BASF Ucrete Celebrates 50 Years as the World’s Toughest Floor

The world’s most resilient flooring from the Master Builders Solutions range is celebrating a major anniversary in 2019. BASF’s Ucrete flooring system was patented 50 years ago.

Ucrete is based on a unique resin technology that provides industrial floors with exceptional resistance to aggressive chemicals, extreme mechanical impact and thermal shock. Ucrete floors are especially suitable for use in aggressive processing environment often found in the food and beverage industry, chemical processing facilities and the pharmaceutical industries. They form homogenous surfaces with a minimum of joints and, where required, slip-resistance properties for safe and hygienic work environments. The impenetrable and impermeable Ucrete surfaces retain their stability at temperatures of up to 130 °C and meet even the strictest requirements in terms of hygiene. Depending on the exact variant, Ucrete can be installed in a matter of hours or a few days, and if applied correctly, retains its functionality for decades.

History of Ucrete Technology

The development of Ucrete begins in the late 1960’s as part of the search for a resilient, durable and easy-to-apply floor coating for chemical plants. The combination of polyurethane as the basic ingredient, a controlled reaction with water prior to application and aggregates once used only in concrete prove to be the ideal solution.

“The properties of Ucrete – whose name is a combination of Urethane and Concrete – were nothing less than revolutionary,” Philip Ansell, marketing manager, Ucrete Industrial Flooring Europe at BASF says. “Ucrete was insensitive to any residual moisture in the substrate, which meant it could be installed quickly – ideal in any refurbishment work, which, from then on, required almost no downtime. The resin-based solutions available up to that time required the substrate to be very dry – a preparatory step that took, and still takes, a lot of time and effort.”

Ucrete flooring solutions have found widespread application all over the world in facilities where resilience and durability are high priorities. “One of the oldest Ucrete floors still in service was installed on the premises of a brewery in Nigeria in 1982,” Mr. Ansell says. “In 1975, a large international soft-drink company furnished one of its plants in Ireland with a Ucrete solution; and have made regular use of Ucrete floors in their plants around the world ever since.” Recently, he documented the exceptional resilience of Ucrete with the popular video, Ucrete Destruction Challenge.

Lifelong Milestones

Innovation has been the key development driver for Ucrete since 1960. Strong investments in R&D activities allowed BASF to reach several milestones:

  • 1982 – The first antistatic hygienic terrazzo floor for the pharmaceutical industry
  • 1993 – The first flow-applied heavy duty screed with thermal shock resistance for ergonomic application
  • 2003 – The first systems with specifiable slip resistance profiles as key safety requirement for the food and beverage industry
  • 2011 – The first non-tainting, rapid curing systems to minimize downtime even at chill temperatures
  • 2018 – Monolithic, thermal shock resistant antistatic flooring

Ucrete Innovation Continues

Ucrete’s extremely low VOC content, as recognized by third parties like Eurofins, which awarded Ucrete with the Indoor Air Comfort Gold Certificate, together with its versatility and specific properties – resistance to extreme chemical, mechanical and thermal impact; low-maintenance long-term durability for decades; hygiene; skid-resistance and electrostatic conductivity, if required – make Ucrete the perfect flooring solution throughout the food and beverage, chemical and pharmaceutical industries as well as in the aerospace, electronics, engineering, textile and the mining industries – wherever resistance to aggressive service conditions is required.

At first available in two variants – smooth and rough – the Ucrete product range has been refined and expanded to include more than a dozen different solutions for a variety of challenging requirements. They all share the same superior resistance and durability.

“Surface Solutions customers know they can rely on the performance and the durability of Ucrete flooring systems and they want that reliability again and again.” says President Amy D. Manghelli. “Congratulations on Ucrete’s 50th Anniversary, BASF.”

Ucrete flooring solutions are available globally through specialized applicators – including Surface Solutions, Inc., one of only 16 BASF Performance Flooring Master Contractors in the United States and Canada.

“Correctly specified and installed, our floors offer very long-term performance,” Mr. Ansell says. “In this way, we also make a stand for more sustainability. What is more wasteful than throwing a floor away after five or ten years?”

More and more customers are opting for the real benefits of a long-lived floor, avoiding the production downtime and cost of refurbishment or replacement. In 2018 alone, a total of more than five million square meters of floor surface were coated using Ucrete solutions.

Mr. Ansell says, “Our commitment is to keep on investing strongly into our portfolio to enhance already existing products and to develop new solutions closer to our customers’ needs, to provide enhanced aesthetics and more ergonomically friendly means of installation.”

ABOUT SURFACE SOLUTIONS, INC.

Recognized as a top BASF Performance Flooring Master Contractor since 2012, recognized as experts in Ucrete® and MasterTop® solutionsSurface Solutions, Inc. is a women-owned independent industrial floor contractor specializing in seamless, polymer flooring systems utilizing the most trusted brands in the industry. As a Flowcrete STAR Contractor, Surface Solutions, Inc. is a leading provider of industrial flooring solutions for the Food & Beverage industry. From testing to consultation and complete installation services, Surface Solutions is your premier source of non-toxic, safe and environmentally friendly flooring systems, offering turnkey installations using only in-house personnel. All installations come with a complete single source warranty. To learn more about how Surface Solutions can help provide the highest quality industrial flooring solutions for your business, contact us today!