Polyaspartics vs. Epoxy Coatings: Adhesion, Cure Time, and Strength

You may have already read the blog post “The Epic Showdown – Epoxy Coatings vs. Polyaspartic Coatings.”

Now, we will look at some detailed differences between the two types of coatings, this time, in reference to adhesion, cure time, and strength.

Adhesion

Both types of material have good adhesion depending on proper surface preparation.

Many manufacturers will tell you that epoxy coatings give you better concrete adhesion.

Why is this so?

Epoxy coatings form a protective layer over flooring, adding a new color or gloss to your grey concrete.

The way this happens is through the attractive forces between the epoxy and the application surface. These are most times polar forces or direct bonds that form between the two.

Polyaspartic coatings bond with the free lime in concrete and form calcium silicate hydrate. This can occur with sodium (used historically), potassium or lithium (more expensive) silicate based materials. This bond decreases porosity, and prevents liquids from reaching into your flooring.

It is possible to mishandle polyaspartic coatings and over accelerate the cure of primer or the bond coat. This will definitely affect your adhesion. This may be why some professionals will tell you that epoxy adhesion is better.

Cure times

Hands down- polyaspartic coatings cure faster. With most products on the market, you have your surface back in 1 day instead of 3-5 days like epoxy products.

This can be a negative too though if you are applying the material by yourself.  You may need help to work with the super-fast set up of this material so it does not cure before your work is complete.  Professional installers will have adequately prepared prior to installation, by ensuring enough applicators for the project.

You must also consider humidity.  Polyaspartic coatings can have a significant difference in cure times depending on the humidity in the area.

According to Paint and Coatings Industry Magazine, A low humidity area can have up to an hour faster cure time than an area with 100% humidity. You will need to plan carefully to accommodate this variability.

Strength

Because of the way that polyaspartic coatings bond to concrete, they have higher strength and flexibility than epoxies, making them great for high traffic areas.

Epoxy coatings are sensitive to moisture and alkalinity, which will always be present in concrete, and make the installation weaker than a polyaspartic coating.

Which will you choose?

Work with a professional to advise you on the specific requirements for your floor.

PennCoat, Inc. has been providing industrial painting, commercial painting, epoxy flooring, and polished concrete services for nearly 30 years.  Our experienced installers are trained and equipped with the proper knowledge and tools to ensure that every installation is installed efficiently and safely.  PennCoat, Inc. provides service to Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Maryland, and Delaware.  And we cover York, Lancaster, Philadelphia, Chester, Montgomery, Baltimore, Harrisburg, Dauphin, Bucks, Berks, and other counties in the surrounding area.