What is Epoxy Coating and Why it Matters

July 15, 2016

Example of Epoxy Coating in Commercial space
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Epoxy coating is one of the best materials to improve a parking garage or warehouse floor’s durability or a commercial facility’s resistance to chemicals. The right epoxy coating compounds not only protect and fortify any surface but also keep it looking attractive, even after years of intensive use.  

But what is epoxy coating, and how does it work in the first place?

What Is Epoxy Coating?

An epoxy coating is a sturdy compound made from mixing two elements: an epoxy resin and a polyamine harder, otherwise called a catalyst. Once these two chemicals are put together, curing occurs. And when the chemical combination is fully cured, the finished product is a highly durable, corrosion-resistant, and firm coating that can be used for various purposes.

Why Does Epoxy Coating Matter?

Epoxy formulas and products have played a crucial role in the construction industry since the 1950s. And it’s not difficult to see why — hardwearing epoxy coatings can not only withstand prolonged traffic and abuse but also protect the surfaces underneath from damaging elements commonly found in commercial and industrial facilities. This feature alone makes epoxy coatings the more favorable option over latex-based or alkyd paints for commercial and industrial applications. 

Aside from their exceptional durability and resistance, epoxies also have insulating capabilities, making them impervious to chemicals and heat. They also possess excellent adhesive qualities, making them a go-to choice for keeping decks and floors intact even under intense strain.  

While epoxies are commonly used in the form of an epoxy floor coating, they are effective on any surface. So whether you use it on a parking garage or warehouse, concrete commercial flooring, food processing, or steel structural components, you can expect your epoxy coating to exhibit the same properties. 

Moreover, fast-dry epoxy can be particularly beneficial in facilities where production or other downtimes must be avoided. With reduced drying times, the project can be completed sooner to prevent lengthy interruption of operations.

Where Are Epoxy Coatings Used?

Because they’re highly durable and resistant to wear and tear, epoxy coatings are used for various purposes and across different industries. However, they are often used in industrial and commercial spaces. In these settings, extensive foot traffic, and heavy machinery cause concrete and other surfaces to wear away quickly. In addition, these environments often contain harsh chemicals that could be spilled onto floors and decks, causing even further damage. 

With that said, epoxy coating is used not only on concrete but also on steel structures, machinery, and piping. With its resistance to rust and corrosion, an epoxy coating can protect these materials from corrosive fluids, abrasion, cavitation, extreme temperatures, and compressive forces. And when you apply epoxy coating during pipe insulation, the durable coating can also prevent leaks and strengthen the pipe.  

While all of these properties and features seem wonderful to have, take note that achieving your desired finish can take a bit of patience. The trickiest part is mixing the epoxy in the appropriate ratio and getting the correct timing to apply the product on your preferred surface. Appropriate surface preparation and proper tools is crucial to getting it right, too.

It’s also worth noting that there are instances where an epoxy coating may not be the ideal choice. Raider Painting works with its clients to identify the most suitable deck or floor coating products for their facilities, whether it’s an epoxy coating, elastomeric coating, or other types of concrete finishes. 

Regardless of the type of deck or floor coating used, Raider Painting will work around your operating schedule — including nights, weekends, and holiday hours — so that you can keep your business running during the coating process.

Epoxy Coating vs. Epoxy Paint — What’s the Difference?

As covered earlier, epoxy coating is a durable and hardwearing substance made from combining a resin and a hardener. On the other hand, epoxy paint is simply what its name says. It’s an affordable material you can use to enhance your floor’s appearance. However, take note that while epoxy paint is more durable than the usual latex paint, it won’t give your industrial surfaces the same protection that epoxy coating can bring. 

The difference lies in the chemicals that make them up. Since an epoxy coating is made from polyamine hardener and epoxy resin, the mixture cures once applied on any floor. This means that the substance undergoes a chemical change to improve any surface’s durability. 

Meanwhile, epoxy paint is made from latex acrylic, so it simply dries rather than cures once used. In drying, water evaporates and leaves the solid components behind. 

As a result, an epoxy coating can last for years, while epoxy paint can start to chip within a few months.

Epoxy Coating Compounds and Their Different Uses

People use epoxy coating compounds since they can be used to create durable and chemically-resistant surfaces. Some of the most common uses of these compounds are for coatings or paints. Epoxy paint and epoxy floor coatings are quick-drying and durable, making them an excellent choice for protecting concrete, metals, and other materials. However, you need a qualified coatings contractor to ensure epoxy is applied correctly to ensure longevity.

Here are some of the types of epoxy coatings and their different applications:

Waterproofing Epoxy System

Also called a vapor barrier, a waterproofing epoxy system creates an impenetrable waterproof surface. This is usually applied before the final flooring option.

Non-Slip Epoxy Floor

This epoxy coating compound is commonly used in areas receiving heavy foot or forklift traffic, as well as in places such as food-processing centers, where liquids are present. Quartz sand, or other types of aggregate, can come premixed from manufacturers or applied onto the surface during certain stages of the coating process to achieve the desired slip coefficient.

Chemical-Resistant Industrial Epoxy Coatings

These specialized epoxy coatings are used at chemical processing plants, pharmaceutical labs, and other industrial facilities. They can protect not only floor surfaces but also workers from chemical spills. 

Automotive And Marine Epoxy Coatings

These epoxy coating products used on automobiles and boats act as a primer to impede corrosion and ensure paint adhesion.

Metallic Epoxy Coatings 

These epoxy coating compounds have metallic pigments blended in. As such, they’re used in decorative concrete to give commercial floors an exciting color and an eye-catching 3D effect.

Flooring Applications

Epoxy coatings can also be used as epoxy floor paint in both industrial and commercial projects.

Epoxy Floor Coating (Epoxy Flooring)

Using epoxy floor coating on concrete floors results in durable, chemical-resistant, and long-lasting surfaces. These epoxy coating compounds can also be directly applied over new or old concrete surfaces, making them a convenient flooring option. 

But practical matters aside, painting your commercial or industrial surfaces with floors epoxy coatings also enhances their appearance. Epoxy coatings also offer a decorative, high-gloss finish available in various colors. 

Here are some spaces where epoxy floor coating is commonly used: 

  • Lobbies and store display floors 
  • Manufacturing plants and warehouses 
  • Commercial and retail stores 
  • Hospitals, cafeterias, and restrooms 
  • Garages and airplane hangars

Commercial Painting: Epoxy Coating

If you require a highly durable and easy-to-maintain flooring solution for your commercial or industrial facility, then epoxy coating may be the best option for you. It’s highly effective in protecting surfaces from high traffic, intensive use, and damages from chemical spills. 

To learn more about how we use epoxy coatings to help businesses get significantly more longevity out of their investments, take a look at our epoxy coatings services and our epoxy steel coatings services. Contact us any time to get a professional consultation from commercial painting contractors for your next project.

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