Focusing on key elements from floors at ground level to the tops of the roofs, innovative, cutting-edge products and technologies are emerging to make manufacturing facilities more state-of-the-art, efficient, and Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA)-compliant than ever before.
Improved Floor Coatings
Sherwin-Williams Protective & Marine Coatings (S-WP&MC) is now offering water-based floor coatings featuring improved hot-tire staining resistance and no hot-tire pickup.
Introduced commercially August 1, 2017, these products, AquArmor WBU Water-Based Urethane Floor Coatings, are the next generation of water-based, aliphatic urethane coatings designed for industrial venues, according to Casey Ball, S-WP&MC’s marketing director for resinous flooring. (Aliphatic compounds are organic compounds in which carbon atoms form open chains, not aromatic rings. These compounds are used as corrosion inhibitors.)
Ball says that the new coatings, which work on poured concrete floors and any type of walls, deliver high-performance application and aesthetic characteristics that rival solvent-based products, with the added benefit of lower volatile organic compounds than solvent-based formulations.
“The coatings’ wet edge application properties help to minimize the potential for roller lap marks, ensuring a consistent gloss sheen for GP4410 and a consistent satin sheen for GP4411, the two finishes available in the line,” Ball explains. “After curing, the coatings offer the best resistance to hot-tire pickup and hot-tire staining compared to other water-based floor coatings, preventing tires from leaving excessive, permanent stains.
“The products also offer superior chemical-resistance properties, helping to enhance the aesthetics of food and beverage manufacturing facilities and warehouses,” Ball continues.
“Additionally, these floor coatings are available in multiple finishes and custom colors, offering more aesthetic options than solvent-based products on the market.”
Gloss-sheen GP4410 is available in clear, 10 standard colors, and two tint bases. GP4411 is only available in a clear satin finish. “Applicators can create a more durable finish by adding GP5240 aluminum oxide to either GP4410 or GP4411,” Ball mentions.
AquArmor WBU Water-Based Urethane Floor Coatings have 18-hour intercoat adhesion, meaning one has up to18 hours to apply the second coat without concerns about the second coat adhering to the first, Ball notes. “This long recoat window helps with project scheduling, while ensuring an increased bond between coating layers when they’re applied within this window,” he points out. “The coatings also have a short dry time, permitting foot traffic at 18 hours, light traffic at 24 hours, and wheeled traffic at 48 hours, enabling fast returns to service. This application efficiency accelerates new flooring installations and minimizes downtime for existing food and beverage facility floor maintenance.”
Reflective insulation is one of the fastest growing technologies in the world, including in the food industry, says Bruce Wester, director of sales for Fi-Foil Company, Auburndale, Fla., a manufacturer of reflective insulation systems and radiant barriers.
While first introduced for commercial applications about 15 years ago, Fi-Foil has only recently started marketing its RetroShield System to the food industry as a viable insulation solution to meet some requirements of FSMA, Wester relates.
Explaining reflective insulation technology, Wester points out that heat is transferred by three methods, conduction, convection, and radiation. “Traditional insulating products resist heat transfer by slowing down conduction through materials such as fiberglass, recycled paper, or foam,” he notes. “Key to traditional insulation is the small air spaces within those products, since air is a tremendous insulator.”
Reflective insulation works differently, Wester says, by incorporating highly reflective foils or metalized films, either alone or as part of an engineered product structure, to reduce the most dominant of the three forms of heat transfer, radiant energy, through high reflectance and low emissive surfaces that block more than 90 percent of radiant energy transmission.