By Lifetime Epoxy Floors Guest Expert Author: Edward Winslow
There are very few surfaces that get more wear and tear then the factory or warehouse floor. Traditional concrete industrial floors often present many problems. Due to heavy traffic from forklifts, foot traffic, and the hauling and moving of products and machines, floors often cracked and chipped creating uneven surfaces that could lead to workplace hazards. The old porous cement surfaces were also difficult to keep clean. Today, polyaspartic/polyurea coatings have transformed workplace floors into cleaner, safer surfaces that decrease risks and create a more pleasant environment to work in.
Polyaspartic/Polyurea Coatings Fuse onto the Concrete
Technological advances developed a purebred polyurea surface. The prime coat actually soaks into the concrete when it is cured, blending it into the concrete surface. This coating becomes part of the concrete, so it will not chip or peel off due to salts or moisture pressure which is common with epoxy treatments.
Another major difference with this new surface treatment is preparation needed. With the old fashioned epoxy treatments, floors were usually shot blasted which produced high and slow spots. Epoxy often dries unevenly, leaving low areas with a thicker layer and high areas with a thinner layer. Polyurea floors require floor grinding before application. This preparation creates a smooth, flat surface with an even and consistent surface.
Flexibility improves surface performance
Polyurea coatings are engineered to be flexible, unlike epoxy. Old floor coatings often crack above expansion joints and cracks due to their brittle nature. The improved polyurea surfaces have the ability to move slightly over cracks as well as completely fill most cracks. This improvement prevents these imperfections from venting moisture pressure under the surface.
Above and Beyond OSHA Nonslip Guidelines
A nonslip aggregate can be built into each layer of the floor coating. Some surface treatments only have the aggregate built into the top layers, so after a year or so a warehouse or factory floor could become slippery and fall below the legal levels of Coefficient set by OSHA. The advanced floor treatments keep floors safe and may prevent accidents and legal headaches.
Easier to Maintain
Polyurea coatings are also engineered to minimize micro-scratches so that can trap dirt and bacteria. This smoother surface is easier to maintain and doesn't require any special cleaning treatments. Since the floor goes through a grinding procedure before surface application, the floor is even so water doesn't pool in low spots. The floor is faster and easier to clean, which results in a savings in labor costs.
All of these modern innovations result in an industrial floor that lasts longer, is safer, and is easier to maintain.
For more information about application of polyurea coatings on an industrial floor and to learn other options visit http://www.LifetimeEpoxyFloors.com
Article Source: https://EzineArticles.com/expert/Edward_Winslow/169240
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Simply put, a point load is a non-uniform load – think the wheels of a cart, or a nail tip sticking out of the bottom of a pallet. All floors have a compressive strength (load per area in pounds per square inch) that the floor can withstand before failing. A surface area significantly smaller than one square inch will take significantly less load to exceed the strength tolerance, making floor protection in this situation vital.
The physical damage and scratches caused by high point loads will appear lighter in color than the surrounding areas. This difference in appearance is mostly due to physics of light scattering over the micro-roughness of the surface within the scratch. Deeper scratches will also appear lighter for this reason, in addition, the gouge will be accentuated due to the aggregate being crushed by the point load. These scratches can also amber over time as the UV stable top coat is damaged, exposing the body coat of the floor.
Let’s look at 3 common causes of point load damage and what you can do to keep this from happening to your resinous floors.
1. Vertical drops of sharp or thin objects Significantly smaller areas can only withstand smaller loads. For example, if a one square inch of floor can withstand a compressive load of 17,500 lbs; while a 1/16” by 1/16” square area (1/256 of a square inch) area can only withstand a compressive load of less than 68 lbs.
When is this likely to happen? Dishwashing areas where utensils, pots, and pans are regularly dropped, or areas where metal tools and knives are regularly handled.
How to prevent it? Place a protective rubber mat in front of dish sinks or at workstations where drops are most likely to happen.
2. Wheels that are too small or damaged Consider a four-wheel cart on small hard wheels, each wheel having about 1/32nd of a square inch contact with the floor surface. If a floor with a 17,500 per square inch compressive load rating of 17,500 psi divided between 4 wheels at 1/32 square inch equals a point load of approximately 137 lbs per wheel. However, if a hard object like a stone is embedded in one of the wheels the point load is greatly magnified in the area of obstruction.
When is this likely to happen? Wheels that are too small for the weight of the cart or have embedded debris in them, think hospital gurneys, supply carts, delivery carts going from outdoors to inside.
How to prevent it? Use large rubber wheels on carts vs. small plastic or metal wheels. When going from areas of high debris such as outdoors roll over a sticky mat or carpet to remove debris. If excessively heavy (example: fully stocked wheeled storage shelving) store on a mat or sheet of plywood to help spread out the point load.
3. Point load applied at an angle Non-compressive point loads applied at an angle with respect to the surface take significantly less force to result in physical damage. The adhesion, tensile and flexural properties of the floor system are lower than its compressive strength. In addition, the force applied is often amplified by mechanical advantage via a combination of the object shape and the angle at which force is applied.
When is this likely to happen? Most commonly seen in manufacturing and warehouse areas, for example, when a pallet with a nail tip sticking out is dragged across the floor surface or the claw of a hammer impacts the floor.
How to prevent it? When moving pallets lift them slightly off the ground using a pallet jack or forklift or use temporary floor protection such as a layer of plastic sheeting or scrap wood.
There you are, the three most common causes of point load damage and what to do to prevent them.
To protect the floor from scratches when moving equipment, the use of temporary floor protection such as boards (or equivalent) is recommended. If using Masonite or plywood, apply a layer of plastic sheeting such as Visqueen (or equivalent) underneath the wood.
For specific compressive, tensile or flexural strength of your flooring system of choice speak to your Technical Services Manager. We’re also available to help you determine the best system for you based on how you use your space on a daily basis.