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Epoxy vs. Urethane: Choosing Industrial Floor Coatings

Epoxy vs. Urethane are in the process of constructing a community-building, industrial facility or commercial space, you know how hard it can get when choosing the substance you can use for floor or product coating. If you’re wondering where to start, stay tuned.

There are many floor coating options to consider. The wide array makes it more complicated when it comes to choosing the ideal variety for your facility. The most popular industrial flooring options are epoxy and urethane.

Most industrial products are made from epoxy and urethane. For example, products such as adhesive agents, paints, curing agents, resins and foams use them.

Physically, epoxy and urethane might look similar, but they have different properties. When it comes to price, Epoxy and urethane don’t have significant price differences. Therefore, what is the difference between epoxy and urethane?

Epoxy Vs Urethane: Differences

Epoxy vs. Urethane

  • Durability

Urethane retains its original color longer than epoxy because it’s resistant to ultraviolet light. Prolonged exposure to intense ultraviolet light to epoxy makes it turn yellow after some months to years.

Color durability or maintenance is quite crucial in the paint industry. That is why industries prefer resins that stay transparent for several years.

  • Chemical Resistance

Urethane is destroyed easily by chemicals. Therefore, it wears out faster than epoxy. Most industries using epoxy and urethane products prefer the option that is resistant to chemicals.

However, despite that, you need to avoid any form of corrosion or base reaction on your property for the coating to serve the intended purpose and maintain the excellent aesthetic appeal.

When diluting bases and acids, you need to avoid them coming in contact with urethane. Epoxy is resistant to chemicals. Therefore, even if there is accidental acid or base spillage, it won’t be worn out.

  • Texture

Smooth or chalky properties are what most people use to distinguish epoxy from urethane. Industry plans and expectations determine whether they will go for epoxy or urethane.

Epoxy is chalky and brittle on touch as it ages. On the other hand, urethane can retain a smooth texture, and it’s recommended to be used on the surface and the areas that are constantly exposed to water.

  • Flexibility

Adhesive and foam industries typically use urethane and epoxy to bond surfaces. For the effectiveness of the products, flexibility and firmness are crucial.

Epoxy is regarded as a high-strength substance that prevents unnecessary movement of surfaces when it comes to flexibility. Unfortunately, epoxy is strong, but Epoxy vs. Urethane will crack when applied to a surface moved more frequently.

Urethane is a good product when you want to retain flexibility. Therefore, use urethane if you’re dealing with the structures that expand and contract with seasons due to temperature changes.

  • Chemical Properties

Urethane and epoxy are polymers. Both products have big molecules that repeat structure and link.

Epoxy resins are epoxide, polyamine, and hardener. Urethane, a carbon-based substance produced from organic linkages, reacts with monomer.

  • Uses

Urethane is majorly the auto body primer. Consistency of urethane makes it easy to sand and fill minor and major deficits. When it’s applied as directed, urethane gives a perfect auto body. For plastic body filler and surfacing, urethane is an all-rounded primer.

Epoxy is typically a corrosion fighter. It resistant to chemicals, including acid and bases. Epoxy has a sticky resin that gives good adhesion on most surfaces. It’s perfect when used as a bare metal sealer or primer when you don’t need any surfacing. It’s the non-sanding primer that can be painted over.

Epoxy Benefits

Epoxies can be 100% solids, water-based or solvent-based. The different varieties of epoxy will offer varying benefits.

However, at its core, epoxy is easy to apply, and it allows the user to create varying degrees of thickness. It will also give you a durable floor that can withstand highly corrosive substances.

Epoxies have low VOC levels. Therefore, after allying the epoxy product in your home, the low Volatile Organic Compounds level will make it less smelly.

Timing is very important with epoxies. You have very little working time once you’ve mixed it to react with the hardener. 100% solid epoxies are the strongest and produce little to no odor.

The strongest and least odor-producing epoxies are 100% solids. Therefore, little VOCs with epoxy products offer the strongest coating. It will dry thick to create abrasion-resistant surfaces.

Another significant benefit of epoxy is its ability to hide dings and hairline cracks on the floor. However, you don’t have to worry about imbalanced thickness because epoxy has self-levelling properties. It can roll and squeegee out to prevent the creation of unnecessary deformities.

Last but not least, epoxy can be used in various sectors ranging from airplane hangars, basements, home garages and commercial food processing facilities.

Urethane Benefits

Epoxy vs. Urethane

Urethane is a thermosetting polymer used to coat floors and products. It is extremely flexible. The flexibility property is ideal for impact resistance.

Urethane is stable with prolonged UV light exposure. Therefore, when urethane is exposed to ultraviolet light for long, it will not turn yellow like the epoxies. In addition, its original color won’t fade to something else.

When it comes to resistance and hardness, epoxy is superior to urethane. However, urethane is more resistant to scratch than epoxy.

Urethane has weak bonding with concrete surfaces. They also don’t have the self-leveling properties that have been identified in epoxy. Therefore, weird deformities will be noted when you apply in areas with poor uniformity.

Finally, urethane has quite a high VOC level. Therefore, you will interact with a strong odor when applying urethane to any product or surface.

Bottom Line

Now, which product should you use on your floor coating? Is it epoxy or urethane? Well, it all depends on your expectations and the desired outcomes.

Epoxy is good when used as basement coating because of its excellent bonding with concrete. On the other hand, urethane is ideal as a top coat because it’s resistant to scratch. Urethane is also rated ultraviolet light stable.