Polyurea is a form of polyester that is derived through step-growth polymerisation from an acrylic resin component and an isocyanic acid component. The polyurea can either be polar or non-polar in nature. When applied to a moisture-exposed surface, polyurea develops a pliable, somewhat rubbery (asphalt-like) feel. Polyurea also serves to restrict the degree of permeability in aqueous media because of its highly water-absorbing nature.
Polyurea is generally used in the production of paint coating and also as an additive for many types of dry finishes. It has a wide range of application options including roofing, flooring, furniture finish and even cosmetic coatings. There are two common classes of polyurea coatings. Quick setting and fixed comb are common types of polyurea coatings used in home and industrial applications. Some manufacturers combine both quick setting and fixed comb in one coating so that the products have increased strength-to-weight ratios.
Polyurea also works extremely well as a moisture barrier in situations where an existing concrete floor or wall is becoming visibly or physically deteriorating. Moisture is one of the major drivers of accelerated concrete deterioration and accelerated roof deterioration, slab movement and cracked or crumbling concrete structures. Applying polyurea directly to the concrete surface reduces or eliminates this potential problem, providing a durable and moisture-resistant barrier.
Polyurea coatings are made up of numerous chemical moieties that add both physical and chemical resistance to elements of contact. Most polyurea solutions contain a silicone hydroxide-based water-repelling additive. As the polyurea solution is applied it hardens into tiny bubbles. When these bubbles burst they spray millions of fine droplets of water that instantly bead on any surface they hit. This creates water vapor which further slows the rate of concrete deterioration. With a high moisture resistance rating and a fast settling time, polyurea performs well in a wide range of industrial settings, including oil and gas wells, ship engines, pipeline worksites, power plant valves, aquaculture facilities, and even swimming pools.
Polyurea has seen great success in the security sectors, particularly in preventing and removing intrusion attempts through its use in closed circuit television camera systems. Closed circuit camera systems require application of a polyurea coating that resist intrusion, and these coatings can be applied in the field or installed in large installation networks. Security companies have been using polyurea for years as a method of delaying and preventing entrance and exit through doors and windows in commercial buildings and homes. Closed circuit TV cameras with polyurea coating have a much shorter response time than those without the coating, saving time and money for businesses.
Other applications of polyureas coatings include food and drug products, such as antimicrobials and antibiotics, and cosmetic products such as skin care cosmetics and pharmaceuticals. UV stabilization is an important factor in food and drug products, and UV stabilization properties of polyureas have been found to improve the shelf life of many medications. Other uses of polyureas coatings in the cosmetics and pharmaceutical industries include contact finishes and emulsions, both with and without fragrance oils. UV stabilizers are an integral component of the oil degreasing process in cosmetics, and their use is growing at a steady pace in both industrial and domestic applications.