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December 7, 2018 - 5 min

Heavy Duty Flooring Products for the Food and Beverage Industry

Published by Émilie Aimé

Flooring in the food and beverage industry requires the best concrete protection due to the extreme conditions to which it may be exposed. No matter the application domain in the food industry, protecting this concrete will extend its lifetime while responding to the industry’s needs. 

Description of the Food and Beverage Environment

Environment Characteristics

  • A high standard of hygiene is paramount throughout the industry as a whole.
  • Subject to intensive cleaning methods, such as daily pressure washing and corrosive chemical agents.
  • High risk of ponding water, damaging oils and chemicals, as well as other hazardous wastes and substances.
  • Health and safety risk of slippage.
  • Proliferation of bacteria is one of the most important issues of this industry.
  • Subject to frequent thermal shocks (very high temperatures, vapour cleaning, freezers, etc.).
  • High traffic of heavy equipment.

 

The Food and Beverage Industry Includes

  • Food processing
  • Agri-food
  • Bakeries
  • Industrial kitchens
  • Cheese industry
  • Food services
  • Pet food

Areas With Similar Attributes and Flooring Requirements

  • Food processing
  • Agri-food
  • Bakeries
  • Industrial kitchens
  • Cheese industry
  • Food services
  • Pet food
  • Others

Food and Beverage Flooring Requirements

Temperature Variation Resistance

In a food and beverage environment, flooring may be exposed to different temperatures (e.g., freezers, cooking zones, high-temperature sanitation, etc.). According to the MAPAQ (Québec ministry of agriculture, fisheries and food), complete high-temperature sanitation should reach 77 °C for 30 seconds.

Anti-Slip Properties

To minimize the risks of slipping and falling, floors must have a minimal slip level while providing an easy-to-clean surface. Ponding water, oil or greasy substances are often found on the floor in this kind of industry.

Bacteria Resistant and Easy To Clean

A 100% waterproofed flooring that can handle ponding water is essential. Plus, a system that can facilitate cleaning is also expected in this market. As we know, bacteria proliferation is a big issue in this industry, which is why flooring is cleaned up each day with a high-pressure system. The waterproof surface and the absence of floor seals prevent all bacteria proliferation and make maintenance easier.

Curing Time

A fast-curing product is essential. Often, we can’t stop production for a long time as it would be too costly for the business. Faster curing permits a faster return to production.

Chemical Resistance

Flooring in a food and beverage environment is exposed to harsh chemical spills and frequent cleaning. Products used during the cleaning process are corrosive. But proper flooring will not be damaged, even after many chemical exposures. 

Mechanical Resistance

Flooring in this environment or other similar environments is exposed to many mechanical shocks, such as falling equipment, high traffic, and the use of lifting devices.

Self-Extinguishing

Food and Beverage flooring requires a surface that is self-extinguishing because the risk of local fire is frequent. For example, if a small fire starts in a room, it will extinguish itself and will not spread.

Odourless and VOC-Free

An odourless and VOC-free floor is extremely important, primarily when the product is installed in an existing factory (upgrade or floor restoration and repair). Minimizing the potential for contamination of equipment is essential to the longevity of infrastructure.

Featured Projects

Big Axe Brewery

System: ALSAN FLOORFLAKE

Area: 418 m² (4,500 ft²)

Challenge: This project required floor protection that would combine an aesthetic finish with superior strength to support the daily operations of the brewery.

Winery (Food Production Room)

System: URECO FLOOR BASE

Area: 10,000 ft² (929 m²)

Challenge: Acids from fruit and wine deteriorate concrete surfaces down to the aggregates. That’s why we had to make sure that the floor protection system would be resistant to these acids.

 

Food Freezing Room

System: URECO FLOOR BASE

Area: 6,000 ft² (557 m²)

Challenge: The floor protection system had to offer resistance to very cold temperatures and thermal shock. This industrial food freezer maintains an ambient temperature of -18 °C, but undergoes numerous pressure washes at temperatures above 65 °C. The URECO system was therefore the best option.