Clear Epoxy Coatings For High-Traffic Areas
Pigmented epoxy floors look great. They add color, theme, and additional aesthetic features to any room. However, one unforeseen caveat is that pigmented floors can show wear and tear. Many customers desire a pigmented floor in hi-traffic areas. The issue with that is that all that traffic, from fork-lifts, to pallet jacks, to steel toe boots, to office chairs, can create scratch marks, dirt trails, and other markings that easily contrast with a solid-color floor. The beauty with a clear floor, is that is offers the same appearance as a concrete floor, but comes with the protection of epoxy.
I was approached by a facility that had an exposed concrete floor in their shipping room. They were looking for some type of finish that would make the floor easier to clean, without compromising the integrity of the floor. What they currently have on the floor is a wax coating, and they’re looking to increase the durability.
This floor gets exposed to lite fork-lift traffic, pallet jacks, and boot traffic. So, this area should receive a coating that can withstand industrial abuse. My proposed solution would be a 20mil flooring system, that includes some slip-resistant texture, and abrasion resistant performance.
The first step to install the floor would be to set the schedule. This custom’s shipping schedule is daily, so the floor would need to be installed during the weekend, and holiday, while the plant is shut down. After the schedule is determined, we will need to prep the floor. Because the concrete has a wax coating, we would attack the floor with a walk-behind, planetary grinder, that would remove the wax, and abrade the existing concrete. Our walk-behind grinder is too burly for details, so we use 7″ diamond grinders to prep and abrade the edges of the floor.
To reach our 20mil mark, our first coat is a clear 8mil epoxy. First coats are best installed as thin as possible. Exposed concrete likes to outgas, which creates bubbles and pinholes in the epoxy. So, by pulling the first coat tight, you’re allowing the air to have an easier time to pass through the epoxy. If you went with a heavy film, like 20mils, then the floor could trap the bubbles and sustain the pinholes.
The 2nd coat is, again, a clear 8mil epoxy. This will need to be installed on the 2nd day, so that we hit our recoat window. It’s vital to hit your recoat window, so that you’re intermediate coat and primer coat create a chemical bond between the 2 coats. If they miss the recoat window, then there is a greater chance that the floor will fail.
And then, for our top coat, we elected to use a 4mil aliphatic urethane. The aliphatic urethane top coat is color stable. And in this case, the clear floor won’t amber. urethane are also more forgiving than epoxies, and will absorb impacts better than and epoxy top coat. And to provide the anti-slip texture, we’re going to mix aluminum oxide into the coat. The aluminum oxide will provide an angular sheen, that will help reflect any light from making the floor appear glossy. Glossy floors usually look “wet,” which is a safety hazard in facilities.
Overall, based off the customer’s expectations, this would be the best flooring solution, given the time, schedule, and customer expectations.
PennCoat, Inc. has been providing industrial painting, commercial painting, epoxy flooring, and polished concrete services for nearly 30 years. Our experienced installers are trained and equipped with the proper knowledge and tools to ensure that every installation is installed efficiently and safely. PennCoat, Inc. provides service toPennsylvania,New Jersey, Maryland, and Delaware. And we coverYork,Lancaster,Philadelphia,Chester,Montgomery,Baltimore,Harrisburg,Dauphin,Bucks,Berks, and other counties in the surrounding area.
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