Among the extensive range of flooring systems from a.b.e. Construction Chemicals are two popular and effective surface hardeners for industrial floors: abeplate and abecron C LA.

a.b.e. Construction Chemicals – for decades trusted suppliers for both contractors and home improvers in South Africa – is now in its 91st year of operations, and recently became part of Saint-Gobain Africa.

abeplate is the South African flooring industry’s premier, iron-armoured, dry-shake surface hardener for industrial floors. The product is ideal for surfaces with heavy traffic, impact and abrasion; and for floors needing additional abrasion and impact resistance at reasonable cost, as well as areas where surface dusting is unacceptable.

Among the advantages offered by abeplate are:

  • The pre-mixed, ready-to-apply surface hardener is more easily applied at normal or hot temperatures for floors requiring moderate to maximum thickness of iron-armouring by the dry-shake method.
  • The high-strength metallic floor surfaces offer greater wear resistance than hard – but brittle – mineral aggregates such as emery or granite.
  • abeplate’s high-density, less permeable surfaces reduce the potential penetration of oil, grease, and other industrial chemicals.
  • The wear-resistant polished or non-slip floors offer a long service life with low repair and maintenance, as well as reduced wear by the wheels of material handling equipment.

The other important floor hardener from a.b.e. is abecron C LA, a non-metallic modified level-assisting natural aggregate dry shake surface hardener, that is supplied in a ready-to-use form for hardening interior and exterior concrete floors with light or moderate traffic.

When applied over freshly levelled and floated concrete, abecron C LA provides a low-cost solution for hardening new industrial, commercial or residential concrete floors. It is ideal for areas where attractive, more uniform colour is required such as warehousing and storage areas, automotive maintenance areas and other maintenance facilities.

The varied benefits of abecron C LA – which is also available in selected colours – include:

  • Increased strength and improved wear resistance with twice the lifespan of ordinary concrete floors;
  • Greatly facilitates the floors’ power floating process – with substantially faster application;
  • High density, easy to clean surfaces with exceptional resistance to liquid penetration; and
  • Dustless technology to reduce health risks and area contamination.

The conventional way of applying the hardeners still applies today for smaller contractors, or for applications where more modern systems are not allowed for. It is, however, important that all precautions are taken to manage the elements of direct sun and wind which could cause rapid moisture loss from the surface, and possible surface delamination if not controlled effectively.

Mechanical trowels with float blades or disc floats should be introduced initially to ensure the wetted hardener is fully incorporated into the concrete surface. Additional water sprinkled onto the surface should be avoided.

Then the final half of the dry shake should be applied. Using a mechanical trowelling machine equipped with float blades or disc float, float soon enough – and long enough – to bring moisture completely through the second shake. Final trowelling to the specified texture and finish should then be completed by machine.

Just as soon as it is clear the finish will not be marred by the application, the curing compound as specified by a.b.e., should be applied.

The latest methods of placing concrete and finishing have evolved over time. These now incorporate laser-levelling equipment, the use of special dry shake spreader equipment to apply the powder immediately following the placing of the concrete, and then finishing with ride-on equipment for both floating and trowelling operations. This allows for bigger areas to be completed and the speed of placing, finishing and quality of levels dramatically improved.

For finishing coloured floors, special finishing power floats utilising plastic blades, now allow for bigger areas to be completed while still providing exceptional fine finishes as seen in flooring for Gauteng such as Makro, Leroy Merlin and similar applications.

Final curing, densification, and fine polishing of the surfaces, have also further enhanced the quality and durability of the final finish.

Among a.b.e.’s approved floor hardener applicators with the latest equipment and updated skills, is Chris Howes Flooring, which has used a.b.e. products for high-profile flooring projects such as commercial shop floors and industrial warehouse floors.

Floating floor

Lazer screeding machine

Spreader machine