Achieve a high-quality finish on your project by avoiding amine blush! Amine blushing is a common issue experienced with epoxies and it can cause significant damage to the coating. Without proper preventive measures, amine blush can lead to a dull finish, decreased adhesion, and other issues.
What is Amine Blush?
Amine blush can be described as a sticky, oily, or waxy appearance on the surface and can appear as greasy white spotting, or even salt-like, with crystalline deposits. Visually it can also be cloudy, milky, or gray-colored, with opacity and dullness. A more troublesome aspect of blush is that it may not be evident or even visible. Not only is blush sometimes not evident, but the blush can also be a highly localized phenomenon because of uneven ventilation and/or many other factors. One area may be perfectly fine, while not ten feet away, a bond-inhibiting blush has occurred that will cause certain delamination of successive coats.
Identifying Amine Blush
Carefully survey the entire area to be coated before installation of a topcoat if a blush is suspected. Fortunately, there are field tests that aid in the immediate identification of amine blush (carbamates) on a surface. While not a go/no-go test, these tests will help you determine the presence of amines on the surface. A quick internet search on “Elcometer 139 Amine Blush Swab Test Kit” or “The TQC Amine Blush Kit” will give you plenty of options and information.
Preventing Amine Blush
The best way to prevent an amine blush is to monitor and control the environmental conditions prior to, during, and after application. Only apply epoxy floor coatings when the air and surface temperatures will remain within the recommended application temperatures found on the materials PDS. Avoid condensation by staying at least 5°F above the dew point prior to and throughout the application and cure. The storage of the hardener and resin within the same temperature range prior to use is also recommended.
Removing & Remediation of Amine Blush
Because the amine blush is water soluble, the use of solvents to remove a blush is not very effective. However, the use of Dawn dish soap, Tide, TSP, or a degreaser in warm water with a stiff bristle broom or a scrub pad works well to remove and suspend the amine blush from the epoxy surface. It is recommended to repeat the cleaning process once or twice, prior to rinsing thoroughly with warm water, allowing the surface to dry before visual inspection and retesting for amine blush. Recoat windows may be missed so abrading (sanding) may be necessary prior to application. Abrading should be avoided until the removal of the blush.
Amine blushing is a common issue experienced with epoxies and can cause significant damage to the coating, preventing proper adhesion and affecting the overall performance of the final product. By understanding what amine blush is and how to identify it, you can take preventive measures prior to application and also know how to remove and remediate amine blush if it does occur. Keeping all this in mind, you can be sure to have a successful epoxy coating application.
At D's Epoxy Creates, our mission is to provide you with the best possible epoxy flooring solution to meet your facility’s needs. Our team of experts understands the importance of monitoring and controlling the environmental conditions throughout the entire flooring process in order to prevent amine blushing in epoxy floor coatings. Contact us to connect with our preferred Flooring Contractors.