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Waterborne PU coating protects and enhances concrete floors

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Developers and contractors need performant, sustainable coatings, especially for large-scale renovations. When it came to protecting and beautifying the 80-year-old concrete floor of a retasked building in Pittsburgh – the Energy Innovation Center (EIC) – a waterborne 2K PU coating was the perfect fit.

Task

Rejuvenate an old industrial floor

Seman Flooring was contracted to refurbish the Energy Innovation Center’s concrete floors, which required significant repair work after decades of heavy use. Once the flooring specialists addressed major flaws with mortars and sealants, they applied a cementitious overlay to level the 20,000 square foot floor and prepare it to accept a high-performance coating system.
Challenge

Formulate a sustainable, durable and polished coating

For the topcoat, the all-important wear layer, Seman Flooring turned to Sherwin-Williams. The experienced paint and coatings manufacturer wanted to formulate a coating system that would rigidly bond to the concrete load-bearing layer. Beyond durability, the massive hallways in the EIC also required an ecological solution with a satin finish to obtain an LEED certification and preserve the building’s neo-industrial flair.
Solution

2K waterborne polyurethane coating

Two coats of Sherwin-Williams GP 4409 Polyurethane Satin resin were applied as a protective clear topcoat. This 2K water-based aliphatic urethane provided the performance characteristics of solvent-based coatings with the easy workability of water-based solutions. The satin finish preserved the building’s industrial look and the coating’s low-VOC content, with solvent levels of less than 50 grams per liter of co-solvent, supported the owners in achieving an LEED Platinum certification.

Why a waterborne 2K PU coating was the right solution for the EIC

  • Highly durable: High-quality PU coating creates an extremely resistant wear layer.
  • Sustainable: Low volatile organic compound (VOC) content satisfied LEED Platinum requirements.
  • Highly workable: Excellent workability, even at low temperatures.
  • Customizable: Variable formulation and characteristics, depending on the particular floor application.
  • Attractive finish: Available in a low gloss, clear and/or tinted finish.

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