Epoxy is a copolymer that is typically activated from 2 parts that are mixed. The 2 parts are a resin and an activator or hardener. Most often, reaction is from the mixing of the chemicals epichlorohydrin and bisphenol-A, which when mixed create a covalent bond which creates a strongly cross linked polymer. The result is a rock hard finish that resists water and even many chemicals.
The curing/drying time can be minutes to hours and 2 coats are recommended. Epoxy must not be applied within the first 30 days of new concrete curing time.If anyone has seen epoxy that is peeling up in a garage this is usually not the epoxy’s fault, but the person who applied it due to improper prep job.
Sometimes a concrete floor may appear suitable and clean, but one must first do a water test. This is done by dripping water on the surface. Unsealed concrete will absorb the water like a sponge, but if water beads up, there is an invisible sealer on it and epoxy will not stick to this. The floor must be stripped of all sealer by chemicals or grinding off.
If there is grease or oil on the surface, it will act as a sealer and must be also stripped off with a degreaser.Lastly, the surface must be just a little rough for the epoxy to adhere. This is done with a muriatic acid solution or etching with a floor grinder. Also all dirt and debris may be power washed off. In short, epoxy must be clean and etched! If these steps are not taken, your hot tires will peel up your floor the first day it hits 110 degrees or less.
Epoxies come in several select colors and are not available typically in any color you may desire. They also range from semi-gloss to high gloss, but are generally very shiny and slick. A slip resistant addititive can be added to any topcoat by mixing fine silica sand in the paint which creates a non-slip surface.
Also decorative chips may be sprinkled in the 2nd coat while still wet to add some texture and interest in the solid color. Chips may be added so heavy that they cover 100% of the surface. When dry, loose chips may be swept off and then knifed down with a floor scraper. A leaf blower is excellent for hard to sweep pieces. At this point a final clear coat is recommended to both seal chips in floor and a showroom finish look.