A traditional RECOCRETE industrial floor is one that is created through the use of concrete beds of limited dimensions. Concrete is a material formed by the blending of a hydraulic binder (cement) with stones known as aggregates (sand, chippings, gravel), which are amalgamated with water to form a mixture.
The preparation of the foundations is essential for the laying of both interior and exterior industrial floors. The type of terrain influences the design, planning and execution of the foundations, which must be carried out using specific tools. Special care must be taken over the levelling of the surface, which is crucial to ensure that the floor has as constant a thickness as possible. To achieve this, the layers of poured concrete are rolled and compacted at every stage in order to modify any areas of unevenness. The final layer requires a compound commonly known as “stabilized aggregate”, which serves to create a solid base. The load-bearing capacity of the foundation soil is generally testing using plate testing, which defines the reaction modulus “K”. In this test, the soil is subjected to increasing loads to detect any subsidence. The tool used is normally a metal plate with a standard diameter of D=300/760 millimetres.
Laying an industrial concrete floor
Once these phases have been completed and the associated checks conduction, the flooring operations per se may begin with the creation of the insulation through the laying of a sheet of polyethylene and the subsequent installation of a reinforcement (electrically welded mesh, or occasionally fibre). If properly designed, this grid can keep in check any movements of the floor caused by the effect of thermohygrometric phenomena – i.e. cracks – in order to stop them opening in the first place or to reduce the warping effect of the concrete slabs.
Cutting the floor into sections
Once the concrete has been cast and has hardened, it is then cut into squares using diamond disc cutters, with which the contraction joints and construction joints are created.
The former allow the flooring to move freely following variations in volume caused by plastic or hygrometric shrinkage or changes in temperature. In this way, the floor is not constrained and is not, therefore, subject to a level of traction higher than the level of resistance that the floor has developed up until that time. Cracks are kept in check, and any that do occur will remain underneath the cut.
The latter are continuous solutions that identify casting beds poured at different times. As well as enabling horizontal shifts, they also impede vertical movements. It is essential that that concrete slabs a different deformation sequence, while at the same time transferring stresses amongst themselves.
Quartz powder in different colours is used as a finish to the floor, giving it an attractive appearance and helping to increase its surface resistance to abrasion and bumps.
Dust-resistant and silicate treatments are other possible finishes. They both create a protective layer that can reduce the cleaning costs and makes the floor shine more brightly.
Recodi has been designing and laying traditional floors for 50 years, always working to ensure a finish of the highest possible quality.