Ever since the construction of the first concrete floor, humanity has searched for a way to protect and beautify the surface. Epoxy coatings have been around for some time and have been popular protectors of concrete floors. Fairly new to the party, polyurea coatings have quickly become the darlings of those who want a fast dry time. Let’s examine each of these contenders and see how they stack up against each other.
|Hardening time||Extremely fast||Fast||Relatively fast||Relatively slow||Moisture sensitivity||Basically none or very little||Somewhat||Yes||Yes||Colour stability**||Aromatic: Average - Aliphatic: 100% UV resistant||Aromatic: Prone to chalking and yellowing||Aromatic: Prone to chalking and yellowing||Not UV resistant sun fading||Elongation at break||Up to 700% or more||200 – 500%||100 - 400%||Brittle||Abrasion resistance||Very good||Good||Average||Average||Chemical resistance||Excellent||Very good||Average||Good||Temperature resistance||-40ºC to 150ºC||-30ºC to 140ºC||-30ºC to 140ºC||-20ºC to 110ºC||VOC||No||No||Yes||Yes||Durability||Excellent||Very good||Good||Average||Cost per sq. ft.||High||Moderate||Moderate||Low|
**Although aromatic polyurethane and polyurea coatings are UV stable they are generally not UV colour fast. Elastomeric Polyureas and Polyurethanes are first and foremost high performance protective coatings. They are not designed as decorative coatings. However, in the event that colour retention is an important consideration in any application, there are Polyurea elastomeric systems based on “aliphatic” chemistry which provide a high level of colour retention. The drawback to these systems is the cost.