Chemical-resistant flooring is a must in any operation where caustic or reactive chemicals are likely to be spilled. Most common flooring types, such as vinyl or plain concrete, are extremely vulnerable to chemical spills. This can disrupt operations, or even threaten your regulatory compliance if flooring damage could compromise product integrity.
That’s why businesses choose resin coated concrete when they need chemical-resistant flooring. Resinous coatings can have high resistance to spills and a wide variety of chemicals. However, the type of flooring must still be matched to the chemicals in use, which is why you need the experts at Black Bear Coatings & Concrete to design the perfect floor for your needs.
How Resinous Coatings Protect Floors
The idea behind resinous flooring is simple. Concrete flooring is strong, but it’s extremely brittle. Also, being porous, it’s far too easy for spilled liquids to soak into the concrete, or even seep down into the ground below.
A resinous coating, made of materials such as epoxy or polyurea, solves these issues. The coating is simply sprayed or rolled across the concrete, edge-to-edge. Once it hardens, it becomes a single seamless surface which is excellent for many kinds of work, while being highly resistant to physical damage or chemical harm. In addition, they are simple to clean, which makes spills much easier to deal with.
Resinous coatings provide comprehensive protection for concrete floors in commercial and industrial settings. They enhance the floor’s durability by resisting abrasion and impact damage, especially important in high-traffic or heavy machinery environments. They also contribute to workplace safety with their slip-resistant properties.
Types Of Chemical Resistant Resinous Coatings
There are several different types of coatings which may be used, depending on the situation.
Chemical Resistant Epoxy Coatings
Epoxy is considered the standard default resinous coating. It’s widely used in numerous applications due to its low cost of installation and maintenance. Epoxy also has good all-around chemical resistances, but with a few exceptions. Epoxy is weak to ammonia, as well as any strong acids. In addition, epoxy flooring can be harmed by prolonged UV exposure. This will first cause the epoxy to discolor and will cause it to become brittle over time.
Chemical Resistant MMA Coatings
MMA (methyl methacrylate) is a rubber-based coating often used in situations where epoxy would not fit. MMA has an extremely fast curing cycle and is highly resistant to cold temperatures which can damage other flooring types. It is also unaffected by UV. That said, like epoxy, MMA cannot resist strong acids. In addition, it is less strong than epoxy, particularly if faced with heavy object impacts.
Chemical Resistant Polyaspartic Coatings
Polyurea and Polyaspartic floor coatings are two different flooring types in the same basic family, being made from polyurethane plastics. In general, polyaspartic flooring is better than polyurea all around. However, as a relatively new type of flooring, polyaspartic coatings are also the most expensive option. In many cases, polyurea is good enough and will cost less to install. In general, polyurethane flooring has excellent all-around chemical resistance, include better resistance to acid than other options. However, some blends may be UV-reactive. Tell your flooring specialist if UV exposure is expected.
Where are Chemical Resistant Floor Coatings Commonly Used?
Chemical resistant floor coatings are crucial in industries where flooring is frequently exposed to harsh substances. These sectors include chemical and pharmaceutical manufacturing, where flooring must resist an array of corrosive chemicals. The coatings are also used in laboratories, where chemical spill areas and numerous chemicals are in constant use. Food and beverage processing plants benefit from these coatings due to the substances used in the production process. Automotive garages and service centers, where various vehicle fluids can damage floors, and aerospace industries, which handle corrosive substances like hydraulic fluid, are also common users. Other applications include battery manufacturing plants, which often deal with acidic substances, and waste treatment facilities, where a diverse range of potentially floor-damaging substances is processed.
Resinous floors are excellent for situations where biological contamination is a threat. Being seamless, they offer no opportunity for bacteria and other contaminants to hide and breed. In situations where a ‘clean room’ environment needs to be maintained, it’s also possible to put additives into the blend – such as colloidal silver – to increase its antibacterial properties.
In environments where sanitation is essential, for example, epoxy wall systems can be installed that provide a cleanable, chemical resistant, and seamless surface. Not all floor solutions are alike, however. Black Bear Coatings & Concrete works collaboratively with clients to identify the options that will work well and the ones that won’t. We gather information about the acids, bases, alcohols, and other chemicals that are used and in what concentrations. This data is important because a floor coating that works well in one environment can fail in another if the wrong chemicals are applied to it.
What is the Best Chemical Resistant Coating?
There is no single all-around best option, as each type of coating has its own strengths and weaknesses. That said, polyaspartic flooring will offer the most all-around protection and likely the longest lifespan – if you have the budget for its higher initial installation costs.
It’s also worth noting that, in many cases, additives can be put into the resinous mixes to increase resistance to various specific chemicals. A flooring specialist like Black Bear, with decades of experience, can help you overcome specific hurdles – just ask us!
In addition, there’s no requirement that an entire building – or even a single room – be floored with the same material. A great flooring contractor will decide on flooring room-by-room, based on its expected usage. For example, a walk-in freezer will likely get an MMA floor, even if epoxy flooring is used for the rest of the room.
Caring for Chemical Resistant Flooring
One of the best aspects of all resinous flooring systems is that they are exceptionally easy to maintain, which lowers their long-term TCO.
Because the surface is totally smooth and seamless, it can typically just be washed down with basic soap and water. Abrasive cleaners should not be used with a resinous coating, as they can create micro-scratches in the surface which discolor and weaken the resin.
Spills, likewise, can typically just be wiped up or otherwise dealt with as is appropriate for the chemical. Even strong acids will take an extended time to eat through the surface.
Should the flooring become lightly damaged, your flooring contractor can likely just ‘patch’ the area with a bit more resin, making repairs cheap as well.
All told, a resinous floor should be able to last at least 10-20 years with basic maintenance.
PARTNER WITH BLACK BEAR FOR CHEMICAL RESISTANT FLOOR COATINGS
With over 30 years of combined expertise in this niche industry, we’ve been the go-to flooring contractor for businesses and construction companies across the northeast. We have worked with a wide variety of operations, including manufacturing, warehouses, biomedical facilities, food and beverage production, cannabis grow operations, municipal buildings, and much more.
To learn more about engineering the right chemical resistant, seamless floor coating system for your environment, contact the experts at Black Bear Coatings & Concrete.
Set up a free on-site consultation to learn how we can design and install a better chemical resistant flooring option for your business. Safety, accuracy and dependability; that’s Black Bear’s promise and evident in every product we deliver.
- Industrial Facilities
- Food & Beverage Manufacturing
- Hospitals and Healthcare Facilities
- Laboratories & Pharmaceutical Facilities
- Chemical Resistance
- Easily Cleaned with Stringent Products
- Aesthetically Pleasing