Vexcon Chemicals Inc., which has manufactured epoxies under the PowerCoat brand for more than 15 years, has become the first company to introduce breathable epoxies to the market. Their breathable technology allows moisture to pass through the coating, preventing common epoxy and urethane problems such as adhesion loss, blistering and peeling.
"With this knowledge our sales and marketing people asked our product development staff if it was feasible to take our epoxy technology to the next level, that being a single-component, easy-to-use breathable epoxy coating," according to Clifford Platt, vice president of the Philadelphia-based company.
So in January 2006, PowerCoat One was introduced. A single-component, water-based, light-duty epoxy, PowerCoat One provides the performance of a two-component epoxy in an economical coating that is strong, long-lasting, and resistant to stains, gasoline, and marks from hot tires.
The epoxy comes in a clear gloss and a variety of colors. It can be used on any concrete surface where a premium long-lasting coating is desired. "It can be applied to existing concrete and on fresh concrete when PowerCoat primer is applied, which will cure the concrete and prime it for PowerCoat application," says Platt.
PowerCoat One utilizes proprietary cross-linking technology. "Two-part epoxies require mixing and have an induction period where you have to wait for the epoxy to react, or cross-link, and start to harden up," says Platt. "And they have a limited pot life. With some products the pot life can be as little as two hours. So if you don't get all the material down on the floor, you've wasted materials and money. With PowerCoat One, there is no component mixing or induction waiting time, and the product has an unlimited pot life. Also, it helps contractors minimize user errors by not having them mix two components together and keep track of each component in the field."
PowerCoat One has little odor and is ideal for use in low-VOC states. It also qualifies as a low-VOC product for "green" building points. It is sold in 1-gallon and 5-gallon pails and drums, and in a 2-gallon kit. The kit includes a color base coat, deco chips and a gallon of clear topcoat.
According to Platt, this differs from other epoxy kits on the market for three reasons. First, you get two gallons of product instead of one gallon. Second, with other products on the market, you apply the base color coat, then broadcast the colored chips over the top. "This leaves the colored flakes as part of the wear surface, which eventually will wear off. With our product, after you apply the base coat and broadcast, you apply a clear topcoat, which locks in the chips. This clear topcoat acts as the wearing surface."
Third, colored floors typically have little or no shine. "A PowerCoat One floor, when a clear topcoat is applied, has a pleasing shine to it."