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What clear coating is best for your project? 

The last step in an epoxy, flake, metallic or plain coloured floor is the application of a topcoat to complement and protect the floor. Choosing a topcoat can be tough with so many products available. Below we review the various product types available and the advantages and disadvantages associated with each of them.

EPOXY

Advantages:

Less expensive
Good resistance to chemicals
Low VOC water-based options available
Excellent film thickness
Hardwearing

Disadvantages: 

Can have low transparency
Low scratch resistance
Low abrasion resistance
Not UV stable
Low in slip resistance when wet
Low flexibility
Short pot life of some products

 

POLYURETHANE

Advantages: 

High abrasion resistance
Good resistance to chemicals
UV stable
Excellent clarity and clearness
Gloss and satin finish options
Low VOC water based options available
Easily accepts anti-slip particles
Single pack available – easy to use
Longer pot life

Disadvantages: 

More expensive than epoxy
Does not bond well to plain concrete
Requires multiple coats for high film thickness
High VOC if product is solvent based  

POLYASPARTIC

Advantages:

High abrasion resistance
High chemical resistance
UV stable
Extremely high gloss
Extremely high clarity and transparency
Rapid curing time & return to service
High scratch resistance
Low VOC

 

Disadvantages:

Short pot life
High cost
Very low slip resistance when wet
The application requires good understanding & skill
More susceptible to moisture vapour transmission
Less resistant to some acids

In summary, all three product types offer a good level of protection to the surface of the floor and have their place as a topcoat. Epoxy, whilst an economical option, has certain limitations such as scratch resistance, clarity and UV instability. Polyaspartic too has some constraints such a short pot life and quick application requirements, making it a little more difficult to work with. Based on that when all things are considered, polyurethane is a great general choice as a topcoat.

To find out more about CCS topcoats click on the links below.

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