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4x Stronger than Epoxy or 4X sTRONGER Than Garbage?

My name is Felipe Andrade, and I am the owner of Rossi Decorative Concrete & Epoxy. I believe that main part of our job here at Rossi DCE is to educate our customers in order to achieve the best results for our customers; not necessarily what is best for our pocket.
We also believe that deceiving is lying. Period.

I am sure you guys have all heard the “4x stronger than epoxy” or the “20x stronger than epoxy” or the “whatever times stronger than epoxy”.
Is it really though?

I make the following reference lot because I believe it is true.
First sergeant, may God rest his soul, use to always say “Break it down Barney style for me”.
Simply put, if you cannot explain it to a five-year-old, you don’t know what you are talking about.
Why?

Because even the most complicated concepts can essentially be broken down to “two plus two is four”.
And when you truly understand something, you can break it down to its simplest concept.

4x Stronger than Epoxy or Garbage Overview

Table of Contents

Materials used

 First things first. Whenever anyone says 4x stronger than epoxy, what materials are they using?
Meaning, what exactly are they laying down on the floor that they consider it to be 4x stronger than epoxy?

Well, unless they have a lab to cook this stuff up in (breaking bad style), then they are most likely using polyurea or polyurea polyaspartic.

We use polyurea polyaspartic in our garage epoxy floor system as well, but we NEVER claim it to be 4x stronger than epoxy or anything remotely close to it.

How is strength measured?

 First, I would like to explain a few concepts before we start.
As graduate of the University of Alaska Fairbanks in Bachelors of Science Petroleum Engineering in 2019 (if you do CTRL+F and just type in “Felipe” you’ll find me), I believe my knowledge is adequate on certain engineering topics; including the ones relevant to this article.

Let’s break it down Barney style, shall we?

First off, in this scenario, when they say 4x stronger than epoxy, how is the strength being measured?
It is measured in Pounds per Square Inch, or simply put, PSI.
“Felipe man, I’m not an engineer. What does that actually mean to me?”
I’ll explain.

Simply put, it is a force (pounds) applied over an area (squared inches).
Here is a simple example:
Say you weigh 150 pounds, and you stand on a 12×12 inch square.
That means you are applying 150 pounds over a 144in2; or 1.041 Pound per square inch. Roughly 1 PSI.

This is why you can lay on a bed of nails, but you cannot step on one.
If you are laying on 150 nails, you’d be applying roughly 1 pound of pressure on each nail, vs stepping on one and applying 150 pounds on a single point.

Now that you guys understand how strength is actually measured, let’s get cracking on this “4x stronger than epoxy” thing!

Parameters of Strength

Some of these companies say “4x stronger than epoxy” or “20x stronger than epoxy” or “whatever times stronger than epoxy”, but what are their parameters?
What kind of strength are they using to make this claim?
In simple terms, HOW is it 4x stronger than epoxy, or 20x stronger, or whatever?

In order to figure that out, we need to look at the data sheets in order to pull some numbers.

We need the manufacture to tell us if this claim of 4x stronger than epoxy really holds any water.
Afterall, they’re the ones that made this in lab; not me.

Here is what I did.
I literally Googled “2 component 100% solids epoxy data sheet” (I will explain 2 component 100% solids epoxy LATER, for now, just follow me) and “polyaspartic data sheet”.

Here is what I came up with

2 component 100% Solid epoxy
MPC 100
EC-36 100% Solids Epoxy
E2U 100% Solids Epoxy
MF 2600
Surfkoat Polyrez 250 HP Cyclo 100% Epoxy
Penntek E1000

Polyaspartics
MPC 280
EC-102 Polyaspartic
E2U Polyaspartic 85
MF 344 Polyaspartic
Polykoat GL 90
Penntek xp275 & Penntek NX300 (The reason for two here is one is mentioned as basecoat, other as topcoat)

These data sheets are straight from the manufactures’ websites.

I’ve selected a few different manufactures, and there’s a reason. For one or two manufactures, I wanted to find a manufacture that had all the information for all strengths for BOTH materials.
The next few manufactures did not matter much as long as the manufacture made both polyaspartic and 2 component 100% solids epoxy.
Why?

Because some manufactures do not release some, or any, information to the public.
Which brings me to a very important point.
If the manufacture of the materials used by the installer does NOT release this information, how does the installer know that their material IS 4x stronger than epoxy?

How can someone tell you something that they have no way of proving?
Interesting, right?
We thought so too.

Let’s get started on this whole 4x stronger than epoxy comparison, shall we?

Compressive Strength

As per Science Direct, compressive strength is “Compressive strength is a limit state of compressive stress that leads to failure in a material in the manner of ductile failure”, or in simple terms, how much can you compress (squeeze together) something before it breaks.
Take an empty soda can and squeeze it together from both ends.

Something even simpler: standing on top of a concrete slab. Your weight is essentially trying to compress the concrete. Of course, most people probably do not weight nowhere near enough to cause the concrete to actually sink.

2 COMPONENT 100% SOLIDS EPOXY

POLYASPARTIC

MPC 100 – 10,500 psi 

MPC 280 – 9,500 psi

EC-36 – 11,200 psi

EC-102 – N/A

E2U 100% Epoxy – 7,800 psi

E2U Polyaspartic – N/A

MF 2600 – 10,500 psi

MF 344 – 12,000 psi

250 HP Cyclo – N/A

GL 90 – N/A

Penntek E1000 – 13,000 psi

XP 275 – N/A , NX300 – N/A

There is not a single number on the polyaspartic column that is four times greater, or twenty times greater, or greater by any sort of multiples (full numbers) than the 100% solids epoxy column.
Let’s keep going.

Tensile Strength

TENSILE STRENGTH

As per Science Direct, tensile strength is “resistance to lengthwise stress, measured by the greatest load in weight per unit area pulling in the direction of length that a given subtract can bear without tearing apart.”, or in simple terms, how much can you pull apart something before it breaks. Take a rope for example, pull on it on both ends going in the opposite direction until it tears.

2 COMPONENT 100% SOLIDS EPOXY

POLYASPARTIC

MPC 100 – 6,500 psi              

MPC 280 – 6,500 to 7,500 psi

EC-36 – 3,100 psi

EC-102 – N/A

E2U 100% Epoxy – 3,900 psi

E2U Polyaspartic – 7,000 psi

MF 2600 – 6,500 psi

MF 344 – 3,900 psi

250 HP Cyclo – N/A

GL 90 – 4,500 to 5,000 psi

Penntek E1000 – 3,750 psi

XP 275 – 4,000 psi , NX300 – 5,000 psi

AGAIN, there is not a single number on the polyaspartic column that is four times greater, or twenty times greater, or greater by any sort of multiples (full numbers) than the 100% solids epoxy column.
Let’s keep going.

Flexural Strength

As per Science Direct, flexural strength is “the mechanical parameter of material, which is defined as the material’s ability to resist deformation under load”, or in simple terms, how much can you bend something without breaking it or deforming it. Take one of those plastic rulers some of us got smacked on the back of the head with when we fell asleep in class (long time ago, right?), how much can you bend that ruler without snaping it in two. That’s flexural strength. Let’s look at the numbers.

2 COMPONENT 100% SOLIDS EPOXY

POLYASPARTIC

MPC 100 – 5,500 psi  

MPC 280 – N/A

EC-36 – 6,100 psi

EC-102 – N/A

E2U 100% Epoxy – 3,700 psi

E2U Polyaspartic – N/A

MF 2600 – 5,500 psi

MF 344 – N/A

250 HP Cyclo – N/A

GL 90 – N/A

Penntek E1000 – N/A

XP 275 – N/A , NX300 – N/A

This time it was interesting because there wasn’t a single number to compare to on the polyaspartic side, even so, there is not a single number on the polyaspartic column that is four times greater, or twenty times greater, or greater by any sort of multiples (full numbers) than the 100% solids epoxy column.
Let’s keep going.

Adhesion Strength

Before I explain this one, I want to make a reference that I am sure most of us have heard at some point or another.
“I don’t have to outrun the bear; I just have to outrun you.”

Let’s face it, if a huge bear is chasing you and I, I really don’t have to be faster than the bear, I just have to be faster than you in order to not get caught and eaten by the bear.
Here is what that has to do with all this.

As per Science Direct, adhesion strength is the “measurement of how strong the bond between two materials is”, or in simple terms, when stuck together, how much force does it take to split those two materials up.
Say you glue two pieces of wood, well, how much force would it take to split the wood back into two pieces.

Let’s take a quick look at the numbers and I’ll explain two things:
1. why this measurement of strength doesn’t matter and
2. why some of them don’t even give an exact number.

2 COMPONENT 100% SOLIDS EPOXY

POLYASPARTIC

MPC 100 – >300 psi, ASTM D4541 (concrete failure.

MPC 280 – 550 psi (substrate ruptures), ASTM D4541

EC-36 – 3,100 psi

EC-102 – N/A

E2U 100% Epoxy – 350 psi – ASTM D 4541 Concrete fails at this point

E2U Polyaspartic – N/A

MF 2600 – > 300 psi @ ASTM D4541 (Concrete failure)

MF 344 – 3,900 psi

250 HP Cyclo – N/A

GL 90 – 4,500 to 5,000 psi

Penntek E1000 – 450 psi – Concrete Substrate Failure

XP 275 – >500 psi – 500 PSI (CONCRETE FAILED , NX300 – >500 psi – 500 PSI (CONCRETE FAILED

Remember the “faster-than-you-not-the-bear” concept?
Here is how it applies; when I pull the material from the concrete, all it as to do is have a stronger adhesion strength than the material’s tensile strength that it is attached to.

 (Remember, if I am pulling trying to remove my material from the concrete, I am pulling the concrete apart, opposite of compressive strength. And opposite of compressive strength is tensile strength) 

So, as long as the adhesion strength of my material is GREATER than the concrete’s tensile strength, the concrete will fail BEFORE my material separates from the concrete.

Chain break at the weakest link, right?
And as long as the weakest link is the concrete and not my material, that number doesn’t matter.

Concrete’s tensile strength tends to hang around 300 psi or so, and so as long as my material is GREATER than that, it doesn’t matter what number it is, the concrete will fail first.
I don’t care if my material is 1 psi greater than the concrete’s tensile strength and your material is 301,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 psi greater, as long as it is GREATER than the tensile strength of the concrete, IT DOES NOT MATTER.

See how, even though within the law it is NOT deceiving nor is it lying, it sure as heck doesn’t matter how many times it is stronger?
Imagine someone said to you “the strength of my material is a TRILLION times stronger than the competitions! You should use mine!”

Only for you to find out later that this particular strength, whether slight stronger, a trillion times stronger or infinite-gilion (I know, that’s not a word or a number, but you get my point) times stronger, they are all just as good.
And that’s why on some data sheets they will just either reference a manual or say “greater than concrete failure” or something along the lines of.
Because as long as the concrete fails first, IT DOES NOT MATTER WHAT THE NUMBER ACTUALLY IS.
Let’s move on.

Hardness

Even though this parameter does not include an actual measurement of strength (psi), it could be viewed as a strength.
So, I included it anyways.

As per Science Direct, “Hardness tests are a measure of resistance to indentation and are notable for being fast, easy and non-destructive”, or in simple terms, how resistant to being scratched or broken material A is to material B.

A very good example of this are your wiper blades.
There is a reason they are made or rubber and not steel. Rubber will not scratch glass when wiping across it.

Let’s take a look at some numbers.
The test used on this one is Shore D Hardness (A type of test used to measure hardness of certain materials) and it goes up to 100.

2 COMPONENT 100% SOLIDS EPOXY

POLYASPARTIC

MPC 100 – 78 to 80

MPC 280 – 75-78

EC-36 – 80

EC-102 – 76

E2U 100% Epoxy – 84

E2U Polyaspartic – 70

MF 2600 – 78 to 80

MF 344 – 80

250 HP Cyclo – N/A

GL 90 – N/A

Penntek E1000 – N/A

XP 275 – N/A , NX300 – N/A

AGAIN, there is not a single number on the polyaspartic column that is four times greater, or twenty times greater, or greater by any sort of multiples (full numbers) than the 100% solids epoxy column.

Conclusion about Strength Parameters

As we’ve ran through the data sheets to determine which “strength” of polyaspartic is actually 4x greater than epoxy, or twenty times greater or whatever times greater, we came to the conclusion that THERE IS NOT A SINGLE TYPE OF STRENGTH THAT POLYASPARTIC IS FOUR TIMES GREATER THAN 2 COMPONENT 100% SOLIDS EPOXY.

Remember, I am not telling you this, the people who spend millions in the lab cooking this stuff up is.
I am not making any of these numbers up either, they were given by the people who cook up this stuff in the lab; not me.

I am doing nothing more than presenting the numbers to you guys and explaining what they mean.
That’s it.

Why say 4x stronger than epoxy then?
Isn’t false advertisement against the law?

False advertisement may be against the law.
Deceiving in order to make a sale may be against the law.
Lying in order to make a sale may also be against the law.

HOWEVER

TECHNICALLY, they’re not lying.
TECHNICALLY, they are not deceiving.
TECHNICALLY, they are not false advertising.
TECHNICALLY.
Remember that; TECHNICALLY.

One more time for the people in the back; TECHNICALLY.

Let’s change gear and make a difference comparison.

Say I make a car, and I make a claim like this:

“My car is FOUR times FASTER than a FORD!”
(Sounds very similar to 4x stronger than epoxy, doesn’t it?
No pun intended.
Well, maybe a little.)

Even though I am not lying, even though I am not being deceitful, and even though that is not false advertisement, I would still get called on it by anyone who understands cars.
Or honestly, anyone who stops to think about what I literally just stated.

Most people would look at me and say something along the lines of “Do you take me for a fool?
Ford makes a Ford focus that is slow as a turtle and they make a Ford Mustang Dark Horse that is pretty dang fast!
So, what are you comparing it to?”

And THAT RIGHT THERE is why they cannot get sued.
That is why I told you guys to search for 2 component 100% solids epoxy and NOT just epoxy.

TECHNICALLY, they are not lying. That would be against the law.
TECHNICALLY, they are not being deceitful. That would be against the law.
TECHNICALLY, they are not false advertising. That would be against the law.

I remember reading a while back that in order to be CLASSIFIED as epoxy it has to be 2 component 33% solids.
I have no data nor know any manufacture or any store that sells anything LESS than a 2 component 100% solids epoxy.
Maybe they’re comparing it to the big box stuff?
Maybe they are comparing it to the 2 component 33% solids epoxy that I do not use nor have any data for?
Who knows?

Look at the manufactures I’ve listed up top.
They ONLY, and I mean ONLY, make 2 component 100% solids epoxy.
Why?
Simple: The people making “Ferrari” like products are NOT making “Honda” like products.

There is nothing wrong with a Honda by the way.
With that said, it is NOT a fair comparison to take a Honda and compare it with a Ferrari.

Also, notice how they say “epoxy” and NOT “2 component 100% Solids Epoxy.”
Remember, four times faster than Ford is not impressive.
Four times faster than a Mustang Dark Horse Premium (as per Hot Cars, they estimate it to be around 3.8 to 4 seconds 0-60 with a top speed of 168 MPH) would be.

Yeah…. a car that goes 0-60 MPH in less than ONE SECOND or hits 672 miles per hour would be VERY impressive.
And I am sure that ANY manufacture that could do that would be BRAGGING about it.
Why?
Because they would be able to prove it!

Yeah… a coating with a compressive strength of 40 THOUSAND PSI, tensile strength of 15 THOUSAND psi (and you know, 4x greater in some/all the other parameters too) would be too.
And I am sure that ANY manufacture that could do that would be BRAGGING about it.
Why?
Because they would be able to prove it!

If only we could show sarcasm through writing.
Maybe I just did lol.

In MY opinion, that is exactly why they do not say “4x stronger than 100% solids epoxy”.

4x stronger than epoxy = no lawsuits.
4x stronger than 2 component 100% solids epoxy = I’m thinking lawsuits.

One more

One more thing

I did not include the famous Polyurea in this whole 4x stronger than epoxy article.
An individual could use a Polyurea or a Polyurea Polyaspartic base.
Couldn’t find much on it, but the little bit that I did find was very close to the polyurea polyaspartic.
Imagine that, right?
Feel free to do your own research on that one.

Also, a few more things you may hear like:

“This product will never peel!”
What cause a coating to peel, whether 100% Solids epoxy or polyaspartic, is poor prep.
Grind the floor.
DO NOT PRESSURE WASH OR ACID ETCH THE FLOOR.
GRIND OR SHOTBLAST ONLY.
If the installer does that, shouldn’t peel.
If they pressure wash, I have no idea if it will even cure, much less bond.

This product is maintenance free!”
Maintenance free?
I want someone to show me a floor that requires literally no maintenance ever.
Scratch that, I want someone to show me anything that requires no maintenance ever.
Show me that, I will show you a liar.

“It’s UV Stable and it will never yellow out! Way better than those epoxy floors!”
This is one of those things that are like the adhesion strength, IT DOESN’T MATTER!
Here’s why:

It is very true that when we do our garage epoxy floor system, we use 2 component 100% solids epoxy as a base, flake, then polyaspartic or urethane as a topcoat.
They are 100% right when they say that our 2 component 100% solids epoxy will yellow out and their polyaspartic are resistant to it.
Here is why it does not matter though.

THE FLAKES ARE COVERING THE EPOXY 100%

As the 100% solids epoxy yellows out overtime due to sunlight exposure, because you know, you have kids who keeps the garage door open or you work out of your garage so you need some light, or whatever the case might be, YOU WILL NEVER SEE THE YELLOW BECAUSE THE FLAKES ARE COVERING IT.
They use a polyaspartic topcoat, as do we, so guess what?
Our Flakes won’t get “hazy” or “yellowish.”
It will be just like theirs!

Who cares if the 100% solids epoxy basecoat turns pink, blue with a slight hint of purple?
As long as it does not compromise quality of the coating, which it does not, then who cares?

This product is the best thing since sliced bread!”

I got nothing.
I like my bread though!

Final Thoughts

Here is what I DO know and here is what I CAN prove in court (after all, that’s all that matters anyways):

Whoever says “4x stronger than epoxy” or “20 times stronger than epoxy” or “whatever times stronger than epoxy” are NOT, I and repeat, NOT making a fair comparison.

There isn’t a single number that could potentially represent strength in the polyaspartic data sheet that is even remotely close to being 4 times HIGHER than the 2 component 100% solids epoxy.

ALL manufactures that make the polyaspartic listed up top make ONLY 2 component 100% solids epoxy. Period.
After all, people who make “Ferrari” like products are not making “Honda” like products.

Whatever it is that the people who make this claim are comparing it to, it is NOT apples to apples.
A Ferrari should be compared to a Lamborghini, or a high-end Porsche or something along the lines of,
and NOT well, something subpar to it.

If you guys have noticed, all the 2 component 100% solids epoxy had round about the same numbers, all the polyaspartics also had round about the same numbers.
Almost like, I don’t know, they have a somewhat of a rough standard for each material that all the manufactures meet.
(There I go again trying to express sarcasm through writing.)

Here is what I DON’T know, and truth be told, don’t care because it doesn’t matter:
I have no idea what they are comparing it to.

Next time someone mentions to you the following “4x stronger than epoxy” garbage, please, please, please, do me a favor, ask them “how is it 4x stronger than 2 component 100% solids epoxy and what parameters are you using”.
I am DYING to know.
(A little more sarcasm there).

Even though there was a hint of sarcasm there, I’m still dying to know how it is 4x stronger than epoxy.
I’m talking about the good stuff, 2 component 100% solids epoxy, not well, anything below that.

Point of reading this

So, what’s the point of this article?
To educate you.

We use full transparency and honesty to strengthen our credibility as a company.

In order to provide the best quality and service, we will always use the best quality products available to the market.

 When it comes to a job that requires an epoxy product, we will only use 2 component 100% solids epoxy.

Simply put, you get what you pay for.

While that is easier said than done, this is also why we always take the time to educate the client.

Summary for those who did not want to read all of it (I know, it was a long read, but it had to be),
but are willing to take my word for it.

If you read all of it, then I don’t need to say, “take my word for it.” The numbers are right there.
If you did NOT read of all it, it’s cool too, but you’re just going to have to take my word for it on a few things.

I’ve been told that in order to be considered epoxy it needs to be at least 2 component 33% solids Epoxy. I have never seen that type of epoxy nor care for it. It is 2 component 100% solids epoxy, or I don’t play with it. Period.

There isn’t a single parameter that measures strength amongst the data sheets provided by the manufactures that shows that either Polyurea Polyaspartic or Polyurea is anything REMOTELY 4x stronger than 2 component 100% solids epoxy.

4 times stronger than 100% solids epoxy, which by the way, is all the manufactures I’ve found produce, would be really impressive. As would 4x faster than a 2024 Mustang Dark Horse.
4 times stronger than garbage is not. And neither is just “Four times faster than Ford.”

I have no idea as to what these people who claim “4x stronger than epoxy” are comparing it to, or what their parameters are, but what I do know is that they are NOT comparing it to anything any reputable manufacture makes, or anything any reputable installer, such as myself, would put down on your floor/project.

So next time you hear “4x stronger than epoxy”, PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE, ASK THEM “How is it 4x stronger than 2 component 100% solids epoxy? What are your parameters?”

Honestly, I am dying to know.

Wow, this was much, much, much shorter to read!
I wrote the long and very detailed version for those that didn’t just “take my word for it.”
Which I am hoping SOME of you guys will ACTUALLY read it so I can say I wrote it for a reason!

If you guys found this to be a helpful article, please share so others can educate themselves as well!

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