BASF - The Chemical Company’s  high performance UCRETE DP flooring was specified by the well-known food processing company, McCain Foods, following its success in a series of on-site trials conducted in the past two years in Tasmania.

The results of the trials have once again highlighted UCRETE DP's performance and reliability in harsh operating conditions.

The trials, which were conducted at McCains’ French fry and frozen vegetable processing plant in Smithton in north-west Tasmania, had been established about two years ago in order to assess the performance of a range of different flooring solutions in live operating conditions.

Ian Cunningham, Plant Engineer at McCains’ Smithton Plant explained, “In a food processing facility such as this, the performance of the floor is critical for both safety and hygiene.”

In the past, despite trying a range of solutions, McCain Foods had found that many of the floor toppings were not able to withstand the harsh operating environment, and were being damaged and degraded by the acid from the vegetable matter, oil and the constant flow of forklifts.

“With that in mind, we conducted a two-year trial to assess the performance of a range of different flooring solutions under ‘live’ operating conditions,” he added.

Following the results of the trial, McCains specified UCRETE DP from BASF Construction Chemicals for the floors in the plant’s loading and packing areas, as well as throughout a number of key processing areas, including the potato chip deep frying area.

Specifically developed for the food, beverage and pharmaceutical industries, UCRETE DP’s ideal monolithic formulation provides an extremely high level of slip resistance while still remaining easy to clean and maintain.

Importantly, rather than relying on a thin seal coat, UCRETE DP provides protection throughout the total thickness of the floor - delivering high protection against thermal shock and/or repeated temperature cycling, as well as a wider range of resistance to chemicals and solvents (including acids, alkalis and hydrocarbons).

The UCRETE DP flooring meets the requirements of both the U.S. and European standards for slip resistant pedestrian surfaces, as well as those of AS/NZS 4586:1999 Slip Resistance Classification of New Pedestrian Surface Materials in relation to high slip risk areas.

The UCRETE DP floors at the Smithton plant were laid by Tasmanian-based concrete repair and coating specialists Maintenance Systems.

Approximately 2,000m² of UCRETE DP floor has been installed at the plant. The main floor area incorporates a grey coloured floor, with yellow used to delineate walkways and red coloured UCRETE DP used to highlight forklift operating areas.

Speaking about the applications, Richard Eveleigh, Technical Manager with Maintenance Systems, commented, “We’ve been using and recommending UCRETE products for over 15 years and have always been impressed with the results.”

“UCRETE DP has proven to be the ideal flooring solution for the McCains plant. Not only is it able to withstand the extremely harsh operating environment, its non-slip profile helps to significantly improve safety – especially given that many areas in the plant are subjected to almost continuous water exposure, either from processing or wash-down procedure,” he added.

These comments were echoed by Ian Cunningham, who added:
“We’re extremely happy with the performance of the UCRETE DP floors. Even the first trial section, which has now been down over three years, continues to perform well.”

“As well as being extremely tough, the combination of the non-slip profile and highly-visible colours along the walkways and forklift operating areas has also helped to improve safety at the plant.”

“In addition, the fact that the floor is easy to clean has also resulted in a reduction in the amount of water we use during our cleaning procedures,” he concluded.