Epoxy vs Polyurethane

box-imageEpoxy Floor Coatings vs. Polyurethane Coatings

If you are a commercial business or manufacturer looking for a protective coating for your shop floor, you may be considering whether to use an epoxy floor coating or a polyurethane coating. While epoxy coatings and polyurethane coatings are sometimes talked about interchangeably in online discussion forums, they are two different types of floor coatings with distinctly different properties. Understanding these differences will help ensure you pick the best industrial floor coating for the job at hand.

Selecting the Best Industrial Floor Coating

Regardless of whether you decide to go with an epoxy coating or a polyurethane coating, you’ll want to be sure the industrial coating you select is a two-part floor coating (meaning it is sold in two separate parts that must be mixed together).

Two-part floor coatings have a distinct advantage over ambient air-cured coating products, in that they offer superior bonding characteristics. To understand how a two-part floor coating works, you first have to look at what is going on at the microscopic level of the floor surface.

Consider the example of an existing aged concrete floor that has been prepped to receive a new epoxy floor coating. When mixed and applied properly, the epoxy coating seeps into the porous concrete surface about 1/16th of an inch. The chemical reaction caused by mixing the epoxy resin (part 1) with the hardening agent (part 2) results in a curing process that hardens the coating and “welds” it to the concrete floor.

If you were to saw out a 1’x1’ section of a concrete floor coated with a two part epoxy resin, you would see with the naked eye where the floor coating infused itself into the concrete about 1/16th of an inch. This is why two-part industrial epoxy coatings work so well.

Keep in mind that while many floor coating paints and products may claim to contain epoxy or polyurethane, if they are not two-part products you will not get the best results. One-step epoxy coating and paint products contain the equivalent of pre-cured epoxy, and lack the activating agents needed to form a chemical bond with the substrate. They may make a surface harder, but will not be as durable as a two-part floor coating a system.

Epoxy Floor Coatings vs. Polyurethane Coatings

In general, epoxy floor coatings offer better adhesion and chemical resistant properties than polyurethane coatings. Both types of industrial floor coatings are resistant to abrasions and have relatively similar cure times. While polyurethane coatings offer a higher resistance to UV lighting, their softer natures makes them more prone to gouging than epoxy floor coatings.

Because of their superior adhesion, water and chemical resistant properties, and resistance to gouging, epoxy floor coatings are the best choice for coating industrial floors and commercial floors where heavy machinery is in use and durability is a concern.

Construction System Supply’s Eco-Floor industrial epoxy floor coatings are 100% solids and are the ideal types of two-part coatings that this article presents. They are formulated with rubber additives for added impact and wear resistance. These high-performance coatings are resistant to alkalis, gasoline and other corrosive substances.

Contact Construction Systems Supply today for assistance in selecting the best epoxy floor coating for your industrial flooring needs! www.csscorp.net