When fill material under the floor of two large warehouses belonging to North West Farmers in Cheshire proved inadequate to support high mobile racking recently, site operations were seriously affected.Uretek were called in as the fastest and most cost-effective solution.
Uretek specialise in polymer injection processes which allow restoration of settled warehouse and factory flooring to level without excavations. The lack of disruption usually means that facilities can continue in commercial use while repairs are carried out. In the Uretek process, expanding polymer resins are injected through 15-20mm diameter holes drilled through the floor slab. The material immediately expands aggressively to fill voids, and further injection can then be carried out to provide upward expansion, to gently lift flooring back to level. The degree of lift is precisely controlled by laser level monitoring.
“Replacing a warehouse floor slab is incredibly expensive anyway, but this would have been double the cost because of having to include a new set of rails for the racking, which was incorporated into the slab,” explains Chris Rhodes, engineer with Gifford Consulting who oversaw the project.
“If we hadn’t used polymer injection, the warehouse would have had to have all the mobile racking dismantled and taken away. I could imagine there would have been four months or more for each of the warehouses to be without storage facilities in half their areas, which wouldn’t have been acceptable.”
Uretek teams first tackled ‘hot spots’ in the flooring, to enable the racking system to work on a temporary basis. “That gave us enough time to plan for a wholesale lifting of two sections of the warehouse floors to achieve a very tight tolerance across any diagonal in any particular bank of racks’” says Chris. “Disruption was not a big problem. The Uretek team took about 40 days in total for the complete work, but were able to move from section to section leaving the rest of the warehouse operating normally. Dealing with each particular bank of racking only took about 6 days.”
“Uretek were able to hit the target figures within a millimetre, which put the warehouse back within the required tolerance for the racking. The client was very happy with that.”
Uretek processes have been used to stabilise and correct settlement in warehousing facilites throughout the world for the past 30 years. The process, invented in Finland, is now used in over 30 countries including the USA, Australia, Germany and China. The design life of the polymers is in excess of 120 years, allowing a fast but durable solution.
Uretek UK Ltd
Tel: 01695 50525