The Science of Surfaces

When we speak about the quality and reliability of our concrete-alternative repair and restoration products we’re not only speaking from experience, but also on factual data gathered through our scientific approach to improving concrete surfaces.

Our dedicated team of in-house scientists and sophisticated testing equipment works timelessly to develop innovative products, raise the bar on the industry’s standard technologies and validate the performance characteristics of the epoxy-based systems we manufacture and install.

In short, we apply science to improve the performance of surfaces, paying particular attention to compression strength and hardness.

Science behind Surfaces

Compression strength

Our epoxy is unequivocally much stronger than concrete, proven by compression strength testing. Compression strength is the capacity of a material to withstand a constant load, or resist compression. Once a material hits its compressive limit, it tends to fracture or irreversibly deform.

We use state-of-the-art testing equipment in our in-house lab to measure compressive strength of our own epoxies compared to that of other materials being used on the market. We can also test materials in the field to determine their strength.

While standard commercial concrete is around 4,000-4,500 psi, our epoxy mortar systems are conservatively 10,000 psi, or two- to three-times stronger.

Hardness

Hardness is a measure of a material’s resistance to indentation; how much damage will result from a certain weighted object dropped from a specific height.

To measure how hard a sample is, we test according to the Shore D scale using a durometer scale. The basic Shore D hardness test requires applying the force in a consistent manner, without shock, and measuring the hardness, or the depth of the indentation.

Lab Analysis and Testing

Our standard epoxy system measures in the mid-80s on this 1-100 scale. For context, standard commercial concrete measures in the 50-70 range.

Knowing a material’s hardness score comes into play when determining how long it takes to cure and reach its peak hardness. You can measure hardness during the curing process to see how close to the final hardness the product is. Generally speaking, epoxies cure faster than concrete, meaning their peak hardness occurs sooner.

What’s the difference between compression strength and hardness?

Think of compression strength in terms of the capacity of a material or structure to withstand loads before it cracks or fractures. Hardness is a form of penetration resistance, so if you drop something on it how likely is it to dent or chip.

Used together, hardness and compression strength allow you to describe the level of the material’s resiliency. For example, the higher compression strength and hardness of epoxy mortar systems compared to concrete means the epoxy-based system is more resilient to constantly applied heavy forces (trucks, machinery, etc.) and impacts (cars bumping into gas islands).

When considering concrete or concrete-alternative surface ratings, compression and hardness are both important factors to understand.

Want to learn more about the science of surfaces and how it can work for you? Contact us today!