What You Need to Know Before You Decide on the right epoxy flooring?
There is a war brewing in the world of flooring, but for those outside the industry the battle lines have gone largely unnoticed. If you are currently shopping for a new floor, you may hear certain flooring contractors claim that polyurea is better than polyaspartic, but is this really true?
In a word: “no”! Despite what you may have heard, polyurea resins is simply NOT SUPERIOR to polyaspartic flooring. In fact, polyaspartic still retains its spot at the top of all available flooring options for your garage, patio, warehouse, or driveway. With its combination of durability, beauty, and easy installation, polyaspartic is still the obvious choice in flooring. And while polyurea does have some benefits, you should not be fooled by claims of its superiority (see here for another recent blog on this topic).
The Chemistry Behind a Better Floor
There are a number of reasons why flooring contractors claim that polyurea is better than polyaspartic for some types of applications. In some cases, the claim may arise from a simple misunderstanding, or from a lack of knowledge of the underlying chemistry. In other cases, the contractor in question is just trying to mislead you, hoping that you will fall for the hype surrounding polyurea as you decide which materials belong on your floor.
If you want to understand why polyaspartic is still the best choice for all kinds of flooring applications, it helps to go to the source. Polyaspartic was first patented by a leader in the industry, a firm by the name of Covestro. The company developed a new technology based on polyaspartic aliphatic polyurea chemistry.
Another key thing to understand is that all polyaspartics are polyureas, so claims that polyurea is superior to any type of polyaspartics is simply ludicrous on its face. Back in the 1990s, the company that would later become Covestro introduced a new and revolutionary type of polymer known as polyaspartic. Back then the firm was known as Bayer Material Science, a division of the huge drug manufacturer and consumer goods firm. But no matter what the firm is called, their contribution to chemistry and flooring science remains undisputed.
The Last Step in a Long and Exacting Process
The polyaspartic material represents the reaction component of an aliphatic polyisocyanate and aliphatic polyaspartic ester. Once you understand the chemistry behind the process, you can clearly see that not all polyureas are aliphatic, and that this aliphatic property is what gives polyaspartics their superior qualities.
One of the things that makes the polyaspartic production process so unique is the ways in which it can be altered. Specifically, the formulation used to create polyaspartics can be carefully adjusted to change the amount of time it takes for the liquid to solidify, a measurement known in the industry as the gel time.
The gel time for the production of polyaspartics can be anywhere from one minute to more than an hour and each the specific formulation has its own benefits when creating custom flooring solutions. This is the breakthrough that revolution the flooring industry, creating a new and highly versatile material that can be used on all types of commercial and residential floors.
A Highly Versatile Material
While the most common applications of polyaspartics are in the world of flooring, this highly versatile material can be used in a number of other ways. Especially, polyaspartic is often used in preventing corrosion, providing an inexpensive and highly effective option to other forms of corrosion control.
Polyurea, on the other hand, is far less versatile than its polyaspartic counterparts. Instead of adjustable gel time, polyurea materials transform from liquid to solid state in only a few seconds.
This extremely fast gel time means that polyurea materials require costly and highly specialized applications in order to be useful in flooring. For instance, flooring contractors using polyurea materials often apply the product using expensive component spraying equipment.
The need for highly specialized materials and equipment can drive up the cost of flooring for the end-user, something that does not happen when using polyaspartics. So the next time a flooring an epoxy contractor tells you that polyurea is a superior choice and that you should avoid polyaspartics when designing your new floor, you will know the truth, and should move on to a different epoxy floor company.
It is important to note, however, that not all polyurea polymers are true polyaspartics. The creation of polyaspartics is the end result of a highly specialized and exacting manufacturing process. If this process is not followed, the flooring materials that are produced may lack the legendary durability and flexibility of a true polyaspartic.
Need more help?
If you have further questions, would like to discuss popular and custom epoxy designs and colors, or want to receive an estimate for an epoxy floor coating and live in the Phoenix area, please contact Dreamcoat Flooring at 480-226-4172 for a free in person consultation.