Sika South Africa are proud to have developed two amazing new floor products and to see one of them being used for the first time on a project. Toyota Material Handling, forming part of CFAO Equipment South Africa in Gqeberha found that its business outgrew its facilities over the last two years. To avoid continuous off-site rentals and to facilitate further expansion caused by market demand, they opted for a new purpose-built factory that houses all departments under one roof.
Given the nature of the business and the workshop requirements, it was necessary that the new floor be hardwearing and resistant to impact, oil, and battery acid spills. To combat these and ensure the longevity of the concrete floors, they decided on a densifier product in their service bays, engineering shops, battery storage and tyre fitment department.
Recently released to the market are Sikafloor® CureHard LI, a lithium silicate liquid hardener and densifier of fresh and hardening power-trowelled or polished concrete surfaces; and Sikafloor® CureHard GL, a sealing lithium silicate based crystalline agent with high gloss finish. Sika rep, John Zehmke, provided the product and technical support to the main contractor on the project, Rand Civils.
Although easy to apply, Sikafloor® CureHard GL may only be applied by experienced professionals trained in its use. As such, they contracted Chris Howes Construction and collectively set out to protect and enhance the look of the new floor at Toyota Material Handling, which was done over a period of 10 days in July 2022.
Sikafloor® CureHard GL is a water-soluble agent used for sealing and additional curing of existing power-trowelled or polished/grinded concrete surfaces. It improves the durability and the tightness of concrete surfaces by penetrating its texture, where it initiates a chemical reaction and subsequent crystallization of reaction products which results in the filling of the concrete surface pores. Acrylic dispersion fills surface pores and thus reduces the absorption of the concrete during the first days after application. The treatment also leaves a high silk gloss on the surface, thereby enhancing the appearance of concrete floors. Further advantages of the product use include dust reduction, it is solvent-free, odourless and treated surfaces are much easier to clean.
Prior to application of Sikafloor® CureHard GL, a mechanical scrubber, using only water, was used to softly wash the concrete floor. The floor was allowed to dry before one coat of the product was applied with a microfibre mop. Since the ideal drying time is 24 hours, this first coat was allowed to dry overnight. A second coat of the product was applied in the same manner, and again given 24 hours to dry.
Despite the difficulties of using a new product that was still in the process of being launched to the market, the professional and proper application of the product resulted in a freshly protected existing concrete floor with a beautiful light glossy finish. When asked if they were satisfied with the product, the Toyota Material Handling GM, Neil Westraadt replied,” Yes, absolutely. Besides the great aesthetic look, we are very pleased with the new flooring!” We are certain that all those involved in the project would agree that the floor is as proud of itself as we are of the product!