A recent flooring project at Deli Spices (Pty) Ltd situated in Epping Industria, Cape Town, allowed some of Sika’s internationally approved mortar screeds to prove their quality and efficacy.

After consulting with Sika regarding products and flooring companies, main contractor, Alro Construction, altered the original specifications to Sika products in Sika’s PurCem range. As HP (High Performance) Floors Cape offered the most cost-effective quote and their well-trained staff had previous experience with Sika flooring products, Sika recommended the company to Alro Construction. HP Floors Cape specialises in the application of seamless, resin-based flooring and will only apply products manufactured by reputable suppliers such as Sika.

Quality preparation was required at Deli Spices as the floor surface had to be ground to achieve a low tolerance level for a high quality industrial floor finish. Prior to application of a screed and in accordance with international practice, 10mm x 10mm recess were cut around floor perimeters as well as drains as an edge termination in order to prevent curling of the PurCem screed. This was followed by the laying of the Sikafloor-20N PurCem (beige) (195 kits), a resin-rich, water-dispersed, high strength cement and aggregate screed ideally suited for floors in food processing plants and wherever flooring is subjected to heavy loading, abrasion and chemical exposure. The fluid consistency of Sikafloor-20N PurCem allowed for a rapid one-step application thereby necessitating fewer labourers to install than if a conventional heavy duty PU trowel grade screed had been used.

Once the floors at Deli Spices were cured, chalk lines were used to demarcate the edge termination point, which was subsequently cut straight and chipped away, leaving a perfect straight edge. This cut floor line was then used as the form for the coving. The coving area was primed with Sikafloor-156 ZA, a two-part, low viscosity, epoxy resin, providing good penetration ability and high bond strength. This easy to apply, solvent-free, multi-purpose primer offers short overcoating times.

The primed surface in the coving area was allowed to tack up before the Sikafloor-29N PurCem (beige) (17 kits), a cement and aggregate mortar which provides vertical, coving and detailing solutions in areas of abrasion and high chemical exposure.

Both Sikafloor-20N and Sikafloor-29N PurCem are water-dispersed, coloured polyurethane modified cement screeds and their bond strengths are in excess of the tensile strength of structural concrete. They are non-taint, odourless and VOC free and behave plastically when subjected to impact, that is, they are able to resist cracking or debonding better than similar products. The fast-curing ability of these two products allows for production downtime to be cut to an absolute minimum, and being jointless they are easily maintained.

In order to create an even flow, Sikafloor-20N PurCem was generally applied first, before the coving mortar, thereby helping to act as a permanent shutter for the coving. Since there was a distinct colour difference between the coving mortar and the floor, a sealer coat of Sikafloor-30 PurCem was applied to the coves resulting in a perfect match between the two systems. Joints were then cut where required and filled with Sikaflex PRO-2 HP (12 x 600ml, beige), a one part, moisture curing, low-modulus, elastic sealant based on polyurethane. Its good workability provides easy application with bubble-free curing and a 25% movement capability.

One of the many challenges encountered on this project was that Deli Spices occupies a four-storey building, making it somewhat laborious for contractors to transport equipment and materials between the various floors. However, the ease of application and fast-curing abilities of Sika’s high performance products significantly reduced the setbacks and highly impressed the contractors who enjoyed working with them. Deli Spices, the third largest supplier of spices to the South African meat industry, was also greatly impressed by the final cove profile achieved.

This first phase of the project was completed by September 2012, and with the second phase scheduled to commence shortly, there is no doubt that Sika’s products will continue to impress.