Why Urethane Cement Is The Best Choice For The Food And Beverage Industry
Updated: Jul 2
Today, urethane cement is the dominant material used in Food & Beverage facilities, replacing epoxy-based flooring systems.
The urethanes used in these systems are water-based, and the water hydrates the cement to provide a polymer-modified concrete with a highly chemical resistant urethane binder.
Typical Physical Properties
Epoxies have much higher tensile and compression strength numbers than urethane concretes, but they do not perform as well in many food and beverage applications.
As an example, concrete has tensile strength numbers from 300-400 psi, epoxy 3,000-6,000, urethane concretes at 500-1,000. Your epoxy or urethane topping at 1/4” appears to be far stronger, but when the 8” thick slab wants to move neither topping will hold it together.
Urethane Concrete Flooring
Urethane concretes contain Portland cement, as does the slab you cover. Though lower in physical properties than epoxy, they are closer to the physicals of the concrete they protect. This results in better performance against thermal shock and impact, as the concrete absorbs this energy transfer far better than the epoxy system.
A few of the major benefits of urethane concrete flooring include; low odor for worker safety and protection of the client's surrounding assets.
Furthermore, it has a higher tolerance for frying grease and the like. Maybe most importantly, is it's expansive coefficient that is very similar to concrete. The advantages are its ability to maintain adhesion when hot or cold, and it's extreme chemical resistance, which allow for aggressive cleaning if the standard operating procedures calls for the same.
Urethane concretes have several advantages versus epoxy that are important for many food and beverage applications. These include:
Low temperature installation (35-90 F)
Operating temperature (300+F)
Live steam exposure
Resistant to moisture vapor transmission
Can apply to “green concrete”
Faster return to service
Better chemical resistance than standard epoxy, equal or better than novolac epoxy
Aggregate filled epoxy flooring systems have always had issues in constantly wet environments. If water gets into the aggregate layer, the floor system eventually softens and fails.
Due to the Portland cement component, urethane concretes are unaffected in constantly wet environments. The Portland cement is hydrated by the water to form concrete. The concrete works well in constantly wet areas, and the urethane binder provides chemical resistance to protect the concrete component.
Please give us a call to discuss your next project, even if it's still just a concept. We want to be your urethane cement flooring contractor from start to finish!