Epoxy or polyaspartic, what’s better for garage floors?
The first thing we must take a look at is; what exactly are epoxy and polyaspartic coatings?
Epoxy is a thermosetting polymer known as epoxy resin that hardens when mixed with a catalyst agent or “hardener”. When mixed, it reacts and causes solidification. This gives rise to thermosetting polymers, which leads to the curing or drying of the epoxy. Epoxy must be performed at room temperature while forming cross-links which makes its molecular weight high. Therefore, helping its chemical resistance. Moreover, epoxies are made by the reaction of two or more industrial chemical compounds. These resins are used in a wide array of consumer and industrial applications because of their toughness, strong adhesion, chemical resistance, and other properties.
Now, what is so good about epoxy? The answer? An epoxy coating is very durable. It covers and protects concrete from a lot. From hot tire marks brought on by your cars to even physical agents like gasoline and oil in your garage. It is even thermal and chemical resistant. Moreover, epoxy contains excellent physical properties. It can be applied with a variety of pigments, which give it a unique color, shine, and a fun and beautiful look. It totally changes the boring gray appearance of concrete in your garage.
What are the disadvantages of epoxy in your garage?
It is important to remember that while the epoxy is exceptionally durable and does a good job of protecting from a lot, there are still many disadvantages to this coating. First of all, the epoxy curing (hardening time) is very long. The coating reaches about 95% of its total drying up to 24 hours after the first application. It only reaches 100% drying after 72 hours. Additionally, in those first 24 hours, the floor can be subjected to the application of a second coat for even greater coverage. This, in turn, lengthens the time from 2 to 3 days. Also, remember that this means your garage would have to be completely unused.
As the epoxy cannot take a vehicular or foot traffic when drying. Individuals must also take any and all belongings from inside the garage, out. In addition, another con of epoxy is that the coating tends to fade when exposed to sunlight or UV. They also tend to change color, turning into a variation of amber or yellow tone, depending on the exposure length, whether it be after a few weeks or many years. The thicker the epoxy, the earlier this discoloration will appear.
Finally, the life of epoxy has been proven to last around 15 years or even longer only if the characteristics of heat, mechanical strength, and humidity are taken care of, otherwise, the deterioration of your floor will be reflected.
What exactly is polyaspartic?
Polyaspartic acid is a hybrid polymer that resembles polyurethane. It is the result of the reaction of isocyanate and resin of a completely aliphatic nature. which means that it was made up of simple chains. In other words, it is an elastomeric coating (extraordinarily flexible, durable, and resistant to outdoor environments), 100% solid and free of VOC (free of volatile organic chemicals).
Fun facts about polyaspartic:
A polyaspartic is a type of polyurea (actually, a polyaspartic aliphatic polyurea). Polyurea, as a commercially viable material, was developed in the 1980s by Texaco Chemical Company (now Huntsman Chemical). Polyurea has been used with great success for coatings because of its resistance to corrosion, outdoor environments, water, and moisture. Polyaspartic overcomes many of these difficulties while retaining the benefits. According to Bayer Material Science, polyaspartic are “based on the reaction of an aliphatic polyisocyanate and a polyaspartic ester, which is an aliphatic diamine.” Polyaspartic polymers offer many advantages over traditional resins, such as greater abrasion resistance, chemical resistance, faster installation, and higher overall performance. A 100% solids polyaspartic has no odor, solvent, or VOCs.
Notable construction projects:
As technology and industry has evolved throughout the years, polyaspartic floor covering systems have been seen more and more. These coatings are used in notable construction projects such as the Coors Field ballpark in Denver, Colorado, The Rockefeller Center in New York, the Kimbell Art Museum in Fort Worth, Texas, the Istanbul Zoo Aquarium in Turkey, and more recently, the Pentagon parade ground in Washington DC
What makes polyaspartic so great?
One reason polyaspartic is so popular is because of its strength and toughness. Polyaspartic coatings are immune to sunlight or UV rays and will not turn yellow like epoxy, polyureas, and polyurethanes do. Moreover, it is completely resistant to all types of abrasion, impact, and wear. Such as heavy traffic, hot tire marks, humidity/heat, it is chemically and compound resistant to UV and sun exposure. Polyaspartic is not a match for most stains, especially oil, grease, and even red wine. In addition, it is chemical resistant and unaffected by strong cleaning agents. Also, It may be able to withstand higher internal moisture vapor emission rates than other non-breathing coatings, although this is an issue that are investigating.
Another thing that should be mentioned is polyaspartic’s incredible relationship with and ability to work at different temperatures. The coating hardens well in cold conditions and can withstand temperatures as low as -20 ° C. The coating can also be successfully applied at surface temperatures from as low as -30 ° F to highs of 140 ° F • What is extraordinarily incredible is that the hardened coating can withstand temperatures up to 350°F
More about polyaspartic
Moreover, polyaspartic coatings harden extremely quickly compared to epoxy. Polyaspartic cures (hardens) between 5 to 120 minutes (depending on formulation) and the drying times shorten at each new layer. It is also known for its high levels of solids, its great flexibility, and its very low viscosity. Besides, polyaspartic has a thickness equivalent to water, which gives it a great wetting capacity on a properly prepared concrete floor. Moreover, it has a high film build (up to 18 mils in a single coat) and provides you with a bubble-free surface even in areas of high humidity.
Another notable fact about this coating is that transparent polyaspartic is also free of volatile organic compounds (VOC). Finally, the best thing about polyaspartic is its beautiful look. This product has an excellent appearance. Polyaspartic comes in a variety of colors and finishes and anything from shine, glitter, and matte is obtainable for your garage or floor of any area.
Conclusion: Polyaspartic is undeniably the best option
When it comes down to it, it is true that epoxy is very durable. However, polyaspartic is exceptionally durable. Compared to polyaspartic, epoxy is still very vulnerable to abrasion. Polyaspartic is more flexible, doesn’t yellow or fade color and withstands heavy traffic. Moreover, it is resistant to stains, chemicals, UV rays and sun exposure, water, moisture, and almost everything. On top of how strong of a coating it is, it should also be mentioned that its appearance is remarkable and classy. When picking a coating, it is essential to look at all the advantages and disadvantages of your choices. And when looking at polyaspartic, the advantages are almost endless.