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Polyurethanes: The Popular Choice for F&B Industry Flooring

Did you know that robust polyurethane flooring ranges are providing cost effective, hygienic flooring for the food and beverage industry?

Not only that, these types of systems will provide surfaces that comply with strict food industry regulations for a very long period of time. In fact, many coatings that were worked on a decade ago are still in place and continuing to provide hygienic, reliable and safe surfaces for large-scale food production and processing operations around the world.

Why Choose Polyurethane?

Polyurethane systems are ideal in the food and beverage industry as they are able to withstand the sector’s unique challenges. Without an adequate finish underfoot, food and beverage plants are vulnerable to a long list of unwanted costs and problems.

With an impressive average life-span of approximately 15 years, many food producers have installed polyurethane coatings in order to protect their facility for the long term against the costs and concerns of a failing floor.

Mitra Adiperkasa (MAP) leading lifestyle retailer, installed a polyurethane floor finish due to the durable nature of the system that enables it to withstand thermal shock from hot ovens, chemical attack from food-by-products and point loading from heavy equipment.

How Much Does it Cost?

Although it will initially cost more to install a thicker, fit-for-purpose flooring solution, in the long run it is far more cost effective for food and beverage businesses. What may seem like a cheaper alternative often leads to companies spending a lot more over time with annual maintenance costs, such as cleaning, repairs and upkeep, as well as the price of replacing a failed floor and the subsequent costs incurred by shutting down production.

This point is exemplified by a formula created by Flowcrete Group’s’ Technical Director, Grant Adamson. The equation takes the original cost of a floor and then adds to it annual maintenance costs. The formula is:

Lifecycle Cost Considerations (LCC) Formula

  • LCC = C + MPW + RPW
  • The capital cost (C) of a project includes the initial capital expense for engineering, products and installation.
  • Maintenance (M) is the sum of all yearly scheduled operation and maintenance associated with floor repairs.
  • (R) is the replacement cost of a failed floor, including the financial impact of shutting down production.

When you take a 15-year view of flooring, the longevity of polyurethane makes it one of the cheapest materials available costing around USD11,000 compared to epoxies that come in at USD13,000, carpet at USD20,000 and vinyl and linoleum which can cost up to USD25,000.

The fresh food distribution business Chef’s Pantry specified a specialist polyurethane floor finish for its vegetable processing area to enhance the hygienic credentials of its facility.

In some cases, the cost of floor failure can spiral and exceed this formula. This tends to happen when a food borne illness outbreak occurs, often due to contaminant build-up in the hard to clean gaps and cracks of a deteriorating floor going on to infect produce en masse. Therefore it’s important to design and maintain a food safe facility by installing high quality, accredited products.

HACCP International Certified Polyurethane Systems 

Polyurethane systems which are HACCP International certified have been leading the charge for hygienic food industry flooring for over a decade. For example, the polyurethane flooring range Flowfresh has been proven to meet the strict standards of the HACCP guidelines and it even contains an antibacterial property that goes beyond this industry standard by giving it the capacity to eliminate up to 99.9% of bacteria in contact with the floor.

By incorporating Polygiene’s® unique, all natural silver-ion technology into the polyurethane matrix, Flowfresh flooring won’t lose any of its bacterial power even after a decade!

TH Milk’s plant in Nghe An Province, Vietnam installed the Flowfresh range for areas where cleanliness was of paramount concern, such as the cheese & butter line, due to its superior hygienic benefits.

Would you like to find out more about flooring that will provide a safe, hygienic and regulatory compliant finish well into the next decade? Leave a comment below and we’ll put you in touch with a local flooring expert!

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Kate Hassall

Kate Hassall is the Social Media Executive at the global resin flooring manufacturer Flowcrete Group Ltd. Kate's role includes creating press releases, blogs, and case studies as well as monitor, manage and populate social media platforms to encourage growth and marketing messages.

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