Gulfood Manufacturing 2014

Built to last: Antimicrobial flooring keeps its punch

By Rachel Arthur

- Last updated on GMT

Flowcrete flooring in action
Flowcrete flooring in action

Related tags Bacteria

Improving the environmental friendliness of industrial flooring is a big area of development for the sector, according to manufacturer Flowcrete. 

Vik Vithlani, sales director, Flowcrete Middle East, told the challenge is to improve environmental credentials without comprising on functionality.

“We achieve this by developing long-lasting products that avoid the waste and environmental damage of frequent repairs or a full flooring refurbishment,” ​he said.

“Flowcrete also works to remove toxic substances such as volatile organic compounds, phthalates and nonyl phenols from our products to further minimise the environmental impact of a flooring installation.” 

Flowcrete Middle East will be exhibiting at Gulfood Manufacturing (Dubai, November 9-11), where it will demonstrate its Flowfresh antimicrobial flooring system.  

The product does not lose its antimicrobial properties over time, unlike other options; and is hardwearing, Vithlani said.

From clothes, to hospitals, to food production lines

A form of antimicrobial technology, commonly used in clothing and outdoor wear, is used in its Flowfresh range.

Flowcrete partnered with Swedish chemical and performance material company Perstorp Chemicals to create the Flowfresh antimicrobial polyurethane flooring range, which uses the Polygiene additive for the antimicrobial properties.

The industrial flooring was developed and launched in the UK in 2006, where it was popular with the healthcare sector, who wanted to enhance hygiene and sanitation during increased awareness of MRSA (the bacterial infection dubbed as a hospital ‘superbug.’)

It meets HACCP (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point criteria), the company says. Rules state the floors in food and beverage industry environments need to be durable, smooth, cleanable, waterproof, non-porous, and suitable for operations. 

Vithlani said the flooring can be used in meat and fish processing zones, dairies, bakeries, industrial kitchens, catering units or dry and wet processing zones.

“Flowfresh has several advantages over alternative antimicrobial flooring, due to the formulation of the system,”​ he said.

“The Polygiene additive is homogenously distributed throughout the floor, meaning that the antimicrobial properties of the floor won’t fade over time compared to spray-on solutions that will deteriorate after extensive use.

Polygiene is also a natural agent, as it harnesses the power of silver ions and doesn’t rely on harsh chemicals. The natural silver ions are able to penetrate the cell membrane of bacteria on the surface of the floor, and it can reduce the build-up of surface bacteria by up to 99.9%.”

Resilient floor finish

The Flowfresh flooring is designed to be hardwearing, Vithlani added.

“The polyurethane make-up of Flowfresh provides a durable and resilient floor finish that can resist continuous foot traffic, exposure to chemicals, heavy impacts and hot water cleans for an extended period of time.

“This is important as a seamless, impermeable and gap-free finish makes it much easier for the cleaning regime to remove potentially harmful contaminants.”

Related topics Food safety & quality

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