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Anti-Static Flooring Part Two

Anti-Static Flooring Part Two

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TYPICAL APPLICATIONS FOR STATIC CONTROLLED FLOORING

In certain industrial environments the attraction or adhesion of dust may present a problem. In areas where volatile gases, powders or liquids are processed, stray electric currents are undesirable and potentially dangerous. In areas where sensitive electrical devices are manufactured, electrostatic discharges may damage these components. Each of these areas will have requirements for static controlled floors. Typical examples are: Semi-conductor and electronic assembly, Pyrotechnics, Munitions, , Micromechanics, Miniature bearings, Optical lenses, Photographic film, Lasers, Biotechnology, Pharmaceutical production, Clean rooms, surgical implant manufacture and medical environment, even some Food & Drink production environments.

Anti-Static Flooring Part One

Anti-Static Flooring Part One

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We will all be familiar with the effects of the build up of static electricity. Taking off a sweater made from synthetic fiber will often be accompanied with ‘crackling’ sounds as sparks jump across. On some days we can experience unpleasant shocks from touching car door handles particularly when wearing shoes with synthetic soles. The same effects are responsible for the adhesion of dust on surfaces. Under normal conditions these effects are, at the most, merely unpleasant but not particularly dangerous. However in the industrial environment such electrostatic build-up can cause lasting effects which may inhibit production or at worst endanger life.

Concrete floors are normally sufficiently conductive due to their pore water to dissipate any electrostatic charges on the surface. However floor finishes, often used to provide a more hard wearing or chemically resistant surface, may be an effective natural insulator and should be selected with caution in some circumstances. Where appropriate, a static controlled grade of Resin flooring should be selected. Static controlled grades are generally derived from normal Resin flooring grades by incorporating a proportion of carbon powder or fibers, but other more sophisticated solutions may also be used by the manufacturer.

Slip Resistance in Resin Flooring Part Five

Slip Resistance in Resin Flooring Part Five

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Surface Regularity

The surface regularity and degree of fall of any floor finish will largely determine the tendency for water and other contaminants to ‘pond’ (sit in puddles). Ponding can result in higher than anticipated contaminant film thicknesses which can have an adverse effect on the levels of slip resistance achievable.

Due to their method of application, synthetic resin floorings will inevitably follow the profile of the underlying substrate. The degree of regularity required to minimise ponding should therefore be defined in advance both on newbuild or refurbishment projects.

Slip Resistance in Resin Flooring Part Four

Slip Resistance in Resin Flooring Part Four

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Regular Cleaning Procedures The recommended method for managing slip resistance is to ensure that a regular and effective cleaning regime is implemented that complies with the resin flooring manufacturer’s recommendations. If the incorrect cleaning regime is used, a build up of contaminants may quickly form, which could reduce the level of slip resistance available to an unacceptable level.

The most effective cleaning method will normally require the use of mechanical floor cleaning machines in conjunction with cleaning chemicals approved by the resin flooring manufacturer. It is essential that the cleaning chemical supplier is made fully aware of the types of contaminant that are likely to come into contact with the floor to ensure that the most effective product is specified.

The frequency of cleaning should be tailored to ensure that acceptable levels of slip resistance are available at all times. Regular monitoring of the slip resistance will provide an assurance of effective cleaning.

Slip Resistance in Resin Flooring Part Three

Slip Resistance in Resin Flooring Part Three

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ACCEPTABLE LEVELS OF SLIP RESISTANCE

The BS 8204 series of standards for in situ floorings (including BS 8204-6: Synthetic Resin Floorings), specify that any flooring should give a Pendulum Test Value (PTV) of not less than 40 when tested wet or dry as appropriate for the anticipated service conditions, including any likely surface contamination. There is a rider that ‘in particularly wet areas, the client should be advised of the benefits of the use of special footwear with slip resistant soles, which can allow a smoother floor finish to be adopted. In such situations a PTV of not less than 33 may be acceptable’.

MANAGING THE LEVEL OF SLIP RESISTANCE PROVIDED BY RESIN FLOORING

As stated in the introduction, the design and correct installation of a resin floor is an essential part of the risk management process. However, even the best of floors will not deliver the desired level of performance if daily business operations are not tailored to help minimise risk.

Slip Resistance in Resin Flooring Part Two

Slip Resistance in Resin Flooring Part Two

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MEASURING THE LEVEL OF SLIP RESISTANCE PROVIDED BY RESIN FLOORING

As with any basic measure of performance, regardless of industry, most countries will have their own opinions and approved standards / methods by which performance should be assessed. Across Europe, there are a number of test methods that architects and specifiers refer to, but there are only 2 that are formally recognised in the UK within official standards that relate to flooring.

UK formally Recognised Methods for Measuring Slip Resistance

The most widely recognised scientific approach for the assessment of whether a floor offers an acceptable level of slip resistance is measurement of the dynamic co-efficient of friction. This assessment is normally carried out using swinging ‘pendulum’ equipment, which whilst of US origin, was further developed by the Transport & Road Research Laboratory (TRRL) for assessing both the skid resistance of road surfaces, and the slip resistance of pedestrian areas. This method has since been adopted by BSI for the British Standards in the BS 8204 series dealing with in-situ floorings (BS 8204-6 relates to Synthetic Resin Flooring in particular).

The construction and use of the Pendulum is specified in BS 7976. This equipment is used widely both in the UK and overseas because it is portable and can be used to determine the slip resistance of even small areas in situ. It is the standard reference method adopted by the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) Laboratories, Sheffield.

However, whilst the TRL pendulum is portable, it is relatively difficult and time consuming to use (and requires specialist training), which has resulted in the development of a quick and easy to use device known as SlipAlert.

SlipAlert, also adopted by BS 8204, was designed to reproduce the characteristics of the lubricating film which is uniquely generated by both the TRL Pendulum and a slipping pedestrian under their heel. As a result it correlates well with Pendulum test results and has opened up the testing of floors to those who would previously never have considered such a test due to the complexities of using the Pendulum Tester. As such, SlipAlert is increasingly being used by flooring contractors and many specifiers to measure slip resistance.

Slip Resistance in Resin Flooring Part One

Slip Resistance in Resin Flooring Part One

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Correctly specified and applied synthetic resin flooring is well proven as an effective method of protecting substrates and providing excellent levels of slip resistance in wet, dry and contaminated conditions, especially within high risk areas such as food and drink processing, commercial catering and heavy industrial environments. Pre-planning at the design stage to evaluate the environment and the use of the floor is critical. The following criteria should be examined before proceeding with the design of the floor, to ensure the causes of slips are minimised.

– Operating environment (type, concentration and frequency of likely spillage / contaminant)

– Surface regularity (i.e. does the floor ‘free drain’ or does standing water accumulate?)

– Insitu drainage and / or new drainage requirements

– Regular cleaning procedures

– Safety footwear

While processes designed to avoid spillage / contamination is one essential part of any slip risk management approach, it is inevitable that occasions will arise when slippery conditions will occur and reliance will be placed on the floor finish to minimise risk. As such, it is essential that floors are designed to handle the extremes of operating conditions to minimise risk and fully meet duty of care responsibilities. This guidance note will explain the main methods for measuring the level of slip resistance offered by a resin floor finish in line with the main methods recognised in the UK. It will then briefly cover other factors that help manage and minimise the overall risk of a slip related incident.

Maintenance and Preparation of Flooring Part Two

Maintenance and Preparation of Flooring Part Two

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More complex restorative work such as re-polishing of terrazzo and natural stone is a complex process that only a company like Quest can carry out because of our large investment in the machinery necessary to complete this work. This constant prioritisation of the latest machinery, technology and training for their staff coupled with the number of projects they have completed has enabled them to develop a system of grinding, polishing and buffing to allow a possibly damaged or dulled floor to be restored to excellent condition.

Using their vast experience and transferrable skills from the resin and concrete maintenance industries, Quest is expanding their capabilities into the maintenance and preparation of wood flooring through a process called wood grinding, using products such as the HTC EZWood™ range.

Employing wood flooring in a space can give it an air of class and elegance, but if in a relatively busy area, particles of dirt and grit will be trafficked on to the floor, causing it to become layered with varying degrees of dirt and oil. This can be very damaging and seriously shorten the lifespan of any wood flooring. The floors surface can quickly become dull due to scratches and the wood may be affected by the ingression of moisture and stains.

Wood grinding is the process of passing diamond pads over the surface of the flooring in order to remove existing polish or finish and then sanding the surface to remove any scratches and create an even level, ready for new lacquer to be added. This method is great for wooden flooring that is used constantly, and has sustained a lot of damage; but it is just as effective on a floor that just needs to look its best again.

Maintenance and Preparation of Flooring Part One

Maintenance and Preparation of Flooring Part One

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Flooring systems in general tend to get damaged over time, whether it is through foot and vehicle traffic, chemical spillages, weather or other unforeseen circumstances.

This requires the completion of maintenance and repair work whenever these problems arise and the ability to apply protection to the floor in order to ward off future issues and prolong the lifetime of the flooring system. Maintenance is a very important aspect of floor care. Without proper attention, your flooring can quickly become damaged. Those small problems can then quickly escalate to the height of major issues, but with early intervention it is possible to keep the negative impact to a minimum.

Quest Industrial Flooring has over 30 years of experience in surface preparation and floor maintenance.

With the correct use of industry expert techniques, Quest can help provide continued great looking flooring that is fit for purpose and safe while the addition of methods such as restoration can help rejuvenate concrete or other flooring without having to remove the existing floor and start all over again, therefore saving vast amounts of time and money in the future.

More in part two…

Sports Venues – Part Two

Sports Venues – Part Two

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Corporate hospitality packages are a popular way to enjoy live sports and entertainment events.  For areas dedicated to this, a more decorative and comfortable flooring is needed such as a decorative epoxy resin system, which is a high build, decorative resin floor topping available in many different patterns and styles. It is also a system that is quickly installed and easily maintained; this means any work that needs to be carried out within its lifetime can be completed in between events to avoid disruption of operations in a busy venue such as a stadium or leisure complex.

A good example of recent work completed in a sport and leisure project is work carried out by Quest Industrial Flooring at the Millennium Stadium, Cardiff, including entrance foyers, walkways, car parks, concourses, food retail areas, hospitality areas, toilet areas, back of house and stair cases.

No matter what the budget, specification or specific requirements of the project, there are a plethora of options available to any designer or project manager when it comes to floor finishes in the sports and leisure sector. With recent developments in machinery and modifying resins, flooring companies are able to create new and interesting ways to accommodate the ever expanding needs of one of the largest and most lucrative markets in the world.