Monthly Archives: October 2014

Technical Data Sheets : Tensile Strength for Industrial Coatings

Technical Data Sheets : Tensile Strength for Coatings

Tensile Strength

In the last blog, we were squashed, but today we are going to be stretched — “we” being samples of various coatings and protectants, such as cementitious urethane. Tensile strength is the maximum pull a material can withstand before breaking or otherwise failing. The pulling literally rips intermolecular bonds apart. For the type of materials we use at PennCoat, the test of choice is ASTM International, (formerly known as the American Society for Testing and Material) D638, Standard Test Method for Tensile Properties of Plastics.

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Translating Tech Data Sheets – Compressive Strength

Compressive Strength

The next stop on our grand tour of physical properties is compressive strength, the ability of a material to resist forces that would cause it to, well, compress. It is a feature of structures and of substances. For the purposes of this article, we are most interested in the compressive strength of chemical-resistant mortars, grouts, monolithic surfacings and polymer concretes, the types of materials we use at PennCoat.

Don’t Be Tense

Compression is the opposite of tension (which we’ll discuss next week). Compression is considered a negative strain, and compressive strength arises from the reluctance of molecular bonds to shorten. As negative strain increases, the pressure tends to cause buckling, which is sideways deflection. The material’s ultimate compressive strength is the point at which it fails.

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The Importance of Material Hardness for PennCoat’s Applications

Material Hardness

The makers of the coatings and paints we use at PennCoat publish extensive technical information about the ingredients, properties and safety of each product. We use this information when selecting the best product for each application. For example, when we apply a cementitious urethane surface, we are looking for a material that will withstand heavy traffic — in other words, a hard surface.

How Hard Is It?

Hardness is a physical characteristic of matter that describes its resistance to indentation, scratches or compressive forces. For the most part, the strength of a material is a function of intermolecular bonds holding it together. Various methods and devices have been developed to quantify a material’s hardness. When dealing with polymers and elastomers, the test of choice is known as the Shore durometer test, where the word durometer refers to the measuring device and to the unit of measure. The instrument is named after Albert F Shore, who defined the durometer scale.

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What’s the Big Deal with VOC’s?

Volatile Organic Compounds

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency defines volatile organic compounds (VOCs) as “organic chemical compounds whose composition makes it possible for them to evaporate under normal indoor atmospheric conditions of temperature and pressure.” The term applies to any organic compound that boils at or below 250° C at standard atmospheric pressure. VOCs are usually released into the air from materials containing these compounds. This covers a wide range of materials that we have discussed in previous articles. The World Health Organization classifies VOCs as very volatile, volatile and semi-volatile.

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Polyurea Expansion Joints by PennCoat, Inc.

Expansion Joints installed by PennCoat

Polyurea Joint Filler

One of our “go to” products at PennCoat is Spal-Pro RS 88 semi-rigid polyurea joint filler. We find it performs well as a expansion joint filler for indoor concrete floors, especially in retail and industrial applications, where it supports traffic and protects joint edges. The material can also be used to fill the occasional crack in industrial floors. This product isn’t recommended for non-breathing flooring systems or in outdoor situations where temperatures can vary greatly year round.

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