Food industry stakeholders and professionals are invited to Stand Q42 at the upcoming Foodpro 2017 exhibition in July to discover a comprehensive range of hygienic flooring solutions from Flowcrete Australia. Foodpro, the iconic triennial trade exhibition for the food industry, is celebrating its 50th year.

Flowcrete Australia will be informing attendees at Foodpro 2017 about how they can future-proof a food facility’s floor with high performance polyurethane (PU) resin coatings formulated specifically to take on the food industry’s challenges.

The Flowfresh range of antimicrobial-enhanced, polyurethane floors will be on display at Stand Q42 of Foodpro 2017, where Flowcrete Australia’s expert team will be showcasing the benefits that fit-for-purpose, trowel-applied PU resin systems have over roller-applied epoxy coatings when it comes to flooring within intensive food and beverage plants.

When compared to alternative materials, a thick PU finish will provide a facility with hygienic, functional and regulatory advantages for an extended period of time. Though the initial cost of a PU resin system is higher than epoxy, the lifespan of the polyurethane system is roughly double at ten years compared to epoxy’s five, which makes PU the cheaper option in the long term. This durability stems from the increased wear, abrasion and impact resistance properties of a thicker PU system.

Busy food plants need hard-wearing floors as they are constantly subjected to physical impacts, point loading and traffic from equipment such as heavily laden pallet trolleys and forklift trucks. All of these factors could damage the floor finish and cause cracks in the coating, increasing the risk of unwanted bacteria and microbes in the crevices that can be hard to clean, leading to possible product contamination.

Polyurethanes boast unrivalled resistance to corrosion, inorganic alkalis, organic alkalis and solvents. In contrast, epoxy resins can only offer limited resistance to organic acids that are found in a large quantity of food and drink produce.

Polyurethane floors also offer superior heat, cold and thermal shock tolerance unlike rigid epoxies with their significantly reduced ability to move with a concrete substrate when exposed to heat fluctuations. For instance, a standard two-pack, 100% solids epoxy coating has a heat resistance of up to 65°C, whereas some PU systems can tolerate 120°C.

This thermal shock resistance is a great benefit in food and beverage facilities where extreme temperature changes often occur on a daily basis, such as when a room is steam cleaned, if there are hot oven doors being opened or where there is the possibility of boiling substances spilling onto the floor.

Implementing an effective Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) food safety management system is a priority for today’s food and beverage producers, as it is critical to comply with the standards of domestic and international regulatory authorities, governments and consumers.

Getting the floor area right is central to putting in place, an effective HACCP plan. Choosing an HACCP International certified flooring solution will guarantee that the floor has been put through its paces in rigorous tests designed to ascertain whether it will maintain a hygienic finish to the standard demanded in the HACCP guidelines.

PU floors can even offer food producers and processors the opportunity to take hygiene to the next level by incorporating antimicrobial additives into the resin build-up of the floor itself. Installing a floor with an additive means that bacterial growth is inhibited even in-between wash cycles, as dirt, grime and contaminants that fall on the floor will be exposed to the bacteria killing properties of the bactericidal agent.

To learn more about specifying a floor that will put a food industry facility on a firm footing for the future, then head to Stand Q42 at Foodpro 2017 at the ICC Sydney from 16-19 July.

Image: Food production facilities need to be built to withstand a long list of challenging conditions, including thermal shock from hot ovens, steam cleaning as well as spillages of hot oils and liquids