HomeBlogMy take on polyaspartics

My take on polyaspartics

Right from the outset I will openly declare I’m not an expert on polyaspartics. This is simply a post to share my personal experiences as I get asked regularly about this particular resin flooring technology.

To begin with I’ll say they’ve certainly received a lot of attention in recent times with their speed and various other properties. My interest in the technology, however, was driven by the possibility of formulating a solventless polyaspartic a few years ago to slot in with the rest of our solvent-free product range.

To cut a long story short, I unfortunately couldn’t get the results I was looking for (although things may have changed since then).

Fundamentally, there were two areas I struggled with:

  • I found the working time was too sensitive to relative humidity (RH). At 50% RH the product was nice and workable, but around 65% it would speed up too much and I couldn’t keep a wet edge. I felt this was problematic because we work with installers all around the country, in a wide variety of conditions, and simply couldn’t guarantee the same consistent performance as we do with our epoxies.

  • I found adhesion to itself outside of recoat window was a potential problem. With epoxies, we can get a good bond to an existing film by cleaning and sanding, but with polyaspartics this approach wasn’t as effective. What happens if we wanted to do another topcoat, repair or extend the floor in the future?

It was my understanding that you can overcome both these problems to a certain extent with solvents. With the latter issue, it was explained to me by a polyurea colleague that it was possible to formulate the product with an “Achilles heel” and then use a solvent to “activate” the surface as a form of priming.

Although these remedies might’ve solved the problems, they fundamentally did not line up with our solventless formulating philosophy, so we decided to stop development and pursue solventless polyurethane technology instead.

In addition to my experiences, some comments I’ve heard from installers that use the conventional solvent-borne polyaspartics are:

  1. They are concerned about inconsistent adhesion direct to concrete.
  2. They are concerned with the potency of the solvents that are used with some polyaspartics.
  3. They are unsure if UV absorbers are used to protect epoxies underneath from discolouring.

Just to clarify once again, my experience and the results I speak of centred on developing solventless polyaspartics. In my opinion, every resin technology has advantages and disadvantages and there’s isn’t the one product that’s ideal for every application. Installers need to be wary of marketing claims and hold manufacturers accountable for those claims. The best way to do this is to research suitable flooring systems, follow the process, record the details and then get the manufacturer’s warranty for the installed system.

If you have any further questions about my experiences with polyaspartics, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Take care and keep smiling,

Jack Josephsen

Want to know more about resin flooring?

Get our 20-page resin flooring guide for specifiers and floor owners here

Free Download Free Download