An inexperienced Industrial Resin Flooring Contractor had incorrectly specified a thin film epoxy coating in areas which are exposed to elevated temperatures and steam cleaning as a result of the production environment in which the resin flooring has to operate.
Thin film coatings are not suitable for this type of industrial resin flooring application as when exposed to elevated temperatures they suffer from a phenomenon called thermal shock – where the rapid heating of the resin flooring creates a differential in expansion, resulting in debonding from the surface.
Another weakness of this type of Resin Flooring specification in demanding industrial applications such as this are their propensity to suffer from mechanical damage as due to their thin film nature they are prone to chipping and flaking.
The correct Industrial Resin Flooring for this application is a 9mm polyurethane screed with coving and expansion jointing to create a seamless resin flooring installation.
Initially all of the existing resin flooring was removed my method of surface scarifying and vacuum controlled diamond grinding in inaccessible areas.
The preparation exposed numerous areas of damage in the slab where chemical attack had occurred as result of breakdown of the previous resin flooring system. These areas were isolated using vacuum controlled floor saws prior to breaking out using vibration damped breakers.
All broken out areas were then repaired using cementitious repair mortars in line with the manufacturers recommendations.
Applying the materials
For this application we selected materials from Sherwin Williams from their Resuthane range. The polyurethane screed as installed to the required 9mm thickness to be able to withstand steam cleaning by method of pin rake and trowel.
The reason that a 9mm thick polyurethane screed can withstand steam cleaning is two fold. Firstly the resin system employed does not soften at the elevated temperatures that steam cleaning creates. Secondly at 9mm thick this resin flooring system has sufficient thickness to dissipate the heat energy introduced with the resin flooring without debonding from the substrate.
To ensure a seamless resin flooring application which was essential in this demanding industrial environment all upstands were rendered and a cove detail installed. This areas were then sealed using the same polyurethane resin – something many other contractors omit to reduce cost.
Finally all expansion joints were reflected in the new resin flooring to prevent cracking in the new polyurethane screed. All expansion joints were then sealed using a flexible polyurethane jointing compound.