A cross section with High elongation (797% elongation 2 part Polyurea) crack filler installed around Sealed sections of the 6850 Square Foot Floor.
We leveled the Concrete to the Floor height
Issue 10: Polyurea Hybrid Coatings: Understand the Differences
Sometimes a customer is told that a supplier has a polyurea hybrid and that a hybrid will outperform polyurethane because of the polyurea component of the formula. However, all polyurea hybrid coatings are not created equal.
Most customers take what they are told at face value, without a more in-depth understanding of the issues involved. Customers should ask questions. If the polyurea component is the determining factor that boosts the physical properties, exactly how much of the hybrid product is polyurea coating and how much is polyurethane? One supplier could offer an 80% polyurea coating/20% polyurethane mix to get one level of performance; a second could have a 50%/50% ratio to have a perfectly balanced blend, according to its claims; and a third could use a 99% polyurethane/1% polyurea coating system. While each supplier would be correct in calling their product a Polyurea Hybrid, the customers of each would be purchasing a coating with drastically different performance characteristics.
It’s extremely important to know what you’re buying. Too many coating specifiers are unaware of the subtle differences in these coatings and their properties. Every contractor should either seek out specifiers that understand the key differences between polyurea hybrid coatings or be willing to train the specifiers with whom they work.
The Importance of Aliphatic Coatings and UV-Stability
In theory, UV-stable products should have very little loss of gloss or color fade over time, even when exposed to sunlight. On the other hand, non-UV-stable products will first lose gloss when exposed to sunlight, then fade and/or yellow, and, eventually, experience polymer breakdown and coating failure. By definition, aliphatic polyurea coating systems are UV-stable, while aromatic polyurea coating systems are not. What seems pure and simple, is neither pure or simple.
Labels of aliphatic coating products can be deceptive. Although a number of aliphatic systems are truly 100% aliphatic, there are too many aliphatic products out there that are, in fact, blends of aliphatic and aromatic. Some producers will make a blend that is only 51% aliphatic and 49% aromatic and still claim it is an aliphatic product. While there is some argument for this being true, is the customer educated during the purchasing process?
Educate yourself. When purchasing an aliphatic system, ask the producer about the percent of aliphatic materials in their product. Read the product’s Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS). An aliphatic polyurea coating will contain only IPDI and/or HDI isocyanate (Side A) component. An aromatic polyurea coating uses MDI or TDI isocyanate. Since MDI and TDI are not UV-stable, you should not find either of these components in a truly aliphatic product.
Polyurea coatings and polyurea hybrid coatings are generally both high performing and weather tolerant in ambient application conditions of both high and low temperature. Polyurea coating tends to be highly flexible and waterproof–a good, tough, all-around coating. However, substrate (surface) and application conditions, product usage, application options, chemical and atmospheric exposure considerations, and other factors must be considered when selecting both a coating system supplier and a coating system.
Many suppliers or marketers of polyurea-based systems take a “one-size-fits-all” approach. They offer a strong, waterproof, durable, product you can use for your roof, your fish ponds, your truck bed liner, your deck, your garage floor, or wherever you have a need. While you could use it that way, don’t assume that a specific polyurea coating system is either the best, or even the safest, product for every application.
It’s vital to determine the different exposures (how it will be attacked) and service conditions that the coating will experience before selecting a coating system for a job. Depending on its application, some polyurea coating formulas may work well, whereas others may be inappropriate. For example, a fish pond polyurea hybrid coating can be waterproof, durable, tough, and seamless; but, if the formulator does not use a catalyst that either becomes part of the polymer matrix or is benign to fish, the catalyst will leach out of the coating system and kill the fish!
Unfortunately, the polyurea coating market is being overtaken by short-sighted salesmen wanting to make money quickly. The industry is, in large part, lacking the customer service specialists whose primary interests are to match the end-customers’ needs with the best solutions. Look for coating systems specialists that understand that only by solving each customer’s specific need will they create a customer for life.
Resin Versus Fillers
Many producers of protective coatings claim that the product they are trying to sell a customer is 100% Solids, suggesting that it contains no solvents. However, they may not be forthright about the amount of non-resin components that have been added to it to reduce cost and increase profit. These additives decrease performance, because resins build a coating’s physical properties, while fillers typically only build volume.
In conversations with sales or technical representatives of companies marketing protective coatings, ask them about the use of resin components versus fillers in product formulations.
WB SEALER SYSTEMS, LLC uses only materials with no fillers
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