Epoxy coatings, or epoxy resin coatings, are high performance coatings known for their excellent resistance to water and environmental degradation.
In this guide to epoxy coatings we’ll explain what they are and how and when they’re used.
Epoxy is a type of thermoset plastic made by the reaction of two more or more chemical compounds to form a hard, chemically resistant surface with a high tensile strength and good adhesion.
This creates a highly durable coating suitable for a range of applications, including the protection of metals and concrete. Their durability makes them a cost-effective solution for corrosion prevention as they can be relied on to offer long term protection.
Epoxy coatings produce a decorative, high gloss finish that is easy to clean and chemically resistant, while the improved traction can make the environment safer.
Epoxy is an incredibly versatile product and is suitable for a variety of commercial and industrial applications.
Epoxy is widely used for the following applications and environments:
When thinking specifically about coatings, we prefer to use epoxy in heavy duty industrial environments which see significant amounts of foot or vehicle traffic, or where a high level of durability is required.
Their durability and resistance means they are particularly well suited to flooring applications, including commercial and decorative flooring.
Epoxy coatings are also a popular choice for coating service reservoirs and tanks (both externally and internally), wastewater treatment, nuclear power stations and car park decks.
Good surface preparation is essential to the successful application of epoxy coatings. This is because any contaminants can damage the final coating.
The surface must be thoroughly cleaned of any oil, grease or existing sealant and it’s also important to wait at least 28 days after applying new concrete. This is because the moisture from wet concrete can impact the bond.
The right temperature is also essential. Too extreme a temperature difference can cause pinholes to appear in the surface of the coating as air is released. For this reason it’s important to ensure there is minimal temperature difference between the air and the surface – in fact, it’s often recommended that application takes place in the evening to allow for natural cooling.
The texture of the surface being coated needs to be considered as this can have an impact on adhesion of the epoxy resin. Generally, we recommend that surfaces are prepared using techniques such as water jetting to obtain the correct surface profile and ensure a good bond.
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