Q.: Please send us information about a method of applying a paint to an industrial floor exposed to oil spills and heavy forklift traffic. We apply a 6-inch-wide band to indicate aisle limits and no-admission areas. Our present procedure of using a name-brand paint requires frequent maintenance.
A.: In general, epoxy coatings give good service on floors where wear resistance is important, and they are resistant to oil. You may wish to consider an epoxy system onto which fine emery is sprinkled before it sets in order to make it slip-resistant.
If the floor contains much oil already, you may have trouble getting a good bond of the coating to the concrete. The area to be coated should be scrubbed one or more times with 10 percent caustic soda solution, or trisodium phosphate solution or strong detergent, then rinsed thoroughly.
Bond may be improved by acid etching the area to be painted. This should be done after the caustic soda or other treatment has been completed. A 10 percent solution of muriatic acid should be applied to the area, taking care to protect the adjacent area. After the bubbling ceases, the spent acid should be thoroughly rinsed away.
In choosing an epoxy it would be best to consult with an experienced manufacturer for recommendations about the kind of epoxy most suitable for the purpose. The company may have a broad line of epoxies and the coating should be chosen with this particular application in mind.