Turning water into wine
Bimbadgen Estate is a James Halliday five-star rated winery located in the heart of the Hunter Valley in New South Wales. They have been producing grapes for over 40 years and the estate now includes an award-winning restaurant and function venue, which has hosted major events such as ‘A Day on the Green’. In August 2015, Hychem was contracted by the estate to provide flooring repairs and maintenance to their main production facility.
What was the problem?
Wine production facilities are highly acidic environments, and in the case of Bimbadgen, their production house flooring had become severely corroded. The facility itself was built many years ago, with concrete flooring underfoot and a high ceiling to house a number of large wine tanks.
As the initial concrete floor had never been sealed, acids washing over the surface had caused it to breakdown over time and expose the coarse aggregate within the concrete. Not only was this becoming unsafe for the tanks resting on the concrete, it was also an eye-sore for Bimbadgen visitors.
“As long as the concrete was not protected, the surface would continue to be eroded away,” said Ludvik Kovacic, Managing Director at Hychem.
“A new coating was needed to protect the building structure and the tanks resting on it, as well as lift the aesthetic appeal of the premises.”
Choosing the right flooring
“When choosing the right flooring system, we had to take into account the depth of the badly corroded areas, the cleaning procedures, the required level of slip-resistance and the level of acid present.
“The first step in the process was to treat all the badly affected areas with a patching mortar made of Hychem Hycrete PU, which provided a relatively even surface for the subsequent coatings.
“From there, we applied a 6mm topping of Hychem E300SL with Hychem SupaFloor top-coat. This system is a great solution in wine processing environments and has a proven track record for over 25 years,” said Mr Kovacic.
Applying the coating
The entire space requiring new flooring was over 600m2, with much of the area covered by large, immovable tanks filled with wine.
According to Mr Kovacic, applying the products under and around tanks, such as the ones at Bimbadgen, is always a challenge.
“By choosing products with the right viscosity and self-levelling properties we were able to maintain a consistent finish throughout the entire area.
“The consistency of the coating products is quite fluid, however we have the capabilities to manipulate the consistency to suit various gradients in the floor surface. At Bimbadgen there was only a very low gradient, so we were able to use a product with low viscosity.”
The project took four days to complete, including preparation and application, however this can be further expedited with specialised fast-curing products.
The finished floor adheres to Food Standards Australia’s OH/S Food Premises and Equipment 3.2.3 Standard requiring a sealed floor for the food and beverage production environment and a slip-resistant surface.
According to Mr Kovacic, Hychem has a strong and trusted network of trained applicators throughout Australia.
“Hychem applicators all have extensive experience in the flooring industry, and with a strong national network developed over the past 30 years, we always have local solutions for installation.
“Our contractors are ready to take on new projects in all cities and all states”, said Mr Kovacic.
For more information, please contact Hychem on (02) 4646 1660