August 31, 2018

A flexible solution for plywood floors

Plywood is not your typical flooring substrate to apply epoxy on. While adhesion to the substrate is not a problem with correct preparation, flexibility and movement are. In order to apply epoxy to plywood, clients need to work closely with the manufacturer and applicator to ensure they are getting a solution that works best for their requirements.

Unlike concrete which provides a stable substrate to apply epoxy over, plywood is extremely flexible, and experiences expansion and contraction. This means a standard epoxy coating is not going to be suitable as it will crack, tear, peel and ultimately fail, particularly along the joins, due to differential movement. To complete such a project an epoxy system with sufficient elongation needs to be used to tolerate expected movement.

Chris Bauer, Head of Flooring at Hychem, said, “Many epoxy manufacturers in Australia would not consider a project where epoxy is applied directly onto a plywood substrate because the risk of cracking, tearing, peeling and failure is too high.”

A system made for plywood

Hychem’s specially designed E100 epoxy primer and SP20FG high strength epoxy coat can be used to provide superior adhesion and trafficability over plywood.

“These products are versatile and can be used to create a three coat system for plywood – one coat of E100 and two coats of SP20FG,” Mr Bauer said.

“SP20FG also comes with in-built fine grit to create a slip-resistant coating, which is great as it saves the applicator wasting extra time, resources and money broadcasting anti-slip aggregates.

“This is only one of the systems we have available, and we are able work within and provide specifications for projects if clients are unsure what is best for their plywood floor.”

A close working relationship

Mr Bauer said that key to the success of projects involving plywood is a close working relationship between the client, the applicator and the manufacturer.

“Different projects will have different requirements, and for difficult jobs close collaboration is needed to ensure the product can meet project specifications, and that the client is aware of how different products and systems will perform.

“We have a number of products and systems available with different properties, and can complete adhesion and trafficability testing prior to the final product being selected so that everyone is happy with its performance.

“This ensures the best chance of a successful and lasting coating, and that the client is provided with a material warranty that aligns with the conditions.”

Selecting an applicator that understands the product and challenges of plywood is also important to a successful project.

Hychem has a strong and trusted network of trained applicators throughout Australia with extensive experience in the flooring industry,” Mr Bauer said.

“Our applicators understand our products and the challenges of various flooring types, and are able to advise clients on what will work best for their floor to ensure the coating is successful in the long term.”

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