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Five key differences between epoxy and polyurethane floors

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Epoxy and polyurethane (PU for short) floors are the two most commonly used types of resinous industrial floors. An age old question in the industry is what are the differences between the two types of floors and when should we pick one over the other. This presentation aims to present the key differences between the two types of floors. Their differences can be identified under the following factors:
1. Durability
2. Elasticity
3. Chemical resistance
4. Moisture sensitivity
5. Curing time

Published in: Engineering
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Five key differences between epoxy and polyurethane floors

  1. 1. 5 key differences between epoxy and polyurethane floors
  2. 2. Epoxy and polyurethane (PU for short) floors are the two most commonly used types of resinous industrial floors. This presentation explains the key differences between the two types of floor coatings
  3. 3. IMPORTANT POINT: This presentation focuses specifically on industrial floor coatings Polyurethanes and epoxies have a vast range of applications on other types of surfaces (rooftops, sports surfaces, screeds, metal surfaces etc) that we don’t cover here
  4. 4. Let’s take a look at the differences between epoxies and polyurethane floors
  5. 5. Operational differences
  6. 6. Epoxy floors are usually harder than Polyurethanes • They have a higher compressive and impact strength • This makes them durable in heavy duty facilities 1. Operational Differences
  7. 7. For these reasons epoxies are preferred in • Warehouses • Heavy industry • Logistics centers • Facilities with heavy forklift traffic 1. Operational Differences
  8. 8. Polyurethane floors are usually softer and elastic • This gives them a better resistance to scratching • And better resistance to very low freezing temperatures 2. Operational Differences
  9. 9. Polyurethane floors are therefore preferred • In spaces with foot traffic • In multideck car-parks since the elastic layer can act as a waterproofing layer • In freezing chambers where temperatures can reach -30oC 2. Operational Differences
  10. 10. 2. Operational Differences Elastic polyurethane floor paint for a car park
  11. 11. Epoxies and Polyurethane floor surfaces may behave differently according to what chemicals they are exposed to • Polyurethanes are preferred in dairy production (milk, yoghurt, cheese) as they behave better with organic acids • Epoxies are preferred in industries with sulfuric acids • Always check with the manufacturer of the product 3. Operational Differences
  12. 12. application differences
  13. 13. Polyurethane floors are more sensitive to moisture. The picture below depicts what happens when moisture attacks an uncured PU floor 4. Application Differences
  14. 14. Epoxy resins are also sensitive to moisture but the damage done by humidity will be far more limited to some discoloration or blushing. When working in environments where the presence of humidity could become an issue, epoxy is always the much better choice. 4. Application Differences
  15. 15. Polyurethane floors can be easily modified to extend or limit their pot life, re-coat time as well as the total curing time. This flexibility enables contractors to complete PU floors much quicker and to turn over the floors to their customer in a much shorter period of time. Epoxy floors are much less flexible in this respect. They usually require 7 days to fully cure. 5. Application Differences
  16. 16. In general polyurethanes are harder to work with. Their limited pot life in combination with their humidity issues require very well trained and experienced staff. 5. Application Differences
  17. 17. Any Questions or comments? Please comment below!
  18. 18. Visit www.learncoatings.com and sign up to receive emails whenever we bring out new articles and presentations. You will also get a FREE 4-page troubleshooting guide on epoxy floors Contact Us!
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