Difference between Polyaspartic and Polyurethane coatings?

Polyurethanes are produced by the reaction of a polyisocyanate with a polyalcohol (polyol) in the presence of a catalyst and other additives. Isocyanates can be classed as aromatic or aliphatic. Depending upon the type of isocyanate used in the reaction, there can be either aromatic polyurethanes or aliphatic polyurethanes.

Polyaspartic is an aliphatic Polyurea. So what is Polyurea?

Polyureas are produced by the reaction of a polyisocyanate with an amine terminated polyester resin. The result of the reaction between aliphatic polyisocyanate with a diamine is called Polyaspartic Polyurea or in shot Polyaspartic.

The terminology sounds verbose and pedagogic but it is very important to understand these terms for anyone who is in the coatings industry so that they can speak knowledgeably with their clients.

Polyaspartic sealers are different in both application and performance properties from Polyurea. Polyaspartics are similar in application and performance characteristics to aliphatic Polyurethane sealers.

Difference between Polyaspartic and Polyurethane Sealers/Coatings

It is also important to understand the difference between Polyaspartic and Polyurethane sealers / coatings because one can be substitute for the other.

Why would you want to do that?

Polyurethane sealers are less expensive than Polyaspartic and they perform (abrasion, chemical and UV resistance) similarly after they have been fully cured. Therefore if the project conditions allow one can be substituted for the other.

Polyaspartics

Polyurethanes

Can be applied thin to moderate film (up to 15mil DFT) Only thin film builds, up to 6mil DFT
Zero VOC Varies between 0.1lb/ga to 2.5lb/ga
Variable cure speed Slow to moderate cure
Allows quick return to service 24hr to 48hr before return to service
Short pot life (20-30min @ 700F) Long pot life (1.5 to 2.0hr @ 750F)


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