Is It Worth It: The Benefits of a Metallic Epoxy Coating (Part One) | Blog Post #11
There are several very compelling reasons that make metallic epoxy one of the best premium interior surfacing options. Today marks the start of a two-part series that explores these reasons in greater detail than before and cements the material’s status as a champion of new-age technology in protecting and beautifying your home.
What is Metallic Epoxy?
Metallic epoxy consists of a main body of epoxy with ornamental metallic pigments suspended within. The main body is often coated with a polyurethane topcoat that further protects it from physical and chemical wear. For a more detailed description of how metallic epoxy works, read this post.
Built Like a Tank
There are very few materials that can take physical abuse like metallic epoxy – while it won’t take an explosive shell to the face like an actual tank, you will worry far less about scratches, chips, and dents once you see it in action.
Epoxy, and indeed the polyurethane coating that protects it, is an elastomeric material, meaning it can absorb and disperse physical impact much like rubber, while being more rigid and providing greater support to weight. This specific property gives it much greater protection from sudden, hard impacts, such as a falling paperweight that might chip or even crack a harder material like marble or ceramic. Afterall, the tree that can’t bend in a storm will eventually break.
Being elastomeric doesn’t make it a slouch in terms of scratch-resistance either. A measured blend of epoxy or polyurethane with an amount of gritty material, known as stone aggregate, gives it a structure that greatly resists scratches. Epoxy and polyurethane treated in such a manner rate up to 7.5 on the Mohs scale of hardness. In comparison, marble only goes up to 5, and granite up to 6.5.
Calling In The Special Forces
If resistance to conventional warfare — such as unruly kids and falling objects — wasn’t enough, enter metallic epoxy’s tenacity against chemical attacks. The material is impervious to all but the most extreme concentrations of household chemicals, and a whole list of industrial chemicals to boot. Just how does it achieve such incredible resilience?
Simple. The answer lies in the chemistry behind epoxy – the product of a chemical reaction between epichlorohydrin and bisphenol-A. As far as physically possible, the two chemicals are combined in stoichiometric quantities, meaning the quantities used are exactly enough to achieve the desired chemical reactions, leaving no excess. While it can take many hours to cure, the bond formed between the chemicals is very strong, resulting in a fully reacted and highly stable material that has very little ability to interact with any chemical it is introduced to.
Marble, in comparison, contains minerals that make it highly susceptible to attack from even the mildest of acids or alkalis, such as tomato sauce or even slightly alkaline water. Exposed hardwood suffers an even worse fate, as simple moisture causes bloating and warping, while corrosive chemicals break down its structure.
The same properties that epoxy can thank for its chemical resistance similarly grant it a surprising ability to withstand heat. The strong bond between epoxy’s constituent chemicals prevent it from breaking down when heated, even up to a whopping 200°C. A lack of unreacted components in any substantial quantity ensures that no harmful chemicals are released within this temperature range. This allows it to shrug off boiling water and hot oil like water off a duck’s back.
However, before you go wild and start searing steaks on your tragically gorgeous metallic epoxy counter, do consider that a hot frying pan can easily reach upwards of 300°C. While metallic epoxy will endure the occasional cooking accident and come out just a little worse for wear, you should always have a cork or silicone pad handy for resting cookware fresh off the burner.
For hardwoods, it goes without saying that hot pans are strictly off limits. However, you may be surprised to learn that stones such as marble do not weather such extreme heat well either. “My marble counter isn’t going to melt from a hot pan”, you scoff as you roll your eyes. Certainly, marble weathers heat well enough. But this resistance is only superficial, and sometimes not even then. Stone surfaces often discolour during exposure to high heat. However, your biggest concern is actually thermal shock – when cold stone is exposed to extreme heat suddenly, the rapid expansion of small pockets of air within cause it to fracture, creating devastatingly large cracks. So really, the options in this category are a little narrow. We highly recommend those IKEA cork pads, no matter what kitchen counter you’re rocking.
But There’s More…
Just when you think this wonder material can’t get any better, we’re here to tell you that these benefits are just half of what metallic epoxy has to offer you. If you’re still on the fence about metallic epoxy, stay tuned for our next post on what else metallic epoxy does better than the rest! However, if we’re preaching to the choir, feel free to set up a free, zero-obligations appointment with our consultants to see how best metallic epoxy can protect and beautify your home.
Check out “Is Marble The Right Material For Your Home? | Blog Post #10” for a comprehensive post on how marble compares to metallic epoxy!
Or read “The Perfect Metallic Epoxy Coating: The Hows and Whys | Blog Post #2” to find out more about metallic epoxy!