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Ecodur 201: Columbia University Mechanical Room Coating (Acid Waste Management)

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Grease and kitchens go hand in hand, especially large institutional ones such as those found at universities where some grease gets airborne and some just follows the effects of gravity and ends up on floors. In this case study, a large amount of grease had accumulated on the floor of the mechanical room directly below a large kitchen.

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The applicator crew had to clean a very greasy high traffic 1,500 Square foot mechanical room floor at New York’s Columbia University Morningside Campus. It was an inch deep in places and required the heavy use of steam equipment to remove. Because of the nature of heavy grease, it still left a microscopic film behind on the clean substances even as though they appeared completely clean.
Conventional epoxy coatings generally require an absolutely pristine grease-free surface in order for their limited adhesion to be fully effective. Also, there was a requirement for a coating that was VOC-free and did not involve any solvents in content, application or clean-processes. The mechanical room being below the kitchen could have emitted noxious vapors up to the kitchen if a coating was chosen that did not have solid green emissions credentials.

Additionally, grease is notorious for being a major component of fires and this heavily grease-contaminated area directly below a large kitchen, would benefit from a coating with a suitable fire retardant rating.

Ecodur was chosen because it is inert, non-toxic and has no VOCs. It, therefore, does not require a large area being vacated as only the applicators need to wear standard face protection, coveralls and cover exposed skin on hands with protective gloves. Ecodur, for those who can detect it, generally has a very mild and, some say, pleasant castor oil odor.

Ecodur, however, in this case, has a particularly outstanding feature that sets itself apart from nearly all other conventional epoxy coatings. It has basically double the adhesion strength and has been known to grip to particularly slippery surfaces such as Teflon and stay stuck. It adhered to the entire 1,500 square feet with no issues associated with the slight greasiness.

The applicator had determined that because of Ecodur’s vastly superior adhesion properties, grinding down to expose original concrete surfaces, was not necessary as would have been the case for most conventional epoxy coatings. Notable aspects of Ecodur on this job were that it was very easy to apply manually, and that it self-levelled in the relatively short time until it set up and become tack free.

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Application Results
This is a standout case study in that the project’ success very much hinged on Ecodur’s strength in terms of adhesion. As previously mentioned, had a conventional epoxy been used, the preparation would have been onerous and time consuming, especially with the grinding that would have been required. The applicator reported that this would have doubled the cost of the project. He also reported that Ecodur’s self-levelling ability was an important distinguishing factor on this project.
Full cure was achieved by the standard waiting period of 24-hours and the site was released back to the client with minimal disruption and quick clean-up that was facilitated by the fact there were no solvents involved. Finally, the client also had the knowledge that Ecodur has a classification of “1” or “A” in CAN/ULC S102-M88 standard method of testing with a flame spread value of 15 as a deck coating. Untreated red oak is 100.