Epoxy flooring is often chosen for aesthetic or financial reasons. They are a great value for low-to-medium impact areas that are not subject to major thermal shock (such as steaming or constant hot water cleaning). Epoxy systems are available in almost any color and can be applied in thicknesses between 1/8” and 1”. They can easily improve the aesthetics and harden the surface of existing concrete substrates. Epoxies create a seamless, waterproof barrier, which provides a well-protected surface but demands a low-moisture substrate on which to be applied. Because an expertly installed epoxy floor provides this wall-to-wall seamless surface, it is very popular in the pharmaceutical and chemical processing industries. When chemicals cannot contaminate the cement substrate, you are assured uncontaminated products down the line and easy clean-ups in the meantime.
Obviously, there is a great deal of room to play within the category of epoxy flooring. The engineers at High Performance Systems have dedicated themselves to understanding every aspect of epoxy flooring, including every facet of customization. We can work with your needs, budget and space to design a perfectly customized solution for your facility. Below is quick guide to what customizations best fit each environment. Here you can get an idea of what options are available before calling us to get our engineers to begin a design for your floor. Remember that no two epoxy floors are the same; we design the one that you need.
One of the useful properties of epoxy is its ability to self-level. Many clients have slightly uneven floors and places where water coalesces, creating “birdbaths.” Epoxy materials are able to minimize or eliminate these inconsistencies. Although an experienced flooring contractor will remediate your cracks and dips before applying an epoxy, the material ultimately takes all human error out of the equation and leaves your floor perfectly even and smooth. This is not only important for reasons of aesthetics and cleanability but is also necessary for maintaining a sanitary facility. Most unwanted organisms only grow in areas of moisture and eliminating those areas gives you a more sterile environment.
To take it a bit further, self-dispersing quartz epoxy flooring (with a sand aggregate or other aggregate) is used in food processing industries where liquids can often be found on the floor surface. We make this recommendation not only because of the above sanitation benefits but also because of the very good anti-slip characteristics found in these types of floors. Sanitation is necessary for many products in our industries but employee safety cannot be underestimated. These floors are also much more comfortable to walk on because one suddenly has a more sure-footed gait throughout the work day.
Beyond these very obvious perks, these kinds of epoxies also display a much greater mechanical strength than other, more simple epoxy blends. To a point, the more aggregate used in your epoxy, the more hardness you can expect. This is useful for places that see heavy forklift traffic and/or heavy loads being placed on their floors by equipment or stocked product. Sand will increase your floor’s sturdiness (i.e., “hardness” or durability) by a large measure. Other aggregates such as glass, etc can bring the surface hardness to even higher levels. Now you are working with a surface that is 1.) easier to clean, 2.) more sanitary, in a microbial sense, 3.) safer for employees, & 4.) more structural resilient.
Mortar epoxy floors are the strongest off all epoxy floors. Used in heavy industry, they can also be used for repairing cracks before laying other types of epoxy floors. Unlike the thinner overcoat applications we have discussed, this is a thick slab laid upon your existing substrate. Although it is slightly more labor intensive to produce, this type of epoxy flooring is impervious to even the most aggressive uses. They also retain all the features of the aforementioned epoxy applications, once we top-coat them.
A few more unique epoxy selections include “graveled,” “terrazzo” & antistatic floors. Graveled epoxy floors are the most decorative and also the most complicated customization to apply. Graveled epoxy floors can be used for logotypes, brand marks or decorative details on the floors. These floors also contains anti slip properties. Terrazzo epoxy floors are very decorative, easy to clean, and are mainly used for large areas such as long halls, entrances of public buildings or schools. Antistatic Epoxy floors are designed for places where static-sensitive electronic components are in permanent use (as in labs, hospitals, electronics equipment manufacturing etc), where a static-free environment is crucial.
FDA and USDA have approved various materials as industrial flooring options; among them, epoxies and urethane are the key ones. There are also a variety of grades when it comes to these materials. High solids or 100-percent solid epoxy products have the following advantages.
•Excellent protection against acids and alkalis •Superior adhesion •Quick curing with minimum downtime •Good compatibility with anti-slip additives
Urethane cement flooring is popular as well; even though it requires more experienced industrial floor coating contractors as compared to other industrial flooring options, they have an edge with greater service life. Other advantages of urethane flooring are low odor and high resistance to thermal cycling. The type best suited to your flooring requirement will depend on various factors such as the type of application, your budget, and the environment. Whichever way you wish to proceed, epoxies & urethanes probably have an answer to your industrial flooring needs.
If you are interested in more about urethane flooring, please see our urethane tutorial. If epoxy sounds like what you are after, contact our offices at (800) 928-7220(800) 928-7220. Our engineers can hear your needs and immediately begin designing a flooring system suited to you.