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Epoxy vs polyurethane floors. What are the differences?

Add time:2017-05-10 From:bffoo.com Clicks:

Introduction:Before I proceed to explain the differences that I have identified I just want to note that these are general differences for most of the epoxies and polyurethanes out there. There are definitely some exceptions and some companies claim to have products that can overlap the needs of both.

Epoxy and polyurethane (PU for short) floors are the two most commonly used types of resinous industrial floors. An age old question in our industry is what are the differences between the two types of floors? And when should we pick one over the other?

 

Before I proceed to explain the differences that I have identified I just want to note that these are general differences for most of the epoxies and polyurethanes out there. There are definitely some exceptions and some companies claim to have products that can overlap the needs of both.

 

Operational Differences

 

Let’s start by looking at the operational differences. These are differences that affect the end-user of the floor. Epoxy floors are harder, more durable and have a much higher compression strength than polyurethanes. This is why they are the preferred choice for heavy duty industries, warehouses and logistics centers with heavy forklift traffic. Polyurethane floors are usually softer and more elastic, which makes them more resistant to scratching as their elasticity tends to absorb some of the impact. The elasticity of PU floors also makes them a preferred choice in freezing chambers where the storage temperature can reach -30 degrees Celsius (-22 F). They are also a good choice for multideck car-parks since the elastic coating can act as a waterproofing and crack-bridging layer.

 

Epoxies and polyurethanes behave differently when exposed to certain chemicals. For example polyurethanes are the preferred choice in food industries that have exposure to lactic acids. This the reason why many food processing companies that work in milk, dairy, cheese production choose polyurethanes. Epoxies under such conditions may experience corrosion and yellowing. However when working in industries with sulfuric acids (like battery manufacturing etc) epoxy floors are much more resistant than polyurethanes. If you are working in a facility with heavy exposure to chemicals, check with the manufacturer to see which product is better suited.