Food Engineering

Bagel maker's aging floor gets a facelift

October 1, 2008
New floor speeds clean-up, resists extreme temperatures and minimizes bacteria build-up.

Upper left: Exposed aggregate under oven; Lower left: Application of Garon’s Mortarthane HF; Right: Finished view in oven room. Source: Garon Products.

Bagel maker's aging floor gets a facelift

Always Bagels, Inc. produces 30 million old fashioned boiled bagels a year at its facility in Bohemia, NY. Strongly tied to the freshness of Always Bagels’ products is its two-step freezing process from spiral cooler to spiral freezer during which the baked bagels are initially cooled to 75°F for 30 minutes, then deep frozen down to -40°F. 

The bagel maker had been operating with an unprotected concrete floor and needed to repair the badly damaged concrete in its production facility. Some areas of the floor underneath the oven were eroded to the aggregate layer. In the blast freezer room, the floor displayed cracks, spalls and exposed aggregate. According to company owner Anthony Pariti, “The blast freezer flooring is the hardest problem to conquer; no one has an answer for it in the bakery business.” In addition, the washroom floor exhibited cracks and spalls as well as a slippery surface.

Garon Products Inc., manufacturer of concrete repair, enhancement and coating products, was chosen to evaluate and supply the right products needed to repair and resurface the facility’s concrete floors. On-site inspection revealed damage caused by normal operational and environmental working conditions.  Boiling water blasting under pressure at 214°F on the floor from the oven kettle as well as exposure to extreme heat from beneath the oven eroded the concrete floor to the aggregate. The damage in the blast freezer consisted of cracks and exposed aggregate, which was the direct result of thermal shock caused by radical temperature fluctuations during normal operations.  Standing water on the floor from thawing ice build-up during the defrosting process, in combination with weekly exposure to weekly wash-downs, contributed to the erosion process.

In the washroom, daily hot steam power washing caused thermal shock, which created spalls and cracks as well as a continuously slippery surface. Because the perimeter of the floor was not sealed, water was able to seep between the floor/wall joints. Garon Products recommended a seamless, cementitious urethane mortar floor resurfacing system that was installed in 32 hours time with minimal disruption to daily production. This 100% solids trowel-applied, urethane mortar (Mortarthane HF) was chosen based on its ability to withstand thermal shock while providing resistance to impact, abrasion, corrosion and heavy wear. Since the product’s urethane content has a similar coefficient rate of expansion as concrete, it “breathes” at the same rate as the concrete substrate, making it better suited to the facility’s operational environment.

A urethane mortar topcoat was applied for additional protection, wearability and aesthetic appeal. Additionally, a flexible, non-shrinking epoxy urethane hybrid joint filler (Joint Guard) was used to fill in the floor’s control joints.

With the new floor, integrity is improved and clean-up is much easier. According to Pariti, “The freezer is holding up well with the new urethane mortar. The [new floor’s] biggest benefit is it prevents penetration of water and detergent that were eating away at the concrete and eroding it to gravel.”

For more information; John Crowley, 800-631-5380, jdcrowley@garonproducts.com