The materials that are used in epoxy product / resin make it a unique solution, and contribute to its especially high demands worldwide. What makes epoxy resin special is its ability to be used for many different types of applications. Epoxy is an incredibly practical and flexible mixture of materials. An epoxy system can be used for a wide variety of uses and is especially useful for flooring.
What is Epoxy?
Epoxy is an adhesive, paint, plastic, or other material that is created as a polymer of epoxides. The term “epoxy” is used to describe coatings that are created from two components, meaning, a combination mix of two different chemicals, referred to as “resin.” This classifies epoxy as a copolymer. Chemically, resin is composed of short chain polymers, which at their end contain an epoxide group.
There are many benefits that come with using an epoxy floor coating, compared to using other types of resins for flooring. Most importantly, epoxy is known to be the highest strength resin in the industry. They offer the strongest bond between the resin and reinforcement and allow for the construction of the lightest part and most durable modules.
Epoxy is typically chosen for its excellent mechanical properties and its dimensional stability. When properly cured, epoxy flooring offers good chemical and heat resistance, and extremely low shrinkage. Epoxy resins are an excellent option for repairs, since they bond to dissimilar materials and previously cured materials. Most epoxy resins can be post-cured with heat to improve their strength, service temperature and dimensional stability. Parts should be cured at a temperature that matches or exceeds their maximum service temperature; otherwise the epoxy might warp or distort. The bonding of epoxy paint offers a strength that cannot be matched by other common materials, such as vinylester or polyester.
At Ecoshield, we manufacture a complete line of high performance floor coatings; take a look at our list of products. We are able to provide a customised solution for your specific industrial floor coating needs.
History of Epoxy
Epoxy resins were first introduced by Pierre Castan in Switzerland, in the year of 1936, who synthesised the first epoxy polymer via the curing of it with phthalic acid anhydride. In 1946, epoxy resins were first offered commercially, at the Swiss industry fair. Today, epoxy is something which is used in a wide array of industries, and especially for the building and construction industry. Other industries that epoxy is used in includes aerospace and aircraft applications, automotive and racing, marine, military and defense applications, and sporting applications including snowboards, skiis, or hockey sticks, and even for the food industry, the pharmaceutical industry, and other manufacturing.
During the mid 20th century, Dr. Sylvan Greenlee also created epoxy resins in the United States, by reacting epichlorohydrin and Bisphenol A specifically. Through this, Dr. Sylvan Greenlee was able to create one of the most widely used forms of epoxy today, known as DGEBA or BADGE. This form of epoxy is in fact the most popular commercialised resin of its kind in our current age. Epoxy can also help with mold applications and almost any composite part.
How Does Epoxy Work?
More precisely, epoxy resin is the result of the chemical reaction which is known as curing. Curing is the chemical process that involves chemicals together with epoxides, knowing as curing agents, or hardeners. The hardening mechanism is created through the cross-linking of polymer chains. This result of curing is what creates epoxy thermoset polymers, which hold distinct resistance, durability, versatility, and adhesion. Epoxy curing is initiated through heat and high temperatures. In other words, epoxy is a thermosetting substance. If the surrounding temperature is not sufficient to create the curing process, then curing will not occur. Epoxy cannot be uncured once it has been cured.
There are different forms of epoxy resins that have the ability of being merged together, depending on an individual’s desired outcome. A more customised solution of epoxy can be created through the mixing of plasticizers, fillers, or additives. These additives are used in order to adjust the final properties for individual uses.
Epoxy works as an adhesive that created a strong and enduring floor, able to withstand different circumstances and able to protect the floor’s existing surface, through epoxy floor coating.
What is Epoxy Flooring?
Epoxy is extremely popular for flooring, and for a good reason. Epoxy flooring is especially used within industrial, commercial and residential applications. The reason for this, is that epoxy flooring proves to last many years, and offers a durable, smooth, and high-performance floor surface that is able to resist heavy loads. Epoxy flooring can help to create a safe and a clean environment for workers to work in, for inventory purposes, and for the application and movement of equipment within the warehouse, industrial site, or the commercial building.
Epoxy flooring is created through the process of epoxy floor coating. We will go into more detail describing the process of epoxy floor coating and how it works in our next section, below.
What is Epoxy Floor Coating?
Epoxy floor coating is the process through which epoxy flooring is created. Epoxy is widely used for floor coating. Epoxy floor coating is composed of two component materials. The way that epoxy flooring works, is through the mixing of these two materials, consisting of polyamine hardener and epoxy resin. Rather than using one coat of epoxy for floor coating, epoxy floor coating is typically applied in the form of layers. One thing that is great about epoxy resin is that as a material, epoxy is stain resistant, abrasion resistant, as well as chemical resistant. Another thing that explains the popularity of epoxy floor coating is epoxy’s excessively long lasting durability. The waterproof and mold proof qualities of epoxy resin make it an especially common coating that is used in wastewater fields. Below we will go into more detail concerning the epoxy floor coating application process.
Pros and Cons of Epoxy Floors
The benefits far outweigh the challenges when it comes to epoxy floors. Some of the benefits include:
- Visual appearance – Epoxy floorings provide a shiny finish, which is great for garages, other residential spaces, and commercial buildings. The polished texture also makes these floors easy to clean, letting the sheen last for many years.
- Durability – The strong chemical bonds of epoxy floorings make them ideal for high-traffic spaces and facilities with heavy lifting or potentially intensive processes.
- Affordability – Epoxy floors are more affordable than other flooring options. Considering their durability, this means you also get more bang for your buck.
- Regulatory standards and safety – Epoxy floors are well-trusted in various industries.
Smell, moisture, and sensitivity are the three main issues that people encounter when installing epoxy floors. Luckily, all three are easily resolved with quality installation. Our epoxy does not give off fumes during the installation process. Epoxy is moisture-resistant unless it gets trapped before installation. Epoxy installers will make sure your floor is completely dry before beginning the process to eliminate the possibility of wetness. Finally, epoxy can be sensitive if installed incorrectly or during the wrong time of the year. As for the latter, it’s usually best to install epoxy during times of low humidity. The installation process is tried and true, you can be sure that your Ecoshield trained applicator will operate with accuracy and precision.
Epoxy Floor Coating Application Process
The epoxy floor coating application process is important for ensuring the correct application of epoxy floor coating. The application of epoxy floor coating includes the application of various layers. These include the body coat layer phase, and the top coat layer phase. This creates a floor that is thicker and more durable.
During the epoxy floor coating application process, the first thing that must be ensured is that the floor concrete is grinded and that it is in good condition. The floor’s surface must be prepared, so that it can accept the new coat of epoxy coating on its top. Preparation includes the elimination of dust particles, grinding, shot blasting and scarifying.
Following the priming phase, the next stage consists of filling in all of the floor’s visible holes and visible cracks, with epoxy. This is the application of the first coat in the epoxy layer system. Following this application, the floor must be lightly grinded, sanded, and re-layered. In order to test for sealant, a compacted amount of water may be applied onto the floor. If the water is not soaked in, then it is very likely that the floor is not yet suitable and ready for the epoxy floor coating application phase. During the second epoxy coating phase, the epoxy resin is mixed together with the epoxy hardener products, making sure that the entire component is emptied out. Once again, all visible dust must be removed, in order to achieve the appropriate final finish.
It is important to note that epoxy resin is based on heat and chemical reactions; however, epoxy resin tends to be significantly steady at room temperature. The curing process is only initiated when the epoxy resin creates a reaction with another curing agent.
Garage Floor Epoxy Coating
If you are looking to really strengthen your garage floor, and make it the toughest and most durable flooring possible, then garage floor epoxy coating is definitely one of your best solutions. The chemical reaction that epoxy undergoes to be created results in an especially tightly bonded thick coating that is ready to be surfaced.
Applying epoxy product onto your garage will prevent potential floor staining, chipping, abrasions, and any sort of other impacts. Even better, your garage floor will be waterproof, something which will result in it also being mildew and mold proof as well. Epoxy floor coating tends to adhere onto a concrete floor in a better way than any other conventional materials, including oil based materials which are typically used, in addition to enamel paint, or water. Cleaning your epoxy floor garage is exceptionally smooth and easy; the cleaning process is quite similar to cleaning a classic pan which is made of Teflon.
The thick coating that garage floor epoxy coating creates, will be able to cover garage floor concrete slab defects and flaws, including and not limited to minute spider cracks that you may have not even noticed. The best thing about garage floor epoxy coating is that it acts as an anti-dust topical sealer. A lot of the dust that is created in a garage is in fact the result of shedding of the garage floor cement. This shedding created cement powder- something that garage floor epoxy coating will be able to successfully prevent.
Not only will garage floor epoxy product make your garage floor strong and sustainable for the reasons stated, but it will also leave your garage floor with a contemporary glossy finish that no traditional painting method would be able to create.
Garage epoxies vs. Garage paints
The other flooring option that other people frequently choose for their garage is paint. Normal floor paints only have one component and are either oil or water-based, unlike epoxy, which usually has two components (a resin and a hardener). The chemical process that happens when the two components bind makes epoxy more durable than typical paints, which coat the floor but lack real strength.
Types of Epoxy Floor Coating
The most popular form of epoxy product that is used for epoxy coatings is Bisphenol A. Bisphenol A has a honey-liquid consistency, and is an extremely versatile resin. Bisphenol A is available in many molecular weights. Their variety of molecular weights is that makes Bisphenol A especially versatile for the epoxy application. Bisphenol A is most widely used for flooring systems, in addition to solid coatings. Bisphenol A contains substantial physical properties, and is highly chemically resistant. Due to its especially thick natural consistency, there will commonly be dilutants which are added into the Bispenol A epoxy formula.
The properties which are found in Bisphenol F tend to be less adhesive than those found in Bisphenol A. Bisphenol F epoxy resin will typically be more expensive that Bisphenol A epoxy. This is because Bisphenol F epoxy is able to be used for a greater variety of applications. Bisphenol F is especially chemically resistant, and are more likely to be used as varnishes or lacquers, and for application regarding water pipes, adhesives, supermarket food packaging, plastics, dental sealants, and liners.
Metallic Epoxy Floor Coating
What is metallic epoxy floor coating and what type of applications is it most commonly used for? Metallic epoxy flooring is durable, and has a visual effect that is not able to be created through the use of regular paint. Metallic epoxy floor coating pigments are able to create a sense of movement and depth on a floor. This form of epoxy floor coating is very popular for commercial and high traffic retail applications, leaving a stunning effect on any floor’s surface.
Clear Epoxy Floor Coating
What is clear epoxy floor coating, and what is it used for? Clear epoxy floor coating is typically used to cover concrete flooring, due to the advantages that the materials that it contains has. Clear epoxy floor coating can be used on top of an originally painted surface, to cover the paint structure with a more durable and long-lasting consistency. Clear epoxy floor coating is especially used for the application of garage floor epoxy coating.
At Ecoshield, we pride ourselves on providing quality epoxy product to applicatiors, homeowners and industrial facilities. We offer a wide range of epoxy products for use in food and beverage processing, transportation and parking lots, other commercial flooring, and residential flooring. If you want to learn more about epoxy, contact us.