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Sika ensures factory is a smooth operator

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World Cement,

For the production area of a power conversion company in Rugby, a hard-wearing and fast-applied flooring system was needed that would offer long term performance, durability and an ultra-smooth finish. Sika delivered the perfect solution with a self-levelling mortar and high strength screed that would be able to withstand constant traffic and would ensure the fluid movement of heavy equipment on air skates.

GE Energy’s facility in Rugby produces high efficiency electric power conversion components such as generators, motors drives and automation controls. With the 3000m2 factory floor needing to be totally flat and hard wearing, specialist contractor Zircon Flooring worked with Sika who provided a series of high performance solutions that transformed the existing uneven concrete floor and facilitated the safe and fluid movement of heavy equipment.

One of the first challenges was the cutting out and removal of the existing rail tracks, some of which had concrete stuck to the side of them. Using a fork lift truck, Zircon removed 520 linear metres or 96 t of steel. These areas were then cleaned and reinforced ready for a concrete infill.

Old manholes were cut out and replaced with new frames and 40 mm thick manholes. After shotblasting and vacuuming these areas, Zircon applied Sika® EpoCem®, an epoxy cementitious combination material, which acts as a surface mounted Damp Proof Membrane (DPM).

Zircon then applied the fast-setting Sikafloor Level 30 mortar to level the surface of the factory floor. This was followed by a layer of Sikafloor 161 primer which was broadcast with quartz aggregate. Sikafloor 161 also provides an integral DPM to prevent moisture from passing into the factory space.

To finish off the floor and create an ultra-smooth finish, a 3 mm layer of Sikafloor 263 SL was laid. Finished into an incredibly smooth surface it ensures the air skates, which run on a thin film of air, are able to move around efficiently without the threat of damage.

“To ensure the finished floor was flat to within 1 mm over a 2 m straightedge, we had to drill screws every metre to achieve the correct level and ensure the completed floor was totally flat,” commented Stewart Draper, Director at Zircon Flooring. “An ultra-flat and smooth floor would also guarantee that no air would escape beneath the air skates, hindering their movement.”

Combining long term performance with an ultra-flat finish, the Sika specification delivered a hard-wearing flooring system that guaranteed outstanding durability and longevity, and met the specific requirements of GE Energy.

Adapted from press release by Joseph Green

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