Logo for: Duraflex

Understanding Cementitious Urethane Flooring Systems

November 19, 2021

What is Cementitious Urethane?

Cementitious urethane is a urethane mortar composed of Portland cement, aggregate, water, (concrete), urethane and different additives. It is used as a robust offering for floor coatings. Cementitious urethane coatings are most similar to concrete and provide excellent adhesion and wear resistance. In addition to the properties that make epoxy floors desirable, such as being durable and long-lasting, what’s unique about cementitious urethane is its ability to withstand high moisture vapor transmission and thermal cycling.

Cementitious urethane is the generic name for this type of resinous flooring system. At Dur-A-Flex, our cementitious urethane brand is Poly-Crete®. Poly-Crete is known as the workhorse of seamless floors because of its durability. Poly-Crete was originally developed to meet the challenges specific to food and beverage facilities as thermal cycling, foods acids, heavy greases, and oils can wreak havoc on most floors. This unique chemistry is so resilient that it has proven itself a worthy solution in many other industrial environments as well.

Poly-Crete systems offer excellent slip resistance. They can be broadcast into for a more aggressive surface or made smoother with additional layers of a performance topcoat. (Poly-Crete MD is a smooth system so there is no need for multiple topcoats.) Poly-Crete is available in 7 standard colors and can have a matte or semi-gloss finish.

Normally installed on concrete substrates, Poly-Crete can also be applied to marine or exterior grade plywood, and well-bonded quarry tile. (Additional steps are required to install on either of these substrates.)

Distinguishing Attributes of Poly-Crete

Poly-Crete flooring systems have many great attributes including that in most applications they are self-priming, have a high compressive strength, provide excellent slip resistance, and service a wide temperature range. Let’s explore three key distinguishing points in more detail. 

1. Thermal Shock Resistance

Poly-Crete was formulated for excellent thermal shock resistance and thermal cycling. It can cycle between -100°F and 220°F without issue. (Epoxy chemistry tends to crack is this environment.) Poly-Crete also has a high-heat tolerance; depending on the system it can be intermittently exposed to 300°F, 350°F or 400°F.

A real world example of thermal shock is the cleaning process at a food processing facility. The floor could be at 35 degrees F and washed down with high-heat water at 185 degree water. That 150 degree difference will shock the floor. Unlike epoxies and other chemistries that will fail in these conditions, Poly-Crete holds up exceptionally well.

2. Impact Resistance

Poly-Crete offers excellent impact resistance. It is installed at a thickness of 3/16-1/4”and sometimes even thicker depending on the area. It is built to take abuse and is a great solution for anywhere with heavy tools, light machinery, forklift traffic, commercial garages, and of course commercial kitchens.

3. Moisture Mitigation

All concrete has moisture and soluble ions. Water vapor within the concrete mixes with soluble salts as it moves through the concrete slab. The salts accumulate on the concrete surface as the water vapor evaporates. This is not necessarily an issue with an unsealed floor, but once an impermeable coating seals the concrete, and creates vapor pressure at the bond line. This pressure, when greater than the adhesion strength of the resinous flooring system, breaks the bond to the concrete and forms blisters; this is referred to as osmotic blistering.

Each resinous flooring chemistry has its limitations when it comes to moisture and osmotic blistering. Poly‑Crete has the highest tolerance compared to epoxies, methyl methacrylate, and Accelera. Poly‑Crete’s CaCL moisture tolerance is 20 pounds per 1000 sq. ft, salts tolerance is 3,200 PPM, and it’s in situ relative humidity tolerance is 99%. Poly‑Crete can be installed over green concrete.

The Poly-Crete Family

The Poly-Crete Family can essentially be broken into 3 categories: light, medium, and heavy duty. Remember that Poly-Crete is a robust flooring system. The description of light duty here is in comparison to other Poly-Crete systems, not other chemistries. When selecting which system to use it really comes down to knowing the environment and its needs. The thicker the system equates to higher durability and heat resistance.

Poly-Crete SLB is 100% solids, seamless 3/16″ cementitious-urethane self-leveling flooring system with a flintshot quartz aggregate broadcast, providing a slip-resistant finish. The intermittent heat tolerance is 300°F.

Poly-Crete SLB Floor in a kitchen

Common Use Sites:

  • Kitchens
  • Food processing
  • Warehouses
  • Breweries / Distilleries
  • High traffic areas
  • Storage
  • Light manufacturing

Poly-Crete MDB is 100% solids, seamless 1/4″ cementitious-urethane flooring system with a natural quartz aggregate broadcast, providing a slip-resistant finish. The intermittent heat tolerance is 350°F.

Poly-Crete MDB in a commercial kitchen.

Common Use Sites:

  • Kitchens
  • Food processing
  • Warehouses
  • Breweries / Distilleries
  • High traffic areas
  • Storage
  • Manufacturing
  • Machine shops
  • Tool cribs

Poly-Crete HF is 100% solids, aromatic, cementitious urethane concrete coating system. It is a solid color, trowel-applied floor system designed to withstand aggressive chemical and thermal attack while providing abrasion and slip resistance. The intermittent heat tolerance is 400°F.

Poly-Crete HF in a food processing plant.

Common Use Sites:

  • Bottling areas
  • Manufacturing areas
  • Food processing areas

Commitment to Transparency

All Poly-Crete systems were designed with transparency and sustainability in mind. These systems are made with Red-List free materials and contain a negligible amount of Volatile Organic Compounds (low VOC). Poly-Crete systems have very little off-gassing and are CA 01350 compliant. They’re eligible for LEED® credits and the Health Product Declarations (HPD) & Environmental Product Declarations (EPD) are available on our website. They are also included in the mindful Materials database.

To Recap:

Our cementitious urethane brand is Poly-Crete. It was originally developed to meet the challenges specific to food and beverage facilities as thermal cycling, foods acids, heavy greases, and oils can wreak havoc on most floors. This unique chemistry is so resilient that it has proven itself a worthy solution in many industrial environments as well.

Interested in learning more? Watch this webinar for more details or reach out to your local territory sales manager, they’ll be happy to answer any questions and help you choose the right floor for your project.

Author: Jes Grant
Jes Grant is the content development manager for Dur-A-Flex. She has over 15 years of experience creating content for various technical industries, and has been featured in several publications for her writing and design work
.


‹ Back to the Blog