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Choose the correct flooring system

07 November 2018

Resin flooring systems provide an ideal flooring solution for handling & storage facilities.

Resin flooring has been a favoured option for over 45 years in the food, automotive, pharmaceutical and manufacturing sectors. It has a long and proven track record in these types of aggressive industrial environments because of its excellent performance characteristics, and its ability to provide a seamless, hygienic, slip-resistant floor. With the ever increasing demands for durable and easy to maintain flooring within the handling and storage sector, resin flooring outperforms other flooring options.

Often for industrial and warehousing companies, the decision to install or replace a floor can have a major impact on the running of the business. This may involve essential repairs or maintenance to a key flooring area in a storage facility or warehouse. Without these being carried out, normal production or work activity cannot continue. Therefore choosing the right system and also making sure it is installed correctly and within programme is absolutely vital. Industrial flooring accounts for over 70% of all resin flooring applications each year, so it is no surprise that this represents an important market sector for FeRFA and its members.

CASE STUDY

Small Industrial Project of the Year 2017 - Winner 

Zircon Flooring and Sika won the FeRFA Small Industrial Project of the Year 2017 for their work on the Emmerdale TV Studios. This was a project which really showcased the benefits of a resin flooring system, achieving a seamless, anti-static and flat floor, engineered to precise tolerances to ensure the safe movement of HD cameras and other vital equipment around the studio.

Choosing the correct flooring system has always been the key factor in ensuring that all of a client’s requirements are met from the chosen system. It may sound obvious, but the selection process should always include an exchange of information between the client and the resin flooring manufacturer and/or the contractor. Any particular site issues or requirements such as loading, trafficking, slip resistance, cleaning and maintenance, should be discussed to ensure the client has an understanding of what is involved in laying a resin flooring system and which resin system would be the most suitable.

The FeRFA Classification is the simplest way to do this. It is the basis of BS 8204-6 Synthetic resin floorings – Code of practice and it identifies each type of resin flooring, allowing a complete cross reference between the products from each manufacturer, irrespective of brand name. The resin types are defined from Type 1 to Type 8, based on the applied thickness of the resin system.

TYPE

NAME

DESCRIPTION

DUTY

TYPICAL THICKNESS

1

Floor seal

Applied in two or more coats.
Generally solvent or water borne.

LD

up to 150 µm

2

Floor coating

Applied in two or more coats.
Generally solvent free.

LD/MD

150 µm to 300 µm

3

High build Floor coating

Applied in two or more coats.
Generally solvent free.

MD

300 µm to 1000 µm

4

Multi-layer flooring

Aggregate dressed systems based on multiple layers of floor coatings or flow-applied floorings, often described as ‘sandwich’ systems.

MD/HD

> 2 mm

5

Flow applied flooring

Often referred to as ‘self-smoothing’ or ‘self-levelling’ flooring and having a smooth surface.

MD/HD

2 mm to 3 mm

6

Resin screed flooring

Trowel-finished, heavily filled systems, generally incorporating a surface seal coat to minimise porosity.

MD/HD

> 4 mm

7

Heavy duty flowable flooring

Having a smooth surface.

HD/VHD

4 mm to 6 mm

8

Heavy duty Resin flooring

Trowel-finished, aggregate filled systems effectively impervious throughout their thickness.

VHD

> 6 mm

The selection process should always account for the functional needs of the floor finish, the substrate on which it is to be installed, and the aesthetic requirements. All of this may sound complicated, but it is actually straightforward when there is easy access to information and guidance for choosing a flooring system.

As the association dedicated to seamless resin flooring, and the source of technical knowledge in this specialist area, FeRFA leads the way in providing advice and guidance. The FeRFA website (www.ferfa.org.uk) provides the most comprehensive source of information on all aspects of resin flooring and the companies involved. In the Guidance section of the website, a series of guidance notes provide up to date information and practical advice on the specification, performance, application and maintenance of Resin Floors.

CASE STUDY

Large Industrial Project of the Year 2017 - Winner 

The winners of the FeRFA Large Industrial Project of the Year Award 2017 were the IRL Group and Sika for BMW’s automotive processing plant in Oxford. With 3,710 m2 of flooring to be laid in the automotive processing plant, the resin flooring system had to meet very challenging requirements. A protective dissipative self smoothing system was chosen which had to be installed simultaneously in 3 different areas, with all works competed within a 6 day timeframe.

FeRFA publications are RIBA CPD approved, free to download and provide an invaluable source of reference. Topics covered include recycling and sustainability, a key influence in choosing a flooring system. In terms of environmental performance, seamless resin flooring provides a sustainable option in that it meets the low carbon agenda for construction to reduce waste. Resin floors always fit perfectly as they are created in situ. Additionally they can be applied in intricate spaces that would be very difficult with pre-formed systems. Material wastage is minimal, as estimating allows the contractor to determine the exact amount of material which is mixed on site for each job. As FeRFA operates a Recycling Scheme, this means that the resin flooring contractor is also able to recover and recycle all waste packaging material used on the project.

The specialist resin flooring contractor will assist throughout the selection process. A list of FeRFA Specialist Contractors and Manufacturers is available on the FeRFA website - www.ferfa.org.uk.

The installation of resin floors is a specialist skill area and FeRFA fully endorses a qualified workforce through the achievement of NVQ Level 2 and above. A qualified workforce raises standards in the industry and gives the client the assurance and evidence of the contractor’s ability to undertake the work involved.

 
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