This type of a cold polyurea-based coating has gained popularity in commercial, industrial, and residential sectors due to its outstanding waterproofing qualities and a variety of colour choices and textures it can provide for a completely renovated unique look.
What Is Polyaspartic?
This versatile material is a type of polyurea – also known as polyaspartic aliphatic cold polyurea – and it is a two-component polymer consisting of a resin and a catalyst required for a curing reaction that will harden the material.
Polyaspartic and Its Many Benefits
Polyaspartic aliphatic polyurea is an extremely versatile waterproofing coating that has many impressive qualities which make it a material of choice for a variety of applications. Some of its many benefits include the following:
- Fast drying – between two to six hours depending on the version, which allows even larger areas to be back in service the next day.
- A wide application temperature range – these coatings can be applied at surface temperatures between -30°F to 140°F.
- Thermal stability – the cured surface coating can withstand temperatures of up to 350°F.
- High humidity resistance – the coated surface will remain free of bubbles even when humidity is present.
- Efficient coating – polyaspartic can be used as a basecoat and a topcoat, with high film build-up of up to 18 mils in a single go.
- UV resistance – it will not become yellow and will protect the underlying layers.
- Stain-resistant – it protects the surfaces against oils, fats, wine, and more.
- Abrasion-resistant – a higher rate of protection than what epoxy or urethane offer.
- Safety texture – aggregates can be broadcast over the base coat of polyaspartic (followed by a polyaspartic top coat) providing a non-slip finish, making it safe for pedestrian and vehicle traffic.
- Crystal clear – it will not blush white even if there is moisture in the concrete surface underneath.
- Amazing finish – a wide range of colours with quartz and flakes can be added for a unique, fully renovated look.
Polyaspartic Application Method
When polyaspartic is applied to concrete floor surfaces (the most typical of all its applications), five basic steps must be followed.
Proper surface preparation is crucial in ensuring that the polyaspartic coating will not fail – it has to penetrate the concrete surface, to chemically and mechanically lock into it.
For optimum adhesion of resin coatings, it is essential for the concrete surface to have the proper Concrete Surface Profile (aka CSP). CSP is a standardized rating that allows you to determine the concrete surface roughness by visual means.
The most crucial step in achieving a long-lasting resin floor coating, is all in the preparation. CSP is a standardized measure for the ‘roughness’ of a surface that is defined by the International Concrete Repair Institute (ICRI). A very rough surface will have a high CSP number such as CSP 9. A very smooth surface with almost no preparation at all will be a CSP 1.
Different CSP levels are required for resin coatings based on the intended purpose of the floor. Most commonly CSP 2-4 profiles are used for most simple flooring systems. The higher the impact, abrasion and traffic that will be applied to the floor the higher the CSP level. A parking garage with heavy traffic would require a CSP of 5-6.
Diamond grinding having various tooling will achieve the following CSP profiles:
60-80 grit diamond tooling for CSP 2, for very thin 2-4 mil thickness coatings
30-40 grit diamond tooling for CSP 3, for basic coatings of 5-10 mils
16 grit diamond tooling for CSP 4, for basic coatings of 15-50 mils
Any cracks and patches must be repaired next. It is advisable to use our epoxy crack patch filler, or our polyurea for crack filling because of its fast curing, and ability to be ground flush with the concrete surface as soon as 20 minutes after the repair is done. Expansion joints are left to be filled after the coatings are complete as they need a flexible polyurethane or polyurea to remain inside the joint and not be covered with the coatings. This is referred to as ”honouring the expansion joints”.
At this point, depending on the customers chosen system, the floor can be coated with the required number of polyaspartic coatings (usually two to three a primer coat, and then one or two more). The recommended application thickness varies: the primer layer can be between 3-5 mils. The two other coats usually referred to as an intermediate base coat/body coat, and top coat are usually applied each at 8-10 mils in thickness.
If vinyl chips or quartz are used, they must be broadcast immediately after the second coat (base coat) is applied.
Once the intermediate base coat has dried, the floor is scraped and broomed followed by vacuum cleaning in order to remove the extra vinyl flakes or quartz not encapsulated into the polyaspartic intermediate base coat. Following the cleaning, a top coat is applied (always clear) with a decorative floor finish with top coat thickness increasing between 15 to 19 mils to encapsulate the vinyl chips or quartz aggregates.
Despite being a multi-layered procedure, because of the fast curing time, the whole job can be done within one day, with the floor available for foot traffic within 2-3 hours, and vehicular traffic – within 24 hours.
Polyaspartic and Its Many Uses
Thanks to its outstanding waterproofing qualities as well as a high level of resistance to temperature ranges, UV rays, abrasion resistance chemical, resistance from oils, acids and more, polyaspartic aliphatic cold polyurea has become the material of choice for a wide range of applications, with commercial, industrial, and residential garage floors taking the lead. It has also become popular for interior floor coatings, and protection for metal bridge structures, among many others.
Polyaspartic – a Wonderful Option
Whether for its’ durable surface protection or waterproofing properties, or when a decorative new look is desired (or both!), polyaspartic can be an ideal choice for a variety of surfaces – concrete floors, metal structures, and more, for clients across a wide range of sectors.