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What is Urethane Cement?

urethane cement flooring airport hangar

Environmentally friendly. Antimicrobial. Efficient. Affordable. 

To understand what urethane cement is, know this first: you may see the term “polyurethane” and “urethane” used interchangeably. This often prompts confusion. Surprisingly, there is essentially no difference between the two, despite the separate terms. They both represent the synthetic material, developed in the 1930s, that results from connecting organic compounds via carbamate links. Urethane is an often colorless, sometimes whitish powder that is also odorless. When it binds to cement, it creates durable and affordable flooring. It is extremely hygienic and tolerant to chemical, thermal, and impact shock. 

In this era of innovative pharmaceutical research and development, explosive life-science studies and engagement, and non-stop growth in the food-processing industry, urethane cement is a top flooring choice. It’s appropriate for laboratories, pharmaceutical manufacturing plants, commercial kitchens, food and beverage processing facilities, schools, hospitals, and automotive plants and dealerships. You’ll find most 3,000+ square-foot commercial and industrial facilities employ this material.

Environmentally Forward

Produced domestically using the polyols found in soybeans, urethane cement is very environmentally friendly. Couple its domestic production using an abundant and rapidly renewable source with a general product lifespan of about 30 years. Then consider the absence of negative air-quality VCOs. It’s no surprise that urethane cement is incorporated for LEED-certification purposes. 

Time-Efficient Installation

When every minute of productivity affects the bottom line, downtime for any reason meets with frustration. Installation of urethane cement is possibly one of its most appealing features, because it happens quickly. In as few as three days (for existing operations requiring removal of existing equipment and subfloor preparation) and in just two days for new projects, you can install a urethane cement flooring system just as quickly as any other commercial-grade flooring system, if not more quickly. Rapid installation means construction labor cost-savings and, in the instance of getting research and manufacturing online, expediently profitable workflow.

Low or no disruption encourages facility managers in their selection of urethane cement. A day of grinding and smoothing, followed by a primer day, and then a third day on which you apply the fast-drying topcoat, means you minimally impact operations, and a three-day weekend is a viable installation option.

An added value in terms of installation is that toxic fumes aren’t a byproduct, unlike high VOC flooring. This means operations resume almost immediately without any harm or unpleasantness for employees or customers.

Flooring and the FDA

A major consideration for food and drug facilities is the necessity of compliance with the guidelines of the US Food and Drug Administration’s current Good Manufacturing Practices, known as cGMP. From durability sensitivities (chemical, mechanical, and impact) to guidelines that drive packaging systems, storage zones, and production lines, you can’t underestimate the cGMP influence on flooring decisions. Compared to other flooring options, urethane cement is essentially unbeatable when you test its resistance against surface mold growth. There’s also its ability to deflect fungi because of the inclusion of synthetic polymeric materials. 

Regarding food and drug inspection considerations, biological contamination issues and static control are at stake. Respectively, this relates to food and drug impurities and fire and explosion risk (due to unstable, explosive, and flammable chemicals). Lab spaces and “clean rooms” (controlled environments, specifically managing particle contamination, temperature, and humidity) must meet FDA and USDA standards of sterility and hygiene.

Urethane Cement is Seamless and Safe

Urethane cement begins in a liquid form which means that once cured, it is nearly seamless. It flows into almost inaccessible, hard-to-reach areas. The cracks and seams that other flooring systems have mean contaminants, germs, and other debris take hold. Avoiding detection and access, they become a threat to purity. With a seamless floor selected over more conventional options, facilities become much easier to keep clean, safe, and hygienic. Overlays that incorporate slip-resistant features reinforce safety commitments, particularly in damp or wet environments frequented by employees and customers.

Aesthetic Distinction

Imbibing corporate culture and branding happens both top-down and bottom-up. Interestingly enough, this is true in the case of flooring choices for large industrial and commercial entities. They can be R&D locations, manufacturing sites, retail locations, or places of education and health like schools and hospitals. Urethane cement, available in hundreds of color options, mixes easily with pigments for custom color-blends. This results in an infinite number of customizable colors. You can easily incorporate aesthetic enhancements in the form of brand colors – for schools, pharmaceutical companies, food and beverage manufacturers, and sports venues – via urethane cement overlays. UV protection keeps discoloration and fading at bay. 

Urethane Cement Offers Affordable Install and Affordable Maintenance

Applied in coatings that range from thin mil to ½” cement mortars, urethane cement’s strength lies in its ability to protect employee and consumer well-being and also adhere to standard safety and hygienic protocols. In pharmaceutical and food/beverage processing, contamination can wreak devastation, which is why facility design and maintenance must be conducted with safety as a priority. Flooring considerations are also paramount, with urethane cement the most affordable, environmentally friendly, hygienic, and efficient option.