Sikafloor-3 QuartzTop ZA, a coloured mineral dry shake floor hardener renowned for its hard-wearing, impact resistant qualities, was the only flooring choice when another 8 500m² was added to the existing 63-hectare trading floor of the Johannesburg Fresh Produce market.

The market, situated in City Deep, just south of the M2 freeway, is South Africa's major centre for the marketing of fresh produce. It is also the largest fresh produce market in Africa, and on an average trading day 2 900 trucks, 5 000 light motor vehicles and 35 000 people pass through its doors. It was obvious then that its new floor would have to be dry and hard enough to withstand constant traffic, not only from pedestrians, but also from forklifts and trucks.

Sikafloor-3 QuartzTop ZA, a surface hardener for concrete made of cement, specially selected quartz mineral aggregates, admixtures and pigments, fitted the requirements exactly. This hardener has a very good wear resistance rating, is dust proof, easy to clean and resistant to oils and grease; all properties essential in a food trading environment that also experiences constant traffic from heavy duty vehciles.

Sikafloor-3 QuartzTop ZA’s quality assured factory blending, coupled with its one part, pre-blended, easy shake on application, made it a convenient and cost effective option for the project. Three hundred tons of it were applied to the market floor, followed by 18 000 litres of Sikafloor ProSeal W ZA, a one part water based acrylic emulsion that effectively cures and seals concrete surfaces in a single, economic application by spray or roller.

Sikafloor ProSeal W ZA limits surface drying and cracking, has excellent moisture retention, and is suitable for interior and exterior application. It was particularly suitable for the market application because it is not solvent based, meets health and safety regulations, and can be applied in food selling areas. It also helps control dusting, ensuring produce will remain clean and fresh on the market floor.

The project had many challenges: some of the ‘garages’ in the market had no doors, so construction trucks could not enter the building and therefore cement had to be pumped off the trucks and wheelbarrowed in. 12 000 x 25kg bags of Sikafloor-3 Quartztop ZA was the volume of product used which meant delivering 400 bags at a time.

Because each market section is hired by a different company, floors had to be completed in sections rather than as one long solid surface. Fortunately Sikaflex-11 FC, one part moisture curing elastic joint sealant was available to seal the joints in the concrete floor. Its flexibility, elasticity and good mechanical resistance, coupled with its impact and vibration absorbing qualities, made it the perfect complement to Sikafloor-3 QuartzTop ZA and Sikafloor ProSeal ZA on this very demanding surface.

The contractor, Komanani JV, had never performed any construction work before, resulting in the Sika team having to be on site constantly during the early phase of the project. This, however, had positive benefits for both Sika and the contractors, as Komanai JV have been empowered to fully understand the value and application of Sika’s many excellent products, and they in turn say they will definitely use Sika products on future contracts.