February 11, 2019

PENETRON Specialty Products Shines in Northrop Grumman Flooring Challenge

Northrop Grumman, an electronics manufacturing facility located in the Baltimore MD area, presented a renovation challenge for the flooring contractor. RENEW WS Ultra-White quick-setting flooring overlay was chosen to ensure a seamless surface and shiny, durable finish.

The client, a leading governmental electronics contractor and one of the largest employers in Maryland, renovated one of their production facilities in January 2019. The facility is primarily involved in the manufacture of nuclear reactors for airborne radar, navigation systems and other defense-oriented equipment.

Part of the Penetron Group of global companies, Penetron Specialty Products (PSP) develops and markets surface preparation and concrete restoration products. The Maryland production site project presented a refurbishing challenge: the customer had asked the project contractor, B.W. Hovermill of Baltimore, MD, to restore the floors to a seamless white shine. However, the 30,000 square foot (2,750 m2), beat-up concrete floor with damaged areas prevented a quick application of a simple floor coating. The contractor looked to APE, the local PSP distributor in Philadelphia, for a solution.

“When APE called us into the project in Maryland, it we immediately determined the challenges. The floor consisted of rough areas, spalls and divots. This meant we had to do a comprehensive renewal of the floor,” explains Bob Baumeister, PSP Product & Technical Support Specialist.

Initially, two solutions were considered: resurface the floors with a self-leveling topping and install the white epoxy coating on the new surface, or repair the damaged areas and polish the floors. Both options were rejected due to cost and appearance.

PSP proposed the RENEW WS Ultra White fast-setting overlay as the optimal solution for distressed, worn or weather-damaged, but structurally sound concrete. The finish of the RENEW WS Ultra White topping can be easily polished to a high shine and is virtually maintenance-free and long-lasting – and brilliantly white.

PSP Technical Service prepared flooring samples of the RENEW WS Ultra White topping that were polished to a high shine – and provided a sufficient level of light reflectivity.

“The samples were sent to the contractor at the Maryland facility, and they were impressed with the finish and brightness,” adds Bob Baumeister. “Once the decision for RENEW WS topping was made, the crew got to work.”

The first step was to grind the existing substrate to remove any contaminants and leave an acceptable profile. Next, a coat of VB225 Moisture Control System (also from PSP) was applied, followed by dried, uniform-sized (30 mesh) sand broadcasted to excess into the wet VB225 epoxy. When fully cured, the excess sand was removed, producing a suitable surface for a 3/8” thick installation of RENEW WS Ultra White self-leveling topping.

“The very next day, the contractor was able to start polishing the floor with graded diamond 50-grit metals up to 800-grit resins,” explains Bob Baumeister.

After 2-3 passes (at 100-200-grit), PENESEAL FH-PS, a flooring hardening agent, was applied and allowed to dry for approximately 60 minutes. After the final 800-grit resin pass was completed, the surface was treated with PENEGUARD flooring sealer and polished with a high-speed burnisher using a diamond-coated 1,500-grit pad.

“Ultimately, RENEW WS Ultra White topping was applied to about 30,000 square feet of flooring and then polished. The floors are now completely flat, smooth, white in color and highly polished, which increases its light reflectivity. This allows the facility to reduce the amount of light needed in the work areas,” adds Bob Baumeister. “A further advantage was durability; when the floor is scratched, it remains white. In contrast, a thin mil epoxy coating would scratch off the surface and leave a dark trail from the underlying substrate.”

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