Polyurea coating technology is not new. In fact, it has been around and in use for almost three decades now. Polyurea is newer and more advanced than these traditional coating systems and offers many advantages to the owner, specifier, and contractor.
These advantages come mainly in the form of impressive achievable physical properties, and its fast-set, return-to-service characteristics. It can also be applied over a variety of different substrates (concrete, metals, wood, and more) in a wide range of temperature and humidity environments. However, like all protective coatings, using polyurea is no excuse to neglect proper surface preparation and quality control testing during application.
Polyurea’s major benefit is its ability to cure and set rapidly. It can typically return an area to service many times faster than traditional coatings, allowing the owner to put a facility back in use without days or weeks of revenue losing downtime. Downtime for maintenance and coatings on water tanks, wastewater clarifiers, parking garages, and chemical storage tanks costs the facility owner a great deal of money since these areas must be taken out of service while other coatings are applied and drying.
Most industrial use polyureas are spray-applied, so it is fast to apply and accurately proportioned and mixed. This application style allows for virtually any mil thickness to be applied in one or multiple passes. Additional characteristics such as slip-resistant additives and surface textures can also be incorporated, UV stable colors can be achieved, and even NSF potable water approved systems are also possible with polyurea.
Almost no coating can compare to polyurea when it comes to attainable physical properties. Polyureas can be formulated to achieve a tremendous range of properties — from high elongation to superior tensile strength to hard or soft, all based on how the material is formulated and correctly applied.
In addition to its different applications, protective coatings and linings also have tremendous advantages over conventional materials for joint fill and caulk applications due to their fast set nature, high elongation, and durability/abrasion characteristics. Polyurea can be molded and shaped by spraying them into molds. Similarly, polyurea is also used as a hard coat protective shell over expanded polystyrene (EPS) for architectural molded fascia applications.