Sunday, January 17, 2016

EPOXY VS PU FLOORING

Epoxy and polyurethane are great for : 
> Protecting your floor against stains, damage, chemicals, oils, and wear.  
> They are both light reflective, easy to clean, and long lasting.  

EPOXY FLOOR COATING BENEFITS
Epoxy is a thermosetting polymer which is available in three different formulations for : a garage floor coating and sealer : 
1. water based, 
2. solvent based, and 
3. 100% solids.  

These formulations allow for varying degrees of thickness from 3 mils to over 10 mils for a single coating for a garage floor.  They also allow for ease of application, special bonding characteristics, and VOC considerations.  Epoxy bonds extremely well to properly prepared concrete and can sometimes be used as a resurfacing agent for old or worn concrete that needs a new garage floor surface.

  • 100% solids and 
  • provide for an extremely hard, thick, and impact resistant surface
  • This self-leveling thickness contributes to filling in the small hairline cracks and imperfections of the floor as well as providing protection.  
  • It also works well against hot tire pick up, scratching, and wear from abrasion.  
Though some epoxy formulas come with U.V. inhibitors, they will still eventually yellow or amber as the industry calls it when exposed to sunlight for any length of time.  This is something to consider when choosing a garage floor finish.

POLYURETHANE FLOOR COATING BENEFITS

Like epoxy, polyurethane is a thermosetting polymer as well and is considered a high performance coating.  It is commonly known as urethane for short, though that it is technically incorrect and there is actually a big difference between polyurethane and urethane.  If someone is advertising a urethane coating, it is actually polyurethane.
Polyurethane top coat
aliphatic polyurethane is the desired choice for garage floors.  Though they are approximately 60% to 70% solids depending on the manufacturer, a polyurethane coating is only about 2 to 3 mils in thickness and can’t be adjusted as with epoxy.

Aliphatic polyurethane/advantage of polyurethane over epoxy  :
  • More flexibility than epoxy and it is this flexibility that aids in absorbing impacts better.  
  • Much more abrasion resistant.  ( the wear resistance of polyurethane over epoxy is almost 3 to 1 )
  • The resistance to chemicals is better than epoxy as well and this includes resistance to solvents such as methylene chloride which is the primary ingredient in paint stripper.
  • U.V. stable ( it won’t yellow like epoxy does when exposed to small amounts of sunlight over a period of time ).  
 can tolerate larger temperature swings, and handles humidity much better.  It is also available in different finishes from satin to very glossy.

Less Advantages 
  • The surface of polyurethane is not as hard as epoxy but it is much more scratch resistant,
  • It does not bond well to concrete and its thin dry film thickness will not work well as a self-leveling coating to fill in small cracks and divots in the surface.  
  • Another consideration is that most polyurethanes are solvent based, meaning they can have high VOC’s,and may require a respirator to apply.
  • Polyurethane is also a better medium than epoxy to mix in anti-slip aggregate 

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