The word epoxy is used too much, even many architects and general contractors do not realize how specialized many coatings materials can be. While most general purpose, epoxy coatings afford a high level of chemical resistance to the concrete they protect, a special class of epoxies, called Novolac provides extremely high chemical resistance. The Novolac epoxy resins increases resistance to many acids and solvents; although these coatings often have lower flexibility than other coatings.
While Novolacs can be incorporated into a decorative coating system (such as quartz or decorative chip), they are more typical of solid color floors and often are completed in high-build systems (greater than 20 MILS dry film thickness).
Chemical Storage Vault in Lancaster
Earlier this year, our Pennsylvania operation was asked to bid a job where a special hazardous materials vault was being built into the company’s leased space in Lancaster. Our contacts at High Associates asked us to specify a system which would provide at least 72 hours of secondary containment for a chemical manifest that was 2 pages long.
Two of our chemical manufacturers provide Novolac epoxy coatings. They each have extensive chemical resistance charts that outline how each of their Novolac primers, body coats and topcoats will perform when exposed to a specific chemical under multiple conditions. The conditions are timeframes and typically break down to the following:
- Not recommended for exposure to this chemical
- Short term/Immediate splash spills (not to exceed 2 hours)
- Long term splash spills (not to exceed a normal 8 – 10 hour work shift without cleanup)
- Short term immersion (not to exceed 72 hours)
- Long term immersion (continuous exposure to a chemical)
Having reviewed the customer’s chemical manifest, we determined only one of our vendor’s Novolac epoxy system would withstand the potential spill and necessary containment of sodium hypochlorite (12.5%). This chemical is very corrosive to most coatings and extremely destructive on unprotected concrete.
The remainder of the chemicals did not pose any issue for any of our Novolac epoxy systems.
In addition to protecting the floor of the chemical vault, we also had to transition up the concrete walls for an additional 24 inches.
Our system consisted of Rock-Tred Novolacs comprised of an 11 MIL primer, 14 MIL body coat with a full broadcast of sand and a 25 MIL topcoat. The walls were primed with an Elasti-Poxi membrane and then coated with the same system as the floor. The transition from floor to wall was accomplished using a 2” cant cove.
Once installed, the H-Vault was fitted with a special “drawbridge” over a containment pit that can spring shut and see the entryway into the room if a spill is detected. The picture to the left shows the draw bridge in it’s UP position.
Where Else Are Novolac Epoxies Used
Some typical uses of Novolac epoxies are:
Our other recent Novolac epoxy projects have included:
Dairy Farms –At the Ben Stoltzfus Farms, we installed the Novolac epoxies to protect against the strongly acidic cleaners used with the stainless steel tanks.
Cheese Processing – At Cumberland Valley Creamery, the acidic nature of the cheese making process is very hard on traditional epoxy coatings. Our Novolac epoxies protect this new Mechanicsburg business.
Battery Storage/Charge stations – For Conewago Enterprises, we recently completed almost 6,000 square feet of Novolac epoxy coatings that were reinforced with sand to provide protective coatings that withstand the heavy abuse from forklifts. To see an article on the building, click here.
Distillery production – At the Hotel Fulton Distillery, we installed a high build, Novolac epoxy system with integrated cove base.
Stronghold Floors assists companies in Maryland, Pennsylvania and Virginia with secondary containment systems that can prevent migration of any liquids or chemicals from within the containment area into soil, ground water or surface water. Their systems are able to control the liquids or chemicals for a minimum time period of 72 hours to allow for removal of the spill or leak.
You can see comments from the Project Manager of this H-Vault project at the bottom of the Blog article: Need a Commercial Floor Coating? Think Local.