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Ave Maria University Project Team Sings Praises of Polyaspartic Coating System

Published on 2008-03-07. Author : SpecialChem

Pittsburgh -- A university is a philosophical crossroads - a place where classic theories converge with ideas that will shape the future. At Ave Maria University near Naples, Fla., that fact is evident - even in the architectural details.

Cannon Design of Grand Island, N.Y., designed Ave Maria University in Fla., the newest Catholic University to be opened in 40 years.

Founded in 2003, Ave Maria is the newest Catholic university to be opened in 40 years. Built as the anchor for the planned community of Ave Maria, Fla., the university buildings reflect the influence of Frank Lloyd Wright and incorporate the charm of Italy's hill towns. These two architectural styles come together beautifully in the 70,000 square feet of decorative concrete flooring used throughout the campus.

Construction manager Suffolk/Kraft managed the unique application of decorative concrete to achieve a rich, natural look on 70,000 square feet of flooring throughout the university campus.

The project team, comprised of Ave Maria University, architect Cannon Design of Grand Island, N.Y., and construction manager Suffolk/Kraft of Naples, wanted the floors to have a dramatic look yet stay within an affordable price range. They worked through a challenging process to arrive at the look they wanted and the durability they needed.

A polyaspartic coating developed with technology from Bayer MaterialScience sealed the acid stain concrete and provided a durable finish that will be easy to maintain for years to come.

Several companies bid on the job, but Decosup Inc. of Miami and Bayer MaterialScience were instrumental in providing an alternative solution to traditional flooring surfaces - one that would provide a rich, natural appearance, yet showcase the beauty of concrete. They recommended a combination of acid stain and polyurethane sealant that would have the appearance of marble and be extremely durable and easy to maintain. Several mockups and tests were performed before Decosup was awarded the contract and work began.

According to Decosup President, Art Pinto, achieving the desired results from decorative concrete can be extremely intricate. "It's important to use top-quality products and know exactly how the different materials are going to interact."

For the floors at Ave Maria University, Decosup recommended a system comprised of their own ChemTone Acid Stain and a DecoShine sealer, a polyaspartic polyurea developed using polyurethane technology from Bayer MaterialScience. A rich "aged leather" color was chosen for use throughout. "ChemTone Acid Stain provides you with a beautiful, marble-like finish. It's the only acid stain in the world without hydrochloric acid, so it's safer to use and has no nasty fumes," comments Pinto. "And the polyurethane sealer absolutely locks in the finish and creates the high-gloss polished look. It's extremely durable - it won't scratch and it's easy to maintain. That was important for everyone on the Ave Maria team."

Three specialty contractors were hired to execute the project. In order to ensure the durability of the floor and the overall success of the installation, Miami-based flooring contractor Concrete Floor Solutions first diamond-ground the surface of the new concrete to a 100-grid surface texture. This provided an excellent surface for the acid stain, and allowed for proper adhesion of the polyaspartic coating.

Once the concrete was prepped, experienced crews from Crown Concrete and Cutting Edge Concrete handled the staining and sealing. First an acid stain was applied. Then the polyaspartic sealant was sprayed on all 70,000 square feet of acid-stained concrete. Because the coating was easy to use and fast drying, a second coat was applied in just a few hours.

Pinto notes, "The Ave Maria job had a very tight timeframe and the quick-drying polyaspartic sealer helped keep us on schedule. Yet it was even more important that the end result would give the University years and years of beautiful wearability. The combination of our ChemTone Acid Stain and the polyaspartic sealer was the ideal combination for this particular application."

The job wouldn't have gone quite so smoothly without the seamless collaboration of all parties. Cannon Design, Suffolk/Kraft and the trades worked diligently through the guidance of Bayer and Decosup to ensure that the new finishes were installed properly and completed before school opened in the fall of 2007.

As the University grows, so will the foot traffic across the acid stain concrete floors. Thanks to a unique polyaspartic sealant, their marble-like finish will shine for years to come.

Bayer MaterialScience LLC is one of the leading producers of polymers and high-performance plastics in North America and is part of the global Bayer MaterialScience business with nearly 14,900 employees at 30 sites around the world and 2006 sales of 10.2 billion euros from continuing operations. Our innovative developments in coatings, adhesive and sealant raw materials, polycarbonates, polyurethanes and thermoplastic urethane elastomers enhance the design and functionality of products in a wide variety of markets, including the automotive, construction, electrical and electronics, household and medical industries, and the sports and leisure fields. Our inorganic basic chemicals unit produces chlorine and related essential products for the chemicals industry. Let us give life to your vision. Bayer MaterialScience - Where VisionWorks.

Bayer Corporation, headquartered in Pittsburgh, is a subsidiary of Bayer AG, an international health care, nutrition and innovative materials group based in Leverkusen, Germany. In North America, Bayer had 2006 net sales of 7.8 billion euros and employed 17,200 at year end. Bayer's three subgroups, Bayer HealthCare, Bayer CropScience and Bayer MaterialScience, improve people's lives through a broad range of essential products that help prevent and treat diseases; protect crops and enhance yields; and advance automobile safety and durability.

This website may contain forward-looking statements based on current assumptions and forecasts made by Bayer Group or subgroup management. Various known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors could lead to material differences between the actual future results, financial situation, development or performance of the company and the estimates given here. The company assumes no liability whatsoever to update these forward-looking statements or to conform them to future events or developments.

Source: Bayer MaterialScience

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