Thermal Thermometers and Epoxy Flooring Systems

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Epoxy and polyaspartic floors are becoming more and more important in industrial settings.  They protect the concrete from harsh cleaning agents, destructive oils and transmission fluids, and can even absorb shock and abrassion from heavy machinery.

But although their benefits are unquestioned, it’s still imperitive that an estimator conducts a thorough site visit to ensure that the proposed epoxy floor will adhere for a long term solution.

The benefits are dependent on the existing condition of the concrete.  And this is where an industrial thermometer can come in handy.

Technical data sheets will state that epoxies require a surface temperature of atleast 50°F to be installed.  The issue is that epoxies are (2) components, using a part A and part B.  When they combine, they need an induction time, which will allow the chemicals to react so that the material can get a hard shell.  But when the temperature is too cold, that induction will retard, causing the material to stay soft and uncured.  And this is why an industrial, infrared thermometer can be handy.

Industrial thermometers are slightly similar to the no contact baby thermometers you see on the market.  They use an infrared laser that detects the thermal radiation from the object, and that’s pretty much it.  The largest difference is that most industrial environments don’t want a pink and pretty temperature gun.

But regardless, here are the best industrial thermometers used for epoxy floor assessment:

Fluke 62 Max No Contact Industrial Thermometer

  • Pro: Can detect temps as low as -20° F to 932º F
  • Pro: Excellent for HVAC, refrigeration, and food service industries
  • Pro: Small and Lightweight for Tooll Belt

This small, light weight infrared thermometer is one of the most sought thermometers with industrial professionals.  From HVAC to plumbing to electrical to epoxy floor installers; Fluke’s no contact infrared thermometer can detect readings between -20° F to 932º F.

This range makes it perfect for anyone dealing with extremely hot surfaces, or dangerously cold surfaces.  Additionally, Fluke’s tough thermometer can handle a 3 meter drop without any damage.  So if you’re working in the rafters, or testing some mounted HVAC systems, you can perform your knowing that your equipment can survive a fall that your fat ass probably couldn’t.

And additionally, it emits a dual laser beam, that can provide greater accuracy than any baby thermometer you might consider taking into a plant or foundry.

In consideration, Fluke 62 would certainly serve an excellent purpose in assessing the temperature of concrete.  But typically, the temperature of concrete is whatever the room temperature is.  And the room temp will rarely go below 70°F, unless you’re working in a refrigerator (which is common for meat processing!).

So little Flukey might a slight overkill.  But nonetheless, a viable option.

Coleman’s No Contact Industrial Thermometer

  • Pro: Can detect temps as low as -58° F to 572º F
  • Pro: Excellent for HVAC, refrigeration, and food service industries
  • Pro: Light weight with LCD display

Coleman’s no contact infrared thermometer is another viable option.  It operates just as well as Fluke’s, offers a large LCD display, and can deliver results in 500 milliseconds.

There’s not a lot of performance that separates Colemans no contact thermometer from Fluke’s no contact thermometer.  Because Coleman’s no contact thermometer is excellent for HVAC, plumbing, electrical, and any other professional trade service, including epoxy flooring.

So it’s difficult to recommend one over the other.  So the ultimate factor is what color do you prefer: blue or yellow?

Overall, an infrared thermometer is an important tool for any trade and industrial professional.

But back to epoxy…

If you’re an epoxy installer, and the floor is reading a temperature of less than 50°F, then you might want to consider another flooring option.

Urethane cement is a really great option.  It can be installed in temperatures as low as 32°F.  So if you’re dealing with a meat plant, or salads, or any other type of food processing that requires refrigeration, then you can safely install urethane cement without any concerns of the material not curing.

Polyaspartics are another great flooring option.  They reside in the polyurea family, which is influenced by an internal thermal reaction, causing the material to heat up and cure on its own.  It is a considered independent from environmental influence, and offers a lot of flexibility for the flooring installers.

And then, if you don’t mind your ears bleeding, there’s always methyl methacrylate (MMA).  MMA coatings can be installed in areas where the temperature reaches -20°F.  So if you need flooring in a freezer, this will be the best available option.  But beforewarned: in chemicals required to get the reaction that generates that much heat to cause  induction on its own has a head-splitting odor.  Do not leave yourself isolated in a room with this material.  Otherwise, you can cause some intense head aches, with could lead to permanent damage.

But aside from these epoxy flooring options, this is why you need to bring a infrared no contact thermometer with estimates and take offs.  Because the temperature of the concrete will dictate the installation temperature for the material.  And as we’ve discussed above, the installation temperature will dictate which material you should and should not use for each situation.

 

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