The Floor of the Meat factory Notes by Eben van Tonder 15 June 2023
The floor of the meat factory is a key consideration. Cost is always a major issue, especially in developing countries. Here I list and briefly make comments about the various options and what must be considered.
The first consideration is if one will use only cement or have another specialised floor on top of the cement floor such as an epoxy floor. Cement only can be used if one uses a hard cap and seal it with a sealant of some sort, but this must be decided upon at the start of the project as a hard cap must be part of the floor from the start or you won’t be able to add it afterwards. The floor will be a major expense and must be considered right up front very carefully. As with everything else in the meat plant, the total cost of ownership must be considered.
Portland or Polymer Cement
One must decide if you will use Portland Cement or Polyment Cement. Portland Cement is a more advanced concrete but there are adhesives which are mixed in polymer concrete to make it a polymer-modified concrete with similar characteristics as Portland Cement.
When evaluating the cost-benefit of Portland cement versus a polymer-modified cement with added chemicals to improve strength as a flooring cement, several factors should be considered, including initial material cost, installation cost, long-term durability, and performance. Let’s compare these two options from a cost-benefit perspective:
- Portland Cement:
- Initial Material Cost: Portland cement is generally more cost-effective compared to specialized polymer-modified cements. It is widely available and commonly used in construction projects, resulting in lower material costs.
- Installation Cost: Portland cement requires proper mixing and application, which may involve additional labour costs. The installation process may take longer due to the need for curing and drying time.
- Long-Term Durability: Portland cement offers good durability and strength, making it suitable for flooring applications. However, it may be more susceptible to cracking and shrinkage over time, especially in high-stress environments.
- Performance: While Portland cement provides a solid base, it may lack some desirable properties for flooring, such as enhanced flexibility, impact resistance, and chemical resistance. Additional coatings or sealers may be required to improve these characteristics, which can increase long-term maintenance costs.
- Polymer-Modified Cement:
- Initial Material Cost: Polymer-modified cements tend to have a higher initial material cost compared to Portland cement. The added polymers and chemicals improve the strength, flexibility, and other properties of the cement, resulting in increased costs.
- Installation Cost: Polymer-modified cement typically requires similar installation procedures to Portland cement, with proper mixing and application. However, the improved properties of the material may result in faster installation time and reduced labour costs.
- Long-Term Durability: Polymer-modified cements with added chemicals generally exhibit enhanced durability, reduced shrinkage, and increased resistance to cracking. They can offer improved performance and longevity compared to traditional Portland cement.
- Performance: Polymer-modified cements are specifically designed to provide superior properties for flooring applications. These may include increased strength, flexibility, impact resistance, and chemical resistance. The added benefits can potentially reduce long-term maintenance costs and extend the lifespan of the floor.
The hard top option is possible if it was part of the initial plan. There is a product called nitoflor hardtop which is sprayed while casting the concrete and then power troweled. If it was not part of the initial design, in order to apply the hard top, you have to again cast a concrete of a minimum of 40mm thick and then spray the hardtop before power trowelling. Generally, a hardtop can not be applied on existing concrete because the concrete has already been laid and set. Of all the options hardtop is the cheapest.
Epoxy coating of 0.5mm roller apply. Epoxy floor coatings are a type of thermosetting polymer that is created by mixing two components: epoxy resin and a hardener. When these two components are combined, they chemically react and form a rigid, durable, and chemically resistant coating. Epoxy coatings provide a high-gloss finish and offer excellent resistance to abrasion, impact, chemicals, and stains. They are commonly used in industrial and commercial applications where there is a need for a strong and seamless floor surface.
Ucrete has many advantages over epoxy and has the following general characteristics.
More scratch resistance, no issues of moisture – it can be applied even when the moisture content in concrete is more than 15%. It has resistance against harsh chemicals, and is resistant to extreme temperatures from -45 degrees to +120 degrees. It is tougher and does not wear off as fast as epoxy.
Ideally ucrete flooring is supposed to be the ultimate specification on the concrete particularly in a meat processing factory just like your
Acrylic is just a coating system. Using roller apply. Acrylic floor coatings are made from a water-based acrylic polymer. They are known for their fast-drying properties and are typically used for decorative purposes. Acrylic coatings provide a durable and glossy finish to the floor surface. They are often used in residential and light commercial settings, such as homes, retail stores, and offices. Acrylic coatings offer good chemical resistance and are relatively easy to apply.
Polyurethane or PU
Polyurethane coatings are typically solvent-based or water-based coatings that contain polyurethane resins. Polyurethane coatings are known for their excellent durability, abrasion resistance, and chemical resistance. They provide a hard, protective finish that is suitable for high-traffic areas and industrial settings. Polyurethane coatings are commonly used in environments where there is a need for superior protection against chemicals, wear, and tear, such as warehouses, factories, and automotive facilities.
Evaluating hard-top, acrylic, polyurethane, ucrete, and epoxy from a functional perspective
- Hard-Top Flooring: Hard-top flooring typically refers to dense and durable concrete floors. Concrete floors can be a cost-effective option, but they may require additional coatings or sealers for improved functionality. Concrete floors can withstand heavy loads and are generally resistant to impacts. However, they may not provide sufficient chemical resistance and can be porous, making them prone to absorbing liquids and becoming stained. Regular maintenance and sealing may be required to ensure longevity and hygiene.
- Acrylic Flooring: Acrylic floor coatings offer a decorative and glossy finish. They provide moderate chemical resistance and are relatively easy to clean and maintain. However, acrylic coatings may not offer the same level of durability and resistance to heavy impacts or abrasion as other flooring systems. They are suitable for light commercial settings but may not be the ideal choice for a meat factory environment that requires robust flooring.
- Polyurethane Flooring: Polyurethane floor coatings are known for their excellent durability, chemical resistance, and impact resistance. They provide a tough and seamless finish that can withstand heavy foot traffic, equipment, and frequent cleaning with harsh chemicals. Polyurethane coatings offer superior resistance to chemicals typically used in meat processing facilities, such as acids, oils, fats, and cleaning agents. They are also hygienic and easy to clean, making them a suitable choice for meat factories.
- Ucrete Flooring: Ucrete is a brand of polyurethane-concrete flooring system that combines the benefits of polyurethane and concrete. Ucrete floors are highly durable, impact-resistant, and provide excellent chemical resistance. They are specifically designed for demanding industrial environments like meat factories. Ucrete floors have a dense and impermeable surface, making them resistant to chemicals, moisture, and microbial growth. They offer high slip resistance and are easy to clean and maintain. Ucrete flooring systems are often chosen for their long-term performance and hygienic properties.
- Epoxy Flooring: Epoxy floor coatings offer a durable and seamless finish with excellent chemical resistance. They are resistant to chemicals, oils, and grease commonly found in meat processing facilities. Epoxy floors are impact-resistant, easy to clean, and maintain. They provide a high-gloss and attractive appearance while offering good slip resistance. Epoxy coatings can be applied with different thicknesses and can be customized with additives to meet specific performance requirements. They are a popular choice for industrial environments, including meat factories.
Hard-top, acrylic, polyurethane, ucrete, and epoxy are evaluated from a cost-benefit perspective only and listed in descending order, from the best cost-benefit to the worst.
When evaluating different flooring systems for a meat factory from a cost-benefit perspective, it is important to consider the initial installation cost, long-term maintenance costs, durability, and performance. Based on these factors, here is the evaluation of the mentioned flooring systems in descending order, from the best cost-benefit to the worst:
- Hard-Top Flooring: Concrete floors, in terms of initial installation cost, are generally more affordable compared to specialized coatings or systems. However, they may require additional coatings or sealers to enhance functionality and improve chemical resistance, which can add to the long-term maintenance cost. Concrete floors have good durability and can withstand heavy loads, but they may require more frequent maintenance and resealing to ensure longevity. From a cost-benefit perspective, hard-top flooring can be a relatively cost-effective option.
- Epoxy Flooring: Epoxy floor coatings provide a balance between cost and performance. They have a reasonable initial installation cost and offer excellent durability, chemical resistance, and ease of maintenance. Epoxy floors can withstand heavy foot traffic and the demands of a meat factory environment. They require periodic maintenance, such as recoating or touch-ups, but overall, the long-term maintenance costs are generally manageable. Epoxy flooring systems offer a good cost-benefit ratio.
- Acrylic Flooring: Acrylic floor coatings are often chosen for their decorative properties and moderate cost. They have a lower initial installation cost compared to some other systems. However, from a purely functional perspective, acrylic coatings may not offer the same level of durability, chemical resistance, and impact resistance as other flooring systems. They may require more frequent maintenance and recoating, which can increase the long-term costs. While acrylic flooring can be cost-effective initially, the overall cost-benefit ratio may be lower due to the need for more regular upkeep.
- Polyurethane Flooring: Polyurethane floor coatings offer excellent durability, chemical resistance, and impact resistance. They provide a long-lasting and high-performance flooring solution. However, polyurethane systems tend to have a higher initial installation cost compared to other options. While the upfront cost may be higher, polyurethane floors can result in cost savings over the long term due to their durability and low maintenance requirements. From a pure cost-benefit perspective, polyurethane flooring can be a favourable choice for meat factories.
- Ucrete Flooring: Ucrete flooring systems are highly durable, chemical-resistant, and hygienic, making them suitable for meat factories. However, they tend to have a higher initial installation cost compared to other flooring options. Ucrete floors are specifically designed for demanding industrial environments and offer long-term performance. While the upfront cost may be higher, Ucrete floors can provide significant cost savings over time due to their robustness and low maintenance needs. From a cost-benefit perspective, Ucrete flooring can be considered an investment in the long-term durability and performance of the facility.
Different Options – Brand Names
Consider the following.
– BASF (www.master-builders-solutions.basf.ae)
MasterTop 1210 (formerly Mastertop 1210 Plus);
Porous concrete is overlaid with MasterTop 1210. -> Seal with a coat of MasterTop 1200 with the addition of MasterTop THN2. Add the MasterTop THN 2 to the base and reactor components, after they have been decanted into the mixing container, then mix the base and reactor components together until all striations have disappeared. Apply the mixed material to the dry substrate at the rate of 6 – 8m2 /litre using a medium or short hair roller. Allow the sealer to become completely tack-free before over-coating with MasterTop 1210.
Contact: BASF Construction Chemicals UAE LLC, http://www.master-builders-solutions.basf.ae; tel +971 4 8090800
– Costar (www.costarchem.com)
To repair small holes in concrete, use Costar Repair Mortar (RM) 20 with Aqualatex C10, an acrylic emulsion bonding agent. Caostar RM20 is one component high-quality concrete repair and patching mortar.
For a PU solution, use Confloor 5300
Costar Top 20 is a Low VOC Lithium Silicate based densifier and concrete hardener.
Concrete Sealer 20 is a resin-based concrete sealer.
Costar Dustproofer is a ready to use low viscosity dust proofing liquid.
Costar Expanseal 300 is a two-component self-levelling pU sealant ideal for horizontal applications.
Costar Expanseal 200 – PG/GG is a two-component PU sealant for vertical and horizontal sealing application of concrete.
email. email@example.com, +925 4348314, Antioch, California.
The choice of the right flooring system requires a thorough consideration in terms of cost-benefit and total-cost-of-ownership over time.
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