Though no two facilities or two pieces of concrete are the same, these basic specifications can be used and modified to meet almost any need. Each system is designed to accomplish a certain result.
Two-coat systems are designed to seal and protect new concrete from oil and other chemical penetration. This system dust-proofs the floor, hardens the concrete surface better than other surface hardeners, and provides a wear surface. The systems are usually pigmented to provide enhanced aesthetics and increased light reflectivity.
Three-coat systems are used to add additional mil for extended wear and fill in rougher concrete.
Coatings work well for both new and old concrete but are better suited for off-aisle areas and where the concrete has nominal oil saturation. If a concrete surface can be damaged, the same damage will occur to these systems.
1/16” to 1/8” Epoxy Broadcast Systems:
These systems are thicker in nature and utilize sand or quartz aggregates for additional strength. These systems work well for garage areas, cafeterias, restrooms, locker rooms, and storage areas.
Broadcast systems are more impact-resistant and provide more wear surface than coating systems. These systems can be decorative or solid colors.
Epoxy Topping Systems:
These systems range from 1/8” to nominal 1/4” thick. They should be installed using a drag or screed box for uniformity. The topping consists of blended silica and quartz aggregates and an epoxy binder. Power troweling compacts the system and increases system strength.
Topping systems are designed to resurface spalled concrete by providing a durable wear surface for heavy-wheeled traffic and high impact resistance. Epoxy mortar is excellent for patching deep holes, ramping, and re-pitching floors.
Urethane, oil-modified, and moisture-cured systems are used to dust-proof new or old concrete floors. If oil or dirt has penetrated the concrete surface, the concrete should be shot-blasted or scrubbed prior to application. Two-component aliphatic urethanes have better chemical resistance and do not amber as oil-modified or moisture-cured types do.
Urethanes are not used much since the solvent components are volatile and cannot be applied when workers are present.
Their mil thickness is extremely thin and wears off. Therefore, the floors must be continually recoated.
Some areas require high chemical resistance against concentrated acids and caustics. In such cases, certain systems will be required above and beyond the epoxy coatings or epoxy toppings.
Here vinyl ester or polyester systems, either flake-filled or fiberglass-lined, are required.
This type of system is required in areas where computers or highly-sensitive equipment is located. These systems involve epoxy-filled with carbon filler.
Epoxy systems can be made more or less slip-resistant. The degree of slip resistance is proportional to the type and density of aggregate mixed into the epoxy topcoat. There is a trade-off, however, for increasing the density of aggregate in the epoxy topcoats. The greater the density, the more difficult it becomes to clean the surface.
This is critical to achieving the maximum bond with the concrete surface. Steel shot-blasting should be mandatory for any coating system.