Epoxy Cold Temperature

January 27, 2016

 

Installing Epoxy in Coolers and Cold Temperature

Extend Epoxy Installation Season into Winter

 

I have spoken on this subject here before but this time of year I get a lot of calls and emails about installing epoxy in cold temperatures. Our company started out as an installation company in Vermont. Summers are very short and winters are very long in Vermont. To stay a viable company, we had to figure ways of working through the winter.

Tenting and heating areas during the winter is time consuming and expensive. The solution is found in resin products that will set in low temperatures. The most durable and cost effective options of installation at cold temperatures is Epoxy and Methyl Methacrylate.

Cold Temperature Cure Resins can also be used as a super-fast setting Resinous Mortar or Coating at normal temperatures. Our Cold Temperature Cure Resins used at normal temperature give you quick turnaround time for small jobs, or larger jobs that require a short turn-around time.

Cold Temperatures Epoxies

Cold Temperature Cure Epoxy Resins allow installation to be done at low temperatures as low as 35°F., (although it sets a lot faster at 40°F) expanding your epoxy coating and epoxy flooring installation season. Epoxy.com Cold Temperature Cure Epoxy Resins can also be used in cold storage areas like food processing areas, where the temperature cannot be raised higher than 35° F or so. Normal cured epoxy typically requires 50°F or more.

Depending on how you mix the aggregate into the products below, they can be used as a mortar for overlays, or a grout for sealing between other hardened construction materials.

Commonly Used Cold Temperature epoxies

Product #1 Cold Temperature Cure Epoxy Coating is 100% solids and specially formulated coatings for cold temperature applications. Cold Temperature Epoxy Coating #1 is able to cure at temperatures as low as 35°F. It is has Zero (0) VOCs. Since it has no VOCs, it has no solvent so it meets the strictest possible standard for a low VOC coating. It is often used in coolers and food preparation areas that require constant low temperatures. Product #1 Cold Temperature Cure Epoxy Coating is also frequently used in room temperature applications to meet super-fast cure, limited shutdown needs.

Product #10 Cold Temperature Curing Epoxy Mortar Resin – This product has a low modulus of elasticity (flexibility) and is Low Viscosity. The low viscosity allows heavy loading of the right fillers. The heavy filler loading helps not only to save money, but helps to maintain better thermal coefficient with respect to concrete and steel. The low modulus of elasticity prevents it from being brittle making it less vulnerable to thermal coefficient differences. It also gives it better impact resistance.

You can find more information on cold temperature cured epoxy at: http://www.epoxy.com/EpoxyColdCured.aspx.

Please send me your questions to me by email to norm@epoxy.com

 

 


Acid Etching Revisited

January 25, 2016

During my last blog on January 10, 2016 about “Surface Preparation When Installing Concrete” we discussed among other things preparation of concrete by acid etching. I want to revisit that now in a slightly less formal explanation about why it is not the best of the possible methods of doing surface preparation.

Acid etching does not remove most contamination from the concrete. It is necessary before you acid etch concrete to remove most typical type of contamination like oil, grease, paint, mastic, and a host of other things first.

Acid etching attacks the Portland Cement. The Portland cement is the “glue” that is holding your concrete together. So acid etching done incorrectly will do more damage than good. Even if you do it correctly your floor may not be as strong a substrate for epoxy (or anything else) than it would have been if you mechanically cleaned it.

If you are going to acid etch I suggest that you not only do it properly but follow it with abrasive cleaning, to remove the soft top part of your concrete that is damaged by the acid etching. When I was an installer of epoxy products I rarely if ever acid etched but instead did mechanical cleaning.

Here are some of the reasons acid etching may not be desirable for your job.

  1. Acid etching is a risk to safety. Acid can damage items at your jobsite and pose a risk of injury to the people in the area.
  2. Mechanical cleaning is better for the environment, no acid will find its way into the ecosystem.
  3. Mechanical cleaning allows quicker turnaround time, you don’t have to wait overnight for the substrate to dry.
  4. Mechanical cleaning gives you more consistently high quality substrate than acid etching does.

In summary, whenever you can use abrasive cleaning it is safer and better than acid etching.

Please email me your questions to norm@epoxy.com or visit our website at www.epoxy.com


Selecting the Right Floor for a Mechanical Room

July 27, 2015

Mechanical Room Floors are very unique in their use and conditions. You have to consider the installation environment and the function of the floor. Our Mechanical Room Floor will protect the concrete, and contain any liquids that spill.

Systems used in mechanical rooms should be zero VOC. You do not want solvent evaporating from your material. Evaporated solvent could be picked up by your air handling unit sending it through your building. The best way to prevent this is with a VOC free 100% solids resin system. A resin system that is 100% solids has no solvent (or water) in it. It also means when you spread a gallon of material on your floor after it hardens you still have a gallon of material. With water-based and solvent based materials you lose half the material to evaporation.

Mechanical rooms should be chemical resistant. Typically they are top coated with Epoxy.com Product #2 Chemical Resistant Epoxy – www.epoxy.com/2.aspx. If it is a chemical feed room you can supply a list of chemicals and concentrations to the technical support department so you can make sure the #2 is chemical resistant enough.

The systems used for mechanical rooms are impact resistant. The limiting factor is the strength of the concrete substrate. Properly installed the epoxy will stay bonded to the concrete. The only way the epoxy can chip is if you chip the concrete from underneath the epoxy. You can install a thicker epoxy floor for an additional cost if you think you need still additional protection.

The systems recommend for mechanical rooms are highly abrasion resistant and will easily handle traffic up to heavy fork lift traffic. The system can be made even thicker if you have an unusual amount of abusive traffic.

When the mechanical room is over a finished space, it is suggested that a crack isolation membrane be integrated into the system. This can be done with Product #32 Epoxy Membrane System. The advantage of #32 Epoxy Membrane Resin as part of the system is 100% solids and has zero VOCs.

If the mechanical room is shut down and you can handle solvent and want something still more flexible you can use Epoxy.com Product #459 a two component, high solids, elastomeric urethane instead of or in addition to the Product #32 Epoxy Membrane above. Product #459 exhibits excellent elongation properties along with high tensile strength and tear resistance to make it an ideal crack resistant membrane for use under Product #2 and all of our other epoxy mechanical room floor coatings.

One of the primary reasons you need a mechanical room floor over finished space below is to waterproof it. The above methods accomplish the waterproofing in the center of the floor. The edges of the floor can be protective with a coving material up the wall and around pipe penetrations. That can be accomplished with Product #720 Epoxy Coving Resin System which can be used to install an integral cove base for all of our epoxy based mechanical room flooring and most of our other epoxy flooring and coating systems. This provides seamless wall to floor protection.

For more information on seamless water and chemical resistant mechanical room flooring, contact Epoxy.com Technical Support Department at 352-533-2167, or email me at norm@epoxy.com.

 


Waterproofing of Leaking Foundations

May 4, 2015

This is the time of year when the ground thaws and basements leak. If you are one of those building owners, here are some earlier posts that you will find useful.

  1. http://news.epoxy.com/2014/09/04/epoxy-waterproof-block-wall-foundation/
  2. http://news.epoxy.com/2014/09/15/shows-how-to-identify-leaks-that-need-waterproofing-in-basement-walls-and-floors-that-are-made-out-of-poured-concrete-part-2b-will-deal-with-the-actual-repairs-to-poured-concrete-leaks/
  3. http://news.epoxy.com/2014/09/18/epoxy-injection-repairs-of-cracks-in-poured-concrete/

Easier to Navigate Epoxy.com

April 10, 2015

We are pleased to announce our new easy to navigate links on http://www.epoxy.com/. Thanks to our loyal customer’s feedback we have upgraded our website to make it easier to find products, installation techniques and important documents for your needs.

 

Our website at http://www.Epoxy.com has been upgraded at the top of the page to read more like a book. Making it user friendly for all. Whether you are an existing customer looking for a product that you are already using or a new visitor to our website looking for ideas to start your projects, we have made it easier for you to navigate.

 

 

Existing customers still have access to our catalogue of products by clicking the Products Catalogue link directly after our Home Page link. If you are new to our website or if you have a new project idea or customers looking for something you have not done previously we have links with drop down boxes to assist you in finding the Right Products for the Right Job.

We have added quick links at the top of any page that shows up as an error. You can now type in a saved page directly and if you miss part of the page address or are not 100% certain of the destination, you will still be directed towards our top of the page links for you to navigate through our website.

Our website is customer recommended, updated, and we appreciate your feedback. If you see anything that would help you navigate our website better www.epoxy.com please contact Norm at 352-533-2167. We appreciate your feedback and are thankful for your suggestions.

As always you can contact our technical service department at 352-533-2167 for assistance as we still strongly believe in the human interface. Our customer service department is open Monday – Friday 9-4 ET for your orders and will be happy to help you.

 


Applying New Epoxy over Old Epoxy

February 13, 2015

I frequently get calls and emails from folks who want to install our epoxy over an existing epoxy floor or coating that they have. They want to know if it is okay to go over it and what they have to do to properly prepare the surface.

If the existing epoxy is a good hard solid one that is well bonded to a well prepared substrate it is possible. On the other hand if you are replacing it, what is wrong with the existing epoxy? Has the existing epoxy been badly abused by heavy sharp objects being dragged on it? Was the exiting epoxy damaged by chemicals beyond the chemical resistance of the existing epoxy? Are you just trying to upgrade the look of the existing epoxy?

You should be concerned about going over epoxy that is coming loose from the substrate. That may mean that there was poor surface preparation. It may also mean that the quality of the epoxy might not be what it should be. You need to be concerned about epoxy that is wearing out. If it is wearing out you want to know why. My company and I personally started out as installers of epoxy. I have never seen or been made aware of any of Epoxy.com coatings and/or flooring systems that have worn out have come loose from the concrete. I have seen concrete so pounded by traffic that it came loose, but our epoxy was still attached and still doing its job. That is based on over 30 years of field experience with the products.

Back to the question, “can I put epoxy over epoxy?” I always assume that the reason that the epoxy is wearing out or coming loose is that the epoxy is low quality or the installation was poorly done or both until I can prove otherwise. The way that I do that is to attempt to grind or shot blast off the existing epoxy. If after a substantial effort the epoxy cannot be removed and I cannot hear a hollow sound under the existing epoxy, I feel I have proven that the existing material is solid and well bonded.

Let’s take a moment to discuss that dreaded hollow sound above. If the flooring system or coating is very poorly bonded you will get a sound from your grinder like you are dragging a piece of paper or a piece of stone under the grinder, or rubbing stone. When you tap it with a hammer you get a hollow higher pitch noise than you get when you tap solid concrete or a solid floor over concrete.

You must be sure that the substrate is free of all types of contamination, including but not limited to oil, grease, food fats, curing compounds, sealers, laitance, dirt, wax etc. The existing epoxy left behind must be well bonded, and sanded until it has no shine. See Epoxy Surface Preparation Procedures for more information on this subject.

The beauty of trying to get it off is you are removing all the shine and getting it ready to accept another layer of epoxy. Just before I install the new layer of epoxy I solvent wipe with xylene, let it dry. Then I recommend a coat either Epoxy.com Product #899 Primer or Epoxy.com Product #12 Chemical Resistant Primer. Then install epoxy as usual. For more surface preparation and installation tips please visit or “Where to Start” page at: http://www.epoxy.com/start/default.aspx

Related Resources on Epoxy

Where to Start” page may be the best way to get you off to a quick start.

Epoxy Coatings

Epoxy Primers and Sealers

Chemical Resistant Epoxy

Epoxy Chemical Resistance Chart

www.epoxy.com

Epoxy.com Technical Support
Norm Lambert, President – Technical Support Director
352-533-2167
info@epoxy.com

 

 

 


Seamless Epoxy Flooring Systems Explained

August 25, 2014

Epoxy.com offers many different types of seamless flooring. We offer so many kinds that sometimes it confuses people. The purpose of this article is to explain the differences, and to help you choose the right epoxy seamless flooring system for your application. In some cases the right seamless flooring system will not even be an epoxy. It may be polyurethane or Methyl Methacrylate (MMA).

Epoxy.com Epoxy Chip Flooring in VT rest area.

Epoxy.com Epoxy Chip Flooring on a VT Interstate Rest Area – Taken over 15 years after installation.


Epoxy Floor Coatings

Epoxy coatings can be effective flooring systems. Using Epoxy as a flooring system you need a 100% solids, zero voc, hard durable coating. You also want a coating that is available in multiple colors. These floor coatings can last for decades, so you want to pick a color that you like. Properly installed you will be looking at this floor coating for a very long time. This kind of flooring system is available in the following options:

  1. Epoxy.com Product #1 – www.epoxy.com/1.htm – meets all the criteria above. It has good chemical resistance, and excellent cost to benefit ratio. Great for warehouses, in areas with high traffic and only modest chemical exposure.
  2. Epoxy.com Product #1ESD – www.epoxy.com/1esd.aspx. This is the same as product #1 above but has conductive filler in it. Depending on the primer you use under this system it can be conductive (100,000 – 1,000,000) ohms of resistance or Electro-Static Dissipative (ESD) which is 1,000,000 to 1, 000,000,000 ohms. Used in plants that produce explosive materials like ammunition, fireworks, flairs, or explosive solvents, and used in areas of sensitive electronics, like computer server buildings, avionics, electronics assembly and electronic production areas.
  3. Epoxy.com Product #2 – www.epoxy.com/2.aspx. This is similar to product #1 but with a much higher chemical resistance. This major increase in chemical resistance is offset by only a small increase in the cost of the #2 over the Product #1. The product #2 is well suited for applications like garages, machine shops, sewer tank floors, battery rooms, cooling towers, grooming shops, dog kennels and all areas where an economical chemical resistant coating is required.
  4. Epoxy.com Product #633 – www.epoxy.com/633.aspx – is a highly chemically resistant epoxy floor coating and flooring system. Like Product #1 and Product #2 is extremely durable. Product #633 is typically used in areas where containment of aggressive chemical is imperative. For example Product #633 will hold up to continuous exposure of 98% Sulfuric acid for a period of at least 6 months without loss of structural integrity. Great for secondary containment for a large number of chemicals.

     

All the systems above can go over many different types of substrates with the proper surface preparation. All of the products above are available in 17 colors and can be color matched for an additional cost. The systems above can be combined with various anti-skid materials or broadcast with silica broadcast aggregate to produce a thicker floor

 

Chip Floor

Epoxy.com Chip Flooring – www.epoxy.com/chips.aspx – is the perfect blend of economy, durability, low maintenance, and gorgeous appearance. It uses a 100% solids pigmented epoxy base coat, a full broadcast of plastic chips, and two coats of chemical resistant clear glaze. The chemical resistant glaze also makes this easily the most non-yellow epoxy top coat available today. This easy to clean chip flooring system is best for high traffic areas where appearance, durability and low cost of ownership is a must. Great for commercial and residential kitchens, bathrooms, showers, grooming shops, kennels, veterinary clinics, garage floors, show rooms, rest areas, and much more. This product can be installed with an integral cove base. Epoxy.com Chip Flooring can be installed by a contractor but easy enough to be installed by a home owner. Epoxy.com Chip Flooring can be installed in a residence but is rugged enough to be used in the most demanding commercial applications.

Quartz Flooring

Quartz Flooring Product #15 – www.epoxy.com/15.aspx has a long history of being durable, attractive and non-yellowing. I personally installed this product on high school bathroom floors in the mid 70s. These floors have held up to the test of time with little or no wear, little or no loss of shine and little to no yellowing even under the urinals. This is also available with an integral cove base

Solid Colored Flooring

These solid colored floors are based around self leveling, trowelable or double broadcast application techniques. These floors are sometimes called shop floor. They are made to be thick and extra durable under extremely harsh environments. They can be top coated with any of the systems above under coatings. This kind of flooring is available in 3 speeds of cure: normal, fast, and cold cure. Solid colored flooring is also available with an integral cove base.

Methyl Methacrylate (MMA) Flooring

The big advantage of MMA is speed of curing. Each coat of MMA will cure hard to the touch in 1-2 hours. This allows the next layer to be applied quickly and traffic to be returned to it quickly. You can even build a fast setting integral cove out of MMA resin.

I personally installed MMA on one kitchen floor with a very tight schedule. The restaurant was only closed for breakfast. The project started with rotten plywood floors. At 10 PM the carpenters came in to work. They removed rotten floor and floor joists. They replaced the floor joists and the plywood. At 5 AM I went in with my crew and we primed the floor and sealed up the joints in the wood and the screw holes. At 6:30 AM we laid the floor. At 8 we put a glaze coating on the floor and by 10:30 the restaurant workers were on the floor prepping for lunch. The floor installation from start to traffic took just 5.5 hours.

Polyurethane Decking Systems

Polyurethane Decking – http://www.epoxy.com/elastomeric.aspx – is the system best used in areas where maximum flexibility is necessary. This is typically outdoors, waterproof applications like balconies.

Specialized Flooring

We have a number of systems that are specialized flooring like conductive and ESD (Electrostatic Dissipative) flooring – www.epoxy.com/conductive.aspx – and various hybrid systems. If your project does not seem to fit in the categories above email me at norm@epoxy.com or call us at 352-533-2167.

 

In conclusion we offer many types of seamless flooring systems, they can be used for commercial and residential applications. These systems are durable, economical, and easy to install even by homeowners. These seamless flooring systems may be made out of epoxy, polyurethane, or methyl Methacrylate (MMA). Seamless flooring systems are available in multicolored or solid colored. They range in chemical resistance from very good to resistant to aggressive chemicals. When in doubt what is right for your project send me an email at norm@epoxy.com or give me a call at 352-533-2167.


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