Most resin flooring contractors (Epoxy flooring, polyurethane flooring, and MMA flooring) have encountered sticky, oily, or uncured flooring at some point in their careers. This is usually the result of improper curing of the flooring resin (epoxy, polyurethane, or methyl methacrylate) and hardener (flooring hardener). There are different reasons for not curing the resin flooring, one of which is the lack of proper mixing of component A (resin) and component B (hardener).
In this article, we will examine the common mistakes during the process of mixing resin flooring material components.
Common mistakes of mixing Resin and Hardener
1- Not using an electrical mixer
Sometimes resin floor installers (usually novice and inexperienced) think that mixing the epoxy resin and hardener mixture with a hand mixer or shaking a bucket can achieve a uniform mixture. The mixing process in epoxy and polyurethane flooring requires considerable strength. If the amount of flooring material is very small (less than 3 kg), it can be mixed manually. Otherwise, you should use an electric mixer.
Failure to obtain a homogeneous mixture of epoxy resin and polyamine hardener or polyamide hardener due to insufficient mixing or failure to use a suitable mixer leads to the non-uniform distribution of epoxy resin hardener molecules in the paint. Since the curing reaction of epoxy resin begins with the mixing of epoxy resin with hardener, the absence of hardener in some parts of the bucket containing the mixture will lead to an incomplete chemical reaction between the resin and the hardener, and as a result, the flooring or the desired piece of resin will not be cured.
Read also: Epoxy Flooring Equipment
2- Mixing ratio of Epoxy resin and hardener (part A and part B)
Imagine that the resin flooring installation project is nearing its final stage and only a small area of the project is left. The resin flooring installation team decided to take a small amount of component A (resin) from a 20 kg bucket and mix it with a small amount of component B instead of using all of it. If you do not follow the mixing ratio of component A and component B, your final system will not cure well and some parts of the flooring will remain sticky. Therefore, always do the mixing according to the information provided by the manufacturer of the epoxy flooring material included on the packaging of the material and follow the mixing ratios.
Note that failure to observe the ratio of epoxy resin and hardener can have two reasons:
Incorrect calculation of the mixing ratio of epoxy resin and hardener
As mentioned, the mixing ratio of epoxy resin and hardener is written on the product label as well as on the product’s technical information sheet, which is provided to you by the manufacturer. Knowing how to calculate the weight of two components based on this mixing ratio, although it seems simple, happens to be the source of many mistakes when installing epoxy flooring or making resin art pieces. The incorporated mixing ratio is generally expressed based on the required weight ratio of hardener per unit weight of the epoxy resin. For example, a mixing ratio of 20% means that 20 grams of hardener are needed for every 100 grams of epoxy resin.
Incorrect weighing of the calculated amounts of epoxy resin and hardener
As mentioned, the mixing ratio of epoxy resin and hardener is generally determined by weight. Therefore, it is necessary to use an accurate and calibrated scale to weigh the components. Not using a scale and visual mixing or using volume measures are all reasons that can lead to the loss of the correct mixing ratio and its direct effect on the resin and hardener curing reaction.
3- Error in measuring materials
Usually, operators mix the materials by reading the instructions on the packaging of the epoxy flooring material. For example, the instructions, it says “weight ratio of component A to component B, 5 to 1.” Thus they mix 5 units of resin with 1 unit of hardener, which is wrong! You should note that the hardener has a lower density than the resin. For this reason, when measuring the components, you must consider their density and measure the volume of the material. If a large amount of hardener is added, the final surface of the flooring will become oily.
4- The Expiry date of Resin products
If the expiration date of the epoxy flooring material has passed or there is little time left to its end, the filler material will settle at the bottom of the container and the so-called bucket becomes muddy. BASA Polymer suggests you use the material at its optimal time and avoid its long-term storage. But if you want to use your material in the final days of the expiration date, first transfer the material from part A of the epoxy floor to a new container, scrape off the deposited material well, and add it to the new container. Before adding component B, mix the component A poured into the new bucket well until it is uniform. If the mentioned steps are not performed, the materials settled at the bottom of the container will not be mixed with the hardener, and parts of the final floor surface will remain sticky and wet.
5-Mixing Eesin Materials from different companies together
Usually, epoxy flooring contractors procure Component A and Component B from a flooring material manufacturing company. But sometimes the components of the flooring material may not be purchased from a single company. Maybe the characteristics of component A of different companies are similar, but they are not the same due to the difference in formulation, raw materials, and the way the material is produced. In the case of mixing two components from two different companies, the mixing ratios are not properly observed and a uniform mixture is not obtained. This causes the final surface to appear greasy or sticky and the flooring not fully cured.
According to the things mentioned in this article, it can be concluded that mixing is an important and essential part of the process of installing and implementing epoxy flooring, and in addition to choosing high-quality materials suitable for the use of the floor, the operators must observe the mixing ratios and accurate measurement of the material.