Food safety is vital for consumer confidence and a hygienic floor design in food and beverage facilities is central to the safe production, processing and storage of produce.
Polyurethane systems, such as Flowcrete UKs Flowfresh range, are the most commonly used resin solutions in the food industry, especially in the most heavy-duty industrial areas. The high cross-linked density typical of polyurethane floors makes them exceptionally robust and able to withstand abusive environments.
Chemical attack is a particular problem in the food and beverage industry, as it could break down the polymer structure of the floor, resulting in erosion of the surface, softening, embrittlement, blistering or delamination. The chemical resistance of a resin floor is affected by its thickness, resin/polymer basis and the reactivity of the chemical agent. The Flowfresh range offers a much more effective protection against chemical attack than epoxy or MMA floors.
Flowcrete Group Ltd has an exclusive partnership with Polygiene®, which is a manufacturer of natural silver ion-based antimicrobial agents. This additive has been incorporated into the polyurethane matrix of Flowfresh to offer an advanced surface protection against harmful bacteria, mould and yeasts.
Polygiene® is highly effective at attacking bacteria including SARS, E-coli, MRSA, C. difficile and Salmonella typhi amongst others. In fact international studies have shown a 99.9% reduction in the bacterial population on the surface of a polyurethane floor containing Polygiene®.
Many food and beverage processing plants will also need to account for thermal shock conditions, whereby the ambient temperature changes significantly and almost immediately, which can lead to floor failure.
Flowfresh systems have a coefficient of expansion similar to that of concrete, therefore the material expands, contracts and moves with the substrate to prevent any lasting damage. A thick polyurethane system is especially advisable for cold stores, blast freezers, furnaces and the space underneath hot ovens, due to the inevitable long periods of exposure to extreme temperatures.
Different facilities will need to overcome different issues and even various parts of the same compound will likely have varying conditions and challenges to face. Flowfresh systems can be tailored to meet the specific demands of the area they are being installed within.
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