70% of the areas suitable for floor coating can be covered with epoxy or polyurethane systems. However, only one of the epoxy or polyurethane systems can be used in the remaining 30%. Therefore, in order to decide which system will be used for the floor covering of an area, it is necessary to evaluate all the parameters and to rank the demands, wishes, restrictions and expectations according to the priorities.
Epoxies are products resistant to high pressure, areas with high weights or where there are computer-controlled forklifts traveling on the same route should be coated with epoxy. The rigid structures of epoxy systems better tolerate the loads created by forklifts constantly moving on the same route.
On the other hand, polyurethane systems are elastic and flexible, although they have a slightly less load-bearing capacity than epoxy systems, the polyurethane system can move with the structure on volatile floors (prone to cracking) or flexible floors (eg mezzanines made of metal or concrete). They are more preferred because they have the ability to
Since epoxy systems are not flexible, they can break when exposed to impacts, whereas polyurethane systems can absorb impact.
While epoxies create a harder floor due to their rigid structure, the flexible and shock absorbing feature of polyurethane also helps to dampen the sound. In places where pedestrian traffic is intense, polyurethane systems absorb the sounds caused by hard and high-heeled shoes.
The chemical resistance of epoxies is higher, for example, floors of textile dyehouses where strong acids are used, rooms with concentrated cleaners found in industrial laundries should be coated with epoxy.
Polyurethane systems create crack bridges, when the parking lot floors are covered with polyurethane, they also function as a waterproofing coating due to the bridge they form on the crack in the concrete, as a result, they protect the iron in the concrete from water.
The wear resistance of polyurethane topcoat paints is high, so places with heavy traffic should be covered with polyurethane. Recently developed water-based topcoat polyurethane paints give very successful results in terms of chemical resistance and scratch resistance.
While epoxies are preferred in areas such as ovens because of their high resistance to hot iron wheeled oven trolleys due to their high heat resistance, polyurethane systems that can maintain their elasticity even in the cold are used in areas such as cold storages.
The last criterion that we should not neglect to add will be the temperature of the application area. While it is desired that the ambient temperature be between 15-35 C during the application phase, in some cases the environment may remain well below the ideal temperature due to the inability to provide ideal conditions at the construction sites where the application is made. Epoxy systems do not cure under 10°C, whereas polyurethane systems have a non-curing limit below 5°C. In applications where the application area is expected to be cold, polyurethane systems come to the fore more.