Polyurea is an organic type of polymer that’s derived from a natural isocyanic acid component and a synthetic polymer resin mixture component through step-by-step growth polymerization. The polyurea may be aliphatic or aromatic in chemical nature. The reason polyurea was discovered was the fact that it mimicked the endosperm, or living cells of the host plant.
Polyurea was created originally for protective coatings of rubber and plastics, as it provided both UV resistance and water resistance properties. It has also been successfully used to protect concrete. Today polyurea is most commonly used as an urethane lubricant, and in fact urethane coatings and polyurea blends are amongst the most popular and widely used lubricants. Some urethane coatings are also partially composed of polyurea.
Polyurea has many advantages. Polyurea is able to provide superior water-resistance, impact resistance, and chemical resistance, especially in comparison with VCT, TU, and OSHA. Furthermore polyurea has low emission, and this can reduce negative externalities. Due to these reasons, it has recently found its way into other industries as well including concrete and flooring coatings. Polyurea is also very fast curing, which allows for the quick installation and application of concrete and sealants.
Polyurea coating can provide many physical properties, which are often desired in any coating. As it is highly elastic, polyurea provides high compressive strength, tensile strength, and dimensional stability. This means polyurea coating is ideal for reinforcing steel structures and for applying to soft or non-porous surfaces. Additionally polyurea is flexible, which means it can easily conform to different shape. Additionally polyurea has a very high compatibility with various types of concrete, including natural concrete and reinforced concrete.
One of polyurea‘s key physical properties is moisture resistance. When applied to concrete, polyurethane coatings provide up to 300 times more resistance to changes in temperature, and even prolonged exposure to moisture increases its durability. Polyurethane coatings also provide excellent chemical resistance, which means that it is resistant to a variety of chemicals such as polyurethane and oils. The combination of excellent chemical and physical properties, polyurethane is ideal for use in industrial coatings, where durability, chemical resistance, and moisture resistance are essential. Polyurethane is also flexible enough to allow expansion without causing structural weakening, and its high elasticity also provides a level of protection against cracking and flaking.
As mentioned earlier polyurea coatings are available in a variety of forms, and the most common types are acrylic, polystyrene, polyurethane foam and polyurethane cements. The most common mistake that coating formulators make is selecting the wrong type of coating. Many people select the wrong coating because they fail to recognize that there is an active chemical in the coating, or they select a coating that contains too much or too little filler. Formulating a coating properly begins by determining the proper viscosity needed, the correct amount of solvent needed, the right drying time required, the proper drying mediums, and finally the correct amount of additives to be used to provide the desired effects. Once all these factors have been determined then the coating can be formulated and formed to produce the desired result.