Don’t Let the Flooring Stop the Press
19 Dec 2018
- Chemical resistance and antistatic flooring properties are extremely useful in printing facilities.
- Flowcrete India offers a wide range of chemical resistant and antistatic solutions.
- It’s important to consider what flooring properties are required during the specification stage.
Flowcrete India is supporting the growing printing industry with chemical resistant and antistatic flooring solutions.
With technological advancements including UV digital printing and inkjet technology, the printing industry in India is growing at a rapid rate of 12% per annum. Printing companies within India are equipped with the latest computer controlled printing machines and flow lines for binding, while state-of-the-art technologies are used in prepress.
Alongside this growth, the printing industry is facing numerous challenges that have the potential to affect business and reputation. These challenges include staff exposure to airborne solvent vapours from the printing chemicals and even the cleaning chemicals needed to clean the printing machinery.
In addition to being harmful to staff, such chemical solutions can also cause long term damage to the facility, and in particular the flooring, if there is daily exposure.
The layout of a printing plant should facilitate the smooth flow of production from prepress operations such as artwork preparation and plate making to the multicolour printing with online, error-free numbering and post printing operations of binding, pinning, cutting, packing and dispatch.
With such a particular workflow, the floors can be exposed to hazardous waste such as photographic and residual chemicals, metal hydroxide sludge, dyestuff and solvent residues, wiping materials containing dyes and solvents and even oil spills.
Due to this exposure, flooring can benefit from additional properties such as stain resistance, chemical resistance and slip resistance. Whilst stains do not affect the functionality of flooring, added stain resistance leaves the floor looking its best for longer.
Prolonged exposure to chemicals however can damage the floor’s surface, and can lead to peeling or cracks forming. If the flooring becomes worn to this level, it can be just as dangerous as having a lack of slip resistance, as staff could trip on a cracked floor and fall, leading to accidents and in extreme cases, litigation.
Expensive repairs could also be on the cards for facilities that ignore a peeling surface, as chemical erosion of the substrate can jeopardise the structural integrity of the building, leading to costly repairs and a new floor coating.
Chemical resistance is not the only major consideration for printing facilities however. Static electricity is used to control the movement of paper in laser printers. The core component of this system is the photoreceptor, which is typically a revolving cylinder or drum that moves the paper along. This drum assembly is made out of highly photoconductive material that is discharged by light protons. The static keeps the paper ‘stuck’ to the drum so that the print is issued in the correct position.
Static electricity can be a key concern within this industry, as it can cause printing defects, thanks to the static pushing and pulling ink particles away from their intended trajectories, and can even cause press operators static shocks.
Antistatic flooring is the mandated flooring requirement for these areas. In order to dissipate static charge, Flowcrete India offers a proven antistatic flooring range that is able to assist in preventing electrical charges affecting sensitive printing technology or causing an ignition source around solvents, by safely dissipating the charge across its surface and to ground.
One such system is Peran ESD SL, a hygienic and self-smoothing resin floor finish that is anti-static compliant with BS 2050. With non-tainting and non-dusting properties, this floor finish is well suited to printing areas where medium-high traffic is expected, including foot, trolley and pallet truck traffic.
In order to ground the antistatic charge, copper grids or rods can be used to quickly transfer the charge from the floor’s surface to a safe earth. Earthing rods must be installed by a qualified electrician and tested to ensure that the charge is being earthed as quickly as possible.
Static charge can easily be generated by staff walking across the floor’s surface, but when walking on an ESD flooring system, the charge is dissipated with each footstep. This charge reaches the conductive floor and, depending on the build-up of the flooring system, moves through the surface via special conductive fibres, then flows through carbon coated aggregates and an ESD primer before finally transferring to an appropriate earth point.
For other areas of the printing facility that do not require anti-static properties, solutions such as Flowshield SL or Flowcoat SF41, a high-gloss, chemical resistant epoxy resin floor finish can be utilised. Typically used in dry process areas, including laboratories, clean rooms and warehouses where pallet trucks and rubber wheeled forklift traffic are likely, this is a highly durable floor finish that is abrasion and chemical resistant, and more than capable of withstanding the challenges faced in printing facilities.
In environments regularly exposed to chemicals, the Flowfresh range can be utilised thanks to its incredibly high chemical resistance and ease of cleanability. Antistatic versions of such systems can also be specified.
To find out more about chemical resistant and antistatic flooring solutions, visit Flowcrete.in.
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Notes to Editors
Flowcrete India has offices in Bangalore, Chennai, Mumbai and New Delhi and is one of the four divisions that make up Flowcrete Group Ltd.
Flowcrete Group Ltd. is a world leader in the manufacture of seamless industrial and commercial resin floor, wall and coving solutions as well as other specialist coating technologies. Flowcrete Group Ltd. has international manufacturing facilities in Europe and Africa as well as Central and South East Asia.
Flowcrete supplies world-class seamless flooring solutions to transform environments across the globe including; decorative seamless resins, waterproof car park deck coating systems, seamless resin terrazzo, durable antimicrobial flooring, fast curing systems, corrosion protection and self-levelling underlayments.
Flowcrete's ambitious and dedicated team, led by President Craig Brookes, is inspired by excellence in people, products and service as well as continual innovation and sustainable growth. Flowcrete continues to use its global expertise to introduce environmentally friendly, hygienic and aesthetically attractive floors to create a better and more sustainable world.
For further information please contact +91 44 42029831.
Or visit us on the web at www.flowcrete.in.