Owners, designers and builders of warehouses and distribution facilities generally believe that the quality of concrete floors is determined by their surface smoothness and levelness.
However, the fact is that the flatness and levelness only determine the surface profile of the floor, and can not guarantee its overall quality. In many cases, efforts to achieve special smoothness actually will reduce the surface durability and service life of the floor.
Other factors, such as durability, should also be considered. It is understandable why flatness is often used to judge quality. F is easy to understand, can be stipulated before construction, be confirmed during construction, and be used as a basis for inception.
With the development of material handling concepts, such as narrow roadway (VNA) warehouses requiring ultra-flat designated directional floors, F becomes critical. With the improvement of distribution and forklift technology, smoothness and levelness become more and more important for undirectional floor. The development of F numerical system is used to define and measure the surface profile. Designers begin to specify a higher level of levelness for the construction of concrete floors to improve efficiency. They are also looking for concrete floor contractors who can deliver floors that meet higher tolerance requirements.
Twenty five years ago, the F revolutionized the floor construction industry. Finally, there was a way to determine the specified surface tolerance. In order to achieve a higher F value, contractors needed to pay more attention to details. Stricter control over concrete mix design and transportation must be considered. All elements of floor construction would have an impact on the ability to meet the required tolerances. The industry also recognized the value of controlled pouring and lighting environments. As a result, the overall quality of the floor was improved. F value is the driving force for the development of the light-receiving equipment currently in use.
Because of the use of advanced tools, such as concrete laser screed machine and ride on trowel machine, requirements that were once difficult to meet can now be easily achieved.
Several years ago, the advanced technology of forklift truck and distribution design brought challenges to the floor construction industry. However, today’s situation is just the opposite – the advanced technology of floor construction can easily achieve higher requirements of forklift trucks. F is easy to achieve; the trend in recent years is to achieve higher F value. Surpassing higher F value specified by forklift manufacturers does not bring real benefits. When high F value is considered as the primary concern, appropriate lighting procedures are often modified to find shortcuts. When this happens, the surface durability will be affected.
Appropriate FF and FL values are critical to the performance of the floor. However, when the construction is completed and everything related has been done, the reserve money will be paid and awards will be given. So is it all over? Actually, it’s much more than that! Durability must be considered to ensure the service life of the floor and reduce maintenance. Of course, the statement also raises questions. What is durability? How to measure? How to stipulate?
Defining durability is simple. Durability refers to the ability of something to withstand wear and tear. However, it is difficult to measure durability. Durability cannot be measured by an instant verification machine or instrument. We can’t see or confirm until the floor is put into use. Therefore, the industry must use empirical knowledge and experience. In this regard, contractors must turn to those who own and operate facilities for feedback, such as those in the food industry in particular. Yes, food. No one understands the importance of concrete floor quality better than the owners of food or perishable goods distribution facilities, because these facilities require high floor quality and need to withstand all-weather traffic. In this environment, you can quickly see the real benefits of high-quality floors. Food industry personnel will tell you that flatness, durability, abrasion resistance and seam performance together determine quality and service life.
Many factors, including designs, materials, pouring environment and construction technology, can lead to floor cracking, curling and damage. Defected floors with poor quality joints can damage precision lifting equipment and wheels, and have adverse effects on work efficiency and throughput. Although flooring design and construction with poor quality will save money, the owners will pay more operating costs, and ultimately lose much during the service life of the facilities, .
In order to determine durability, customer feedback on expectations is necessary. When customer expectations include durability, service life and smoothness, specifications must be more specific and include more details.
If you want to know more about the concrete flooring technology please check “Laser screed“