epoxies. Each flooring system has different properties and using one or another depends on the use that is going to be given.
Epoxy and PU floors are often considered the same, even though they share similarities, such as being two-component (a resin and a hardener) they have different components and uses.
The main difference between these two types of materials is in the molecular structure, which affects how it fuses together during the curing process. There are multiple types of components that can be used and that will vary the end result slightly, but essentially PUs have a higher cross-linked density than epoxies, making them the harder wearing of the two.
The superior chemical resistance of PU floors has made them popular in the food & beverage industry, where corrosive acids and by-products are found in large quantities.
Thanks to this, PU systems have long been associated with offering strength, durability and resilience when faced with a variety of testing conditions, such as heavy footfall, physical impacts, extreme temperatures and corrosive chemicals.
Epoxies on the other hand are much more rigid in terms of structure and cannot tolerate intense heat as well. To exemplify this, some epoxy coatings are heat resistant to temperatures up to 65°C, whereas PU systems are available that can tolerate 120°C.
The superior chemical resistance of PU floors has made them popular in the food & beverage industry, where corrosive acids and by-products are found in large quantities. This means that floors are required that can stand up to chemical attack from organic acids as well as sugar, malt, caustic and powerful cleaning agents.
At this point it might seem like PU is the superior option, however what they give in durability they take away in versatility and aesthetics. Epoxies can be very easily adapted for a wide variety of environments and are available in a much wider range of colours, styles, effects and decorative options. PU systems also tend to be thicker and heavy than epoxies, which is great for absorbing impacts and thermal shock, but if weight and space is an issue then epoxies offer a thinner and lighter option.
In conclusion, it’s not so much a case of which one has better properties, but which one is better for the building in question. To find out more information, contact MKR Industrial Solution, we have experts that could help you taking the best decision.
Ash, D (2018). Epoxy vs Polyurethane Part 2. Retrieved on august 14th, 2020 from the site https://www.allthingsflooring.com/2018/12/the-versatility-of-epoxy/