Epoxy was first used in the early 1950s for concrete restoration. Over the last couple of decades, epoxy-painted floors have hit the mainstream consciousness and have become a preferred coating for residential garages. Many home DIYers and commercial painters are applying a paint mix colloquially referred to as epoxy paint. However, there is a big difference between this epoxy paint and industrial epoxy floor coating. Choosing the right medium for your commercial warehouse or facility’s flooring can have a significant effect on the quality and longevity of your application.
The main difference between epoxy paint and industrial epoxy flooring is that epoxy paint is common household epoxy paint is good only for light-duty applications and was never intended for industrial use. In contrast, epoxy floor coatings are durable, industrial-optimized resins that are designed to stand up to high traffic usage.
What Is Epoxy Paint?
Epoxy paint is essentially latex paint with a small amount of added epoxy for increased durability. While it holds up better than regular paint, it doesn’t have the same high-performance qualities that epoxy floor coatings have. This type of product is best left for DIY home garage projects and is never an appropriate choice in industrial or commercial settings.
What Is Epoxy Floor Coating?
Epoxy floor coating is an umbrella term in the industry usually referring to resinous coatings that can protect concrete floors. It is a technical process that requires the expertise of a flooring professional to properly install. The exact materials used vary depending on the type of flooring system required, but every floor system installation requires careful planning by an epoxy flooring company to ensure the essential performance characteristics are achieved with the finished floor. Floor coating systems require the proper preparation of the underlying concrete and subsequent layers to ensure the products bond correctly and the coating is successful.
Types of Floor Coating Systems
The materials used for industrial facility flooring vary depending on specific needs but can largely be divided into the following categories:
1. Epoxy – Epoxy is a resin composed of 1-part epoxide resin and 1-part polyamine hardener. In the application process, the epoxy is left to cure for a minimum of 24 hours. When cured, it produces polymer structures that give the substance great strength and durability. This type of floor coating is non-porous and is used in high-impact facilities where optimum durability is the top priority. Highly resistant to chemical spills and abrasion, these systems are often used with decorative chips or colored sands. We can achieve an infinite array of color schemes or patterns with this material.
2. Epoxy & Urethane – Epoxy and urethane floors have an added top layer of urethane that acts as a seal and provides a seamless surface that is moisture and heat resistant. Epoxy and urethane floor systems are commonly found in the food and beverage industry.
3. Acrylic (MMA) – MMA is a dual system polymer that is not as hard or durable as epoxy but is a formidable option for commercial flooring. MMA has a low glare satin finish and is resistant to weak acids, alkalis, solvents, and scratches. It is also highly flammable and odorous, so special ventilation and installation procedures must be implemented.
4. Polyurea – Polyurea is an organic polymer that is the result of a reaction from mixing an isocyanate and resin blend component. Polyurea has a rubber-like feel, making it not as hard as epoxy but still extremely durable. Polyurea flooring has a high-gloss finish, is highly stain and chemical resistant, and has a high heat tolerance.
The Benefits of Epoxy Floor Coatings
Floor coating systems are used in an array of industrial facilities including chemical processing, food processing, electronics, aviation, pharmaceuticals, and warehousing. These systems protect concrete floors as well as products in the facility and provide a safe working environment for staff. They are seamless, easy to clean, and non-toxic. High-gloss flooring options can even save you money on your electric bill by reflecting light so that fewer indoor lights are needed.
Some of the best performance characteristics of industrial floor coatings include:
- Abrasion resistant
- Impact resistant
- Chip/flake resistant
- Corrosion resistant
- Anti-slip (safety)
Finding the Right Flooring Solution for Your Industrial Facility
Surface Technology is a nationwide leader in providing industrial epoxy flooring solutions for commercial spaces. We are a trusted and respected epoxy flooring company that specializes in the custom design and installation of industrial floors for industrial facilities. We work closely with you to determine the needs of your facility and create a flooring solution that is tailored to your company’s needs.
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