A Balanced View From An Experienced Applicator
Don’t believe everything you hear. As a resin flooring installer, I have over 10 years experience in a huge variety of concrete paints, sealers, resins, cements, resurfacing systems, etc. Polyurea, Polyaspartic technology is very much a part of my company today, and in source these materials from several different suppliers.
I often have people calling in and asking about these products, having seen an internet write up, or after having a salesperson come to their property. These callers say one of two things:
– Do you install (Polyurea, Polyaspartic, or Polycuramine), because we don’t want any other product on our floor!
– What’s the real story about Polyurea, Polyaspartic, or Polycuramine because it sounds too good to be true!
Unfortunately, the salesperson hasn’t just exaggerated the benefits of P, P or P, but they have made quite derogative remarks towards industry standard products such as epoxy and polyurethane. So the customer starts off with an unbalanced view of their options, because of a biased salesperson/supplier.
Hawk Concrete Floor Coatings is able to provide an unbiased view because it has in its a range a number of these products, as well as a host of other resins sourced from all over the world. It makes very little difference to us whether we install Polyurea, or Polyaspartic, or something else – as long as you receive the right system for a competitive price.
The pros of Polyurea and Polyaspartic in comparison to other QUALITY products supplied by Hawk CFC:
– Highly flexible; greater flexural strength and ability to withstand expansion and movement in a concrete slab without breaking or delaminating
– 100% UV stable. A quality polyurethane is also 100% UV stable, but epoxies are not (but can be top-coated to make them stable)
– Fast Cure Times. As far as return to service and completion times go, very hard to beat
– Provides fantastic aesthetic “depth.” Depth is the clarity and visual 3D appearance of the product. It has a clearer look compared to polyurethane, but not as impressive as epoxy resin.
– Excellent gloss retention. Greater gloss retention compared to epoxy, but generally less gloss retention to premium polyurethanes.
The cons of Polyurea, Polyaspartic in comparison to other quality products supplied by Hawk CFC:
– Adhesion is lower. The ability of the coating to withstand the likes of hydrostatic pressure, dusting-off of the slab, and other bonding issues. This is a major drawback as the costs of a failed floor include down-time, moving of equipment, furniture, as well as replacement costs. This can be overcome with the placement of a primer, however by the time another coat is applied, the savings associated with these systems have been lost anyway.
– Film Thickness is comparatively low. While the film thickness can be built higher than a polyurethane it is no match for self-levelling epoxy resin. The higher the film thickness the greater the PRACTICAL abrasion resistance, and more permanent the floor.
– Unlike polyurethane, does not provide the UV blocking capability of high end polyurethanes which actually protect the base coat epoxy and/or substrate from the effects of the sun.
– Less options: many high end finishes available with 100% solids epoxy resin cannot be achieved using these products.
In conclusion, the flooring industry is richer for the inclusion of Polyurea technology, but the products have not revolutionised the industry the way that some claimed they would. The advancement of technology has ensured that epoxy and polyurethane products remain the primary resin floor coatings, and are still the products to use on 9 out of 10 floors. The 1 out of 10 floor that should have Polyurea, Polyaspartic, or Polycuramine are when there is a major time constraint, financial constraints, or a slab that is subject to an unusual amount of expansion movement or cracking.
For more information and pricing, contact Hawk Concrete Floor Coatings.