Now that you know about coatings, Behunin Industrial Flooring in Arvada concludes our 2-part series with, Industrial Flooring Types for Food Processing: Considerations. Your plant operators and industrial maintenance managers must think about product quality, government regulations, business operations, and employee safety when it comes time to make decisions regarding the flooring you install. Your floor coating system has to meet all of these needs.
According to a Food Manufacturing article, there are a number of things that go into your flooring coating decision including:
- Government Regulation
- Conditions of operation
- Odors or tastes
- Building conditions
Floor coatings for the food processing industry must meet or exceed standards set by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) which require that the chemical makeup of coatings used in food and beverage facilities contain only resins and additives found on the USDA approved list. In addition, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), at both federal and state levels, impose a range of standards that cover the amount of Volatile Organic Compound (VOC) emissions from your food processing floor coatings.
Conditions of operation
What does the volume and type of traffic at your plant look like? The type of coating and amount of texture, for example, will be decided by the conditions of your operations, including how often you need to clean, the type of maintenance, and the presence of oils, greases, and other potentially slippery substances.
For example, you should consider a high-medium grade of texture if your floor is often wet from cleaning agents or oils and grease. If you have high impact and heavy loads as part of the traffic pattern, then a flexible membrane should be applied beneath the floor coating.
There are also employee safety and potential liability issues that may require skid-resistant floors by using textured or grit surfaces.
Have you thought about the application conditions and downtime? If it is a new facility these considerations may not be as important as when you are updating or retrofitting an existing facility. You may need to think about if the coating has a smell or how long it will take before you can use it.
Your food processing facility, including the floors, need to be hygienic. That means your floors are cleaned often, sometimes many times throughout the day. You must make sure the coating you choose can handle the type of cleaning you do, including, very hot water, steam, and cleaning chemicals.
In addition, your floors may be exposed to process chemicals and corrosive cleaning chemicals, primarily detergents, as well as moisture, temperature and other chemical conditions of your food processing area. If this is the case, then you should consider choosing a thicker, more durable floor coating with corrosion control.
If your plant uses very hot, high-pressure steam for daily cleanings, it can remove a standard floor coating and you will want to choose a much thicker and durable floor coating.
Odors and tastes
This is important. You do not want bad odors or tastes to transfer to your food products. Some floor coatings give off odors or tastes that could ruin your final product. You should consider water-borne coatings, which are less likely to emit odors that might be absorbed.
Your food processing plant may be damp and have temperature swings from cool or very cold to extremely hot, all in the same day. If your facility operates this way, you may want a specialty coating that can cure under those conditions. For example, urethane modified cementitious flooring systems can handle steam heat as well as freezing or below zero temperatures.
Do you have outside visitors coming to your facility for tours or you want your plant’s appearance to be an integral part of your image? If so, there are several decorative flooring options, including color and texture that can help you make your flooring look great.
Now that you’ve read our guide, Industrial Flooring Types for Food Processing: Considerations, our flooring experts at Behunin Industrial Flooring in Arvada can explain the details and help you make the best decision regarding what industrial flooring types work best for your business. It’s an important factor, and we’ll help you get it right.