Surely you have heard the expressions "epoxy coating" and "epoxy paint" for flooring without being very clear about the differences. These are two systems with differences to take into account before making a decision.
The epoxy paintsare low thickness systems, applied by roller, where the amount of material that coats the floor once catalyzed is only a few microns (< 500 microns), i.e. relatively small amounts of epoxy resin.
These systems usually have a lower solids content, and part of the product evaporates as it dries on the substrate, offering lower resistance and durability. Their performance is lower than that of industrial epoxy coatings, but they are optimal systems for the protection of floors with light to medium physical-chemical stresses (parking lots, warehouses, low impact production areas, etc.).
Epoxy paints are simple to install and more economical. As in all these types of systems, the key is the correct preparation of the substrate, and consists of a first coat of primer, to which an aggregate can be added to achieve a non-slip finish, and one or two subsequent coats of finish.
A epoxy coating consists of a two-component, high-performance epoxy resin (Part A) combined with a polyamine hardener (Part B). These systems are available up to 100% solids content, resulting in stronger, more durable pavement surfaces.
The installation of these coating systems requires more intensive substrate preparation and professional installation. The surface must be mechanically prepared - diamond or shot blasted - to ensure adhesion of the coating to the substrate. Once components A and B are mixed, there is a time interval for applying the coating. The application may require a combination of tools - rollers, rakes, trowels ... - and is applied in several coats, with their drying times - primers, intermediate coats and top coats. Fillers, such as graded silica sand or colored quartz, are sometimes added as part of the system and to further improve abrasion resistance and slip resistance.
These systems are therefore ideal for industrial or commercial environments and in places with heavy wear and tear due to daily use (heavy traffic of vehicles of all types and goods, frequent cleaning and demanding operational activities) where epoxy paint could degrade more rapidly.
As we mentioned at the beginning of this article, paints and epoxy coatings are two systems with their own particularities that must be taken into account before making a decision. Remember that this type of work - preparation of substrates and application of coatings - should be carried out by specialized professionals to ensure correct application and durability of the system.