Flowcrete’s seamless epoxy and polyurethane resin flooring systems were installed at Unilever’s new manufacturing plant in Durban, South Africa with hygiene a top consideration for the selection.

Home to world famous dry food brands including Knorr, Robertson’s, Knorrox, Aromat and Rajah, the new Unilever plant has been designed under a ‘Green’ construction programme that incorporated a whole array of sustainability features at every stage of the development.

In addition to environmental requirements, it was also important for the flooring systems to meet Unilever’s rigorous hygiene requirements as well as allow quick installation to enable early access to the site to follow-on trades. Additionally, all flooring materials specified had to be suitable for application onto a suspended slab built on compacted clay as well as onto ‘green’ concrete.

After a thorough consultation with Flowcrete South Africa’s Technical Team, a number of resin systems were chosen to provide a floor finish across different zones of the 22,000m² manufacturing plant.

Flowcrete’s Flowcem DPM was first applied over the concrete slabs at 2mm to provide a smooth damp-proof membrane layer that would control moisture levels within the substrate over time without causing damage or defects to the final floor finish. The damp-proof layer would also resolve potential problems arising out of the ‘green’ screeds, the short time schedules and the high moisture content of the concrete.

This was followed by 20,000m² of Flowcrete’s self-levelling, solvent-free epoxy floor coating system, Flowshield SL, which was installed in all general warehousing and manufacturing areas as well as in all staff locker and changing facilities.

Flowshield SL is a popular flooring choice, particularly within the food and beverage industry where it provides an attractive, resilient and robust surface with a smooth impervious finish to help maintain high hygiene levels. The seamless application also prevents build-up of dirt, dust and bacteria in cracks, crevices and joints, making the floor easy to clean and sterilise.

Flowcrete flooring systems installed at the plant also included 500m² of Flowshield ESD SL, an antistatic resin coating in the raw materials area to provide a safe, static-free and chemical-resistant finish, as well as Flowfresh HF, a hardwearing, hygienic polyurethane coating for the kitchen and shower areas.

Flowfresh HF is capable of destroying 99.9% of all surface bacteria thanks to the inclusion of the antimicrobial additive, Polygiene with the resin matrix to provide a non-slip, germ-free and highly durable floor finish.

Flowcrete’s decorative quartz flooring system, Peran STB was installed in the staff canteen to create a vibrant and welcoming platform underfoot, while Deckshield ED, Flowcrete’s waterproof deck coating system was selected for the site’s external loading bay for its ability to withstand heavy traffic and impact.

The Unilever plant showcases the versatility of Flowcrete’s flooring materials, highlighting how a number of different flooring systems from just one manufacturer can be used to meet different service requirements.

Flowcrete is represented in Australia by Flowcrete Australia Pty Ltd .