15 December 2018

Industry Focus- Industrial Floorings

Demand Floors Expectations

 

Manufacturing is among the high growth areas powered by PM Modi’s ‘Make in India’ initiative. Also, India is now a major manufacturing nation with its emerging status of a global manufacturing hub. All this adds up to a robust demand for industrial flooring in the long run. Major demand drivers will be the process industries and F&B segments, commercial real estate and warehousing will also drive demand majorly…..flooring expectations in a market that was sluggish till recently. SATISH P CHAVAN reports.

 

There is a decisive shift now in the way people look at floors at both end of the spectrum; from the end-user side and from the builder’s side, and manufacturers of flooring products are keeping pace with this shift in demand patterns, which are getting more sophisticated and ever stringent. The demand spreads across all types and sizes, with process industries like chemicals and F&B, hospitality and healthcare demanding the most stringent standards. The other major drivers are commercial real estate like shopping malls and corporate parks, and especially the warehousing sector. According to global Consultancy ValueNotes, India’s supply deficit in warehousing is 120 mn sq ft – and is growing. Due to the lack of modernization, the industry is now facing a huge gap between demand and supply. “Our estimates reveal that a deficit of 120 million sq. ft exists in the sector. And this gap will continue to widen. This is mainly because demand for warehousing is expected to grow at a CAGR of 18 per cent in the next 5 years – thanks to the incoming investment in the retail sector and increasing import-export activity in India,” comments Namita Adavi, Research Analyst at ValueNotes. If the carpet area in these estimates is multiplied the demand for flooring just in this segment is poised to grow exponentially. And within warehousing the most stringent demand for quality flooring will be in the cold chain segment, again driven majorly by F&B and healthcare.

A report by YES Bank titled ‘Cold Chain Opportunities in India,’ says India will need 61 million metric tons of cold storage and needs to create another 30.98 million tons nationwide in storage capacity. Another forecast by TechNavio has forecast the cold chain logistics market in India to grow at a CAGR of 27 per cent over the period 2014-2019. This will generate substantial demand for flooring products with niche applications in cold storage.

As with other segments in the construction sector, there is a decisive shift towards modernization in the flooring segment, driven by niche demands from end users, who show a shift towards quality in the cost-quality equation.

 

Fast Facts
  • Indian market worth `650 cr
  • CAGR projected at 15 per cent
  • India top CAGR in APAC Region, which will register fastest regional growth
  • Global value at $6.07 by 2021
  • Epoxies to dominate
  • Process industries, F&B, commercial real estate, warehousing, to fuel demand

 

 

DEMAND MOSAIC

Now the demand is shifting across two axis, aesthetics cum quality, and the quality equation. Manufacturers are offering innovative products across individual product segments geared to the application of the end-user. The new demand is for floors which score high on aesthetics, ease of installation, ease of maintenance, slip resistance, moisture resistance, aseptic, and durability. The other axis is the cost/quality equation where products are available across the cost spectrum.

While mainstream manufacturing will drive demand majorly for industrial flooring products, commercial and industrial real estate and urban transport infra will be the other demand drivers. There is growing demand across various segments such as airports, Metro-Rail projects, shopping malls, IT parks, and SEZs. The logistics, warehousing, and packaging industries are also boosting the demand for industrial flooring. Another new driver will be big ticket projects like Delhi Mumbai Industrial Corridor, where some industrial townships are planned, will increase the demand for industrial flooring products in the future.

According to the report ‘Industrial floor coating market projected to grow at a CAGR of 5.0 per cent ,’ released by ReportLinker, India accounted for the largest market for industrial floor coating in the Asia-Pacific region, in 2015. The Indian market is projected to grow at the highest CAGR during the forecast period in the Asia-Pacific region, which is projected to register the highest CAGR globally, between 2016 and 2021. The global industrial floor coating market size is projected to grow at a CAGR of 5.0 per cent during the forecast period of 2016–2021 and touch $ 6.07 billion by 2021. Industrial floor coatings provide sustainable solutions to enhance the performance of floors in industrial and commercial facilities by increasing the durability of concrete and other flooring materials. The epoxy segment dominated the industrial floor coating market in 2015; it is projected to retain the leading position through 2021. The industrial floor coating market has been segmented into three flooring materials, namely, concrete, mortar, and terrazzo.

 

 

The global concrete floor coatings market is expected to be worth $1.1 billion by 2020. Region-wise, North America leads the market and is closely followed by Asia-Pacific in terms of consumption. With regards to India, various figures are being flaunted in the media about the market size of resinous floorings, while excluding cementitious floorings. I feel it could be roughly around `400 crore. I’m afraid volumes can’t be precisely estimated, as this segment is broadly fragmented with 1mm, 2mm, 3mm, and 5 mm, thick systems with varied rates.”
Dr. Subash Cipy, MD, Cipy Polyurethanes

 

 

“The industrial flooring industry is poised for a rapid growth driven by the Government’s ‘Make-in-India’ initiative and GST that will further enhance investments in the industrial and infrastructure space. The estimated market size including cementitious, liquids, and resinous products is approximately `650 crores, with an expected annual growth rate of 15 per cent.”
Shailesh Kumar, Business Director – Flooring, Sika India

 

 

“We have supplied our Floor Hardeners to more than 100 mega residential projects in Mumbai and Pune. The major use of Floor Hardeners in this segment is in the Parking, Basement, and Podium, areas where the concrete is expected to have vehicular movement. The Metallic and Non Metallic Floor Hardeners of MCON Rasayan ensure that the floor hardness of the concrete floor goes to the MHO scale of 8 ensuring high Abrasion resistance.”
Mahesh Bhanushali, MD,  Mcon Rasayan Pvt. Ltd 

 

 

LAYING IT DOWN SEAMLESSLY

At the application level the two most important factors, are the correct choice of flooring type in line with the end use, and the second important factor is the correct method of laying down the flooring. Both factors are advanced and sophisticated depending on the type of flooring and the niche application. In most cases the actual specifier who chooses the type of industrial flooring is either the production manager, or the maintenance manager, or the project manager. All of them have a range of options, but often lack the knowledge to choose the right kind of product that would meet all or many of their requirements, which are often multiple and conflicting.

Most major common requirements include: Hygienic/anti-bacterial (Seamless, joint-less); Highly cleanable(cold water, hot-water, steam, disinfectants, etc); Wear (abrasion) resistant; Chemical Resistant (acids, alkalies, solvents); Resistance to Impact of Static Loading; Ease of Maintenance; Anti-slip/anti-stain properties; Flammability and Fire Safety; and Scratch/scuff resistance. Post installation requirements include: Repair and protection of damaged floors; Quality performance of facility floors; Transforming dull floors into shiny surfaces; Cost-efficiency and practicality; Ease of installation; and Time constraints and service uptime.

Common stress factors for industrial floorings include: Mechanical loadings; Impact resistance; Abrasion resistance; Impermeability, Skidding of heavy loads; Crack bridging; Chemical Resistance; Antistatic or electrically conductive; Dust-free and easy cleanability; and Thermal stresses;

Most modern flooring is composite systems made of multiple layers consisting three basic components; base layer, topping, and coating which can be optional. The base layer is mostly high quality concrete and is responsible to take stresses like impact, vibration, etc, which are vertically applied loads, and therefore due weightage should be given to its compressive and flexural strength. However the more important is the topping-coating combination since it has to takes stresses like abrasion, chemical attacks, antistatic requirements, cleanability, and yet maintain its aesthetic appearances.

There are different types of industrial floorings with their own different merits viz:

Vacuum Dewatered (VD) Flooring method lays down high quality concrete floors with superior cost-effectiveness. This method dewaters concrete by vacuum process. Surplus water from the concrete is removed immediately after placing and vibration, reducing the water-cement ratio to an optimum level. Adopting the VD flooring method facilitates use of concrete with better workability than what is normally possible.

Inherent advantages accrued are: Monolithic, Shrinkage free pavements; Single panel without joints upto 100 sq. meters (depending on design specifications); Very high splitting strength; Very high quality pavements in terms of strength of the pavement is increased giving flexibility to adopt wither leaner mix or design a slab of lesser thickness giving the required strength; Controlled and uniform surface finish; Very high output exceeding 100 to 200 sq.m per day depending on site conditions like concrete mixing and pouring speed.

 

Polyurethane Concrete floors are very tough and durable floors with much longer service life. Their unique chemistry gives them a combination of high flexural strength and high durability which makes them especially recommended for variety of dimensions in different industries. Specialized chemical agent are used as specific flooring system and these flooring systems are then laid on site.

Advantages include: Impact resistant due to high flexural strength; Better scratch resistance; Tough, durable finish; Lesser chance of cracking; Withstands subzero temperatures; Fast setting; Dissipates static electric charge as per antistatic flooring specifications; Ideal for removing stubborn stains by steam cleaning; Better stability to thermal variations; and Excellent bond strength.

 

PE Foam Flooring comprises lightweight, closed cell, extruded polyethylene foam which is acoustically engineered to isolate sound vibrations and impact noises. With good compressive strength, it's resilient enough to absorb impact vibrations. The acoustic properties are retained over time. It is also resistant to moisture, mold and fungus. The material is lightweight. A subfloor is first prepared and then the PE Foam is laid over the subfloor and the top layer is then laid over.

Advantages include: Higher bearing strength and impact resistance; Provides moisture barrier; Gives cushioned comfort under laminate and floating wood floors; Eliminates minor subfloor imperfections; Suitable for use with radiant heat flooring systems; Naturally resistant to mold and mildew; 100 per cent recyclable and eco friendly.

 

Epoxy Flooring is an engineering adhesive that imparts durability to industrial floor, rejuvenates it and amplifies its value. They can be applied to existing floors and also on newly paved floors. It gives a fantastic look with increased strength and durability. Surface is first prepared in a way that a rough and porous surface is obtained for the proper penetration and bonding of the epoxy primer. Epoxy Primer is then laid over the surface.

Advantages include: Protects your concrete from wear; Controls concrete dusting; Protects substrate from chemical and physical degradation; Reduces amount of lighting needed; Reduces maintenance and cleaning costs; Superior Aesthetics; Easy wash ability; Ensures cleaner, more pleasant place; Can define hazardous areas.

The new trend in industrial flooring is use of all kinds of fibers for reinforcement. These range from steel to polymers. Contrary to the popular notion that steel fibre is the best, polyester or polypropelyne, and glass fibres, can perform just as well. And the latest generation of fibres known as co-polymers is a mix of polyethylene and polypropylene, which is as strong as steel and provides better bonding with its density of over 2 lakh strands per kilogram.

However the really exciting flooring products in the near future will be in the raw-material segment where nano-materials will impart the desired properties to various flooring products. including pigments, additives.

Major players in the Indian flooring market include: Cipy Polyurethanes, Sika India, Flowcrete India, Avcon Technics Pvt. Ltd, Tashi India Limited, Bekaert Industries Pvt. Ltd., Bomanite India, MC-Bauchemie, Neocrete Technologies Pvt Ltd, JBA Concrete Solutions, Fosroc Chemicals India, etc.

 

Important Topping Types Varying with Individual Requirements Include:
  • Self-Leveling polymer cement floor toppings
  • Thin toppings / coatings based on a variety of polyurethanes or epoxy resins
  • Thin toppings formulated from acrylics/SBR dispersions
  • Thin polymer toppings formulated from Epoxy Cement combinations
  • Liquid Floor hardeners based on modified silicates
  • Dry shake floor hardeners based on metallic aggregates
  • Dry shake floor hardeners based on non-metallic aggregates
  • Screeds formulated from Liquid Plastics like Epoxies, Polyurethanes etc.
  • Screeds formulated from Resins like Methacrylate monomers
  • Decorative Epoxy-Terrazo floorings
  • Specialised resin-based coatings such for Electro-static charge discharging floors

 

 

SLIPPERY FLOORS

India’s flooring market has its own challenges, and is still very nascent with a latent potential that will manifest concomitant to growth of the manufacturing sector, which is accelerating on the back of ‘Make in India’ push. However, currently almost 90 per cent of flooring in India is not geared to the actual usage, in most occasions the client or the contractor is not even aware of the advantages of correct and quality flooring.

The flooring industry in India is relatively unorganized. Contractors and builders have considerably cut down on the 'under-construction' time by using new construction technologies and construction aids. But such formulations are limited only to large-scale commercial and industrial real estate projects and usage is expected to become widespread gradually.

One major challenge according to leading players in the industry is the absence of a Governing Standard for products that are being manufactured in the country. This is bound to result in dilution of specifications in many projects to cut on costs.

 

 

GLOBAL SWEEP

As is the case in many other sectors, India has great potential to emerge a major exporter of flooring products to emerging markets. India’s huge latent demand for flooring will spawn the manufacturing ecology for flooring products here. That coupled with low cost manufacturing on the Rupee standard and ‘Make in India’ will likely channel exports to emerging markets.

All in all India is skating on a smooth shiny floor with a demand mosaic across the spectrum.




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