, allowing movement with the substrate through normal thermal cycling, and will perform and retain its physical characteristics through a temperature range from -40oC up to 120oC.

It has a bond strength in excess of the tensile strength of concrete and provides excellent resistance to a wide range of organic and inorganic acids, alkalis, amines, salts and solvents.

The fluid consistency of Sikafloor-20 N PurCem requires less labour to install than conventional heavy-duty, PU-modified, trowel-grade screeds, and typically no concrete primer or sealer is necessary. It is also fast-curing, allowing full service after twelve hours, thereby cutting production downtime to an absolute minimum.

When subjected to impact, Sikafloor-20 N PurCem behaves plastically – it will deform but will not crack or debond. This VOC-free, non-taint, odourless screed is slip-resistant and jointless, and thus easily maintained.

The bases of all drains in the packline area were coated with Sikafloor-20 N PurCem, while the sides were coated with Sikafloor-31 N PurCem, a three-part, solvent-free, high-build, polyurethane-modified, cement and aggregate coating providing excellent chemical resistance. Both of these outstanding Sika products boast international approval for use in food processing plants.

Diageo allowed 30 days for the completion of this 3 500m2 project, which therefore necessitated an area of approximately 120m2 being completed each day. To prevent running behind schedule, at certain stages Projects International decided to work through the night.

Since completion, Port Bell Brewery has been able to continue producing its popular products, and global beverage giant Diageo is secure in the knowledge that the flooring of its Ugandan brewery has been renovated to the highest possible standards by Sika.