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The Difference Between Polymer Concrete and Vinyl Ester

by Summer Hoffman on April 22, 2019 Comments Off on The Difference Between Polymer Concrete and Vinyl Ester

There are many variables to consider when you are choosing what you need for your drainage project, including what materials your system is made of. Much of it depends mainly upon the application requirements. Trying to understand the differences between polymer concrete and vinyl ester drainage channels can be confusing.

Polymer Concrete

Polymer concrete is a composite material in which the aggregate is bound together in a matrix with a polymer binder. Loosely translated, polymer concrete is great under high tensile (tension), flexural and compressive strengths.

What are the advantages of Polymer Concrete?

  • Freeze/thaw resistance
  • Handles heavy weight
  • Fast drainage
  • Durability
  • Holds up to 150 degrees F

Other features of the material has excellent long-term durability and low permeability to water, making it ideal for most drainage situations. Because of its properties, polymer concrete is frequently used in the utility industry as a reliable solution for harsh environments.

Typical Applications of Polymer Concrete:

Trench Drain Systems carries Hubbell’s series of POLYCAST® drainage solutions. One example is the POLYCAST® 600 Series is one of the most well known small commercial drains on the market. These 6.25″ wide (OD) polymer concrete channels are available in lengths of 48″ and 24″. Their built-in .65 percent slope ensures that the will achieve flow rates of 470 GPM (Gallons Per Minute), higher than drainage systems of similar size. These polymer concrete channels safely handle temperatures up to 150 degrees Fahrenheit without structural damage.

Vinyl Ester

Vinyl ester is produced by the reaction (‘esterfication’) between an epoxy resin and an unsaturated monocarboxylic acid. Essentially, they comprise of a base of polyester resin strengthened with epoxy molecules in the molecular chain. This means vinyl ester has fewer open sites in its molecular chain, making it more resistant to water penetration. Vinyl ester is less sensitive to surrounding conditions and is more tolerant of stretching than polyesters. These characteristics allow the drainage system to absorb a greater impact without damage, making it less likely to show stress cracking over time.

Advantages of Vinyl Ester:

  • Impact and weight resistance
  • Withstands chlorinated solvents
  • Resistance to acids
  • Higher resistance to halogenated substances such as fluorine, bromine, chlorine and iodine
  • Endures higher temperatures, up to 180 degrees F
  • Resistance to various caustics
  • Durability
  • Rapid drainage

Trench Drain Systems is the largest stocking distributor of vinyl ester channels through the Hubbell POLYCAST® product line.

Typical Applications of Vinyl Ester:

Trench Drain Systems is the leading supplier of drainage systems for distilleries, breweries and micro-breweries throughout the United States. Breweries are one of the main applications that Trench Drain Systems suggests the use of vinyl ester due to the high pH levels and high temperatures of wastewater. This type of environment can cause other drainage system materials to become weak, break down and even warp.


Where are Trench Drains Found in Breweries?

  • Between fermenters
  • Inside the walk-in cooler
  • Bottling/packaging area
  • Storage facilities

For many applications, selecting the right drainage system material is critical. The chemical differences between polymer concrete and vinyl ester result in several differences in physical properties. This product choice directly affects the project’s strength, durability, lifespan and cost. Let one of our experts help determine whether polymer concrete or vinyl ester is best for your application. Contact us at 610-638-1221 Monday through Friday, 8am – 5pm EST, or request a fast quote online today.

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Summer HoffmanThe Difference Between Polymer Concrete and Vinyl Ester