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Preparation and laying of epoxy resin floor toppings


The resin, hardener and filler (usually silica sand) are supplied to the site in preweighed packs which will ensure that they are mixed in the correct proportions.

Work life

The work life of an Epoxy resin flooring compound can be prolonged by spreading it rapidly. This increases its surface area, dissipates the heat produced by reaction between resin and hardener, and delays gelation. Rapid spreading is particularly important in the summer months.

Subfloor levelness

The pretreated subfloor on which an Epoxy resin based topping is to be laid should be as level as the finished floor is required to be. The permissible levelness tolerance for a 5-mm topping is about - 1 mm.

(a)   Self-levelling toppings

Self-levelling toppings have a maximum binder-to-filler ratio of 1:3 and are normally laid to a thickness of 2-3 mm.

Since they contain a very high proportion of binder, pretreatment of the substrate with an adhesive epoxy based primer is not normally necessary.

Toppings with a very low filler loading are first put down in strips, then spread evenly over the subfloor using a toothed trowel. Marks left by the trowel are eliminated by treating the freshly laid topping with a spiked plastic roller.

Toppings with a low filler content cure to form smooth, dense surfaces of uniform appearance. Few, if any, joints are needed since large areas can be covered in a single operation.

Toppings required to have antiskid properties are dusted with silica sand, silicon carbide or similar material before they have set.

(b)   Mortar screeds

Epoxy mortar screeds with a binder-to-filler ratio of 1:5 to 1:7 are recommended for topping floors that will be subjected to severe mechanical wear and chemical attack. Since these screeds have pronounced antiskid properties they are especially suitable for factories where the floors are constantly wet.

Mortar screeds are generally laid in layers at least 3 to 5 mm thick after the subfloor has been primed with an unfilled resin/hardener mix. This primer can be sprayed on - to save time - or brushed on - to ensure that it penetrates more deeply into the substrate. The mortar screed must be laid immediately after the subfloor has been primed, and the laying of each strip of mortar is completed before the primer gels.

Mortar screeds are usually laid in strips, battens being placed alongside to provide an accurate check on section thickness and evenness. As soon as screed has been laid on both sides of a batten it is removed and the gap left is filled with mortar.

(c)   Floor Coatings

This are normally applied in 3 coats at an average 500 ci(Microns) DFT, thickness. Floor Coatings are normally used for light traffic areas only & they are economical.