Calgary has the most extensive urban pathway and bikeway network in North America. The City maintains approximately 1000 km of regional pathways and 96 km of trails.
Enabling Calgarians to live active and healthy lifestyles is important to The City. Investments in active transportation infrastructure, including pathways and bikeways, provide Calgarians with active ways to travel through and around the City and reduce social isolation. Before the latest construction project was put into action, Calgarians were asked to pin the common destinations that they travel to regularly using the existing network. This information helped the building team identify what types of places people are traveling so that the technical experts could plan new pathways and bikeways to these locations across the City. Calgarians also told them about the various challenges and barriers they face while using the existing pathways and bikeways. They identified issues like off-set gates and posts that block the entrances to pathways, poor directional signage, poor maintenance, and missing connections, to name a few.
After receiving the feedback, they needed, the team began work on their new project while using the following points as a guideline:
Using smoother surface materials
Making fewer routes on steep hills
Improving visibility through lighting and markings
Providing additional year-round maintenance
Improving connections to transit
As Alberta’s only fully mobile Armorthane coatings applicator with a 3000 sq. ft. in-house spray booth, there was no better choice to assist in the major project than PermaTech.
Based in Strathmore, Alberta, and serving Western Canada, Permatech has the solution for all protective coatings needs.
PermaTech chose to use ArmorThane’s STS-300 polyurea coating product for this project. However, on future pathway projects, they have decided to go with the latest upgraded product put out by ArmorThane last year called ArmorLiner. ArmorLiner is a two-component, 1 to 1, 100% solid, fast set, liquid applied polyurea liner system that works well with metal, concrete, fiberglass, and wood surfaces.
Polyureas are the ideal product for coating and sealing outdoors; with their excellent weathering characteristics and impact resistance, you can count on outstanding protection that will last and last.
They perform well in extreme climates and have a high level of impact abrasion resistance, making them work flawlessly on outdoor walkways.
PermaTech made use of their large warehouse space to lay out multiple walkways and apply the STS-300 in multiple even layers. ArmorThane’s amazing bonding capabilities mean that the product bonds extremely well even to wood surfaces such as was used in this project. To this day, several years later, the product is still holding on strong and has not had to be reapplied. In fact, it has worked so well, PermaTech has been asked to complete more walkways for ongoing and future projects.
If you would like to contact PermaTech regarding a project you have in mind, click here. If you are interested in finding out more about ArmorThane’s product line click here.
Polyurea coatings have been on the Canadian market since the 1980’s, but its durability, flexibility, and versatility means that new polyurea applications for are being found all the time. It is currently used across industries for waterproofing, corrosion prevention, water containment as well as containment of chemical and toxic substances, flooring, and mechanical equipment, just to name a few. Polyurea coatings are also flexible with substrates, and is applicable on concrete, metals, wood, plaster, plastics, and many more. It is an all around amazing product that continues to advance and change with the market.
Today we will be naming our 2021 top reviewed distribution company in the Canadian market for Polyurea. Without further ado, our top reviewed company….
ArmorThane is still our number one rated polyurea distributor in Canada. As a worldwide leader in industrial coatings and spray-on truck bed liners, ArmorThane offers a full line of top-quality polyurethane and polyurea coatings and high-tech spraying equipment and supplies. Their professionally applied pure and hybrid polyurethane and polyurea formulas are extremely durable, flexible, and safe. ArmorThane offers the greatest products at the greatest prices, and they also have the best team in the industry. With over 30 years of being a top distributor, they have managed to treat their customers like family. Their customers are known on a first-name basis, and they work hard to make sure each customer succeeds in the industry. We can’t recommend them any more highly than we do! Just the absolute best!
Elastochem Specialty Chemicals Inc. : Brantford, ONElastochem manufactures a large range of polyurethane, epoxy, and polyurea-based coatings for various applications. Their polyurea coating has excellent chemical resistance and is available in acid, base, and flame retardant grades. Their coatings guarantee a fast set, no VOCs, excellent bond strengths and resistance to many harsh environments. Products: Coatings: polyurea; abrasion-resistant; abrasion-resistant coating services; adhesives; adhesives:..
In the ever-expanding sprayed-polyurea coatings market, the margin of error is incomparably narrower than for conventional coatings. While opportunities abound for contractors to jump on the polyurea bandwagon successfully, the growing variety of applications and the superior properties of sprayed polyurea need d attention given to the dispensing machinery involved.
The following explanation can quickly help any applicator understand the polyurea application process, the interplay between the various pieces of equipment, and the important design considerations of the pump, hoses, and spray gun. This experience can help open the door to a whole new market for coatings businesses that wish to advance their business.
The Newest Frontier in Coatings
Polyurea has become highly utilized for various applications previously dominated by epoxy, acrylic, and polyurethane. Specifically, the aliphatic polyurea compounds frequently find themselves as the coating of choice due to their superior mechanical properties.
Capable of smoothly adhering to substrates like cement, brick, and fiberglass, polyureas are now used for scores of building applications such as encapsulating asbestos ceilings or coating floors. Unlike polyurethanes, polyureas cure under high moisture and humidity conditions, as long as the correct surface preparation is undertaken.
Within the manufacturing and process industries, polyureas are now used in everything from the lining of storage tanks to covering shop floors and plant walls. Polyureas vastly outperform paint, which often cannot hold up to rigorous cleaning procedures practiced in pharmaceutical and food processing plants, for example. The remarkably fast reaction time (3 to 7 seconds) of polyurea systems appeals to facility management as it permits quick installation with only minimal disruption to process operations.
These performance benefits explain, in part, why the booming demand for polyurea systems should continue well into the future. “From what we’ve learned as an association, in addition to my interactions with applicators in the field and companies that manufacture the systems and the raw materials, I see a 15 to 20 percent growth per year in this industry,” says Dudley Primeaux, former president of the Polyurea Development Association and owner of Primeaux Associates LLC of Austin, Texas. As the prime inventor of sprayed-polyurea systems, Primeaux is well-positioned to provide consulting advice to contractors interested in entering the field.
A Little Background Knowledge Goes a Long Way
Polyurea systems are formed from the combination of two components: isocyanate and an amine resin. These components’ union forms an extremely flexible urea linkage, unlike the crystalline nature of polyurethane systems. The initial formulations were introduced in 1986 when somebody told Primeaux, then a chemist with Texaco Chemical Co./Huntsman Chemical, that polyureas couldn’t be sprayed. The system worked the first time because the equipment delivered both the A and B components in a predictable, consistent manner.
The first commercial sprayed-polyurea coating was delivered for a roofing system in 1989, and the history of coatings systems has been forever changed. But the polyureas provide optimum performance only when mixed correctly, and according to Primeaux, choosing the right equipment to handle this task is critical.
The Challenge of Getting the Right Mix
No chemical catalyst is required, but special plural equipment is required due to the extremely fast reactivity and cure. High pressure is necessary to force the components to mix. High temperatures are also needed to lower the viscosity to enhance the mix and atomization. Heating occurs at the pump and the hoses, while the actual mixing takes place inside the components meet at high velocity. This mechanical mixing is critical to uniform concentration (hence, better adherence. The importance of obtaining equipment specifically designed to spray polyureas cannot be over-stressed.
The quality and the tolerances in the manufacturing of the spraying equipment make a huge impact on the output of your product,” stresses Primeaux. “Good equipment costs more, but this is not the place to skimp when you want to spray polyurea. The key to processing is within the proportioning pump and the spray gun. This is the ‘life support’ system for proper installation and application.”
It All Begins at the Pump
When spraying with polyureas, special consideration starts with the selection of a high-output pump. Increased pressure delivers more kinetic energy to the mixing zone. Pumps can be either pneumatic or hydraulically operated. Both types still require an air compressor because the air drives the drum pumps that deliver the material. The choice in pumps is then divided into either a vertical or horizontal layout.
The vertical pump has been the traditional choice of paint contractors. However, with high-solids coating systems like polyureas, verticals will not fill components of different viscosity at the same time and rate of speed. An imbalance of pressure will always be noted between the up and downstroke. This often results in a pulsating flow of material to the spray gun and affects the spray pattern and the coating consistency.
Polyureas must be mixed with an even and strong head of pressure. If the pressure varies on one side or the other, the quality of the mixed material and the spray pattern’s consistency at the gun can be adversely affected. And without sufficient volume, poor mix, atomization, and application result.
The hoses that carry the gun components must also be heated; otherwise, all the gains in breaking down the pump’s viscosity would be lost. Regular hoses, designed for polyurethanes, cannot handle the higher temperatures and pressures required for spraying polyureas. While the initial healing takes place within the pump, the hoses must maintain that temperature throughout their entire length — even as long as a football field. Such demands require specially designed hoses.
Primeaux added that, depending on the length, hoses should include a “step-down” inside diameter (ID) to minimize pressure drop at the spray gun. In other words, the ID at the pump end of the hoses is larger than the hose section near the gun.
The Spray Gun
Guns are divided into the categories, mechanical and air, depending on how the material is purged out of the chamber when detriggering occurs. Solvent purge guns are also occasionally utilized for hard-to-mix or off-ratio spray applications.
Representing the most applicable spray gun for the application of polyurea technology is the mechanical purge spray gun. With a machine gun, the valving rod’s return at detriggering seals off and completely flushes out the mixing chamber area. The tight fit of the valving rod, along with the high-pressure kinetic force of its movement, cleans all unwanted material out.
“The mechanical purge gun gives the best mix and properties, partly because of the dynamics within the mixing chamber,” says Primeaux. “You also get a complete purge out of the mixing chamber, which eliminates the possibility of the hold-up of product inside that chamber. The problem with hold-up is that it affects the incoming material and the subsequent mix.”
With air purge guns, a blast of air blows the material out upon detriggering between sprays. Here, the valving rod moves back and forth to allow air to enter the mixing chamber instead of just material.
The shortcoming of air purge guns is that since air is used to purge, the pressure must be consistently high to flush the chamber completely. If not, the tip will become plugged. An additional problem occurs whenever air enters the mixing chamber. Contaminants such as oil and water could be introduced from the air compressor onto the substrate. This can cause blistering and delamination of the polyurea coating.
Additional Gun Considerations
Other considerations when choosing a gun are gun geometry and construction. Maintenance and speed of operation also rank as important factors when selecting polyureaspray systems. Operator ergonomics should be taken into account as well. Finally, contractors new to the polyurea spraying industry should also seek an equipment manufacturer that provides good support and a commitment to maintaining a ready spare parts inventory.
Do the Job Right the First Time
Ultimately, contractors reap the benefits of knowing which equipment to use for entering the field of sprayed polyureas. On the other hand, the consequences of ignorance can put a contractor out of business.
When you’re working in the trenches with these applicators, you can see the results of using poor equipment right upfront. I know of one case where a guy did a job for a customer, but two things went wrong. The contractor didn’t do the right surface prep, and the equipment was not suitable for the field application of polyurea. When the coating failed, the customer sued the contractor several times for what the d was worth because of lost revenue.
Traditional coatings have been too inflexible and not sufficiently elastic to accommodate ground, concrete, or metal substrate movement for primary or secondary containment. This deficiency can lead to cracks or holes forming in both the substrate and the coatings, which can compromise containment. However, the formulation of tough, monolithic, flexible coatings such as polyurea is now resolving this issue for contractors, engineers, and facility managers. When applied directly to concrete or metal surfaces, polyurea not only strengthens and protects lite underlying substrate but can also bridge gaps or cracks of 1/8″ or larger.
Furthermore, polyurea is now being applied to geotextile liners that can be swiftly rolled out in sheets to protect more heavily diminished surfaces or for use in field applications such as dirt or gravel pads at drilling sites. Once installed, applicators need only coat the liners’ seams to create a monolithic surface suitable for containment. Whether at refineries, industrial plants, or other manufacturing plants, regulations demand the use of primary and secondary containment systems to keep toxic or hazardous substances from escaping into the ground and potentially entering the water supply.
This implies primary containment is not foolproof. Though durable, metals corrode, concrete cracks, and is permeable, it will drain liquids if uncoated. Therefore, secondary containment, in the form of concrete pits with barriers installed around the perimeter of a tank or other storage container, is often needed. To protect these structures, coatings such as epoxies, tars, and polyurethanes are often applied as an added protection wall. However, these traditional coatings are often inflexible when cured and can crack along with the concrete. Typical coatings do not hold up well to substrate movement or daily, seasonal, or process-related thermal expansion and contraction, which can lead to cracks and leaks.
After considerable research and testing, Collins says he turned to an advanced polyurea system from ArmorThane, a spray-applied polyurea manufacturer for primary and secondary containment. When applied to substrates such as concrete or steel, the spray-applied waterproof coating creates a durable, seamless, flexible, protective barrier that stops leaks and strengthens primary and secondary containment systems’ integrity. The coating exhibits superior physical properties such as hardness, tensile strength, and crack bridging and elongation up to 400% to create a robust, industrial-grade protective lining.
Polyurea can bridge cracks as well as flex at a rate similar to concrete and steel. This not only helps it last but also seals the concrete, so does Secondary containment, in the form of concrete pits tamers instated around the perimeter of a tank or other storage container, is often required as a back-up to primary containment does not absorb contaminants if there is a spill inside the contained area. While traditional coatings such as cementitious, epoxies, tars, and polyurethanes will prematurely fail if not installed under a relatively narrow range of temperatures, polyurea is designed for installation and use from ~4O°F to *35OCF. It sets and cures quickly and will withstand decades of freeze-thaw cycling and wide After spraying the polyurea, return to service is almost instantaneous variations of temperature and humidity. After spraying the polyurea, return to service is almost instantaneous, making a big difference in minimizing production downtime.
They coated about 8,000 sq. ft. of concrete in 12 truck-offloading areas that required drive-in containment with ArmorThane polyurea. Within minutes of spray application, trucks were safely driving across it in some instances. Instead of spraying polyurea directly to the substrate, pre-sprayed composite panels can offer advantages for containment over the soil, gravel, or even concrete that is too damaged to be effectively rehabilitated.
Repairing plastic liners also presents a problem at the seams, when damaged areas are cut out and new sections. Polyurea products are so much more durable than plastics for containment systems. When needed, they can custom apply more polyurea millage to geotextile panels and berms to accommodate even the heaviest truck use and vehicle abuse. To verify the strength of the polyurea coating on containment mats and berms, in fact, Collins conducted several tests.
They also ran 6,044 fully loaded water trucks across a containment system, and it withstood it with zero holes and no compromise to the liner. Collins credits both the durability of the ArmorThane polyurea and its extended recoating window for the ability of his company to reuse its containment systems extensively. To reuse a containment system, they cut it up into rolls, roll it up and move it. Then, take it back out, respond to certain areas, and reinstall the original containment system at another location. They’ve found the extended open window for recoat and repair of the polyurea allows them to easily cut out any damaged section of geotextile, put a new piece in, and spray the seams to make it virtually seamless again. They get better repair and more reuse out of our containment systems.
Amine-cured epoxy is one of the most successful chemically resistant coatings on the market. They tend to come as epoxy with filler and other additives on the A-side and amine curative on the B side. When mixed, they give a sprayable coating with a very workable pot life and good adhesion to a wide variety of substrates. The cured epoxy coating’s ultimate chemical resistance will depend on several key factors, including the chemical composition of both the epoxy and the amine curative, the types of fillers and additives used, and the cure temperature and time.
With a low crosslink density, a coating is susceptible to penetration from corrosive chemicals, which can eventually reach the substrate, creating corrosion and leading to its ultimate failure. However, with a very high crosslink density, the product provides a virtually impenetrable barrier between the chemical and the substrate. Also, chemicals do not penetrate the coating, which can occur in common epoxies, leading to blistering, splitting, and coating degradation.
In a low-crosslink-density coating, the chemicals will penetrate through the coating to the substrate, causing substrate corrosion. Because the solvent has penetrated the coating, both the epoxy and amine curing agent bonds will be broken by chemical attack. As for the coating with high crosslink density, the chemicals will be unable to penetrate the coating. This will not only protect the substrate from corrosion but also protect the coating itself from any damage.
With the emerging needs for both industrial and marine applications, coatings have a wide range of technical requirements in addition to chemical resistance. We will cover the technical and market needs for each of these requirements along with recent developments to meet these demands.
Coatings for Sulfuric Acid
Sulfuric acid is a very important industrial chemical used for such things as the manufacturing of phosphate fertilizers, purification of petroleum, acids, along with being used as a pickling medium for metals, and in storage batteries.
Two-component epoxy coatings show excellent resistance to sulfuric acid of most concentrations and transportation and storage temperatures. They have been used successfully for years, but unfortunately can darken upon exposure to sulfuric acid.
Coating Inspection Facilitation
Ensuring the integrity of the coating is critical for the protection of the substrate. Failure of the coating cannot only cause destruction to the vessel, costing the owner both time and money, but it can also pose a danger to workers and the surrounding environment. Proper inspection of the coating itself can be time-consuming and expensive, and based on the vessel’s geometry being examined, some areas can be very hard to probe. Coatings must regularly be examined for damage to make sure that there are no cracks, holes, or chips. The entire vessel must be examined after draining and cleaning, which can be difficult again because of the complex geometries along with the hazards associated with sending workers into the vessels for review.
Coatings should expedite the inspection process, reducing chances of coating failure and overall simplifying the inspection process.
Static electricity presents a very significant risk for not only the safety of people and property but also of products that are susceptible to static electricity, such as electronics components.
Improved Abrasion Resistance
Coatings used to stock chemicals and other substances can sustain damage from abrasion, such as the loading and unloading of supplies in the form of slurries or from cleaning procedures. Applications that could benefit from an improvement in abrasion resistance could include hopper cars, slurry pipes, legs of oil platforms, pumps, coal chutes, baghouses, and ion exchange vessels. Epoxy coatings can provide great chemical resistance through a high degree of crosslinking and the correct chemical structure, however this can lead to a coating that can be brittle and subject to damage from abrasion.
Recent changes to regulations from the American Association of Railroads (AAR) require that for a tank car facility to be certified, it must be able to demonstrate the procedure to repair coatings on a periodic basis. 9 High-bake phenolic coatings are widely used in the rail industry due to their excellent chemical resistance to a wide variety of products. Repair of high-bake phenolic coatings requires that the tank car first be returned to the facility, where the coating repair would then be demonstrated. The coating repair of high-bake phenolics requires that the entire tank car be taken up to high temperatures (350 °F to 400 °F), which can damage the exterior paint and stencils. This adds an extreme amount of cost for the tank car facility, along with a great deal of time for the tank cars to be out of service. Having a coating that can have its repair demonstrated in the field is therefore very important to tank car facilities. Two-part epoxy coatings can meet these needs.
Future Industry Needs
Vessel owners continue to look for ways to reduce operating expenses, and therefore chemical-resistant coatings must deliver opportunities to achieve these goals. One such opportunity is for coatings that release cargo from the walls faster than current technologies. This would allow for quicker unloading of vessels, along with easier cleaning, allowing for less time between unloading and loading. Ability to carry different chemicals would also save vessel owners time and money. The same asset could be used to transport or store a wide variety of chemicals, eliminating the need to either re-coat current vessels or to possess different storage options for each chemical. The coating should therefore be resistant to the widest variety of chemicals possible and should not absorb chemicals that can later be released and contaminate the next chemical loaded into the vessel.
Developments in chemically resistant, 2K polymer-modified epoxy coatings have met several market needs, including carry of sulfuric acid, coating inspection facilitation, improved abrasion resistance, anti-static coatings, and field-repairable coatings. These coating systems continue to be rulers in chemical-resistant applications in both marine and industrial applications, and will meet anticipated market needs through continued innovation.
Canada remains an integral part of the global Coatings Industry, and there are several Canadian Polyurea manufacturers, such as ArmorThane. The market is rather stable at the moment and slowly growing more towards innovation.
If you look at the total numbers in the Canadian Polyurea Industry, the market size in 2017 was around CAD 12.3 billion. These numbers have ballooned since that release. More than 80.000 people now work directly or indirectly in the coating industry. Over 230 coating and paint manufacturers are based across Canada, owning and operating more than 3.000 retail stores and supply another 4.000 retail stores with their products.
As in every coating industry, the Canadian coating market is also complex and has many local expert companies across the country such as in Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver, Calgary & Ottawa. Sometimes it’s difficult to determine which company and coating product best suit your project. With our extensive databases, experience, and knowledge, we are ready to help you with these choices with our 100% free quotation service. You can connect with us through the “Contact” and “Request a Quote” buttons on our website.
Be sure to look out for our Canadian company review article, which will be coming within a matter of days. We are in the final stages of our testing and will be updating you with all those results as soon as we are able.