What do Taber abrader tests tell me about epoxy floor coverings? When is this test important?

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A Taber abrasion test is one of the ASTM (origninally known as American Society for Testing and Materials) tests that is mostly referred to by architects and engineers when they’re comparing the durability of different coatings. 

Coating Comparisons

Such coatings can include epoxy floor coverings, epoxy concrete floor coatings, (also known as epoxy floor paint by residential users – not by floor covering installers), cementitious urethane floor coating systems, decorative epoxy flooring with decorative chips added into an epoxy floor covering, and many more.

How It Works

Basically, the test involves a wheel with an attachment that actually grinds at the coating, and records milligrams of loss by 1,000 cycles. So it just shows you the toughness of the coating.

It can give you a hint as to which coating might be a little more durable. It could also indicate loss of gloss. If you have a product that’s harder and has less milligrams of loss, it may de-gloss slower which means traffic patterns would show less likely. 

Typical Testing Environments

Epoxy garage floor coverings could be tested depending on the main function of the garage floor but you would typically see these test results being reviewed when it comes to heavy impact – forklift traffic, loading areas, and high traffic areas.   

Scratch Tests

Sometimes there’s a difference between the Taber Abrader test and actual scratch resistance. Some coatings have what’s referred to as lubricity.

Instead of grinding and shredding something away, the scratch test tends to indent slightly and then slide across it without damaging it.

But in general, the Taber test shows the durability of the coating and it’s all done on milligrams of loss per 1,000 cycles.