While BASF is known around the globe for being a producer of a wide variety of products that service many sectors, one that is less known is the company's floorcare segment, which offers cost-effective solutions for floor maintenance in retail spaces, such as grocery stores, as well as in schools and hospitals.
"Whenever you go into a grocery store, that floor you walk on and see is clean and shiny. It gives you a good feeling when you walk into a store where you're buying food. Just imagine if you were to walk into a store and it's dirty, not shiny, scuffed up. The perception, even though may not be true, is that the products that they're selling are also dirty and not well maintained. That's really common in the North American market," says Bob Ratcliff, Technical Account Manager for BASF.
BASF has been working on building its product portfolio for the floorcare market for the past few years.
"They're strippable products that a janitorial staff or maintenance staff can remove from a floor after a period of time – and apply a new coating to protect the floor to give it durability, resistance to chemicals and detergents, and then also provide a factor of gloss to make it appear clean and shiny," explains Jennifer Coates, Commercial Marketing Manager, Furniture, Flooring, and Floorcare.
BASF's floorcare dispersion products include some wax-type dispersions, as well as a series of resins that can go into formulations for the coatings.
The ACROFLOR product line offers excellent resistance to soil and dirt as well as black heel mark and chemicals. These products are easy to apply and clean, and extend maintenance cycles with outstanding gloss retention:
- ACROFLOR 1000: offers best in class resistance to chemicals, detergent, and soil;
- ACROFLOR 1500: offers similar resistance benefits plus clear wet-film clarity; and
- ACROFLOR 3000: offers wide formulation latitude for high to low maintenance needs as well as an alternate crosslinking technology.
One of the main advantages of BASF floorcare coatings is they are designed to be strippable. That way, after a month or two, if the coating on the floor gets worn down in a high-traffic retail space, where it's impossible to go back and repair and burnish, it can still be removed and replaced relatively easily.
"You can use a stripper to strip these floors back to the to the bare substrate, which is typically VCT (vinyl composite tiles), and then you can reapply these coatings," Ratcliff says, adding it typically takes between five to seven coatings to get the floor back to a pristine look. "The value of these coatings is having that repairability. You don't have to tear up the whole floor and replace it. You just strip these coatings off the floor and apply new ones and it's brand new again."
In some buildings, shutting down an area isn't an option – like a hospital, for example. In these situations, having a strippable material offers big advantages.
"There's certain aspects of hospitals or urgent care where these facilities are open 24/7. These low-maintenance or dri-brite coatings that are developed, like ACROFLOR 1000 or ACROFLOR 1500, are good for places like hospitals, where they don't have a lot of downtime where they could do a lot of stripping," Ratcliff says.
Whether floorcare is being performed at a school, hospital, grocery store or another type of retail outlet, safety has to be a priority. This is another area where BASF's floorcare solutions shine.
"They have to provide a safe walking surface. If you go into like a retail store or grocery store, there is liability, because you have consumers walking on these floors. So, having the required slip resistance of these floors is key. We partner with our customers to not only develop formulations for them for their target markets and for care, but also in terms of performance, and part of that is slip resistance," Ratcliff says. "We have the ability to do slip resistance testing within our lab, which is key for our customers."
For more information on BASF's floorcare solutions, click here.