Food manufacturing plants are required to have very strict maintenance and sanitary regulations in place at all times. In light of heightened health and safety concerns brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic over the past two years, existing measures have been taken to the next level to protect employees and the public ensuring that all food products are safe for human consumption. One of the methods being used to protect against contamination and exposure to harmful bacteria is the application of polyurea coatings in food manufacturing plants.
As always, foodborne contaminants are a concern, and the ability to maintain a clean and sanitary facility can help to significantly lower risks. With their inherently antibacterial properties, polyurea coatings have been proven to prevent contamination from a wide range of external and internal sources. Keep reading to learn more about the different applications and benefits of polyurea in food manufacturing plants.
What Are Polyurea Coatings?
Polyurea is an elastomer that’s produced by combining a blend of synthetic resins with an isocyanate component through a process known as growth polymerization. The result is an ultra-durable, fast-drying, and fast-curing abrasion and corrosion-resistant liquid that forms a smooth impenetrable and waterproof protective membrane. Due to its incredible flexibility, seamless finish, and easy maintenance, polyurea consistently wins in the battle against epoxy coatings in the food manufacturing and production industry.
How Polyurea Coatings Are Used in Food Manufacturing Plants
Polyurea has a number of important properties that make it the ideal choice for safeguarding food, the food manufacturing, processing, and handling equipment, along with the walls and floors of these facilities, against harmful contaminants.
Once it’s completely dried and has formed a solid membrane, polyurea has a significant tolerance for temperature changes and ranges. It can withstand extremely cold temperatures without cracking. It is used frequently in freezers and refrigerated areas and can prevent cold air loss that can lead to food spoiling and increased energy consumption for food processing plants.
On the opposite end of the spectrum polyurea can also withstand high temperatures.
Additionally, polyurea coatings have antibacterial, chemical, and corrosion-resistant properties. It is because of these characteristics, amongst others, that polyurea is commonly used for the following applications in food manufacturing plants.
Polyurea Coatings Form a Protective and Waterproof Coating Over Concrete
Concrete floors are fairly common fixtures in food manufacturing and processing plants. For the most part, they’re extremely sturdy and capable of withstanding a lot of movement and contact with heavy materials and equipment. However, they’re not completely invincible and will eventually start to show signs of wear and tear such as cracking.
Polyurea is one of the most reliable concrete coatings on the market. Thanks to its flexibility it effortlessly moves with the concrete, so there’s no chance of the coating cracking. Additionally, a unique characteristic to polyurea is its crack bridging ability, so it will fill in smaller cracks that may be present in the concrete during application. This results in a long-lasting monolithic finish that won’t crack and peel preventing external contaminants from infiltrating your facility.
Most flooring systems in food manufacturing plants are comprised of thick concrete blocks, so it only makes sense that they’re sealed and coated with polyurea as a protective coating method. Polyurea is easy to clean and maintain. Depending on the application a polyurea floor can also have non-slip properties that improve safety conditions throughout every area of your food manufacturing plant.
Industrial and food-grade polyurea coatings can also withstand constant exposure to harsh cleaning and sanitation solutions without cracking or delaminating keeping your work environment free of contaminants at all times as microbes won’t have any cracks in which to take up residence and multiply.
Polyurea Protects Various Types of Food Manufacturing Equipment
Spray-on food-grade polyurea coatings can be applied to various types of food manufacturing, processing, and storage equipment regardless of the material. Forming a durable impenetrable protective membrane, polyurea coatings can be used for wood, concrete, and steel surfaces. It protects these structures and equipment from existing or potential deterioration caused by abrasion, blunt force, and corrosion.
Furthermore, polyurea protective coatings are commonly used to help preserve, repair, and strengthen structures that are breaking down or showing signs of advanced wear and tear. This type of durability can save you a lot of time and money in the long run since structures such as silos, freezers, and tanks don’t need to be replaced as often as they would without the protection of polyurea coatings.
Polyurea Allows For Fast Application and Quick Return to Service
Using expert precision, and a specialized plural component spray system, applying polyurea is quick and efficient. Once it’s sprayed on, the liquid takes only a few seconds to dry to the touch and can be walked on in a matter of minutes. The benefit of this is that it minimizes operational downtime, saving precious operational hours.
Fully cured in a matter of 24 hours, spray-on polyurea is one of the fastest drying and curing liquid membrane protective coatings on the market.
Where to Get Polyurea Protective Coatings in Canada for Your Food Manufacturing Plant
IMC Distributors provides a number of cutting-edge building products and coatings, including high performance polyureas, in Ontario and across North America.
As the exclusive partner of ISOMAT S.A. and Nukote Coating Systems in Canada, our range of polyurea protective coatings is second to none.
Contact us today to learn more about our polyurea coatings in Canada.