The Truth About Abrasion and Impact Resistance in Concrete Flooring


Concrete floors are known well for their abrasion resistance and impact resistance. There are however some myths that we should lay to rest prior to you making an investment in concrete flooring for your particular needs and in your particular environment.

First, let’s talk about impact resistance. Impact resistance is achieved typically via the density and angular nature of aggregates used in a concrete topping. Regular liquid applied coatings do not provide high impact resistance without aggregates in the mix.

By adding aggregates to the mix, impact is then spread across many different angles within the aggregate resin mix.

Instead of energy created from a blow or an impact going directly in the direction of the drop, impact is disrupted, broken down and spread across rigid aggregates thereby breaking the level of force that makes it to the bottom of the coating. This drastically reduces the possibility of concrete sealers and coatings popping off the floor or divots being created in the work surface.

While some liquid applied coatings and cementitious overlays are more impact resistant than others, without using some form of aggregate, whether it be sand or small stones, then layering those aggregates inside a resinous, cementitious or polymer-based material, impact resistance cannot be achieved at its maximum level.

If the environment in which you are going to be needing a floor is one where tools getting dropped and equipment or containers such as impact wrenches beer kegs etc. is a frequent risk, the only way to go is with a rich blend of stacked aggregates and a top coat sealer.

Cross section of a polyurethane cement aggregate matrix is designed for use in high impact zones like garbage rooms and manufacturing floors.

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On to abrasion resistance. Like in other markets, like watches for example, there are many specific terms used loosely by most unfortunately. Resistant and Proof are 2 such terms.

 

There really isn’t a scratch proof floor in existence. Anything softer than a surface but still sharp can cut that surface. The better term is certainly resistant.

 

With concrete floor systems, the most resistant surface is polished concrete. There are top coats for epoxy and polyaspartic coatings polyurethanes that make them less likely to scratch. Also, these top coats tend to be less glossy which will in turn lead to a floor that will show scratches less as well, since there is little gloss difference to show off the scratches.

 

Talk to your concrete flooring expert about your specific environments needs in order to find the best mix of impact and abrasion resistance.

 

 

 

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