What does it mean when the term self-levelling is used when discussing a resin flooring system?
In instances where an existing concrete floor is showing signs of wear, a self-levelling resin is a cost-effective alternative. Concrete can become worn, uneven, chopped and scratched during its lifetime. This can create a surface which can potentially be hazardous to work with. The self-levelling epoxy creates a layer which smooths out the appearance of the floor, giving it a fresh look.
Self-levelling or self-smoothing resin floors will not cover all of the existing imperfections a floor may have. Where there are large holes in a floor, a flow applied resin system would immediately fill the hole, which is not cost-effective. Holes which are around 4mm deep, for example, would require a lot of self-levelling resin to fill. Situations like this would make the flooring less cost-effective because of the amount of self-levelling resin which would be needed.
In these instances, it would be better to first fill and repair the larger holes. This can be achieved using resin materials such as an epoxy grout which would be cured before adding in the self-levelling system. As well as this, it may also be necessary to grind/diamond grind the floor before application to aid in the installation of the resin.
However, if your floor is just uneven with minor holes/scratches and you are needing to level it off, a self-levelling resin might just be perfect for you.
There are two types of self-levelling resin floors
The two types of resin floors are specified by the Resin Flooring Association (FeRFA as:
Type 5: Flow applied to floor suitable for medium to heavy-duty applications, laid at 2-3mm thickness.
Type 7: Heavy duty flowable flooring suitable for heavy and very heavy duty applications, laid at 4-6mm thickness.
You can follow the link to the FeRFA website here to find out more.
It is vital to discuss the level of thickness you would require with your resin flooring contractor.
Firstly, a self-smoothing epoxy resin floor, which is the combination of a three-part mixture of aggregate, resin and hardener. Self-levelling epoxy is the most commonly used types of resin flooring system. It can create a surface which is smooth, glossy and seamless.
If looking at an installation which is anti-slip meaning it has added grip/slip resistance. Aggregates which can be added in the installation process can create better grip thus creating a less slippery surface. Different pigments can also be used for a colourful appearance. If needing something more decorative, a vinyl flake system can be used to create a number of blends to this floor coating.
Different environments for a self-levelling resin floor
In an industrial environment, the resin will create a durable floor which can withstand forklift and other traffic. Because the resin has a seamless structure, it is an easy floor coating to clean. Maintaining a seamless resin surface is easier as materials such as oil and dirt will not get trapped. As well as this the flooring has chemical resistance so would be ideal in environments which deal with such chemicals on a day to day basis.
Garages, workshops and car showrooms in the automotive industry would also benefit from a seamless rein floor coating. This is due to the floor having a smooth glossy finish, perfect for a car showroom. And the floor is easy-to-clean and is not as affected by oil spillages thus suited in a garage or workshop environment.
Also, within the food and drink industries, a self-levelling floor could create a durable, food-safe floor. Self-levelling floors can also be food grade. The self-levelling aspect can freshen up a surface which has become worn, scratched and/or uneven. Furthermore, the food grade resin is a solvent-free material which is hygienic. It is suitable for areas where food is packaged or prepared in commercial/industrial environments. This may be applicable to areas such as commercial kitchens, butchers, restaurants, and in facilities which deal with the manufacturing/packaging of food and drink.
Finally, within the process/manufacturing of chemicals, pharmaceuticals and food and drink products, it is important to create a hygienic environment. A self-levelling resin floor system helps stop the accumulation of dirt, dust and bacteria. This creates a hygienic work environment to aid in the health and safety of the factory and its production process. It also means the system is easy-to-clean and sanitise which aids further the cleanliness of production.
Breakdown of the advantages of self-levelling resin floors:
In the process of finding a self-levelling floor which suits your industry, you must first decide what properties you want your flooring system to have. Below are such properties which can be applicable to self-levelling resins when specified.
- Easy to clean
- Hard Wearing
- Chemical resistance
- Slip resistance
- Can be food-safe resin (‘food-grade resin’)
- A fresh look for old concrete
- Doesn’t trap dirt or dust
- Resistance to oil
- Variable Thickness
- UV Stable
- Smooth/glossy appearance
- Different colours/decorative appearances
- Anti-static by use of a self-smoothing anti-static system
Where are self -levelling resins usually installed?
As a self-levelling resin is a heavy-duty floor coating, it has many industrial and commercial applications. As well as this, it has many advantages and benefits which are highlighted below.
- Commercial Garages
- Engineering Units
- Chemical Plants
- Food and Drink Factories
- Pharmaceutical Industries
- Production Areas
To conclude, a self-levelling (self-smoothing) resin floor is a flow applied resin screed which aids in the freshening up of an existing resin or concrete floor. It aids in the reduction of the appearance of scuffs, scratches, chips and uneven surfaces to create a smooth and seamless appearance.
Self-levelling floors can be installed as a decorative floor, a colourful resin or with added aggregate to aid grip and slip resistance. Self-levelling floors can also be installed in forms of resin which have high levels of chemical resistance or are UV stable.
Furthermore, resin flooring is a durable material suitable for many different environments. Suitable in commercial and industrial situations and with a variety of different application types.
For more information about this resin flooring system, for free technical advice or for a no-obligation quote. Similarly, you can contact us today using the contact form below or by visiting our contact page.
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