Thermal shock resistant flooring is most commonly found in food and beverage manufacturing plants and agricultural facilities, where refrigerated rooms are cleaned with hot water or steam. This is because, in facilities where floors are steam cleaned or exposed to rapid temperature changes, not just any industrial resinous floor coating will do.
When there is a significant temperature change between the resinous coating and the concrete substrate the material can disbond, delaminate, crack, bubble, or deteriorate.
Standard floor covering materials typically cannot withstand exposure to excessive swings in temperature, without exhibiting signs of severe damage.
With thermal shock resistant flooring, these and other harsh environments are significantly less susceptible to the damage caused by dramatic changes in temperature. Fortunately, there are several resinous flooring options to deal with thermal shock.
Thermal Shock Resistant Flooring Options
Epoxy is the most common floor coating used in both commercial and industrial settings, as it typically has excellent adhesion properties and good abrasion resistance.
Flexibilized, high-temperature epoxy floor coatings can be poured over a concrete subfloor to serve as a protective layer against thermal shock.
Polyurethane floor coatings are not as permanent as epoxy floor coating options, but they do provide more elasticity. Similar to facilities with an epoxy floor, polyurethane coatings are a great option to provide both thermal shock resistance and antimicrobial characteristics, which are a must in medical and food-related facilities.
Polyurethane floor coatings are also fast-setting and can have a non-skid or decorative surface.
Urethane concrete systems are a highly recommended product because they have a similar thermal expansion to concrete.
Urethane concrete is available in thicknesses ranging from 3/16” specifications, which are fully serviceable to constant temperatures of 150 degrees Fahrenheit and intermittent temperatures of 200 degrees Fahrenheit, through ⅜” specifications, which are suitable for extreme environments with constant temperatures of 220 degrees Fahrenheit and occasional spillage up to 250 degrees Fahrenheit.