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Volatile Free, Inc. Releases New Polyurethane Rubber Line with Best-In-Class Release Characteristics

Posted on: February 13th, 2024 by mandig

Volatile Free, Inc. Releases New Polyurethane Rubber Line with Best-In-Class Release Characteristics

infoBrookfield, Wisconsin–(Newsfile Corp. – January 18, 2024) – Volatile Free, Inc. today announced a new addition to its liquid polyurethane rubber line. The Midwest-based company said its product line addition is the best-releasing polyurethane rubber in its class with premium properties. The easier demolding characteristics will put less stress on the casting, resulting in a much lower breakage rate. Typical companies that manufacture cast stone and manufactured stone veneer can experience a production breakage rate of 8-10%. Initial field testing indicates an 80% reduction.

“There haven’t really been many changes or improvements to the urethane rubber market since its creation. We feel that this is the first significant improvement in the industry. Testing has shown a substantially lower breakage rate on casted parts in the field, which equates to less material waste and longer-lasting molds,” stated Michael Sullivan, Technical Director of Volatile Free, Inc. He added that “This is the closest you can get to the release characteristics of silicone in a polyurethane.”

Volatile Free, Inc. manufactures polyurethane rubbers and plastics, epoxies, and silicones that are used by concrete producers across North America. To learn more, visit https://volatilefree.com.

Contact Information:
Volatile Free, Inc.
(800) 307-9218
Info@volatilefree.com

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Vacuum Degassing vs Pressure Potting: Are They Necessary?

Posted on: February 13th, 2024 by mandig

Vacuum Degassing vs Pressure Potting: Are They Necessary?

Vacuum degassing and pressure potting are techniques professionals use to get clear, bubble-free molds and castings. Either process removes or reduces these weak spots and imperfections from liquid materials that would otherwise affect the look and durability of the final product.

Many new casters use an open pour method that involves mixing A & B components together, pouring them into a mold, and then allowing them to cure at room temperature. The issue is that hundreds of tiny air bubbles are introduced into the material and will be visible in the final casting.

While using a vacuum chamber or pressure pot may seem unnecessary or costly, for those who create molds and parts regularly, it is almost essential to achieve professional results. If you are in a situation where it is critical to make bubble-free castings, using both will ensure a clean mold and part. Various industries use these processes to ensure purity, structural integrity, and performance.

What Causes Bubbles in Liquid Materials?

Air or gas becomes trapped in liquid resins and creates nodules, cavities, and hollow parts in the finished cast for several reasons:

1. Mixing two components (resins and hardeners) together quickly can introduce air into the material. While mixing faster may save time during the rest of your molding process, it can produce voids in your final product. Use a gentle folding method to prevent air from getting trapped during this process.

2. Depending on what they’re made of, mixing sticks and mixing containers can play a part in introducing moisture and air into your material. It’s best to use plastic and metal mixing tools, especially with polyurethane rubber or plastic.

3. Air can also become trapped due to improper casting techniques. If you pour your material too quickly or in thick streams, it can lead to bubble formation. To combat this, pour the material into the mold or form in a high, thin stream. Trapped air escapes more easily when the material is poured this way.

4. If the material or environment is too cold, it can increase the viscosity of the resin. Thicker viscosity materials with high surface tension have a harder time releasing trapped air since they have more resistance to flow. Using thinner viscosity and warmer materials is generally recommended. Warming the material can reduce the viscosity, making it easier to mix without introducing extra air.

5. Over-applying a release agent in your mold box or mold can also cause champagne bubbles or pinholes in your cured material. Be sure to let your release dry before casting, or use one that you can gently brush onto the surface.

What Is Vacuum Degassing?

Vacuum degassing is a process that uses a vacuum pump to pull air out of a closed chamber to reduce and remove trapped air in materials for a higher-quality product. In the controlled environment, the air pressure is reduced, which pulls the bubbles in the material to the surface, where they foam over and pop or release. For the best results, the vacuum pump should be capable of pulling up to 29 inches of mercury (Hg).

The vacuum chamber is usually a steel container with a clear lid for visibility while vacuuming. These chambers can come in various sizes and designs to accommodate a range of projects.

How It Works

Degassing is done after mixing and before pouring the material into a mold. Some casters choose to degas individual components after dispensing the amount needed and then also degas the combined mixture.

The container placed in the chamber should be large enough to allow for as much as five times the expansion of the material. If this space is not supplied, the material may spill over, leaving the mold or container only partly filled. While stopping and starting the chamber can prevent this, you would have to pay close attention during the degassing process.

The speed of this technique and how easily air escapes will depend on the viscosity of the material used. High-viscosity materials take longer for all bubbles to release. Vacuum degassing can also be more time-consuming, which is why certain fast-cure resins cannot be degassed traditionally before pouring.
Since degassing happens before you pour the material into a mold, you must be careful not to introduce air back in. If you are worried about bubbles forming in the pouring process, a pressure pot may be used instead or after degassing.

When to Use and Not Use

This method is best for materials with longer pot lives because quicker setting materials may cure with a foamy texture if they start curing while degassing. It also works well for materials with high viscosities and high surface tension. Even if the material is thick, if it has a long pot life, there should be enough time for the bubbles to rise and escape.

It’s an effective way to remove air bubbles from hard and flexible rubber materials. It’s also good for materials that must form intricate designs and complex shapes on the surface.

An important note is that materials that have a flash point under 200°C are prone to flashing off during the degassing process. This causes the product to be inconsistent and can release harmful vapors. So, any materials that contain solvents are not recommended for degassing.

Materials that can be degassed: silicone rubber, urethane rubber, urethane resins, epoxy resins, etc.

What Is Pressure Potting?

Pressure potting is a process that uses an air compressor to push air into a concealed chamber to create bubble-free molds and castings with liquid rubber and plastics. Depending on the material, the amount of pressure added is between 40-60 psi and should not exceed the pressure limit of the pot to prevent safety hazards from occurring.

Adding pressure will alter the viscosity and flow characteristics of the material. The pressure forces the material into tight spaces, ensuring cavities are filled and minimizing surface imperfections. Unlike degassing, the pressure pot will not completely remove the trapped air but shrinks it, so bubbles are invisible to the naked eye.

How It Works

Pressure potting must be done after mixing, degassing, and pouring the material into a mold. Most people will fill the mold outside the pressure pot before they transfer it. The lid is then tightened on the chamber, and air is slowly introduced through the attached air compressor line. The material and mold will sit in the pressure pot to cure before the pressure is released. If the pressure is removed before full cure, it will not work and may increase the number of imperfections.

Note: Ensure your air compressor line is dry. Bubbling or foaming may occur if there is moisture in your line, especially if you are using urethane resins or rubbers. Also, molds must be made under the same conditions, including pressure, as the casting material or deformation may occur.

A way to combat spillage is to fill your mold outside the chamber about ¾ of the way. Fill it the rest of the way once it is transferred into the pot. You’ll also want to make sure the mold fits inside the container before you start pouring. A pressure pot can also be used on its side, depending on manufacturer’s specifications.

When to Use and Not Use

A pressure pot should be used if you need a perfectly clear, bubble-free casting. Materials that can be pressure potted are those that cure to a solid or hard state.

Pressure pots can remove bubbles from materials that have either a long or short pot life. Using materials with short pot lives is better since they must cure while still in the pressure chamber, so you can process your parts faster than if you used a vacuum chamber.

When using a silicone mold, a pressure pot is almost mandatory for urethane parts. This is due to the surface tension on the silicone causing bubbles in the urethane. Additionally, urethane will cure better when pressure potted.

It typically does not work as well for materials with thicker viscosities. When a material has a low viscosity, bubbles are able to rise faster. Some liquid resins have relatively low viscosities, which makes them ideal for pressure potting.

Benefits of the Equipment

  • Bubble reduction: Either method will eliminate bubbles from your castings. This is especially helpful for clear, transparent materials that must be perfect or nearly there throughout.
  • Improved surface finish: By eliminating any bubbles in opaque materials, you gain parts and castings with smooth finishes and zero to minimal imperfections on the surface.
  • Enhanced material quality: Both methods are crucial to achieve high-quality castings. They will reduce defects like porosity, voids, and other surface imperfections for better reliability of your finished products.
  • Enhanced material properties: The material properties may be slightly modified as pressure potting occurs. The castings exhibit better performance characteristics as the material is better fused together with minimal voids, if any.
  • Extended lifespan: When materials don’t have trapped air, gases, or impurities, they are less susceptible to degradation over time.

VFI Molding Rubbers and Plastics

VFI has various molding and casting materials that can be degassed, pressure potted, or both. We recommend using either or both of these methods with our materials if you want a bubble-free cast. Our VFI-4580, 4581, and 4582 clear plastics require you to degas and pressure pot to achieve perfect castings. If you have any questions about these processes, reach out to VFI today.

Why Is My Urethane Rubber Mold Shrinking?

Posted on: January 22nd, 2024 by mandig

Why Is My Urethane Rubber Mold Shrinking?

Urethane rubber is often called an elastomer because it comes with elastic properties. These properties can be very beneficial, especially when casting and demolding concrete. However, they also come with downsides. One of these downsides is that it is susceptible to shrinking if you’re working in a cooler temperature.

All of VFI’s polyurethane rubbers have a dimensional stability of under 0.001 in/in at 77°F, which is the percentage of linear shrinkage when subject to changes in temperature or humidity during cure. This is tested using the ASTM D2566 method for thermoset casting systems.

With temperatures dropping rapidly across the US, more users may begin to have a temporary shrinkage problem due to the weather.

Testing for Rubber Shrinkage

We conducted a series of tests in our on-site lab to further prove our hypothesis that shrinkage happens due to the weather. We cast, cured, and demolded our own samples of pourable rubber along with competitors’ and observed what happened when we adjusted the room temperature.

First, we stuck the samples in a freezer at 20°F for 2 hours. Once they sat for the allotted time, we measured them and noticed that they shrunk 1-3% on each side.

We then pulled them out of the freezer and allowed them to sit for 2 hours at room temperature (77°F). We measured the samples again and noticed that they returned back to approximately the exact size of the molds they were cast in.

Results of our testing: If your mold or form has shrunk due to a temperature change, it should return to its original size once it is brought back to room temperature.

Solutions

Regardless of the temperature you plan to operate at, you’ll need to cast the liquid rubber in the same conditions. This works for people who cast urethane in warmer conditions, but if you’re someone who works in a colder climate, you may run into some issues. Urethane must reach a certain temperature for it to cure, so we do not recommend casting or using it in cooler conditions if you want to prevent shrinkage.

All VFI urethane molding rubbers, and most urethane rubbers on the market, must be allowed to sit at room temperature for 16-24 hours before demolding. A minimum of 3 days at room temperature is required before use. A full cure typically occurs after 7 days, and the rubber will develop full physical properties.

Another solution to prevent shrinkage from occurring if you can’t get around working in cold temperatures is casting the rubber on a rigid backing material. We typically recommend casting over some type of wood, like plywood. Urethane can form strong bonds with most surfaces, so it should have no trouble adhering to the wood.

When casting over a backing material, we recommend pouring it over the lip of the surface, allowing the urethane to grip onto it. Because the material has formed around the edges of the surface, it will have a much harder time shrinking. The plywood would have to break in order for any substantial shrinkage to occur.

Contact VFI if you have more questions on urethane rubber or need help finding the best material for your project.

What Is Polyurethane?

Posted on: January 16th, 2024 by mandig

What Is Polyurethane?

polyurethane

Since the 1930s, polyurethane has become a popular material used in a handful of applications. Polyurethane is chains of urethane linkages called monomers that make larger polymers. Polyurethane starts as two components that need to be combined to form a new solid full of polymers. The new polyurethane polymer will have properties varying in strength and elongation that come from the base monomers to provide a custom fit for an application.

Urethane linkages form with the reaction of two components: a poly (B side), an alcohol group and an isocyanate (A side), the backbone of the material. Based on the type of compound used, which will typically be polyol, you will be able to determine the properties of the final product. The polyol’s relative molecular mass, number of reactive functional groups per molecule, and molecular structure contribute to the formed material. The isocyanate is extremely reactive but becomes stable after the reaction has occurred.

Due to its flexible yet tough nature, it has been called plastic and rubber but is neither. More accurately, it is capable of having both elastic properties and high rigidity based on its formulation and final end use. It can be molded into various shapes and enhances surfaces with wear resistance, strength, and protection. Hardness, cure time, and physical properties can all vary to fit a specific need.

What Is Thermoset?

Thermoset urethanes are polymers that start as two-component liquids, and once combined, they cure into a solid. Due to cross-linking, additional heat will cause them to soften, not melt or reform, so they cannot be recycled. Thermosets are a good alternative to thermoplastics when you are unable to invest in high-end molding equipment, have an uncontrolled environment, or need alternative processing methods.

What Is Thermoplastic?

Thermoplastic urethanes are polymers that begin as a solid bead but, when heated, can be melted and molded into a specific shape. Since they have no additional cross-links, with the addition of more heat, they can be reformed into new shapes or recycled. Thermoplastics are great for repeated high-volume applications and do not require another reaction that could affect their final properties. However, they do require advanced molding processes and techniques that limit their use and in-field functionality.

Types of Polyurethane Materials

1. Elastomers

Polyurethane, when made as an elastomer, is best used in places where natural rubber would fail. It has great rebound that allows it to return to its original shape after being bent, stretched, or compressed. Compared to silicone, it is a cost-effective mold-making option for advanced part making. It captures extreme detail that will transfer to each casting for repeatable use. Other benefits the rubber can provide include resistance to impact, shock, cuts and tears, and bacteria.

2. Coatings

When formulated into a coating material, it is typically sprayed onto surfaces for protection. The coating will resist harsh chemicals, corrosion, abrasion, and impact. It can also be used for weathering protection, antibacterial properties, and many other purposes. With the ability to adhere to many surfaces, it offers flexibility and tough, long-lasting protection.

3. Foams

Thermoset polyurethanes are one of the only alternatives to expanded or extruded polystyrene foam. Using a chemical blowing agent or water, a polyurethane foam can produce a wide variety of options. Depending on the needed application, they can be rigid, semi-flexible, or flexible and have high impact strength. These two-component foams begin expanding once combined and cure to the predetermined weight and density. They are best used in void-filling applications to reduce the material costs of parts and structures. They’re also a great material for the protection of products during transit and can also be used as insulation foam.

4. Plastics

Polyurethanes, when made into a plastic, are rigid and smooth and are a good option if high strength and durability are important for the part being made. The plastic can take on extreme details of the mold it is poured into. Whether the surface is smooth, glossy, or matte, it will take on those exact qualities. As a thermoset material, it can be formulated with high heat deflection for use in high-temperature environments. It is also useful for prototyping parts and industrial part-making and can be made to be user-friendly without the need for high-end equipment.

Benefits of Polyurethane

  • It is a very versatile material since it can be manufactured as an elastomer, coating, foam, or plastic. These materials can be soft and flexible or tough and rigid. With flexibility in design, manufacturing one-off parts, prototypes, and high-volume runs is convenient. You also gain versatility that can be used in various indoor or outdoor applications and produced on job sites.
  • Unlike other rigid materials, it has high elasticity and easy moldability when needed. This molding quality allows you to create complex shapes at relatively low tooling costs.
  • It possesses high properties such as high tear resistance and high tensile strength for optimal protection. When sprayed onto surfaces, it offers protection against scratches, scrapes, and other damages that occur over time. It also resists abrasion, has substantial impact tolerance, and does not support fungal growth.
  • Compared to thermoplastic materials, it has a relatively short cure time. Most types are fast curing, which allows for increased part production and quick return to service. You’ll be able to sand, machine, and paint a lot faster than you would with other materials.

Alternative Materials

Polyurethane is commonly used for its low cost, but this low cost comes with downsides. When applying polyurethane, it is unsuitable for areas with high levels of moisture or humidity since it is sensitive to moisture. The material will bubble and leave a flawed surface. Some polyurethanes are not UV Stable, meaning UV rays can also cause degradation, so it must be protected with paint or a topcoat for indoor or outdoor use.

An alternative for coating applications would be to use polyurea. This material is much better in environments where moisture is an issue. It has improved properties that polyurethane may lack but uses high-end raw materials that make it more expensive.

An alternative to polyurea is polyurea hybrid. The hybrid material is a mix of polyurea and polyurethane. It has the benefit of being less expensive than polyurea, with better moisture resistance than urethane.

VFI High-Performance Polymers

VFI manufactures various polyurethane-based materials for various applications. Our casting rubbers and plastics are great for part-making. With different chemistries, our molding rubbers are great for making molds and forms. We’ve seen our hard coats and spray coatings used in various theming and industrial applications. Our foams can be formulated into rigid or semi-flexible structures for void-filling and high-end packaging, among other applications. Contact VFI today if you’d like to learn more about all our high-performance polymer products.

What Is Polyurea?

Posted on: December 18th, 2023 by mandig

What Is Polyurea?

polyurea

Polyurea is a two-component polymer produced through a process known as step-growth polymerization. This process is the chemical reaction between an isocyanate (A side) and a resin compound (polyamine, B side). The polyamine causes it to produce urea linkages.

Not many other materials can combine polyurea’s mechanical, physical, and chemical properties. Many industries use it as a protective coating, casting, or sealing material. As a coating, it is applied as a liquid and can conform to any shape or texture. It produces a strong yet flexible shell over many surfaces, including concrete, metal, and wood. The material can also be applied in a range of temperatures and environments. The primary use is in aromatic nonlight stable version, but color-stable versions are available in the form of an aliphatic.

What Is an Aromatic?

This material is a type of polyurea based on an aromatic iso. It is a workhorse in many industries when used as a base coat. It offers high properties at a low cost compared to aliphatics. Aromatics are also more chemically resistant.

One disadvantage is that it is not UV stable, which means it will change color from extended exposure to sunlight. However, the discoloration and loss of shine does not indicate a loss of properties or mechanical strength.

What Is an Aliphatic?

This material is a type of polyurea based on an aliphatic iso. Due to high-cost raw materials and complicated processing, it is a more expensive, premium product. It is UV stable, so it won’t change color when exposed to sunlight, and UV will not degrade its properties.

It can be used as a topcoat in indoor and outdoor applications to improve aesthetics and endure weathering. It can also be applied over aromatic polyurea at lower film thicknesses, so you use less of the high-cost material during application.

Aliphatic materials require advanced safety procedures above and beyond the aromatic polyureas, because the molecule is smaller and more toxic than an aromatic compound. An aliphatic molecule is a linear molecule while an aromatic molecule has a ring structure, making it much larger and less toxic than a similar sized aliphatic material.

What Are the Advantages of Polyurea?

Based on application needs, it can be formulated to achieve a range of properties.

  • Depending on whether a hard or soft material is needed, the hardness can vary by changing the durometer. Most range from Shore 80 A to Shore 80 D, with the A scale classifying the hardness of flexible to somewhat harder materials and the D scale classifying hard and rigid materials. The higher the durometer gets on each scale, the harder the material.
  • It is known for its durability and resilience as it protects against abrasion, chemicals, and other damaging effects.
  • A unique feature is that it sets within 5-15 seconds of application. Its molecular structure makes it less sensitive to moisture, so it does not react with water in the environment. Because it makes a urea linkage, the isocyanate targets and reacts with the amine groups first, generally before it can even get to the OH (hydrogen/water) groups, as the chemical reaction occurs.
  • It doesn’t degrade easily, even in the harshest conditions, so your surfaces remain protected. With a high-end combination of tensile strength and elongation, it is less likely to crack under pressure from flexing and movement.

How Is It Applied?

Surface preparation is critical to the material’s success in adhering to the surface. Oily contaminants and dirt affect the coating’s durability and longevity, so they must be removed first. A proper surface profile and/or primer are required to ensure long term adhesion and prevent expensive failures.

Polyurea is fast-reacting, so it needs to be applied with equipment that can handle its unique features. The application process uses high-pressure at a minimum of 2500 psi with heated, plural component spray equipment. The fast-setting speed requires advanced operating techniques, so applicators also must be trained to use the spray rigs.

Alternative applications are available for areas that are not able to be sprayed. A roller method is popular for industrial and residential application, because of the ease of application and limited access restrictions. Polyurea can also be mixed with a static mix tip to fill cracks and voids or applied with a brush for repairs or extremely small sections.

Where Is Polyurea Used?

Polyurea has properties that make it useful in applications where protection and strength are fundamental to the life of the surface. It is adaptable for use in a variety of applications, including:

  • Mining & excavation. Mining and construction equipment encounter abrasive materials like coal, stone, and metallic ore. It can be used to protect conveyors and rollers that transport or come into contact with these materials. Coatings allow the equipment to survive harsh working conditions.
  • Work and utility vehicles. It’s a great material for protecting and extending the life of work and utility vehicles. Coatings can be applied anywhere on these vehicles, from bumpers to truck beds, so they’re able to endure road wear. Choosing the best protective spray coating can help maximize the longevity of vehicles and their accessories. As a waterproof barrier, it can also protect metal parts from corrosion.
  • Commercial flooring. Polyureas can be used in flooring in two different ways. It can be formulated into a multi-purpose joint filling material. A joint filler creates a flexible, durable, and water-tight seal for various building joints. Its elasticity allows it to remain intact even during expansion and contraction between joints. It also can be used as a finish coating on a concrete floor to provide long-term protection and aesthetics. The polyurea’s flexible nature and high elongation allow for a continuous monolithic layer that is not prone to chipping.
  • Oil & gas. Fossil fuels and chemicals can be dangerous to the environment, so setting up proper containment is important. Many industries have turned to polyurea for primary and secondary containment in sensitive areas. This includes spraying over tank pads and geotextile fabric in containment fields to protect against leaks and spills. It has excellent chemical resistance, protects against corrosion, and withstands daily wear and tear.

Alternatives to Polyurea

No coating system can replace polyurea in all respects due to its unique physical properties and durability. While there are alternatives, some will not provide the same protection. They may also cause additional downtime during application.

1. Polyurethane

Polyurethane is closely related to polyurea, their main difference being in their resin sides. Urethane uses polyol and a catalyst rather than an amine. Without the amine acting as a curing agent, polyurethane is more versatile and can have specific high properties depending on the application.

While it can be less expensive than its counterpart, it doesn’t provide the same combination of high properties. It is sensitive to moisture and may cause foaming and/or pinholing when applied to damp surfaces. Because polyurethane is more sensitive to the environment and curing conditions, it is not recommended for sensitive environments.

2. Polyurea Hybrid

A Hybrid combines isocyanate, an amine, and polyol. The polyol contributes to its urethane component while the amine contributes to its polyurea component. It is a cost-effective solution but won’t obtain all high properties (elongation, tensile strength, tear strength). However, it provides a more polyurea like cure and less sensitivity to moisture compared to urethane.

3. Epoxy

Epoxy is a material that can be used for similar applications, such as floor coating. Spraying is not the preferred application of epoxy, as it is normally rolled or brushed on to a surface. Compared to polyurea, it is not flexible, takes longer to cure, but is more chemically stable. An epoxy’s adhesion is very dependent on surface profile, so it will cause continuous issues if not prepared properly.

VFI High-Performance Polymers

VFI is a 25+ year-old manufacturer of high-performance polymers for coating and joint-filling applications. Check out our high-pressure polyurea coatings, VFI-200, 201, 202, and 270, for optimal protection from chemicals, abrasion, and impact. We also offer a joint filler (VFI-5075) to seal joints and concrete pads in industrial applications with light traffic. Contact VFI for assistance in finding the right material for you.

Spray-On vs Drop-In Bedliner: Which is Better?

Posted on: December 6th, 2023 by mandig

Spray-on vs Drop-in Bedliner: Which Is Better?

polyurea hybrid spray bedliner

Spray-on and drop-in bedliners offer truck beds extra protection from daily use and abuse. Whether you’re using your truck for work hauls or just moving equipment around for a friend, it pays to keep every part of the vehicle in tip-top shape. Great truck bed liners will preserve the truck bed for the entire life of the vehicle.

Now the question is, which type is best for you: spray-on or drop-in? While each comes with pros and cons, which one you choose will ultimately depend on how you use your truck bed, how often, and how much you’re willing to pay for protection.

What Is Spray-on Bedliner?

It is a paint-like protective coating, generally made from polyurea, polyurethane, or hybrid chemistry. These coatings are sprayed on the truck bed using high-pressure, low-pressure, or cartridge-driven spray equipment. Most coatings are fast curing for a quick return to service in as little as one day. Polyurea coatings come with excellent physical properties that make them the premium product for spray on bedliners.

Benefits:

1. One and Done Solution

Coatings are a simple and mostly permanent solution to protect your truck bed. When sprayed, they adhere directly to the metal, forming an airtight bond. They won’t slip, shift, fall out, or cause damage to the truck bed from an improper fit. They should last the entire life of the truck when applied correctly.

2. Durability

They offer excellent protection from daily wear and extreme temperatures with impact resistance and abrasion resistance. Since the surface is sealed, moisture and other debris cannot get beneath the liner to the bare metal, reducing the risk of rust and corrosion. They also have excellent chemical resistance. They keep the truck bed looking new without warping, cracking, or breaking.

3. Aesthetically Appealing

If you’re concerned about the appearance of your truck, not only does the spray-on bedliner provide protection, but it also looks great doing it. Coatings mold to the contours of the bed without looking bulky, and very minimal maintenance goes into keeping them looking great for years.

Texture can also be applied for a finish that suits your needs. A grittier texture can provide traction to prevent cargo from sliding around the truck bed.

4. Versatility

Applied by spray, these coatings fit all-size truck beds with no custom fitting needed. They are also not limited to just truck beds as they can also offer protection to a handful of other industrial applications. You can cover bumpers, fenders, trims, and entire vehicles with spray-on liners. We have also seen them used on ATVs, emergency vehicles, utility vehicles, boats, and more.

5. Increased Value

Your truck starts depreciating the second you take it off the lot, so why not protect it with the best? Spray-on liners are a worthy investment and offer better value for your money. Since they don’t need to be replaced, the one-time installation costs are paid off in the long term. This added protection keeps the truck bed in great condition, increasing the value when it is time to sell.

Disadvantages:

While durable, these coatings can be expensive and time-consuming to apply. Most require expensive spray equipment and special training to use. They also rely heavily on surface preparation, which can be a meticulous process. You must make sure the truck bed surface is thoroughly scuffed, cleaned, and taped up to avoid overspray and adhesion issues. However, if you can get past the initial costs, they are more cost-effective in the long run.

Also, you must be aware that these coatings may fade depending on the chemistry. Colors fade much faster, which is why black is popular since the fade isn’t as noticeable. Consider applying a UV-stable topcoat for optimal protection.

What Is Drop-in Bedliner?

It is a plastic or rubber sheet that you “drop into” the truck bed. The best-installed drop-ins are custom-designed to fit the make and model of the truck. Some offer a universal fit, which means they’re made for a wide variety of truck beds. While this may be appealing, it may cause issues later.

Benefits:

1. Cost-effective

They are more affordable because of the materials they are made of and the do-it-yourself installation. They are a great option for truck owners who use their truck beds sparingly since they likely won’t offer the long-term protection desired.

2. Easy Installation

Unlike spray coatings, you don’t have to worry about a full cure time. They are easy to install from home without the help of a trained professional. Extensive prep work is not required, so your truck bed gains an extra layer of protection in under 30 minutes.

3. Removable

If you’re looking for a temporary solution, drop-in liners are the perfect option since they just sit in your truck bed. Some require you to drill holes to secure them down, but for the most part, they should be custom-made to fit securely in the vehicle. When it’s time to sell your truck, it can be easily removed and transferred to a vehicle with similar dimensions.

4. Covers Previous Damages

Coatings conform to every curve of a truck bed, so prior damage to the metal is more visible. Drop-ins hide the damage that the truck bed accumulated before installation. Since most are made of hard plastic, they are resistant to impacts, so you can load large objects into the bed without damaging them.

Disadvantages:

While the price may be lower, it typically means the material is of lower quality and looks like it too. Frequent replacement is more likely to occur when using a plastic drop-in liner. It is vulnerable to cracking, breaking, and warping over time. You’ll have to replace it several times across the lifespan of your truck because they don’t last as long as spray-ons.

If it’s not custom-fit, it can scuff the paint and cause dents on the metal bed. There is also the potential for water and other debris to slip under gaps and get trapped. Moisture and dirt on the bare metal will allow rust and corrosion to form.

When driving at high speeds, wind can get under the plastic and cause it to vibrate. The vibration causes it to hit the sides and floor of the truck bed, creating a lot of noise. Constant rattling from a loose bedliner could become quite annoying and it may cause cracking to occur.

It doesn’t have the same traction support as spray bed liner, especially when wet. The surface can be slippery, which makes sliding equipment into the truck a breeze, but you should also expect cargo to slide around while driving. A slippery surface can cause damage to the truck bed and its contents.

Bed Mats & DIY Bedliners

Bed mats are a type of drop-in liner that only covers the floor of the bed. They’re usually made of rubber and fit specific truck makes or models. They are preferred when truck owners want a soft material that provides shock absorption and impact protection. They require more maintenance as you’ll need to remove them often to clear the debris or moisture that builds up over time.

Aerosol sprays or roll-on coatings are more affordable and appeal to do-it-yourselfers who want a quick and easy solution from home. While you get a low-cost product, you also sacrifice quality. These products aren’t as thick, so they may need to be applied a few times for damage protection. Using a DIY product can also be much more labor-intensive since they take longer to apply.

VFI Coating Solutions

VFI’s protective spray materials are time-tested for quality assurance. We offer solutions from high and low-pressure formulas to our patented Qwik Spray System for low-volume application and those new to the industrial coating industry. Contact VFI today about any of our spray-on bedliner products.

What Can You Spray on Styrofoam to Make It Hard?

Posted on: November 7th, 2023 by mandig

What Can You Spray on Styrofoam to Make It Hard?

hardening styrofoam with hard coat

There are plenty of sprayable materials you can use to harden Styrofoam. Styrofoam is a lightweight material that is easy to CNC and create custom shapes, but it does not provide any strength or rigidity for long-term use. Using a sprayable hardcoat to make the Styrofoam “hard” and durable for use in almost any environment is a necessity. A hardcoat will solve your impact and environmental problems by encapsulating the Styrofoam, leaving only a paintable surface.

These coatings are designed to protect against impacts as well as wind, moisture, sunlight, or anything that may degrade the foam structure. They will not erase any details carved into the foam, as they tend to be applied in multiple coats to build protection.

What is Styrofoam?

Styrofoam is a brand name for closed-cell extruded polystyrene (XPS) foam used in a variety of industries. It’s commonly confused with EPS (expanded polystyrene) foam since people use the brand name to generalize all polystyrene foam. Both types of foam are lightweight yet sturdy and easy to sculpt or carve, making them desired for architectural and theming applications.

Styrene foam is also cost-effective compared to other materials like wood or metal. There’s not a project too big that foam isn’t able to handle since you can carve a single piece or assemble multiple pieces together. Once a three-dimensional object is completely carved, it’s hard-coated to provide a desired finish that is paintable and durable in any environment.

Types of Foam Hardening Materials

The type of method you choose to harden foam will depend on the shape of the structure, the needed finish, budget, and turnaround time. These are typically not the best methods for crafty DIYers who use Mod Podge, PVA glue, adhesives, and paint to protect their smaller projects. If you want your project to last, the following materials are your best bet:

1. Polyurea Coating

Polyurea coatings are durable and flexible coatings with premium properties, allowing you to have great tear strength, tensile strength, and elongation. They are extremely fast setting for quick turnarounds on your foam projects. If you want a foam structure that can be placed indoors or outdoors and withstands abrasion, chemicals, and impact, this is the ideal option. It also provides substantial moisture resistance for use in moisture sensitive environments.

Polyurea coatings must be sprayed through plural component equipment since they cure quickly. Their speed can also make them a little tricky to work with, so special training and equipment are required.

2. Polyurea Hybrid Coating

Polyurea hybrid coatings are made of both polyurea and polyurethane to be strong yet maintain flexibility when applied to foam surfaces. They cure rapidly, so the surface is sandable and paintable within a day. They can also be sprayed over plastic, cardboard, wood, cement, metal, and other prepared surfaces. They are most recommended for indoor and outdoor use, spraying large areas, or use in areas with a lot of traffic. Some coatings can also be fire retardant to meet safety requirements when needed.

These coatings also must be sprayed through plural component spray equipment, which requires training to use. However, they allow you to cover large surfaces quickly compared to other techniques that are more labor-intensive, such as fiberglass.

3. Polyurethane Coating

Polyurethane coatings are also strong, durable, and watertight when applied to various surfaces. They can be applied directly to foam, and unlike polyester resin or other solvent-based materials, they will not melt it. They’ve been used in a variety of foam projects, from architecture to theming and art. Other than foam, they can also be sprayed over fabric, metal, plastic, wood, etc.
They are a bit slower than polyurea hybrid coatings but still cure within hours for sanding and painting the next day. Like polyurea hybrid coatings, they also must be sprayed through plural component sprayers. However, some are offered as a cartridge-based spray system for ease of spraying and low-volume applications. Their chemistry makes them the more cost-effective option compared to hybrids.

4. Epoxy Coating

Like the aforementioned coatings, epoxy coatings form durable, hard-shell finishes over EPS foam. Most of these coatings, however, are not sprayed but brushed or rolled onto the surface. This can make the application process more labor-intensive. Epoxy is also applied in thinner coats, which makes it a bit more fragile than other coatings. Heavy impact could break or crack the coating, but it is a more economical solution.

Epoxy coatings also typically need to be sanded after they cure to create a smoother texture for priming and painting. They are most recommended for limited outdoor use or short-term applications over foam signs, logos, and props.

5. Fiberglass

Fiberglass is a process where once the foam is carved, successive layers of fiberglass mats are laid over the surface and wet out with resin until the desired thickness and strength are reached. This process can be messy and labor-intensive but makes the surface strong and durable as the fiberglass will bond to it.

Using polyester resin with fiberglass mats will melt Styrofoam, so the surface will either need to be covered with something else first, or a different resin will have to be used. Epoxy is the resin typically used in place of polyester. Polyurethane foam can handle either epoxy or polyester resins.

Examples of Hard Coating Foam

  • Theming – Polyurea or polyurethane hard coats can protect foam sculptures, props, sets, and signs for amusement parks, movie sets, or art shows. These coatings must be able to endure a lot since people will probably put their hands on them, children might play on them, and the weather might affect them if they’re placed outside.
  • Construction – Replacing stone architecture with foam is a possibility, but the foam must be hard-coated to withstand the molding process and additional weight.
  • Decorative Accents – Foam hard coats can be used for decorative purposes to mimic crown molding, trim, window shutters, pillars, columns, and more. They can also be used as garden décor for faux boulders, stones, tree bark, and more.
  • Transportation – Depending on the hardness, polyurea hybrid and polyurethane coatings can be made more flexible for seat cushion covers for aircraft, boats, and automobiles. They can also be used as covers for pads on amusement park rides for safety as well as comfort.

VFI Hard Coat Products

VFI manufactures a line of hard coat products for foam applications. These polyurea hybrid and urethane coatings range in hardness from 70 to 95 A and 50 to 75 D, making them durable for indoor and outdoor environments. As a premium option, some of our hard coats will pass Class A fire testing for optimal safety in any application. While most of these are meant to be sprayed, we also offer a brushable hardcoat option. Contact VFI to learn more about protecting your foam project with a hard coat.

How to Use the Qwik Spray System (W/ Pictures)

Posted on: October 30th, 2023 by mandig

How to Use the Qwik Spray System (W/ Pictures)

The Qwik Spray System is VFI’s exclusive applicator gun and cartridge system used to help businesses with entry-level or low-volume applications of polyurea hybrid and polyurethane coatings. It is a cost-effective option that provides the same quality finish as high- or low-pressure spray equipment.

The gun is easier to operate than other systems as it requires no special training to use. It also automatically mixes the material in the static mix tip during the spray process and offers increased portability. There is minimal overall equipment maintenance, and cleaning after use is easy since cartridges can be thrown away once they are fully used.

Importance of Surface Preparation

All surfaces to be sprayed must be properly prepared beforehand to ensure coating adhesion. Remove debris, oil films, or detergents, and make sure the surface is dry before spraying. Some surfaces should be sanded and primed to create proper adhesion. Cover surrounding areas you’re not spraying to ensure there is no chance of overspray.

How to Set up the Applicator Gun

qwik spray gun and accessories

Equipment needed: VFI-7500 Qwik Spray Gun, air regulator kit with air supply hose, and air compressor (not included, must be capable of 10 CFM at 90 psi)

Qwik spray gun

1. Remove the VFI Qwik Spray Gun from the box and plastic bag. Remove the air regulator and air supply hose from the smaller box.

Qwik spray gun parts

2. Screw the quick-connect hose coupling (included with the gun) onto the bottom of the T-fitting to the right of the air regulator. Then, screw the top of the T-fitting onto the compressed air connection below the trigger handle of the spray gun.

air regulator on qwik spray gun

3. Insert the air supply hose into the push-to-connect fitting on the left side of the regulator.

air regulator hose

Note: When disconnecting, press the push-to-connect fitting to release the hose.

qwik spray gun handle

4. Attach the provided handle to the blue front plate of the spray gun. There are six different spots to screw the handle into for optimal comfort when spraying.

air compressor

5. Connect an air compressor hose to the quick-connect hose coupling.

air pressure regulator knob

6. On the rear of the gun, you will find the air pressure regulator that controls the coating flow. Adjust by twisting the knob clockwise for increased flow or counterclockwise for decreased flow.

qwik spray gun plungers

7. The brass forward/reverse rod near the regulator allows you to move the plungers forward while spraying and backward to remove empty cartridges.

How to Use the Qwik Spray System

qwik spray cartridges

Equipment needed: VFI-7500, 750×750 ml disposable cartridges, and static mix tips

1. Remove the cartridge from the box and plastic bag. If material separation occurs, shake the cartridge until uniform. Heat material slowly to at least 75°F. It should be elevated slowly to operating temperatures. Do not microwave.

Note: Do not store the cartridge nose up for long term periods to prevent leaking from the plunger seals.

VFI-6171 cartridge in plastic page

2. Keep the cartridge nose up to prevent the components from mixing.

cartridge with red safety cap

3. Remove the red safety cap from the threading.

removing anti-separation cap from cartridge

4. Slowly remove the white anti-separation cap. (The material may come out if the product is too warm or heated unevenly.)

spray nozzle on cartridge

5. Place the provided static mix tip on the plastic threading and hand-tighten the attached nut to the base.

spray nozzle tightened on cartridge

6. The static mix tip should sit snug on the threading with no gaps and without cross threading.

loading cartridge into qwik spray gun

7. Load the cartridge into the gun frame label side up by placing the rear of the cartridges over the plungers and lowering the front of the cartridges into the front plate.

cartridge loaded into qwik spray gun

8. Keep the cartridge and applicator nose up so the static mix tip stays vertical to prevent the A and B side material from crossing and flowing in the static mix tip. (If using joint filler material such as VFI-5011, skip steps 8-10.)

spray nozzle and air hose connect

9. Connect the elbow push-to-connect fitting on the air supply hose to the static mix tip for atomization during application.

Note: When disconnecting, press the push-to-connect fitting to release the static mix tip.

air regulator switch

10. Turn on the atomizer by opening the ball valve.

regulator knob for adjusting texture

11. Twist knob on the regulator to adjust for the desired texture. VFI recommends starting between 60-90 psi, but the psi can be increased based on the texture you desire. You can leave the setting for spraying future tubes.

Now, you can begin spraying by pulling the trigger on the handle.

Tips for Spraying

  • Use proper personal protective equipment (PPE). We recommend using a full-face mask/supplied air respirator, coverall suit or equivalent, and chemically resistant gloves.
  • The application area must be well-ventilated, like an approved spray booth, as these materials are hazardous to ingest, inhale, or come into physical contact with.
  • Consider your spray pattern before you start spraying. Once you begin, the entire cartridge must be fully discharged to keep the static mix tip from clogging.
  • Start spraying off the surface onto a disposable area to ensure the material is fully mixed. Monitor the level of material in the cartridges as you’re spraying. When the cartridge is nearly empty, spray off the surface to prevent off-ratio material.
  • Begin spraying within the recoat window of the product where you previously stopped to maintain uniform coverage across the entire surface.
  • You may apply texture by spraying over but not directly onto the surface until a desired finish is achieved.
  • Clean the gun of all coating residue after use with MEK or xylene, and do not soak it in solvent.

Compatible VFI Materials

The VFI-7500 Qwik Spray Gun works incredibly well with the VFI-6171 70 D Qwik Spray Hard Coat and provides the same quality as any low- or high-pressure system. It is also compatible with VFI’s other cartridge-based systems, including VFI-544 Qwik Spray Bedliner, VFI-5011 80 A Expansion Joint Filler, and VFI-2538 QS 70 D EPS Form Hard Coat. Contact VFI today if you are interested in getting started with our portable, easy-to-use spray system. You can also check out our Qwik Spray instructions in video format by clicking here.

Is Polyurethane Rubber or Plastic?

Posted on: October 24th, 2023 by mandig

Is Polyurethane Rubber or Plastic?

is polyurethane rubber or plastic

While there has been some confusion on the matter, polyurethane is neither rubber nor plastic. It often looks and feels like either material, which is why people often ask for polyurethane rubber or plastic. It also has properties that make it behave like a strong, rigid plastic with the elasticity of a rubber.

Polyurethane is strong and more durable than natural rubbers or thermoplastics, and it outperforms in highly abusive environments. It is a more cost-effective material in the long run for its long-lasting capabilities. The material is cast as a liquid, so production prices are lower than heat and pressure-molded materials. Being a liquid at the start also allows it to bond well to other materials when needed.

What is Urethane?

It is categorized as a polymer used to produce materials that behave like plastics and rubbers. Polymers are made of long, repeating chains of monomers. These highly cross-linked structures produce a thermosetting material. Thermoset polyurethanes, once hardened, cannot be melted or reformed.

While one polyurethane may look and feel different from another, they all essentially have the same chemistry. The material is made by mixing two or more liquid chemicals to produce a reaction. In this case, it is the reaction of a monomer and an isocyanate. Urethane has to be an isocyanate reaction with an alcohol functional group (OH). The choice of iso and monomer is how the properties of the material can be altered. Using different compounds is also how polyurethane is able to imitate other materials. Its range of durability, flexibility, and resilience make it highly valued across industries.

The material first became a replacement for rubber during WWII. Since then, many industries have preferred to use it in place of wood, metal, thermoplastic, and rubber. It offers many advantages and embodies aspects of each material. Based on its chemical structure, it can be a coating, adhesive, foam, or molding and casting material, making it versatile for a wide range of applications.

Benefits Compared to Rubber

There are two distinct types of rubbers: natural, harvested from the latex of rubber plants, and synthetic, made of petroleum byproducts. They are classified as elastomers as they are moldable and flexible, like polyurethane. There are several advantages to using urethane over rubber:

  •  It has notable resistance to abrasion, impact, and scratches. It’s best used when a material needs plenty of strength and resilience to endure continual stress and stretching.
  • While rubber is cheaper, polyurethane has more affordable tooling costs as it is easier to produce complex parts. It’s also more cost-effective in the long term since it is made to outlast rubber.
  • It excels at resisting cuts and tears better than rubber. It also has great load-bearing capacity to handle more weight without breaking, resulting in longer product life.
  • No matter the hardness range, it maintains its properties, whereas rubbers will have limited properties. It also maintains its properties over a wide range of temperatures and other conditions. Whether hot or cold, it stays flexible and functional. Rubber will typically become brittle and lose its elasticity over time due to these stresses.
  • It can be used for a handful of applications, as different formulas offer a broad range of properties, durometers, and colors, whereas rubber is more limited.

Benefits Compared to Thermoplastic

Thermoplastics have chain-like polymer molecules and can be made of various chemical compositions. Standard thermoplastics include polyethylene, PVC, nylon, and ABS. There are several reasons polyurethane would be used in place of these materials:

  • It is an ideal material for products that are subject to high impact or sudden forces and shocks. Thermoplastic is unable to handle repetitive impact, and it is more likely to break, abrade, or degrade.
  • It outperforms thermoplastic because of its durability, abrasion resistance, and wear resistance. This makes it a suitable material for applications that experience constant friction.
  • It maintains its strength, even at higher hardnesses. Thermoplastics are more limited in their durometers and properties, which makes them crack and break under heavy loads and stress.
  • You have more freedom in your production process when using the material, especially when making complex shapes. Thermoplastics are usually heated and injected into a mold, while polyurethane can be cast or reaction injection molded at both room and high temperatures.

Benefits Compared to Metal

Polyurethane has often been used in place of metal for its unique properties and advantages such as:

  • It has better shock absorption and noise reduction abilities. This is important for applications where a quieter environment is required.
  • It is a lightweight material, which is an advantage for applications where reducing the weight of parts is essential. Its lower weight also makes it easier to work with and handle.
  • It’s the preferred material when exposure to moisture or chemicals is possible. It can handle abrasive and corrosive environments, so you get more life out of your parts. Metal may rapidly break down when exposed to certain chemicals and moisture, making the life of parts much shorter.
  • It offers reduced tooling costs, as it is typically less expensive to machine, cast, and mold into complex shapes. This allows for custom designs that are difficult to achieve with metal. There’s also no need for expensive welding or machining processes, as it cures at room temperature.
  • Metal does not have the ability to flex under stress, but urethane can be compressed and still rebound to its original shape and size.

VFI Polyurethane Materials

VFI is experienced in the manufacture of various polyurethane products. We offer coatings, foams, rubbers, and plastics for a vast number of markets. Depending on the material, they can be sprayed, injected, or poured and customized to your specifications. There’s no limit to what they can be used for, as they are very versatile and adaptable. If you need help finding a solution for your project, VFI is happy to help. Contact us today for assistance with your urethane needs.

Polyurea vs Polyurea Hybrid: How to Tell the Difference

Posted on: October 17th, 2023 by mandig

Polyurea vs Polyurea Hybrid: How to Tell the Difference

polyurea vs polyurea hybrid coatings

Polyurea and polyurea hybrids are used for a similar purpose, as they are both sprayable coatings that form seamless, protective barriers on virtually any surface. Once cured, they have excellent resistance to abrasion, corrosion, and impact damage. They can also be sprayed through the same type of high- or low-pressure equipment.

Polyurea is considered a premium product due to its higher properties and chemical resistance, whereas hybrids are a cost-effective option with qualities of both polyureas and polyurethanes. The one big difference between these coatings is moisture resistance, as it does not react with water like a urethane or hybrid would. This allows it to be used in extremely sensitive conditions.

A common misconception in the industrial coatings market is that some products claim to be “pure” polyurea, but do not reflect it in cost or properties. These coatings may also boast a high percentage of polyurea content to make them seem superior to typical hybrids. It’s believed that the higher the content, the better the product. Due to this, many applicators ask for the polyurea content in any given product.

However, percentages mean nothing if they are not verified by a third-party testing agency. The truth of what the product is lies within the physical properties. If you look at the properties, you’ll usually be able to determine where the material falls on the polyurea to hybrid spectrum.

The Truth Is in the Physical Properties

To determine if a polyurea is “pure” or a hybrid, you’ll want to look at three main properties: tensile strength, elongation, and tear strength. It is a combination of the three that allows you to tell the difference between the coating types. These three properties will typically all be high for polyurea, but you will see variations for hybrids. Only one or two may be on the higher end for a hybrid while the other(s) are relatively lower, which is how you’re able to decipher its polyurea content.

Note: these properties are averages for 50-60 D materials. Properties will change if the durometer is increased or decreased.

Tensile strength is the strength of a material (in this case, the coating) to withstand pulling force tension before it fails. It is usually listed as the pound-force per square inch (psi) at which the material fails on average. This is determined using standardized mechanical testing.

  • What to expect for polyurea tensile strength: Typically, above 2,500 psi

Elongation is the maximum strain or stretch a material (the coating) can withstand before it fails. It is listed as a percentage found by comparing the final and original length of the tested material. Elongation is tested using the same standardized mechanical testing as tensile strength. It is important to know the relationship between tensile strength and elongation to understand the point at which failure or deformation may occur.

  • What to expect for polyurea elongation: Typically, above 300%

Tear strength is the amount of force required to rip a material (the coating) or continue tearing it along the vertical axis. It is usually listed as the average tested force in pounds per linear inch (pli) needed to rip the material. If the material was cut or punctured, the value represents how much force along the axis is needed to continue the tear. These values are based on a standard ASTM test method and die shape (ASTM D624, Die C).

  • What to expect for polyurea tear strength: Typically, above 350 pli

Tensile Strength vs Elongation vs Tear Strength

Let’s compare the properties of VFI-201 vs VFI-206 and VFI-542. Other people in the industry would potentially consider VFI-206 a pure polyurea, but its properties show that it has just enough urethane content to make it a hybrid (shown in its lower elongation).

Properties VFI-201 50 D Polyurea Coating VFI-206 60 D Polyurea Hybrid Coating VFI-542 High Pressure Spray Bedliner
Tensile Strength 2880 psi 3000 psi 2410 psi
Elongation 448% 250% 80%
Tear Strength 387 pli 480 pli 241 pli

How to Choose Between a Polyurea and a Hybrid

Knowing the difference between a true polyurea and a hybrid will help you choose the best coating for your application. Your choice will depend on the intended use and potential exposure to the elements.

While polyurea coatings are the premium option, you should determine if you actually need one. Its moisture resistance makes it the common choice, but it is misconceived that a hybrid needs more moisture resistance than required. If you have a moisture problem during application, you may be looking for an entirely different product.

It is also important to know the differences in setting speed for successful application. Polyureas tend to be rapid curing with about 4-6-second gel times, while hybrids gel at about 8-10 seconds. A polyurea’s faster setting abilities can make it tricky to work with and ensure adhesion.

Polyurea hybrids are super versatile, providing a good balance between properties, moisture insensitivity, and price. VFI recommends our hybrid solutions as they are cost-effective and can be custom-formulated to fit your needs. Contact us today to find the right coating for you.

At VFI we offer solutions to all your project needs. With a talented onsite lab staff, we can customize our products to suit your application requirements. Contact us today to learn more about our custom solutions!