23rd March 2020

All You Need to Know About Polyurethane Screed Systems

Modern industrial facilities require hard-wearing and adaptable flooring, and it’s good to know that polyurethane resin flooring systems are up to the task.  While epoxy coatings make the perfect choice for many environments, there are some industries which rely heavily on the attributes polyurethane resin floors have to offer for their efficient operation.  Let’s take a look at what polyurethane screed flooring systems have to offer, and what makes them fundamentally different from epoxy resin flooring.

Hygienic, heavy duty polyurethane screed flooring is frequently found in food industry facilities, such as abattoirs, bakeries, breweries, dairies, kitchens, wet and dry food production and processing plants.  This is because polyurethane resin flooring systems are resistant to chemicals found in food production, such as lactic acid which is common in the brewing and dairy industries.  If an epoxy floor is repeatedly exposed to lactic acid, it will often start to show signs of corrosion and yellowing.  Polyurethane, on the other hand, is considered a ‘food grade’ or ‘food safe’ material because it will not react with such ingredients, and because it can be steam cleaned in order to guarantee a the cleanliness of a food-preparation environment (check the specification of your polyurethane floor before steam cleaning – 9mm polyurethane screed flooring should usually be specified for steam cleaned and high traffic areas).

Poly floors are also used for refrigerator and freezer flooring – good thermal shock resistance properties mean polyurethane resin floors have a lot to offer food and drink factories where extreme temperature changes occur frequently as part of production processes.  Polyurethane coatings are also the best resin systems for premises with underfloor heating.

As an abrasion and solvent resistant flooring solution, polyurethane is also suitable for chemical processing plants, engineering workshops, and other commercial and industrial sector applications. Polyurethane floor screeds also demonstrate exceptional performance in heavily trafficked areas, with some customers have reporting that the lifespan of a poly floor is double that of epoxy flooring under certain circumstances.  Polyurethane screed flooring systems also offer many options in terms of customization and decoration.  What’s more, by using polyurethane coatings, covings and wall renders, a ‘closed box’ environment can be created on all surfaces with the same standards of abrasion and chemical resistance as your flooring system.

What makes polyurethane resin floors different from their epoxy counterparts, and what qualities do they share?  Both are durable hard-wearing and waterproof, but beyond that polyurethane has proved to be a superior material in many key ways:

Polyurethane resin floors are more elastic than epoxy, and this flexibility means they are not compromised by slight cracking or movement in the substrate.  This compliments the thermal stability of poly, in that the floor surface will not crack or disintegrate if the underlying material flexes as the temperature changes.  Epoxy flooring is harder, but can prove too brittle for some applications.  Poly flooring is also UV stable, making for a convenient and low-maintenance flooring solution.

Polyurethane screed flooring typically dries more quickly than an equivalent epoxy system on installation, however it will be very sensitive to moisture during that time which is why MCG Epoxy Coatings recommend this product should always be applied by experienced professionals.  Contact us today.

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