Polyurea and polyurethane are ideal for manufacturing protective linings and coatings. The two materials share many similarities and can often be used interchangeably. However, there are several distinct differences that should be considered when choosing between the polymer compounds. From chemical composition to curing time, these differences lend unique advantages and disadvantages depending on the intended application.
Polyurea vs Polyurethane
Polyurethane and polyurea share many similarities — one of the biggest being that, in their final forms, they are capable of curing into very flexible to very stiff coatings. Polyurethane has been a standard sealant and adhesive material for decades. It is created from a reaction between a polyol and an isocyanate, creating a waterproof coating with high resistance to certain acids. This makes polyurethane ideal for use in the food industry, where frequent contact with food-related acids is expected.
Polyureas are a more modern addition to the sealant and coating industry. They are formed when multifunctional amine reacts with an isocyanate. The compound reacts faster than polyurethane, creating a gel in only seconds after mixing the ingredients.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Polyurea vs Polyurethane
The unique compositions of the two substances provide them with advantages and disadvantages based on the application. Both compounds are ideal protective coatings for concrete, reducing the damaging effects of chemical exposure, corrosion, abrasion, and moisture. Polyurethanes offer the following advantages:
- Facilitates application in two parts for more versatility
- Less expensive than polyurea
- Resistant to damaging UV rays
- Curing time can be set from one minute to several hours depending on the mixture
Polyurethanes also have unique disadvantages compared to polyurea coatings. When applying polyurethane, users must pay attention to the temperature and humidity level. The chemical reaction is sensitive to temperatures less than 32°F. Polyurethane coatings may blister when applied at humidity levels higher than 70%.
Polyurea offers the following advantages:
- Pleasant appearance with various pigment options
- Easy to work with
- Applicable at temperatures as low as -20°F
- Performs well in humid environments
- Quick curing time allows for application in harsh conditions
- Withstands extreme environments
Several factors put polyurea at a disadvantage compared to polyurethane. Polyurea can be expensive to apply because technicians must be highly trained to work with the incredibly fast-curing compound before it sets. With little resistance to UV damage, the appearance of polyurea can become chalky, discolored, and dull when exposed to UV rays.
Applications of Polyurea vs Polyurethane
Polyurea and polyurethane’s unique characteristics make them ideal for use in differing applications. Polyurea’s resistance to harsh environments makes it ideal for construction applications. It is suitable for bridges, car parks, decks, roof repairs, and aesthetically appealing surface coatings for floors. The oil, coatings, marine, and other industrial industries depend on polyurea for a wide range of uses.
Polyurethane’s low cost and manageable application make it suitable for cars, furniture, housing, and shoes. It can also be used in manufacturing hard protective coatings and foam insulation for mattresses.
Polyurea vs. Polyurethane Coatings From Copps Industries
Polyurea and polyurethane are valuable coating and lining compounds for many industries. While polyurethane coatings are affordable and offer UV resistance, they are more susceptible to damage in humid or freezing environments. Polyurea resists extreme conditions and cures incredibly fast but can be more expensive.
Copps Industries has over 40 years of experience in the epoxy business and maintains an ISO 9001-2015 certification to deliver the highest quality products and services. We focus on providing industry-leading customer service and high-quality products. We offer a wide range of products to suit numerous applications. At Copps Industries, we formulate each of our systems in the USA. We are building the future of green epoxies by developing environmentally friendly solutions.
Epoxy resins are versatile materials with a high aesthetic appeal. In recent years, epoxies have gained popularity in the art world due to their limitless color options and visual appeal. Epoxies are also widely used in the bar and restaurant industries to craft unique bars and countertops. To create an epoxy resin, two liquid chemicals are mixed. When they harden, they produce a durable, low-maintenance plastic that can be used in a wide range of applications, from construction adhesive and coatings to consumer crafts.
The Different Types of Consumer Craft Epoxies
There are two primary types of epoxy resin for consumer crafts. Both types are water-clear and harden to an extremely durable finish that can withstand scratching and yellowing:
- Ultra Clear Tabletop Epoxy: Typically used for bartops and countertops, along with artistic projects, tabletop epoxy has a medium viscosity and a 1:1 epoxy-to-hardener mix ratio. It’s used by consumers for crafts and home improvement projects, and it also has commercial and industrial applications in restaurant chains and more.
- Ultra Clear Casting Epoxy: This low-viscosity epoxy is a favorite among woodworkers and artists. It has a 2:1 epoxy-to-hardener mix ratio and is used for large castings, river tabletops, encapsulating items, and more.
Applications of Consumer Craft Epoxies
From serving trays and coasters to tabletops and wall decor, epoxy is a versatile material limited only by the artist’s imagination. Epoxies can be made in any color, and you can pour them over a variety of other materials. Clear epoxy bar counters, for example, may feature a collection of bottle caps, pencils, or flowers underneath the hardened resin. Here are just a few of the most common craft applications for epoxies:
- Bar and Table Tops: For a high-gloss surface that exposes the underlying wood or other decorative items, epoxy offers both beauty and durable functionality. Copps offers commercial-grade epoxies that are used by bar and restaurant owners around the world.
- Casting Resin: Because these resins cure more slowly and offer a thicker pour, they are ideal for encasing or suspending objects like dried flowers, coins, and various memorabilia.
- River Tables: Thanks in part to social media how-to videos, beautiful river tables have grown in popularity. Copps consumer epoxies can be mixed with a range of pigments to create nearly any color for your river table project.
Copps Industries Private Label Program
With our private label program, Copps Industries can help you bring high-quality epoxies to market quickly. We’ve already perfected the formulation and ensured it meets all manufacturing and environmental standards and regulations, saving you time in research and development. It’s a great opportunity to extend the reach of your brand with a proven product.
Our entire line of epoxy products, featuring more than 2,500 formulations, is available for private labeling. With no start-up costs or fixed manufacturing costs, private labeling is a cost-efficient way to add an epoxy solution to your product line.
How to Choose the Optimal Private Label Manufacturing Partner
It’s important to find a private label manufacturer that values collaboration. At Copps Industries, we have years of experience in private label manufacturing, and we see ourselves as your partner in bringing your branded epoxy product to market. Working with us comes with a range of benefits, including:
- No research and development costs
- No fixed costs
- No expensive start-up costs
- No manufacturing costs
- Regulatory and environmental compliance
- Export shipping compliance
We take care of all the details, backed by our years of experience and commitment to excellence. We are ISO 9001:2015 certified and hold ourselves to the highest standards for quality, safety, and environmental responsibility. With over 2,500 formulations in our database, we have products to suit a wide variety of needs and we work to exceed your expectations. Contact us to learn more about our private label epoxy manufacturing or request a quote today.