Anti-microbial flooring for dairy

Cemix Construction Products
Tuesday, 06 September, 2005

In what represents the first anti-microbial flooring installation in the New Zealand dairy industry, Flowcrete's Ultrafresh HF was recently selected by Westland Milk Products for its AMF Plant in Hokitika, South Island. The stringent specification, determined by the harsh operating conditions, included the requirement for anti-microbial protection, high chemical resistance, thermal shock capacity and abrasion resistance. With a superior thermal capacity ranging from -40 to +120°C, and higher chemical and abrasion resistance than conventional epoxy and polyester screeds, Ultrafresh HF was capable of meeting all these criteria. An added bonus was the 10-year warranty provided by Flowcrete on both materials and installation.

By using polyurethane resin systems such as Ultrafresh HF and MF, the flooring is installed as a seamless application, providing an easy-to-clean, hard-wearing, low maintenance finish. The problems normally associated with conventional tiled flooring, where dirt can accumulate in the joints, are eliminated. By incorporating an anti-microbial additive within the resin screed, the flooring system provides additional protection between cleaning cycles, inhibiting the growth of bacteria, fungi, mould and mildew.

For the Westland installation, a coat of Hydraseal DPM was applied first to protect against the high moisture content in the concrete substrate. The Ultrafresh HF RT was then applied at 6 mm over the 690 m2 area. The installation was carried out by licensed applicator Flooring Technologies in conjunction with Cemix, Flowcrete's distributor in New Zealand. The largest reference of its type, the project is the first major polyurethane installation in the New Zealand dairy industry.

Westland Dairy manager Hugh Little commented, "We had experienced considerable problems with the more conventional flooring systems and we were concerned that any new system must be able to withstand the harsh environment in the facility. The samples that were installed by Flowcrete and Cemix indicated that Ultrafresh was up to the job and we are delighted with the end results." The low maintenance requirements of the system will also bring significant cost savings for Westland in the long run, added Barry McGee of Cemix.

Since the completion of this project, several other industry players have expressed interest in Ultrafresh, including Fonterra, New Zealand's largest dairy manufacturer, with installations at several of its key sites throughout the country including Whareroa, Clandeboye, Reporoa, Morrinsville and Edgecumbe.

Elsewhere, Ultrafresh has been installed at numerous food processing, beverage manufacturing and pharmaceutical facilities around the world. The anti-microbial can be added to a wide range of seamless flooring systems, including epoxy resin flooring, polyurethane resin screeds, as well as terrazzo systems. It can also be integrated into wall coatings, making it suitable for use in pharmaceutical and food processing facilities, as well as hospitals and hotels.

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