CoatingsPro Magazine

JAN 2013

CoatingsPro offers an in-depth look at coatings based on case studies, successful business operation, new products, industry news, and the safe and profitable use of coatings and equipment.

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sPeCIFYING suCCess Surface Preparation and the Success of the Newly Coated Floor By Jason Smith F loor coatings lack intelligence; we cannot move forward until that fact is established. An epoxy thin coat system cannot discern between clean concrete, food processing fats, chemical spills, or oil drops. A cementitious polyurethane resurfacer is incapable of knowing whether or not the concrete it is soon going to be resting on was improperly mixed, not cured thoroughly, or soaked with water. Floor coatings will behave exactly how they are chemically designed, regardless of how the concrete surface is prepared; but you can expect noticeably different interactions with surface imperfections if adequate forethought is not spent on proper surface preparation. One of the leading causes of floor system failures is incorrect surface preparation, and this includes preparation methods that were done perfectly, but were not the right method for the job. This article will cover four different floor preparation methods available to contractors, and dig deeper into what is going on at the macro- and microsurface levels to provide some insight into what makes these coatings stick. It will also provide lists of pros and cons to help you determine the best course of Acid Etching Pros Cons Easiest floor preparation method The product is acidic and should be treated as such product odor may be an issue CPS-1 is achieved Will not remove existing coating from a floor May not penetrate very deeply into the concrete, so any oils or fats will still be present Some municipalities will not allow acid wash to be flushed down the drain action for preparing a particular surface. The techniques addressed in this article assume the existing concrete surface is already sound. The methods described will profile the concrete to varying degrees and are commonly given a Concrete Surface Preparation (CSP) number one through six. The rating system goes higher, but six is generally the limit of profiling. The thicker the coating system to be applied, the more aggressive the profile required. These CSP numbers will be referred to in the next section as the surface preparation techniques are described. Acid etching: It's the Least You Can Do As the name implies, acid etching incorporates a solution or gel of hydrochloric, phosphoric, or some other acidic compound to remove surface contaminates such as efflorescence. It does not replace the usefulness of a grinding machine or shot blaster, but it is the "toughest" surface preparation method available to the do-it-yourselfer. The basic reaction between the acid etching compound and efflorescence is the familiar vinegar/ baking soda reaction that occurs at every school's science fair. The "baking soda" in Grinding Pros Cons Most existing coatings can be removed Although relatively low dust levels to the concrete are created, grinding must be used in conjunction with an adequate dust collection system Can be set to enhance the concrete's Equipment expenses surface texture Smooths out concrete Some equipment is hand pressure sensitive CPS-2 achieved Inconsistent grinding pattern may occur Gradually increasing grit will yield a Grinding over cracks may cause the highly polished floor crack to spread or spall 36 CoatingsPro g January 2013

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