Let me introduce myself, my name is Austin Engfer and I am the owner of Precision Epoxy Flooring LLC out of Toledo, Ohio. I believe that main part of our job here at PEF is to educate our customers and future clients in order to achieve the best results for our customers, not necessarily what is best for our bottom line.
We also believe that deceiving is lying. Period. End of Story.  Like my MTL in Airforce basic training told our flight “You lie to me, then KICK ROCKS young blood”

I am sure you guys have all heard the “4x stronger than epoxy” or the “25x stronger than epoxy” or the “10000 times stronger than epoxy”. Is it really though?

What really are these manufactures putting in their formulations to be 4X stronger than the epoxy we are using?  Well lets get into that!

Year 2016

I was deployed to Guam for 4 months and in my off time I was overly consumed with wanting to learn how to make our own epoxy and poly aspartic formulations for my company to install into the field.  By the time I got back home, I already had vendors lined up and all the lab equipment for in-house testing and formulating (learned all this in chemistry classes at my stint @ TU).

Formulations

After the first year of trial and error of trying out different coating formulations with various additives, ladder studies, and handfuls of vendors I finally got to the point that I was comfortable with installing our systems in the field.  One of my prized formulations that I made was our 100% fast cure Moisture Vapor Barrier primer (PS-MVB). This formulation we sent out to CTL Group for lab moisture testing.  We kind of already knew the success this product was going to have given what was in the formula but I wanted to have the CTL stamp of approval.  When we received the results back it was BETTER than I originally thought.  At 10 mils our membrane-forming moisture mitigation coating had a vapor permeance no greater than .01 grains/h/ft2/in. HG (perms).  These values are in accordance with the requirement of ASTM F3010-13, Subsection 5.2

You may be asking your why does this matter?  Who cares that you sent a coating off to be tested, GOOD FOR YOU!

Well we did this because our in house studies coating over “green” concrete (fresh concrete) with Binder/Primer 100% solids epoxy and low viscosity extended cure poly ureas were showing extremely low pull test results.  A more moisture tolerant primer was needed!

Poly Urea Vs Epoxy 

Whenever someone says 5x stronger than epoxy, what materials are they using?
Meaning, what exactly are they laying down on the floor that they consider it to be 4x stronger than epoxy?  They are probably using a poly-urea or “poly-aspartic” (same thing).  Poly aspartic I just another industry name for poly-urea.  The chemical makeup is the same.

We use poly-urea (polyaspartic) in our garage floor systems as well, but we NEVER claim it to be 4x stronger than epoxy or anything remotely close to it.

In order to be CLASSIFIED as epoxy it has to be 2 component (A+B) and 33% solids.  This box store bought “epoxy” “epoxy paint” cough cough water based junk is the only “loophole” I can think of how they are coming up with these outlandish allegations that poly-urea systems are 4x stronger than epoxy (But what kind of epoxy).

All the testing we have done in our lab was done with 100% solids epoxy.  Various suppliers, some large, some smaller like ourselves.  From the data that we have seen there was NO category that poly-urea is 4x stronger than 100% solids epoxy.  Actually, alot of the data is actually pretty similar.  The only category that Poly-Urea out performed 100% solids epoxy was UV stability.  Hence why we use poly-urea as a topcoat in our garage coating systems, just with an 100% solids MVB epoxy underneath.

Poly-Urea and Moisture

Poly-Urea and moisture do not like eachother…. AT ALL!!  Poly-Urea may be sold as a superior coating because it is thinner and faster curing and UV stable, but what they forget to mention is that their lifetime warranty doesn’t cover moisture vapor transmission (Which I may add is totally different then hydrostatic pressure!).  That means that once they put down this one day poly-urea system that is 4x stronger with a lifetime warranty, but has zero protection against MVT.  MVT is the leading cause of coating delamination and any glued down non pervious flooring system.  So why would someone sell a product known to fail?  Honestly, because of the bottom dollar.  It’s cheaper to keep a crew of guys at one house for one day rather than send that same crew out 2 days in a row to the same house.  FOLLOW THE MONEY.  Hence why 95% of these 1 day garage floor companies that pop up out of the woods are newer companies that see money can be made in this industry and want a piece of the pie.  Trust me, I’m all about market share and there is plenty of floors to go around and also plenty of floors to be fixed (thanks 1 day’ers), but if your gonna do a job DO IT RIGHT! Understand what you are selling and why you are selling this specific system.  Is there a place in the world for one day turn around floors.  Of course.  Sending out 1 crew to blast, prep, and MVB a floor.  Then, 6 hours later sending a second crew to put the final topcoat on once the MVB is cleared.  We do this in commercial applications more than you think.  residential, not so much.  I have met a couple residential clients who wouldn’t care if a crew was in their garage putting a topcoat down at 8pm at night, and share a couple cocktails afterwards. Other clients, yeah not gonna happen.  MVB epoxy primer> Poly-Urea Primer

One more thing

“This product will never peel!”
What cause a coating to peel, whether 100% solids epoxy or poly aspartic, is poor prep.
MUST shotblast/Grind the floor.  We like to grind first then shotblast.  Blasting helps clean the dust out of the pores FAR better then vacuuming does.
DO NOT PRESSURE WASH OR ACID ETCH THE FLOOR.
GRIND OR SHOTBLAST ONLY.
If your installer does that, “shouldn’t peel”
If they pressure wash, I have no idea if it will even cure, much less bond.

“This product is maintenance free!”
Maintenance free?
I want someone to show me a floor that requires literally no maintenance ever.
Scratch that, I want someone to show me anything that requires no maintenance ever.
Show me that, I will show you a liar.

“It’s UV Stable and it will never yellow out! Way better than those epoxy floors!”
This is one of those things that are like the adhesion strength, IT DOESN’T MATTER!
Here’s why:

It is very true that when we do our garage floor, we use 2 component 100% solids MVB epoxy as a base, flake into that coating, then polyaspartic or urethane as a topcoat.
They are 100% right when they say that our 2 component 100% solids epoxy MVB will yellow out and their polyaspartic are resistant to it.
Here is why it does not matter though.

THE FLAKES ARE COVERING THE EPOXY 100%

As the 100% solids epoxy yellows out overtime due to sunlight exposure, YOU WILL NEVER SEE THE YELLOW BECAUSE THE FLAKES ARE COVERING IT.
They use a poly-urea  topcoat, as do we, so guess what? Our Flakes won’t get “hazy” or “yellowish.”
It will be just like theirs!

Who cares if the 100% solids epoxy basecoat turns green, yellow with a slight hint of purple?
As long as it does not compromise quality of the coating, which it does not, then who cares?

“This product is the best thing since sliced bread!”

I got nothing.
I like my bread though!  Especially Jersey Mikes!

 

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