Epoxy coating forms a part of floor coatings that are applied to improve their abrasion resistance. They are often coated on metallic surfaces to prevent rusting and also as primers to improve adhesion of control joint repairs. Epoxy floors have the advantage of being very environment friendly as compared to other coated floors as they require less water and consume fewer pesticides.
What choose epoxy in the first place? Epoxy is the term used for both, the monomer and polymer of epoxy resins. Epoxy resins are a class of polymers containing a chemical functional group called the epoxide group. The various ways in which the different types of polymers are manufactured leads to a wide variety of uses for epoxy. For example, it is used in metal coatings, electronic appliances, adhesives, insulations, etc. The epoxy coatings can be heavy duty, i.e. taking on extreme heat and temperature variations, as well as load, and are thus a favorite among floor coatings in garage floors, warehouse floors and manufacturing floors.
The epoxy coating used for floors usually comprises of three components: the epoxy resin, a hardener and filler. The resin is the main polymer that provides the base solvent for the coating. It is light, odor-free and colorless. The hardener helps in the final solidification of the coating, and is dark and has a strong smell. The filler is a mixture of chemicals that even out the final composition of components and help create the chemical reaction required for the formation of the final coat.
Epoxy floors have the benefit of protecting the underlying concrete from mechanical or chemical deterioration and chemical corrosion. Due to its strong mechanical properties, it is able to take on heavy vehicles while reducing maintenance time. As the coating is smooth and resistant to surface abrasions, it allows for easy movement and prevents tires of heavy vehicles from wear. To top it all, it is seamless and has great slip resistant properties.
Although brimming with benefits, there are some major disadvantages while coating concrete floors with epoxy. There always arises the issue of air bubbles being trapped within the layer of coating resulting in surface deformities such as pinholes. The air bubbles might become trapped due to non-uniform mixing or due to gassing out from the cement. Thus, it is always necessary to de-air the entire area before applying a coat of epoxy. This naturally adds to the cost of laying out epoxy, negating some of its benefits.