Epoxy floor coating has been considered by many to be a very durable material that can be very versatile in its applications. It can be used both for industrial applications (to seal the factory floors effectively, for example) and it can also be used at home, where the epoxy flooring takes the form of decorative terrazzo.
When choosing the correct type of epoxy floor coating, it is important to determine first what are their advantages and disadvantages. Epoxy floor coatings are generally categorized by the type of fluid the epoxy is mixed with. The following are the three basic types of epoxy floor coating: solvent-borne epoxy, waterborne epoxy and 100% solids epoxy.
1. Solvent Borne Epoxy
Solvent borne epoxy is the traditional kind of epoxy that was first used long before other kinds. The epoxy is mixed with a relatively high amount of organic compound called a solvent that eventually dries up and evaporates when the epoxy is applied, leaving a hard epoxy coating on the floor. While it has its share of advantages, such as built-in cohesiveness and an ability to be applied into a thin film across the surface, it is also very controversial in that solvents are highly volatile. When it evaporates, the vapors can be very toxic if inhaled too much. They are also highly flammable, so that is something you should consider about solvent borne epoxy.
2. Waterborne Epoxy
The next type of epoxy is the waterborne epoxy. As its name applies, it is a type of epoxy that is water soluble and uses water as its main carrier, not solvents. These types are not as reactive as solvent based epoxies, and are therefore safer. It is relatively easy to apply in thin or thick coats, and it only needs water in order to be cleaned up. It is used mainly for hydrostatic pressure applications on concrete and concrete slabs (basically, this is waterproofing the concrete slab.) While it is relatively safer than solvent-based epoxies, they still have their own fair share of environmental impacts.
3. 100% Solids Epoxy
The last kind of epoxy tries to completely do away with a fluid carrier, and is just pure epoxy. That is why this type is called the 100% solids epoxy. While it avoids the environmental problems that solvent-based or waterborne epoxies have, it is much harder to apply. Without a fluid carrier, it has quite a high viscosity that may be a challenge to apply on any floor. Obviously, you cannot produce thin coats or films with this kind of epoxy. However, it can be very versatile and adaptable in its numerous applications. If you want to use this, it is better to try it out first.
These are the basic types of epoxy floor coatings. As long as you know the kinds of epoxy floor coating that is available in the market, you will also know which kind of epoxy floor coating will be just right for your particular application. Whether it be solvent borne epoxy, waterborne epoxy, or even 100% solids epoxy, you will be able to determine the optimum variety for you.