The key differences between polyurea, epoxy, and polyurethane:

How Does Polyurea Measure Up?

Less Installation and Cure Time. Polyurea takes dramatically less time not only to apply but to cure, with “walk-on” capabilities within hours and full cure within a day.

Wider Range of Installation Temperatures. One misconception that some customers have is that concrete coating jobs are a summertime project – which is true for epoxy coatings that require temperatures above 50 degrees Fahrenheit. With a range of installation temperatures from 30 degrees Fahrenheit below to well over 100 degrees Fahrenheit, your customer doesn’t need to worry about picking the right time of year, and you, the installer, about a temperature-controlled environment or seasonal limits.

Greater Resilience and Maintenance-Free Longevity. Both polyurea and epoxy bond strongly to concrete, where polyurethane’s bond is weak – requiring a recoat every 4-7 years. Both polyurethane and polyurea share flexibility, but polyurea won’t need to be renewed every few years. Although epoxy’s bond is also strong, it’s susceptible to hot tire pick up – making it less sought-after for use around vehicles, nixing hangars, and garage floors, as well as other common commercial and industrial uses. 

Epoxy demands some upkeep, where polyurea is maintenance-free. When considering costs with your customer, you’ll want to point out the cost of materials and installation and ongoing maintenance costs, which is a very attractive zero for polyurea.

Lower VOCs for Better Air Quality. In today’s age of environmental awareness – as well as more and more customers striving to be “green” – fewer VOCs (volatile organic compounds) to smell and breathe as your team works are no small consideration. Polyurea has the lowest VOCs in contrast to polyurethane and epoxy and no odor when curing.

Better Durability: Chemical and UV Resistance. Both polyurea and polyurethane have high resistance to oil. Polyurea is also chemical- and scratch-resistant. Both polyurethane and polyurea can be used on surface applications, where UV exposure is an issue – but polyurea is better than polyurethane with UV stability. (UV rays will ultimately yellow or degrade a less resistant coating).

Ease of Use and Good Looking, Too. Polyurea can do what epoxies can in terms of workability, ease of use, color, and decorative additives. But without epoxy’s lengthy application and cure times and installation stipulations.

Polyurea isn’t always the slam-dunk, no-brainer decision, despite its advantages over epoxy and polyurethane; every project has unique specifications and resources to consider. 

To learn whether polyurea is the best fit for your project, click here to contact ArmorThane. ArmorThane is our go-to, recommended source for all things protective coatings.

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