Every aspect requires careful consideration when building a food processing plant or commercial kitchen. Flooring that can handle the daily stresses created in a food processing environment is just as important as proper ventilation, efficient appliances, and employee safety.

 

Polyurethane (PU) floor coatings are also known as PU Screed, Cementitious Polyurethane systems, Cementitious Urethane, Polyurethane concrete, and they can be applied in a slurry broadcast system or a trowel system with a topcoat.

 

There are several agencies which oversee food processing plants in Canada and the US:

 

  • USDA (United States Department of Agriculture)

  • FDA (Food and Drug Administration)

  • HACCP (Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point)

  • NSF International/ANSI 18 (National Sanitation Foundation)

  • CFIA (Canadian Food Inspection Agency)

  • Health Canada

  • FSEP (Food Safety Enhancement Program)

 

 

There are several agencies which oversee food processing plants in Canada and the US:

 

  • Floors must use non-porous materials that have no cracks, seams, or gaps in the surface along with anti-microbial properties.

  • Floors must be both chemical resistant and waterproof to prevent damage to the surfaces during operations.

  • Flooring should be easy to clean, maintain, and sanitize.

Spreading polyurethane coating

Polyurethane floor systems exceed or meet all criteria for a food processing floor and although they have a higher upfront cost, they last longer and require less maintenance during their lifespan. Additives in the polyurethane flooring help make it resistant to thermal shock. Thermal shock cycling can decrease flooring lifespan.

 

Food production and processing flooring needs to inhibit the growth of mould spores and bacteria, including gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria such as: E-coli, MRSA, C. difficile, and Salmonella typhi. Additives can boost the effectiveness of PU flooring, not only will it be seamless, but the floor can also actively kill bacteria. Some additives can remain active for the entire lifetime of the floor, even if worn or damaged, making them highly effective for long-term hygiene performance.

 

Food processing facilities face special requirements such as physical impacts, heavy vehicle traffic from laden forklifts, or point loading. Food processing floors are exposed to a large amount of natural organic acids from food making polyurethane a great choice with its resistance to acid corrosion and alkalis.

There is no flooring solution that fits all projects, so it is important that you speak with one of our experts at BNE to make sure your flooring solution is the correct one for your specific usage.

CONTACT A BNE EXPERT
  • Worker smoothing sealant.

In general, polyurethane floors are well suited for the following industrial and commercial applications:

 

  • Commercial Kitchens

  • Manufacturing Production

  • Facilities

  • Institutional Kitchens

  • High-end Restaurant

  • Kitchens

  • Breweries, Wineries, and Distilleries

  • Kegging, Bottling, and Canning Facilities

  • Pet food processing plants

  • Food packaging plants

  • Bakeries

  • Walk-in Freezer and Refrigerators

  • Loading Docks

  • Battery

  • Charging/Maintenance Shops

  • Cafeterias

  • Fryer Lines

  • Locker Rooms

  • Wash Bays

Polyurethane offers the following benefits:

 

 

  • Abrasion resistance

  • Chemical resistance

  • Acid resistance

  • High-impact resistance

  • Stain resistance

  • Low-Odour and Off gassing

  • Slip Resistance

  • Vibration resistance

  • Seamless flooring

  • Thermal shock resistance

  • Self-levelling

  • Anti-microbial

  • Wear resistance

  • Waterproof

  • Smooth or textured finish

  • Fast installation and quick cure time

  • Easy to clean

  • Low maintenance (No polishing or waxing)

 

BNE offers the following services for your food processing facility or restaurant:

 

  • Slab installation/Concrete floor finishing

  • Grinding and surface preparation

  • Concrete repair and crack filling

  • Slab stabilization, joint repair

  • Traffic membranes

  • Polyurethane floor coating

Polyurethane Coatings Features & Intallation

 

 

Thermal Shock Cycling

Floors in restaurants and food processing plants are exposed to high intensity heat from industrial appliances and hot water pressure washing or steam cleaning. The floor in a walk-in freezer or the floor in front of an oven running all day is exposed to extreme variations that can create thermal shock.

Concrete expands and contracts at a different degree than the coating on top, so cycling between hot and cold creates blistering or delamination where there coating eventually separates from the concrete subfloor.

 

Delamination will create cracks, flakes, and chips on the floor rendering the floor susceptible to damage from water, chemicals, etc. The more extreme the temperature fluctuations in the facility, the more you need a thermal shock resistance floor coating like polyurethane.

PU coatings have similar thermal expansion coefficient as the concrete substrate they are bonded to. That means that they heat and contract at the same rate as the concrete underneath them which eliminates delamination or blistering.

 

A floor coating used where food is produced, processed, packaged, or stored must be able to withstand:

  • Steam cleaning
  • Power washing
  • Hot water washdowns
  • Aggressive cleaning agents

 

Aggressive cleaning methods are used regularly in food processing and production facilities to deal with stubborn biological contaminants such as blood and grease. Epoxies or MMA Flooring Systems are not recommended in areas exposed to hot water washdowns and/or steam cleaning.

Wet Environments & Drainage

In wet environments, flooring must also provide an adequate amount of worker safety. You floor design must include a proper sloping and drainage system to prevent the pooling of water and to minimise the risk of spills. We can add aggregate to the PU flooring to increase traction, but it also increases spaces for bacteria to accumulate. Speak with your BNE representative to see what the best level of compromise between traction and easy-to-clean flooring is for your specific project.

 

Standing liquid can damage any type of flooring by reducing adhesion and breaking down the resin over time. Proper drainage is key to making sure your floors are not exposed to standing liquids. However, not all drainage systems work with all types of flooring, so it is important to speak with your BNE sales representative to make sure you have the correct flooring for your project.

General Heat Resistance

Epoxy floors can tolerate up to 65 degrees Celsius whereas properly installed PU flooring can handle up to 120 degrees Celsius.

Installation

Proper installation of your polyurethane floor is very important. If the coating is applied too thin it can start to form cracks which are very hard to keep clean and bacteria free.

 

A properly installed polyurethane (PU) floor coating will last more than three times as long as an equivalent epoxy floor; 15+ years vs. 5 years for epoxy.

Polyurethane floors are generally softer and more elastic making them more resistance to scratching than epoxy. And they have a relatively quick curing time, being usable in 6-8 hours. This keeps down-time to a minimum, saving you money and getting you back to production as quickly as possible.

 

PU floors are ideally suited to the dairy industry as they can resist the natural acids milk and cheese production and prevent the floors from corroding and yellowing. In the food and beverage industry these floors provide superior performance from chemical attacks such as:

 

  • Organic/natural food acids

  • Sugar

  • Hot oils

  • Fats

  • Malt

  • Caustic agents

  • and powerful cleaning products