PU And Epoxy Resin Flooring
There are two main types of resin floors: polyurethanes (PU) and epoxies. Understanding which is appropriate is very important for many construction industry professionals. Each flooring option has differing properties and choosing the wrong solution will result in costly repairs or complete floor failure.
While both are resin floorings, epoxy and PU should not be considered the same thing. Yes, they do share similarities, such as consisting of two-components (a resin and a hardener), but they are two very different types of materials with specific characteristics and uses.
The main difference is in the molecular structure of the floorings, which affects its fusion during the curing process. Essentially PUs have a higher cross-linked density than epoxies, which intern makes them the harder wearing of the two. Mainly due to this, PU systems have long been associated with strength, durability and resilience. These systems are very well suited to industrial facilities, where the floor is facing a long list of challenges on a daily basis. The robust nature of PUs makes them survive the abuses of industrial operations for quite a long period of time.
On the other hand, epoxies are much more rigid in terms of structure and cannot at all tolerate intense heat. For example, some epoxy coatings are heat resistant to up to 65°C, while PU systems can tolerate 120°C. The superior chemical resistance of PU floors is extremely appreciated in the food & beverage industry. Here corrosive acids and by-products are found in large quantities and the floors are required to stand up to chemical attack.
Even though it might seem like PU is the superior option, epoxies are more easily adapted for a wide variety of environments and are also available in a much wider range of colours, styles, effects and decorative choices. This provides the creativity to install unique floors which convey the interior design scheme. It is an excellent way to represent a brand identity, specific aesthetic or infuse the environment with the demanded vibe. All of that has made epoxies a go-to floor for large-scale commercial venues as well as less heavy-duty industrial spaces.