April 27, 2017

Three levels in three days

Unilever, one of the world’s largest consumer goods manufacturers, chose Hychem products to seal flooring on three different levels at its North Rocks facility in Sydney back in July 2016.

What was the problem?

Epoxy flooring specialist, Ironbark Flooring, was contracted to seal 700m2 across three floors, in three days.

Andrew Pulsford, Manager at Ironbark Flooring, said the areas that were sealed are used as mixing areas for soap flake based products.

“The areas that were sealed were previously exposed concrete. This was causing a problem as the soap flakes used for manufacturing are sticky, making it hard to clean the floor. There was also an issue with dirt build up,” Andrew said.

“Unilever wanted a coating solution that gave the floor a smooth finish and was hard wearing, allowing for easier, frequent cleaning.

“The company also didn’t want a lot of down time so it required the flooring to be completely sealed, cured and ready for use again in only three days – a short time frame for such a large area.”

A hard wearing solution

To complete the project, Hychem GP and Hychem E300SL were used.

“We used E300SL because it is hard wearing and durable, and creates a smooth finish while also providing a degree of slip resistance. It also has a short cure time, with surfaces completely cured and ready for full service within 12 hours of application. These features made it an ideal product for this project,” Andrew said.

“The client also wanted the final coating to be green in colour, so we were able to mix E300SL with pigments to provide them with the exact colour they wanted.

“We chose these products as we have successfully used them for sealing projects like this one before, so we have confidence that they work well, and we were comfortable they would perform well for this specific project. This was important as the project specifications didn’t allow time for problems to arise with a new product we were unfamiliar with.”

An unexpected challenge

Due to the large area of concrete that needed to be sealed, and the short time frame to complete it in, Ironbark Flooring had to prioritise the order in which areas were to be sealed.

“When we began the project, we knew that some areas would be required first thing on the Monday morning, while others wouldn’t need to be used until later that afternoon. Based on this, we didn’t seal the concrete in geographical order, rather each section was completed based on the handover times,” Andrew said.

Before the products could be applied, the areas being sealed were prepared by removing any contaminants such as dirt and other soft, crumbly material that can affect adhesion of the epoxy to the concrete.

Hychem GP was then used as a primer and a self-levelling binder to prepare the concrete for the trowel application of Hychem E300SL.

Ironbark’s familiarity with Hychem products, as well as the products’ fast curing ability, were an asset to the project, especially when faced with an unexpected challenge.

“Applying the epoxy over three levels required us to use a hoist to move the products between levels quickly and easily. However, halfway through the project the hoist broke so we had to carry our materials and equipment up and down the stairs,” Andrew said.

“This added extra time to the process so being familiar with the products and their fast curing ability really helped us to make up the time and get the project completed within the scheduled time frame.

“The project was completed on time, production was able to start back on time and the client was happy with how the floor looked.”

Experience matters

Chris Bauer, Head of Flooring at Hychem, said Hychem has a strong and trusted network of trained applicators throughout Australia.

“Hychem approved applicators all have extensive experience in the flooring industry, and it is this experience that allows them to take on difficult jobs such as this one, and complete them on time while dealing with any unexpected challenges as they arise,” Chris said.

“We have developed a strong national network of contractors over the past 30 years, so we always have local solutions for installation.

“Our contractors are ready to take on new projects in all cities and all states.”

For more information, please contact Hychem on (02) 4646 1660.

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