A floor in a food company must be textured, easy to clean and resistant to cleaning agents. Bolidt fulfills all those promises and puts a lot of time and effort into developing and testing the floor. The result is impressive: a Bolidt floor optimally contributes to the safety of employees and hygiene in a food company.
A textured floor is literally of vital importance in the food industry. Cleaning is carried out with water and cleaning agents and everything falls on the floor at food companies. Things such as butter, fatty fish and blood and flour. Because of this, a floor can become very slippery. In order to ensure that employees can work safely and not slip or fall, a floor must be made sufficiently textured, though not too rough, because then bacteria can nestle in the floor and it cannot be cleaned properly. That is bad for the hygiene within a food company and a threat to food safety. A floor must also remain textured, even if it is cleaned daily with water and cleaning agents.
All in all a challenging assignment for the Bolidt R&D Center. Here researchers are engaged in the development and testing of skid resistance of various floor systems. But what is skid resistance anyway? Hendrik-jan Dijkers, Senior Technical Support Specialist and employed in the R&D Center, explains. “Skid resistance is the degree of resistance that a floor offers against slipping or sliding. Bolidt supplies floors in many degrees of skid resistance; based on the needs of the client. By matching the skid resistance to the wishes of the customer and the space where the floor will be located, our floors contribute optimally to the safety of employees. For example, a butter factory needs a floor with more texture than one where the production process is drier. Looking at the space: in a production department that is regularly sprayed clean with water and cleaning agents, a floor must offer more texture than in a ‘dry’ warehouse. The risks of falls are usually less there.”
To make a floor textured, the properties of the floor systems are adjusted. So-called ‘macro and micro additives’ are incorporated. "The larger the grain, the more skid-resistant the floor,” says Dijkers.
How does a client know how textured his floor is? The skid resistance of floors in the food industry is usually expressed with the so-called R-value. This indicates the skid resistance value of a surface and is measured in a laboratory. The floor surface is then lubricated with oil and tested on an adjustable sloping surface. Under these conditions, a tester walks the floor surface with safety shoes. This test yields R-values from 9 to 13; with an R-value of 13 the angle of inclination is greatest and the floor surface is therefore the roughest. Dijkers: “Some clients in the food industry require a floor with a minimal R-value. To demonstrate that we can meet this standard, we have the floor tested by an external measuring agency. If this independent measurement shows that the floor has at least this R-value, the measuring agency issues a certificate. That way the client can be sure that he is purchasing the right floor in his factory.”
Bolidt also performs all kinds of skid resistance tests, for example to verify whether the R-value is correct, says Hans van den Boogert, (Bolidt's Senior Technical Support Specialist). “We use a Skid Resistance Tester (SRT). A pendulum makes a fall movement, drags over the floor surface and the extent to which it swings is a measure of the skid resistance. We also use a Tribometer (GMG200).
A rubber or leather measuring foot with a fixed mass is pulled over the floor surface at a constant speed and thus measures the so-called friction coefficient.”
Van den Boogert explains that both methods are used on location. “We test the degree of skid resistance on both new and existing floors. When a client wants a certain skid resistance, we measure on the spot with, for example, the SRT method, whether the applied system indeed meets the requested skid resistance. For an existing floor, we can test on behalf of the customer whether a floor is still sufficiently textured over time. The surface may wear due to improper loading or incorrect use of undiluted cleaning agents. But then you are talking about floors that are 15 years old.”
At Bolidt, the property of skid resistance has a high priority. “Cleanability in combination with creating a degree of skid resistance is also very important,” says Dijkers. “Our customers want a safe working environment that is also easy to keep clean. We are always working on perfecting that combination. We have now developed a selection of systems with a very high skid resistance, which can also be easily cleaned and stay clean. That means employees are very safe on the floor.”Ask a question
P.O. Box 131
3340 AC Hendrik-Ido-Ambacht
Bolidt Innovation Center
3341 LW The Netherlands
TEL +31 (0)78 684 54 44