What is Polyurethane Floor Screed ?
Polyurethane Screed, or PU Screed, is a heavy duty resin flooring system that is known for its abrasion and chemical resistance properties. It is generally accepted to be the most hard-wearing of all resin systems, this reputation has been heavily tested throughout many industries and has been shown to be well-earned time after time. These qualities can be put down to its clever chemical composition and heavy use of aggregate filling that provides this flooring system with its impervious nature and durability.
During the entire process from planning to completion, we can and will be there to offer the best advice we have. It is more important to us to create the best final product in terms of quality and satisfaction for you.
The Benefits of a PU Screed Flooring System
The demands of modern industrial and factory flooring leave few viable options when it comes to flooring, this system is more than capable of satisfying these needs and more, such as:
- Chemical resistance – First choice for the food and chemical industries
- Antimicrobial – Food grade flooring, inhibits growth and presence of bacteria, viruses, fungi and algae
- Thermal shock resistance – Able to withstand large temperature changes and chemical attack
- Highest level of durability – Suitable for heavy duty traffic areas, including hard wheeled traffic
- Options that classify as Type 8 under FeRFA – This is the highest rating achievable from Resin Flooring Association
- Wide assortment of colour and design options
- Extremely easy to clean and maintain hygiene – Coving skirting detail available where floor and wall meet.
That last point, namely the cleanability, is one of the advantages that lends itself most to industrial environments and factory needs. The necessity of superb levels of sanitation means any floor surface will have to repel the forces of rigorous and regular cleaning. Many of these systems, usually those at a depth of at least 9mm, can also be steam cleaned well. An option for the perimeter of the floor is integrated coved skirting, making for an even easier-to-clean floor, as well as being visually fluid and smooth.
A polyurethane flooring system is also chemically resistant or un-reactive to many substances often used in food production, whereas other industry options can easily show signs of wear and degradation. It is because of this that polyurethane is regarded as a ‘food-safe’ material. At DC Flooring we will ensure that we take the time to understand all of your needs, and only then try to guide and advise you to ensure you end up with the most ideal system. Whether you require the finish for a brewery, a kitchen or a dairy plant; we will ensure the end product performs exactly as needed. Call our team with any questions!
What Kind of Layouts and Designs are Possible with Polyurethane Screed?
Although the majority of systems tend to be plain grey for commercial uses, this polyurethane flooring system is available in a multitude of colours.
We have had the chance to accumulate years of experience with creating bespoke and unique designs. This means the inclusion of company logos and brand colours, or perhaps guiding lines or design work that helps delineate separate work areas, are all trivial. So, feel free to fill in the contact form – and see if we can create whatever it is you are imagining!
What is the Structure of a Polyurethane Screed System?
The composition of all polyurethane screeds is quite similar. They are made up of a high strength pu resin component, mixed with hardener that causes the chemical reaction. We then add the aggregate determined for the finish that is desired and also a colour dye that gives the product the correct aesthetic appearance.
The nature of the pre-existing floor and the requirements of its performance are the two main varying factors in the choosing the correct product and the correct subfloor preparation that is necessary. This floor topping system is so strong, that when it cures, it literally tries to pull itself off of the floor. This is why we test every subfloor for its strength, and why the subfloors that it is usually installed on are concrete and polymer modified screeds, which have very high compressive strength.
Epoxy resin and kiln-dried quartz can be used as a priming system in some instances, however in a lot of cases this is not necessary and the product can be installed directly on to a mechanically profiled subfloor. In all instances the subfloor needs to have grooves mechanically cut into it to provide anchors for this amazing product.
Where Should this System be Used?
As discussed above, a heavy duty polyurethane floor screed system is apt for a number of the harsher conditions that come with factory floors. It can be used anywhere from metal manufacturers, chemical processing, abattoirs, food processing plants, to pharmaceutical factories and repetitive assembly lines.
Commercial and industrial sector needs are also met by this system, the materials solvent and abrasion resistant qualities make it very ideal for any areas where harsh chemicals are present. For any establishment with under-floor heating, you may rest easy knowing that this option is the most adept resin flooring technique for your needs. These are the sorts of consideration that DC Flooring ensures are carried out.
This product can also deal with severe mechanical stress with ease, areas that experience continual and heavy traffic are some of the places that polyurethane resin screed shines most.
What are the Differences Between Self-Smoothing and Trowel Applied PU Screed?
The first option, self-smoothing, is generally applied to a thickness of around 3mm – 6mm. This is a more medium to heavy duty option, usually created with a mixture of finer aggregates, leaving a smooth matt finish more ideal for clinical surroundings, where hygiene and an easily cleanable surface are of the upmost value.
The trowel applied system is most often installed at a thickness of 6mm – 9mm or thereabouts. This is a much more hard wearing floor, in fact it is the most heavy duty floor and it is these systems which qualify as FeRFA Type 8. In other words the most robust resin flooring option as certified by the UK resins governing assembly. The trowelled finish brings forth a textured surface, giving the material its anti-slip finish making it ideal in wet and dry processing environments, among others. This 6 to 9mm thickness also allows the surface to be steam cleaned, making it suited for the food & drink industry as well as the dairy and pharmaceutical industries.
How Does this System Last Over Time?
It is to be expected that the aforementioned robustness of poly flooring makes it a long-lasting product, but how long? Well, of course this is dependent on its surroundings. But you could expect at least a decade of use out of well laid floor that makes use of high-quality materials. With regular upkeep this can be extended further, but of course these estimates may vary but you can be assured we will advise a finish that makes the most practical and economic sense for you.
We will make sure we leave you with knowledge of the correct measures required for keeping the floor in great condition over the long-term. When considering the costs, it must also be noted that this long-lasting product won’t require a costly and time inefficient replacement every few years, not to mention the time that will be saved by its ease of washing and therefore its preservation.
We are preferred installers of all of the main manufacturers of this great product, including – Pumadur HF, Flowcrete HF, Sika Purcem and many more. This allows us to be completely impartial and to make sure that the system we put forward is the right fit for you.
At DC Flooring, we consider all our work an artform and it’s an artform we continually try to improve our skills in. During our many combined years applying resin systems, we have encountered any type of issues imaginable, allowing us to comfortably deal with problems so you can focus on keeping your business running without unneeded stress. For any info on our other services please click here and find out more about all the other expertise in our team and how we could help and advise you.
Why should you Consider DC Flooring for Your Installation?
From initial planning and quoting to the aftercare of your new installation, we take pride in involving ourselves wholeheartedly during every stage of the operation. The current shortage of skilled and accredited installers may be a cause of hesitance for some, we are proud to say that we can stand by every square metre of flooring we have ever laid and you can see a variety of past projects and the opinions of our clients by having a look at our case studies and testimonials.
We understand that each stroke of the trowel will be felt underfoot for years to come, so we not only provide top-notch installation, but also the most suitable advice, so you can focus on running your business. The speed of the transformation we can provide to you is a large part of the enjoyment and satisfaction we feel, and it allows for the minimum disruption possible, to any and all business procedures.
All subfloor preparation is done in-house using our specialised equipment – shotblasting, scabbling, and concrete grinding
You’re only a phone call away from investing in leading-class flooring systems, all approved by FeRFA.
What type of PU screed is best?
The “best” type depends on the specific requirements of the project, as well as the environmental conditions and intended use of the floor.
Here are some common types and their applications:
- Self-Levelling: These screeds are designed to be applied at a consistent thickness, providing a smooth and level surface. They are ideal for areas where hygienic and ultra clean floors are imperative. Ease of cleaning, and a seamless finish are crucial to areas such as food and beverage processing plants, cleanrooms, pharmaceutical facilities, and chemical plants.
- Heavy Duty Polyurethane Screeds: Usually laid at 6-9mm. Areas with high mechanical or chemical stresses, such as manufacturing plants, warehouses, and automotive workshops, the heavy-duty system is preferred. They offer exceptional slip resistance, durability, and and are highly abrasion and chemical resistant.
- Anti-Static/Conductive: Used in environments where static electricity must be controlled, such as electronic manufacturing facilities or sensitive equipment storage areas, these screeds help prevent electrostatic discharge (ESD) and protect electronic components.
- Fast-Curing: When time is of the essence, the fast setting option can be used to reduce downtime during installation. These are often used in places where minimizing operational disruptions is critical, such as hospitals, airports, and commercial kitchens.
- Flexible: In environments where thermal movement or substrate movement is expected, flexible systems can accommodate these changes, reducing the risk of cracking. They are suitable for outdoor areas, balconies, and substrates prone to movement.
- Decorative: For areas where aesthetics are essential, decorative systems can be applied in various colours and finishes, enhancing the overall look of the space. This type is common in retail stores, showrooms, and public spaces.
When selecting the best option, it’s crucial to consider factors such as:
- Traffic and Load-Bearing Requirements: Choose an option that can withstand the anticipated impact and abrasion in the area.
- Chemical Resistance: Ensure the screed can resist exposure to specific chemicals or cleaning agents if applicable.
- Hygiene and Cleanability: For areas requiring high hygiene standards, opt for a seamless and easy-to-clean option.
- Thermal and Environmental Conditions: Consider temperature fluctuations and exposure to UV light or outdoor elements, as some systems may perform better than others in certain conditions.
It is recommended to consult with a specialist or manufacturer who can provide tailored advice based on the project’s requirements and conditions to determine the most suitable polyurethane resin floor for your specific application.
What is the difference between polyurethane and epoxy?
Polyurethane and epoxy are both types of resin-based materials used for various applications, including coatings, adhesives, and sealants. While they share some similarities, they have distinct characteristics and properties that make them suitable for different purposes.
The choice between the two will depend on the specific requirements of the project, including the type of substrate, the level of flexibility needed, chemical resistance, drying time, and aesthetic preferences. It is essential to consult with experts or manufacturers to discuss your project and the most suitable resin system for your particular application. Please feel free to contact us at anytime with any of your questions.
What are the disadvantages of PU screed?
While polyurethane (PU) screeds offer numerous advantages for various flooring applications, they also have some disadvantages that should be considered before choosing them for a specific project. Here are some common disadvantages:
- Cost: Can be more expensive than other types of flooring materials, such as epoxy or cementitious screeds. The higher cost is due to the advanced technology and specialized properties of polyurethane resins. However, these installations have very long life expectancies that can negate the initial cost.
- Application Complexity: Not easy to apply. Skilled and experienced professionals are needed as the installation process can be more complex compared to traditional flooring systems. A professional finish is required, improper installation can lead to performance issues and affect the overall durability of the finish.
- Pot Life: Typically have a limited pot life, which means that once mixed, they must be applied within a specific time frame before they start to cure. This can be a challenge for larger or more intricate projects, as it may require careful planning and coordination to avoid wastage.
- Curing Time: The curing time can vary depending on the formulation and environmental conditions. While some PU screed options have fast curing times, others may require longer periods to achieve their full strength. This can impact the timeline of a project.
- Temperature Sensitivity: Some are sensitive to temperature and humidity during installation. Extreme conditions can affect the curing process, leading to potential defects in the final floor finish.
- Chemical Sensitivity During Curing: Some systems may be sensitive to certain chemicals or substances during the curing process. Exposure to incompatible materials can compromise the integrity of the screed, leading to reduced performance.
- Vulnerability to UV Exposure: Some may be susceptible to UV degradation when exposed to direct sunlight. This can cause discoloration and a reduction in the floor’s overall appearance if used outdoors or in areas with significant UV exposure. UV stable top coats are however available.
- Limited Reparability: While PU screeds are durable and resilient, repairing localized damage can be challenging. Achieving a seamless repair may be difficult, and in some cases, the entire section of the floor may need to be replaced.
- Environmental Considerations: Some may contain volatile organic compounds (VOCs) during installation, which can contribute to indoor air pollution. However, low-VOC or VOC-free options are available for projects with strict environmental requirements.
Despite these disadvantages, PU screeds remain an excellent choice for many industrial, commercial, and decorative flooring applications. It’s essential to weigh the pros and cons carefully, consider the specific needs of the project, and consult with flooring professionals to make an informed decision. Proper installation and maintenance can help mitigate some of the challenges associated with this product and ensure their