After undergoing rigorous tests to ensure its suitability for dry food contact, Belzona has successfully applied Belzona 5811DW2 (DW Immersion Grade) in a flour mill in Belgium.

Food comes into contact with many materials during its production, processing, storage, preparation and serving, before its eventual consumption. The European Food Safety Authority states that food contact materials (FCMs) should be sufficiently inert so that their constituents neither adversely affect consumer health nor influence the quality of the food.

Flour mills must adhere to these standards. Equipment used in the milling process, such as storage tanks, hoppers, chutes and conveyors, is prone to wear, corrosion and degradation over time. Traditional coating solutions often fall short in providing a long-lasting, food-safe barrier.

EU food contact legislation covers the general rules applicable to all materials and articles intended to come into contact with foodstuffs (Regulation (EC) No. 1935/2004). For specific materials such as plastics, more detailed legislation has been in place for several years. Regulation (EU) 10/2011 sets out safety requirements for plastic materials and articles intended to come into contact with food. This regulation is a specific measure for plastic food contact materials as mentioned in the European Framework Regulation (EU) 1935/2004. This regulation applies not only to plastics food contact packaging but to equipment such as food storage tanks, pipes, pumps, containers, conveyer belts, etc.

Belzona 5811DW2 (DW Immersion Grade) is a solvent-free coating initially designed for the protection of surfaces operating under potable water immersion or where potable water approval is required. Reacting to customer demand, Belzona distributor Perspect Benelux recently invested in comprehensive testing to evaluate the coating’s suitability for contact with dry foodstuffs.

Perspect Benelux’s customer, a large mill in Belgium that specializes in the production and development of physically treated wheat flour and mixes used as cake flour, sought a coating suitable for contact with flour that would provide long term corrosion protection. Building on the success of achieving WRAS approval for contact with drinking water, Belzona 5811DW2 (DW Immersion Grade) was put forward as a possible solution.

Perspect Benelux opted to have Belzona 5811DW2 (DW Immersion Grade) tested by the Belgian packaging institute IBE-BVI, an accredited independent laboratory according to ISO 17025, recognized throughout Europe. The results confirmed the coating’s compliance with specific requirements of European Regulations No. 1935/2004 and No 10/2011 for prolonged contact with dry foodstuffs.

The Belzona coating not only ensures compliance with food safety regulations but also offers protection against corrosion and abrasion. It has been certified as non-leaching, with no harmful emissions or influences on dry food products and flour based on this customer’s specification. This future-proof coating was also found to conform to the maximum limits of mineral oil aromatic hydrocarbons (MOAH), mineral oil saturated hydrocarbons (MOSH) and polyolefin oligomeric saturated hydrocarbons (POSH).

The likelihood of these guidelines becoming a requirement in the near future is significant due to the new EU Food standards coming in place.

Perspect Benelux offered tailored support to the customer, in collaboration with Belzona, by providing sufficient data and evidence that Belzona 5811DW2 (DW Immersion Grade) is safe and suitable for its specific needs and service conditions.

Due to the age of the installation, the original lining was blistering and there was a risk it could contaminate the product to be stored in the tanks. In order for the customer to reuse these old, out-of-service tanks, a new lining was required. Other linings were tested, but Belzona 5811DW2 (DW Immersion Grade) was the only one approved by the QA-QC department.

The application of Belzona 5811DW2 (DW Immersion Grade) in the flour mill followed a meticulous process to ensure long-lasting protection. The steel surfaces of the tank were prepared, cleaned, and blasted to the recommended standard of cleanliness, Swedish Standard Sa 2½, SSPC-SP10 (Near-White Metal) with a minimum profile of 3 mils (75 microns). Two coats were then applied by airless spray in cream, to a dry film thickness of 400 µm (15.75 mil).

The positive results were recognized on completion of the project by the Federal Agency for the Safety of the Food Chain, which confirmed application was completed according to the approved method, using Belzona 5811DW2 (DW Immersion Grade).

The successful lining of ten tanks to date with Belzona 5811DW2 (DW Immersion Grade) in this flour mill highlights the potential of this lining being adopted into the maintenance practices of food manufacturers across Europe.