Normally, facility managers select the materials that they need for their floor coatings systems, with a mind to minimize costs and still get quality performance. Materials selection is not a simple process of going to the nearest store and buying the products. To achieve cost and performance benefits, a careful selection process for the best-manufactured products should be observed.
Factors in Floor Coatings Selection
For floor coatings systems, in particular, facility managers have to study the properties and costs of existing products. They also factor in the specific requirements and conditions of the floors. For instance, if the floor is made of concrete material, and it has sustained cracks and holes, then the facility manager may need a 100%-solid concrete filler to fix the problem and restore the floor's original good condition.
Once it has been determined that a 100%-solid concrete formulation will get the job done, price considerations come into play. The facility manager then compares properties and pricing to narrow down the floor coatings choice. When product manufacturers price their products, they cost it on the basis of expected and deliverable performance, as determined by laboratory testing and analysis. They also weigh in the quality of the raw materials they used in the formulation. Facility managers, on the other hand, must weigh the floor coatings’ cost not only in terms of its properties or performance alone, but also if it is able to meet the specific requirements of the facility floors.
The Material Selection Guide
Material selection for floor coatings involves comparing products and getting the best-fit product for facility requirements. The properties of each product are compared both technically and economics-wise. To get to the most appropriate product, the facility manager must rely on accurate information about the products as a basis for his or her decision-making.
This guide to material selection is provided by the manufacturer's product information sheet or, as often the case, by the material safety data sheet (MSDS). These sources of information provide a complete profile about the product and lists down the properties of each.
The selection guide is often a lengthy document, because every product feature is disclosed. The general product profile is outlined, and the rest of the guide contains technical application methodologies -- from surface preparation, mixing, handling and even disposal of the floor coatings product.
Product Profile for 100% Solid Formulations
The material selection guide for 100% solid floor coatings may contain the generic description of the product and its common usage, such as whether it is to be used as a filler, surfacer, or for patching holes and cracks. The guide will also indicate surface suitability, be it concrete or steel surface, or application acceptability, such as in water tank interiors, as protective coatings, or whether or not the product requires a topcoat.
The product guide will disclose the technical properties of the coating system and the appropriate methodologies to handle the product. For steel applications for example, the recommended surface preparation may be according to SSPC-SP6/NACE 3 or SSPC-SP10/NACE 2 blast cleaning with a minimum mil anchor profile. For concrete applications, the curing days will be indicated, with a dryness verification test conforming to ASTM D 4263 or "plastic film tapedown test".
Lastly, safety recommendations are also contained therein, such as the amount of volatile organic compounds that the floor coatings product may contain, and the proper handling, equipments, gears, and safety precautions that must be observed when handling these products.