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Thermal Shock Resistant Flooring


Thermal Shock Resistant Flooring: What Food Manufacturers Need To Know

Food and beverage processing plants are subject to punishing cleaning and wash down processes that can involve very hot water, or even steam, in order to remove blood, grease and other unruly chemical contaminants from the surface in line with hygiene regulations.

All flooring material expands and contracts with changes in temperatures. When it occurs at a rate significantly different from that of the concrete substrate underneath it can lead to delamination, cracks, bubbles and other deterioration.

When assessing requirements for floor surfaces in food and beverage production, processing and packaging facilities, in-service temperature and exposure to thermal shock or cycling conditions are some of the most important factors to consider.

This will determine the type of material and thickness of the floor needed.

Polyurethane concrete systems expand and contract at a rate very similar to that of the concrete slab below, helping to ensure that the floor functions as it should under temperature variables or even violent swings.

The recommended surface material for red and white meat slaughtering houses and processing facilities, raw milk and dairy facilities as well as seafood, shellfish and egg handling facilities that are most commonly subject to thermal shock and cycling is a urethane concrete screed with antimicrobial technology for enhanced hygiene performance.

Polyurethane concrete is available in thicknesses ranging from 3/16” specifications, which are fully serviceable to constant temperatures of 150°F and intermittent temperatures of 200°F through to 3/8” specifications suitable for the most extreme environments with constant temperatures of 220°F and occasional spillage up to 250°F.

This material should be used in just about every room where food handling or packaging occurs.

Coupled with the inclusion of cementitious-formed coved skirting at the wall/floor junctions, these systems provide the most aggressive protection against thermal shock.

Hard floors based on epoxy, vinyl ester or MMA chemistry are not equipped to deal with thermal shock conditions and as a result can crack or delaminate, weakening the surface and invariably leading to the early onset of floor failure.


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David McNeece

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