March 26, 2020
Dur-A-Flex’s Accelera flooring systems offer a unique combination of fast installation and high performance designed to meet the needs of today’s 24/7 operations. These systems were specifically designed to reduce a facility’s downtime. Knowing which Accelera formulation to choose for your project will ensure consistent working and cure times and keep you on schedule. (Installing a fantastic floor on schedule makes for a happy customer — and we want all your customers to be happy.)
In the Accelera product line, there are four formulations:
- LH (Low-Humidity)
- EXT (Extended Time)
So, let’s review based on environmental conditions, when it’s the right time to use each formula.
Before we make our selection, it is best to understand the product we are considering. Accelera is a 100% solids, fast curing, low odor coating featuring UV stability and excellent chemical resistance. It is a two component propriety blend of polymers featuring a fast-curing resin and hardener.
All Accelera products are designed to be applied at installation temperatures between 60-85°F. The variance in the product lines’ capabilities comes into discussion when talking about Relative Humidity (RH).
Accelera Regular and Satin formulations are meant to be installed at 30-65% RH. As suggested by its name, Accelera LH is to be used for lower relative humidity: 10-30% RH. And finally, Accelera EXT at 30-65% RH.
Temperatures can be easy to predict and maintain, especially in acclimatized jobsites, but relative humidity can be a little less predictable and often overlooked. So what is relative humidity and how can we predict or control our application environment to better suit our selection?
The National Weather Service describes relative humidity as a “measure of the actual amount of water vapor in the air compared to the total amount of vapor that can exist in the air at its current temperature.” Generally speaking, relative humidity is often lower in cooler temperatures, and higher in warmer temperatures. This of course, is also dependent on the climate zone in which you live. If you live in the Southeast, chances are you will always be dealing with higher humidity. In this case, you would choose the Accelera Regular formula for afternoon installations. But if you live in the Southwest, the Accelera LH (Low-Humidity) formula may be a better solution for optimum product performance.
Not only will climate zone effect your decision of product selection, but so will the time of year. Spring and summer welcome in warmer air temperatures and higher relative humidity. Accelera Regular and EXT should be considered during these times. However in the fall and winter, when temperatures are lower and relative humidity is lower, Accelera LH or Regular would be the go-to choices.
A great practice for monitoring your environmental conditions is by using a hygrometer, like the one in Figure 1. Hygrometers measure humidity and water vapor in a confined space. Newer models will give you a quick measurement of ambient and surface temperature, dew point, and relative humidity. Some models can even be paired to smartphones for data collection. Taking the guess work out of your installation will allow you to make more accurate decisions when it comes to product selection, and the timing of your application.
The use of Accelera products outside of their recommended environmental parameters can result in improper working and curing times. For example, a coat of Accelera EXT in an environment below 30% RH will result in longer cure times. In the case of Accelera, a fast-track product, longer cure times disrupt workflow and negate the advantages of the coating. Inversely, if you install Accelera LH in an environment above 30% RH, you will get significantly shorter working times. Accelera Regular and LH formulas have a working time of approximately 7-10 minutes. Shorten that and your crew is rushing to install, which can result in application marks.
In certain cases, using Accelera products outside of their recommended environment can be an advantage. In conditions below 30% RH, the use of Accelera Regular or EXT formulas will actually increase your working time with the product. Yes, you can expect longer cure times. For example, Regular or EXT at 70°F and 30% RH has a cure time of 5-6 hours respectively. This is still a faster turnover than a typical epoxy or urethane coat.
Lastly, consider your project: the system, the layout, your crew size, and your goals. Is your crew installing multiple coats in one day? Consider the Regular formula in environments above 30% RH for a quick turnaround. (Additional manpower may be required in this scenario.) Where aesthetics are a must, or if the project layout is complex, think about using the EXT formula for more working time.
In summary, it is important that you monitor your environment before and throughout the completion of your project. Equipped with this information and the various project considerations, you can make the most informed decision to achieve your goals. Not only will your crew appreciate a product that performs the way you need it to, but the end user will be pleased with the results.
Remember the Technical Services team at Dur-A-Flex is only a call or email away. Whether you are a newly trained contractor or a seasoned one, ask us as many product questions as you need to, we are always happy to assist you. Reach us at 877.251.5418 or contact_us@Dur-A-Flex.com.
Author: Bret LePard
Bret is Technical Services Manager for the Midwest. His role involves working with customers to answer technical questions, troubleshoot issues and recommend the proper flooring system for their application.