Versatile Polyurethane Flooring Solution for Peterborough Industrial Units
After holiday giant Thomas Cook moved from one of its main locations in Peterborough, known as the Thomas Cook Business Park, the company left behind some 15,000m2 of unit space to be filled.
This large expanse of prime real estate was quickly snapped up by eager developers. They would ultimately transform the spaces into industrial or commercial units, which would then be available for lease.
As one of the UK’s leading flooring contractors, UltraSyntec was invited for a site meeting, to discuss and advise on possible flooring solutions which would match the requirements of a diverse mix of potential tenants.
Choosing the right flooring solution
When deciding the flooring specifications on this particular project, there were certain factors which needed to be taken into consideration.
- Which product would be versatile enough to match a variety of different potential applications?
- Was the product financially viable for the overall project budget?
- Could the specification be delivered within the time restraints given?
Following discussions with the client, the UltraSyntec team was able to specify two products for pricing purposes.
Epoxy versus Polyurethane Flooring
The two solutions presented within the quotation were an epoxy and a polyurethane coating system. Both systems present significant advantages, however, there are performance and application differences which can make either the best option based on merit.
Epoxy systems are some 200 microns thicker than the polyurethane coatings, which is better for smoothing out rougher surfaces. They also have a high gloss finish, which creates an aesthetically pleasing appearance.
Faster curing time
Polyurethane has a much faster curing time, can be manufactured with either a gloss or a silk finish and, when cured, has a far harder surface than its counterpart.
As this project was to be completed during the colder winter months, internal heating was not on the let specification. Speed was also of the essence, with that, the polyurethane flooring option was recommended by UltraSyntec and selected by the client. However, as there would be a large amount of preparation and filling prior to coating, UltraSyntec specified three coats with a silk finish, rather than the more traditional two coat application.
Creating a smooth and level flooring surface
As mentioned previously, the buildings were the former offices of the holiday firm Thomas Cook. This meant much of the floor space was originally designed as offices, built on raised access flooring. When all the access flooring had been removed, it left thousands of epoxy lumps on the substrate. This was where the supporting legs which held up the flooring structure had been located. These all had to be removed.
In addition, the welfare rooms at the front of the buildings featured tiled floors. When all the floor tiles had been removed, the floor levels were out by around 80mm.
There were also a number of channels excavated to house the new utility pipe system. These required back filling with a fast cure, high strength concrete, then when cured they were smoothed over using hand held diamond grinders.
A huge preparation task
Prior to the floor coatings being applied, remedial work was required. This was carried out using a levelling screed, to ensure that the whole floor slab was flush. This work was then followed up by a huge preparation task, including diamond grinding off all the epoxy lumps as well as removing any high spots of concrete, with a subsequent full captive shot-blast to the entire area. When all preparation was complete, the area was vacuumed clean using industrial vacuum machines.
Safe, robust and versatile
Each unit took between 3-5 days to get the floor flat and clean, prior to application of the polyurethane coating system. Three coats were applied to each unit, with further filling and sanding prior to each coat being installed.
Slip resistant floor
When the coating was cured, the floor was left with a flat and smooth surface capable of withstanding forklift/pallet truck and pedestrian traffic. This tough and versatile flooring system also provided slip resistance to BS EN 13036-4 standards.
Featuring a slight gloss finish, the surface can be cleaned using industrial floor scrubbers or a simple mop and bucket method. Catering for all applications and environments.
The UltraSyntec team is now in the process of completing the final two phases of this large project.