Each industry requires a specific type of industrial flooring. For example, it’s completely different choosing an industrial floor for the food industry or for the steel industry.
Searching for the ideal floor is part of a constructions planning. In this planning, factors such as costs, functionality, safety, aesthetics, amongst other things, must be taken into account.
Currently there are all kinds of flooring on the market. Beyond the traditional concrete floor, you may find polished concrete, epoxy resins, PVC, polyurethane and others. Each has its own qualities that can either benefit or damage the modus operandi of an industrial center.
In order to simplify the selection of the best flooring for an industrial building, this article can be used to know which floor is best suitable according to the needs of different industries.
Flooring for the food industry
The food industry is the most demanding of all concerning the facilities hygiene, health and safety standards. Therefore, very few floors are capable of meeting their standards.
Flooring in industrial food warehouses must be able to withstand static and dynamic loads, abrasion, aggressive chemicals, amongst other wears and tears. All this without releasing dust or any other polluting agent in the work environment, furthermore, it must offer a non-slip surface.
Industrial experience indicates that epoxy and polyurethane flooring have responded correctly to the demands of the food industry, as they have sufficient mechanical, chemical, thermal resistance and their ability to adhere to concrete.
However, its maintenance and restoration is expensive, so other alternatives such as polished concrete has gained popularity within the sector in recent years.
What characteristics should a floor have in the food industry?
Flooring for food industry warehouses must meet the following requirements:
- Mechanical resistance to machinery and pedestrian traffic.
- Chemical resistance to aggressive acidic substances and hot fats.
- Non-slip surface that guarantees personnel safety.
- Continuous surface, without grooves or dents where dirt, pathogenic microorganisms, dust, etc. can accumulate.
- Waterproof surface for easy cleaning.
Flooring for the metallurgical industry
Metallurgical industrial warehouses are mainly characterized by high temperatures, due to the activity of the smelting furnaces and other equipment, subjecting the internal environment to sudden and harsh variations.
That is why this industrial sector needs a resistant floor. Polished concrete or polyurethane (and cement-polyurethane) flooring are options that are capable of withstanding the intense heat that flows through metallurgical warehouses, thanks to their physicochemical properties.
They also have sufficient mechanical and chemical resistance to endure the attack of aggressive substances used in metallurgy and the abrasiveness of heavy machinery.
What are the required floor characteristics?
The metallurgical industry is very rigorous in terms of the building’s safety, due to the high risk of its activities.
Flooring for an industrial metallurgical building must meet the following requirements:
- Non-slip surface, which minimizes the probability of accidents.
- Thermal resistance.
- Chemical resistance.
- Resistance to impacts and abrasion.
Flooring for the chemical industry
Chemical industry buildings are environments for the production of drugs, cosmetics, dyes, synthetic substances, and others, which are governed by rigorous regulations that ensure the integrity and quality of production.
Basically, the chemical industry requires flooring to be hygienic and safe, which implies that it must be waterproof, non-slip, anti-dust, and above all, resistant to any kind of chemical attack.
Self-leveling mortar floors with an anti-dust treatment has been the preferred option for chemical industrial warehouses, due to its flat and uniform surface, chemical and mechanical resistance and its smooth finish.
However, continuous pavement with an antacid coating also conforms to the requirements of the chemical industry, as it prevents the accumulation of dirt and dust. All this, without neglecting its high resistance to humidity and abrasive chemicals.
Also, polished concrete is once again a very good option, since it’s a dust-free, non-slip flooring and withstands humidity and abrasive chemicals well.
Essential flooring characteristics
These are the characteristics a chemical industry floor must meet:
- Easy cleaning the surface.
- Optimal sanitation, to avoid the contamination of chemical products and to increase the quality and safety of the environment.
- Chemical resistance to acidic, corrosive substances, etc
- Mechanical resistance.
- Non-slip finish.
Flooring for industrial textile warehouses
Textile industrial buildings are similar to chemical industrial buildings in terms of hygiene. Essentially, flooring in textile industrial buildings should generate little dirt and dust. The objective is to avoid contaminating the textile products.
In addition, it’s important that the floor has a good mechanical and chemical resistance, and a non-slip and waterproof surface to facilitate its maintenance.
Traditional concrete flooring has been used in textile industrial buildings, but it must be covered with either epoxy resins, polyurethane or vinyl.
Some chemical treatments can also be applied to the concrete floor, in order to control dust release.
Of all industries, this one does not have a clear preference over any type of flooring.
What should be the flooring characteristics?
A textile industrial building seeks that its pavement meets the following characteristics:
- Non-slip surface.
- Waterproof finish and coating, to facilitate the cleaning of its surface.
- Chemical resistance.
- Mechanical resistance.
Industrial floor maintenance, how often should it be done?
Just as determining the best flooring for an industrial warehouse is a relatively complicated matter, setting the maintenance time for an industrial flooring is also difficult, because various variables must be considered.
Maintenance and how often it should be performed depend on the type of flooring, so there’s no universal solution to the matter.
However, it’s necessary to mention that preventive maintenance is the best option, as it will allow the flooring to be kept in an optimal state, through daily inspections.
One way of minimizing the obligations of maintaining an industrial floor is through mechanical-chemical treatments, which alter the concrete surface to reduce the effects of wear and tear.
The BECOSAN® treatment is a notable alternative because it minimizes the release of dust, densifying and hardening the concrete, to increase its durability. Therefore, it reduces maintenance time and cost.