Industrial flooring specialist Concrete Laser Flooring (CLF) will, this month, introduce a US-manufactured spreader machine, which automatically applies dry-shake concrete hardener to floors, onto the local market, CLF director Peter Norton tells Engineering News.
The application of dry-shake hardener to floors, which is especially useful in heavy indus- try applications, is a growing trend.
“In the past, dry-shake hardeners were applied by hand. The automated application simplifies the process and will ensure that the dry-shake hardener is applied at the correct time and correct dosage,” says Norton.
CLF has been awarded a contract for the flooring of retail company Makro’s new 14 000 m2 store in Bloemfontein, which will open its doors in October. The project requires a dry-shake hardener to be applied, which prompted the company to import the technology, he explains.
Further, the company also recently introduced laser-grader technology, imported from Europe, to assist in grading earthworks platforms to ensure the platform has a suitable flatness and tolerance before concrete is applied.
This technology has been successfully used on a flooring project for glass producer Consol Glass, in Nigel, Gauteng, as well as at other projects, says Norton.
Meanwhile, CLF recently developed the Rack-Track Profilor Graph technology, which is used to measure the surface tolerance and flatness of a floor.
“This is a quality control instrument that shows engineers that a floor has the required flatness and tolerance,” he explains.
CLF recently completed a 65 000 m2 distribution centre floor for retail investment holding company Pepkor, in Isando. It was responsible for the supply and placing of the concrete, as well as the floating, cutting, surface hardening, joint sealing, surface measurement and certification of the floor.
Further, the company has been appointed to install the flooring of six factories for retail giant JD Group. Work will start in April and is expected to be completed by August.
CLF will also undertake a 10 000 m2 steel fibre jointless floor for retail, corporate and industrial property unit trust Capital Property Fund, in Johannesburg, in May.
Jointless floors are created using steel-fibre reinforcement, which makes the concrete much stronger and suited to heavy- industry flooring.
Meanwhile, the company has been seeing an increase in the use of polyterm concrete on projects.
“This type of concrete incorporates polystyrene balls, which make the concrete light and thermally efficient,” says Norton.
The company is working on a project in Melrose Arch for construction group Murray & Roberts, where poly- term concrete is being pumped onto a top deck to act as a thermal screed that can be directly waterproofed. It will also control the temperature uptake of the building, and reduce heating and cooling costs, he says.
Meanwhile, Norton says activity in the flooring industry has improved, compared with last year.
“We have a 12- to 18-month window of opportunity, where the outlook is promising with regard to new projects,” he says.
Further, customers are also more prepared to accept higher costs for good-quality work, which means the biggest potential for growth lies in maintaining the quality of the company’s work, he adds.
“To maintain quality, we aim to manage our staff well and procure the correct materials,” he says.
Meanwhile, land parcels are becoming scarcer, resulting in companies making use of higher racking in their factories. “Higher racking requires a flat and level floor, which is leading to an increase in the use of high-tolerance flooring,” Norton explains.
The industry is faced with challenges regarding the shortage of skills, and CLF aims to alleviate this by training its staff monthly. Staff members are trained in new product applications, including new systems or techniques.
Further, the company also ensures that its staff are multiskilled, says Norton.