Architects and designers are increasingly using a building's concrete floor as a decorative element in new construction and refurbishment projects. Diamond polishing, stamped concrete and decorative stains, for example, are being used as durable yet beautiful decorative finishing options. Over time, the surface can be exposed to chemicals that can stain or cause damage to the concrete.
A Bayer MaterialScience LLC scientist studied the use of two-component, ultra-low-volatile organic compound (VOC) waterborne polyurethane sealers that can be used in conjunction with decorative concrete options to achieve both durability and aesthetic targets. Due to the increased demand for higher durability concrete sealers, this waterborne polyurethane technology is considered to be a replacement for the acrylic stainguard products currently being used.
The results of the studies are detailed in a technical paper: "Floor Sealer on Steroids - Novel Green Sealer Technology for Decorative Concrete Flooring," authored by Steven Reinstadtler, a coatings expert with Bayer MaterialScience LLC. Reinstadtler will present his findings during the Polyurethanes Technical Conference, sponsored by the Center for the Polyurethanes Industry. The conference is taking place Sept. 26 - 28 in Nashville, Tenn.
Traditional stainguard products contain significant quantities of VOCs and solvents. However, increased governmental, regulatory and sustainability pressures have led to a demand for new coatings technologies with reduced VOC, Hazardous Air Pollutants (HAPS), heavy metals and other environmentally detrimental compounds. The recent development of waterborne polyurethane coatings and sealers addresses many of the desired attributes sought by formulators, contractors and owners such as: chemical and stain resistance, low odor, long-term performance, ease-of-use and concrete penetration. The new coatings achieve these property goals and are "truly waterborne" - having 0-20g/L VOC levels.
Reinstadtler's testing revealed that the sealer prevented discoloration of decorative concrete when exposed to a variety of staining or corrosive substances. According to the author, "this novel two-component waterborne polyurethane coating penetrates effectively, without objectionable odor."