Raised floor originated in the United States in the 1960s. In the 1990s, the Chinese introduced production technology and set up the first raised floor factory in China. At present, raised floor manufacturers in China account for more than 80% of the world. In Europe, Turkey and Russia, manufacturers there mainly produce wood-core and calcium sulphate raised floor. In Canada, India and Mexico, manufacturers there mainly produce steel cement raised floor. However, you can find all kinds of raised floor manufacturers in China.
Titanflor was established in 1996 and started the raised floor production of steel cement flooring. In the last 25 years, Titanflor has continuously improved its product category and completed the automation upgrade of all production lines. Now we are one of the few manufacturers that can support complex and super large projects in China.
Let’s come to Changzhou Titan Decoration Materials Co., Ltd now. We will cover all the things you need to know about the raised floor, and guide you through the jungle of raised floor features and terms to help you make an intelligent decision.
What is a raised floor?
The raised floor is flooring that can be raised, we also call it access floor. The most significant feature of raised floor is the whole flooring system is above the base ground, so there is enough room for wiring, cables, and electrical supply. A complete raised floor system comprises pedestals, stringers(if necessary), screws and panels.
What are the applications?
There are two primary applications of raised floors, office buildings, and data centers. Usually, we call the panels in the office as office flooring, and it is always with carpets on the panels. And we call the panels in data centers anti-static flooring, with anti-static coverings on top. There are also other applications like clean rooms, business centers, control rooms, etc.
Raised floor materials – Raised Floor Manufacturer
Raised floors have different types of materials. The most popular type is steel cement raised floor. The top and bottom are powder epoxy steel, inside are filled with cement and some reinforced materials. Among all types of raised floors, the steel cement type has the lowest price, and it is also the most widely used all over the world.
The other two types of raised floor are calcium sulphate panel and wood core panel. The primary raw materials of calcium sulphate panels are natural gypsum and plant fiber. Wood core panel is made of chipboard. The largest market for these two types of flooring is Europe, and the largest manufacturers are also there. But they are getting more and more popular in many other places, especially calcium sulphate panels. On the one hand, more and more calcium sulphate panel manufacturers set up in China, the price is getting cheaper. On the other hand, many properties of calcium sulphate panels are more superior. We will introduce these later.
The last commonly used material is the aluminum raised floor. Aluminum alloy ingots are die-cast one time to form the floor, and the surface is usually covered with conductive PVC tile. Aluminum raised floors are mainly used in cleanrooms of the microelectronics industry, semiconductor industry, etc. With the rapid development of the global chip industry these 2 years, the demand for aluminum raised floor rose significantly.
Load capacity is the most important indicator of raised floor. The load capacity of steel cement raised floor is mainly determined by the thickness of steel plates, calcium sulphate panel, and wood core panel is mainly determined by the inside boards’ thickness and quality. The density and thickness of the die-cast aluminum determine the aluminum raised floor’s load capacity. We can also judge the weight of the whole panel.
With different production processes, above several materials can be made as both office flooring or anti-static flooring. Next, I will introduce and compare each floor in detail according to the applications.
Office flooring – Raised Floor Manufacturer
There are 3types of office flooring. Steel cement office flooring, we also call it bare finish raised floor. There are three different sizes. One is 500*500mm, and the thickness is 28mm. This size is mainly used in China, Japan, and Korea. The other one is 600*600mm, and thickness is 33mm, most areas in the world use this size. The last one is 610*610mm, which is 24 “*24”. This is standard American size.
The second type is calcium sulphate office flooring. We also call it encapsulated panel. There are two sizes, 500mm*500mm and 600*600mm, thickness is 25mm or 30mm. The panel is a sandwich structure, and the middle is calcium sulphate board, top and bottom are galvanizing steel, the steel is riveted at four sides. Wood core encapsulated panels have the same appearance as calcium sulphate encapsulated panels, production process and equipment are also the same. The only difference is the middle is chipboard. The wood core encapsulated panel we produce is 600*600mm in size and 30mm thick.
There are corner lock holes at four corners, so office flooring only needs pedestals to install. Put panels on pedestals and fix them together with screws.
Steel cement office flooring needs 2 types of pedestals. Most areas are using the aluminum head pedestal. The aluminum head has a firm structure, and the top has a plastic gasket as a buffer. The border area is close to the wall, so panels there need to be cut. Need to use the flat head pedestal. The cut side of the panel can be placed on the head directly. Generally, the ratio of aluminum head and flat head pedestal is 8:2. The pedestals of calcium sulphate and wood core encapsulated panel are the same, and the pedestal top also has plastic gaskets as a buffer. In the border area, remove the top gasket and put the cut side on the head.
The raised height of office flooring is generally 100mm-300mm, so just using pedestals is OK. But if the height is high, we need to use a stringer to increase the system’s stability.
We also provide different accessories for office flooring, such as grommet, socket box, etc. There are various sizes and materials. Generally, the panels can be cut on the construction site to fit these accessories. Also, we can pre-cut panels in the factory.
The last and latest type is office flooring, which is the GRC floor. The main components of the floor are high-strength cement and fiber, and the floor is formed at one time with high load capacity. GRC floor has few available specifications, and there is only 500*500mm size. Since there’s no veneer on the flooring, the cleanliness is not as good as other office floorings. But its price is low and subject to small fluctuations in raw material prices, while other flooring’s prices are influenced heavily by steel price.
Anti-static flooring– Raised Floor Manufacturer
The bottom is a bare finish raised floor with a layer of anti-static covering on the surface and 4 sides with conductive PVC edge trim as protection. There are three anti-static coverings, anti-static HPL veneer, conductive PVC veneer, and anti-static ceramic veneer.
The common thicknesses of anti-static HPL veneers are 1.0mm, 1.2mm, and 1.5mm. HPL has good abrasion resistance, various colors, and the price is low. It is the most widely used covering in data centers.
The common thicknesses of conductive PVC veneers are 2.0mm and 3.0mm. It has excellent electrical conductivity, and resistance can reach 10^4-10^6 ohms. Available colors are also various. Most clean rooms and electronic workshops are using it.
The thickness of the anti-static ceramic finish is 8mm-10mm. As ceramic is not affected by temperature, it will not have crack problems like HPL. It is becoming the first choice for large data centers. We also have various colors available. The main size of the anti-static flooring is 600*600mm, and the thickness of coverings determine the panels’ thickness.
Calcium sulphate anti-static flooring and wood core anti-static flooring
The calcium sulphate board thickness can be customized. Normal thicknesses are 28mm-36mm. There are 2 thicknesses of wood core anti-static flooring, 30mm and 38mm. The thicker the board thickness, the higher the load capacity. The production processes of these two types of flooring are the same. Galvanizing steel sheet is pasted on the bottom, and the top is covered with anti-static coverings that I introduced in the steel cement anti-static flooring part, 4 sides are protected with PVC edge trims.
As data center cabinets are high density and high heat load, we always need perforated panels to achieve indoor ventilation requirements. The perforated panels used in the data center are mainly steel material. There are different ventilation rates available, from 20% to 75%. With a damper installed on the bottom of the panel, we can adjust the ventilation rate in real-time. The perforated panel surface can also accept different anti-static coverings, and thickness can be customized. They can be installed together with all types of anti-static flooring.
Anti-static flooring can not have corner lock holes at the four corners, as coverings are on top. Also, because system height is generally high, both pedestals and stringers are required during installation. Different anti-static flooring requires different pedestals and stringers. There are lots of other designs and specifications available. When the anti-static flooring height is high, or the load capacity requirement is heavy, heavy-duty pedestals are needed, bracing systems can be used together to increase the stability.
We have introduced three kinds of floor materials, steel cement panel, calcium sulphate panel, and wood core panel. In addition to anti-static coverings, they can also be covered with other types of coverings to meet different commercial usages. Popular coverings we use are ceramic tiles, homogeneous/heterogeneous vinyl flooring, wood flooring, rubber flooring, and so on.
Selection of coverings
These 3 materials can all be pasted with the same coverings to achieve the same purpose, then which one should we choose? First of all, different materials are popular in different regions. Wood core floors are mainly popular in Europe and surrounding areas. Calcium sulphate floors are widely used in China and Europe, while steel cement floors are popular all over the world.
Secondly, the characteristics of each floor material are different. The output of steel cement floors is the largest, its performance in all aspects is relatively average, it is also the most cost-effective. The calcium sulphate floor has a high load capacity, excellent fire resistance, and the material can be recycled, but the weight is the heaviest among all floors. A 32mm anti-static type floor can reach 18 kg/piece, so the transportation cost is high. The wood core floor has relatively poor fire and moisture resistance, but the weight is the lightest among all raised floors, with only half of the calcium sulphate floor.
Cleanroom flooring here mainly refers to the aluminum raised floor. There are several different types of aluminum raised floors, including solid panels, perforated panels, grating panels, and window panels. The solid panel is the standard type aluminum raised floor, and it has a lightweight and extremely high load capacity. The surface is generally covered with a conductive PVC finish. The whole panel can reach class 1 cleanroom level. The perforated panel is reprocessed on the solid panel, and the ventilation rate ranges from 17% to 43%. It is usually used together with a solid panel. The grating panel can achieve a large ventilation rate of up to 55%. There are no coverings on top, but the surface can be coated with conductive epoxy or nickel-chromium to achieve anti-static function. The window panel is also reprocessed on a solid panel. It is convenient to check and monitor the situation under the floor. The window material is high-strength acrylic.
Aluminum raised floors have two types of pedestals and stringers. One is steel material, and the other is aluminum material. These are some popular specifications, as clean rooms are always high grade, there is heavy equipment placed on the floor, the specifications for pedestals and stringers are also very high. In some cases, we place pipes or large equipment under the floor, and then also use a large span beam system. The maximum span can reach 2.4*2.4m.
I already complete all my introductions. Do you have a better understanding of raised floors? Do you know how to choose a raised floor? If still not, don’t worry. You can also view other videos on our channel to learn about the production process, installation methods, quality inspections, engineering cases, etc. Or you can contact us directly for more consulting. Thank you for watching!