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Superflat Floors


Modern warehouse operators have utilized higher density storage configurations since the mid 1970's to minimize land investment and optimize materials storage and handling operations. Conventional methods of construction are not adequate to produce floor surfaces that are flat or level enough to support the operation of the sophisticated lift trucks in these wire guided, defined traffic, narrow aisle, high rack environments. Specialized methods of construction incorporating strip pour construction techniques are required (pictured above). High performance, low cost, safe operating environments are key benefits of Superflat floor installations.

Superflat floors are constructed to far tighter tolerances than conventional floor slabs using a specialized tolerance system call the "Fmin" (F minimum) tolerance system. The Fmin system is based upon defining the maximum variation in a floor surface for a particular lift truck. Optimizing the floor surface simply optimizes the performance of the lift truck operation. The operation of these specialized lift trucks on conventional surfaces can increase maintenance costs and create picking problems (including rack impact).

The control of highly accurate transverse and longitudinal tolerances is achieved through pouring the concrete in narrow strips using specialized formwork, materials and methods of construction. As exhibited below, these floor profile graphs indicate the differences over a 25' length between a good quality random traffic floor surface (FF30/FL20) and a Super Flat floor (approx. Fmin80).


FF30/FL20

FF110/FL117

The FF30/FL20 floor (on the left) is a moderately flat random traffic floor tolerance. The FF110/FL117 floor profile (on the right) exhibits the typical flatness/levelness of a Super Flat floor. The special "Fmin" system of tolerance definition and measurement requires that any defects in excess of the maximum allowable variation be corrected by grinding (unlike the FF/FL tolerance system).

While the tolerance definition for each particular environment is somewhat complex, the following table provides a rough approximation of the Fmin tolerance requirements for any floor based upon the maximum rate of change per foot of travel in the longitudinal direction for a lift truck (data should be obtained from your lift truck manufacturer):

"Maximum rate of
per foot of travel
0.040" 0.050" 0.060" 0.070" 0.080"
Approximate
Fmin Tolerance
Fmin100 Fmin80 Fmin65 Fmin55 Fmin50

Super Flat Essentials:

We strongly recommend the following for building owners and their representatives when specifying and designing Superflat floors:

Our members are experienced professionals in the construction of Superflat floors, please click HERE for a quotation.

The problems caused by an out of tolerance concrete floor surface equals operational and maintenance concerns that are completely avoidable. Specialty grinding operations are also available to produce Superflat tolerances in existing floors - please click HERE for a quotation.

The Concrete Floor Contractors Association
RPO DUNDAS NEYAGAWA, PO Box 30021, Oakville, ON, L6J 7L8
Tel: (905) 582-9825 Fax: (416) 981-3913