COATING OIL SOAKED CONCRETE SUBSTRATES AND MAKING IT ‘STICK’ LONG TERM IS PROBLEMATIC FOR MOST COATING MATERIAL.
THE OILY HISTORY!
In the early 1980’s, a floor coating test was conducted by a plant engineer who worked for a large oil company. At this plant, lube materials such as oil and grease for autos and trucks were processed and packaged.
The plant manager had tried a few DIY and contractor applied flooring systems over the years, but nothing he tried worked, due mostly to the full depth oil saturated concrete substrate.
While the engineer was attending a local plant maintenance show, and under some pressure from the local environmental authorities, he invited over a dozen suppliers and contractors to participate in a ‘test’ to determine if there was a floor system on the market that would work in his greasy, oily environment.
All of the systems invited to this ‘horse race’ were epoxy and urethane based, except us.
As a participant, IFS used an ARR (acrylic reactive resin) fast cure material. ARR resins were our specialty then, and still are to this day.
The winner of this one year ‘horse race’ he explained, would secure the contract to apply a protective overlay in the whole plant to stop oil from continuing to leach through the concrete into the soil below.
In addition, the plant manager wanted a safe slip resistant floor surface to walk on for the employees, as well as a surface that would be easy to keep clean.
Due to our schedule at the time, IFS was unable to install the test until a few months after the show.
In the mean time, most of the invitees had installed small 100 – 200 sq. ft. test areas. Due to the slow cure times, the areas were limited as to the size and location of the test areas.
When IFS had an opening in our schedule, the engineer was contacted. IFS explained again about the fast, less than one hour cure time of our system. He issued a purchase order for over a thousand (1,000) sq. ft..
This was considered a test, so no guarantees were required by the plant engineer.
The test area was installed overnight in two locations on main forklift aisles of this large facility. All of the other slow systems were installed out of main forklift aisles or non-critical areas due to the slow cure time of these ‘other’ resins.
Upon arrival at the plant to install the tests, the engineer showed IFS the test patches installed right after the plant maintenance show.
Most had already failed completely and the rest were in the initial stages of delamination and cracking.
This indicated there was no real bond of these materials to the underlying substrate, due to the oil percolating up into the slab after it was prepared and before it had time to cure.
About a year later, at the same local plant maintenance show, the same engineer came running up to our booth. He asked me if I remembered him and I responded, “yes”.
He quickly told me he had “been looking for me” and he wanted me in his plant first thing Monday morning after the show. Before I could say anything, he tossed his card on the table and off he went.
Upon arrival at his plant on Monday morning, the engineer didn’t say much in the reception room other than, “follow me, I want to show you something”. Obviously, I was assuming that there was some kind of problem with the test we had put in about eight or nine months prior.
Every project we install is guaranteed, but I had forgotten about the “no guarantee” clause on this project.
He walked me over to the test area and pointed to the test area and he said, “look at this”. I looked at the area and it looked like the day it was installed, some nine or ten months earlier. I looked at him puzzled and he quickly said, “follow me”.
Chasing after him, he led me to the second forklift aisle test location.
He said the same thing. “Look at this”.
Well, it was the same deal. It looked like the day we installed it. I again looked at him with puzzlement and he quickly asked, “Did you notice anything as we walked through the plant?” I answered, “no, not really”. “Everything looked pretty much the same except, I didn’t see any of the other test patches“.
He quipped, “pretty observant, that’s why you’re here”.
He then quickly said, “Follow me”. He walked me to his office and as I sat down he quickly handed me a purchase order for more work with a big smile on his face.
This began a long relationship with this large oil company all across the US & Canada and the world, for that matter, not only in their plants, but their franchisees gas station auto repair shops, when that situation was in ‘vogue’.
If you currently have oil soaked concrete floors in an auto dealership, quick lube, auto or truck repair facility, tool and die shop or metal manufacturing of any kind where oil is a problem, simply call or email IFS.
IFS not only has floor and wall coating systems that cure quickly and work, we also have Gator absorbents and de-greasers, water-based and eco-friendly, safe bio parts washer and oil water separator cleaning solutions.
Simply click on the “Gator” logo anywhere on this website for more information.