Epoxy Surface Plate
" When Accuracy Matters "
Installation Flush in Floor
Precision Epoxy Products
a division of :
Rock Art, Ltd.
4279 Midway Drive
Douglasville, Georgia 30134
Phone : (770) 489-0340
V I P E R
(Virginia Institute for Performance Engineering and Research) in Danville,
Virginia is a joint collaboration between Old Dominion University, Virginia
Tech, Institute for Advanced Learning and Research, Virginia International
Raceway and Langley Air Force Base Wind Tunnel Group.
For additional Information visit
In December, 2007 we were contacted by Eric Koster, Director
of Motor Sport Operations for Old Dominion University and Langley Full Scale
Wind Tunnel. Eric is also an associate for Business Development at the Virginia
International Raceway and the Project Manager for the new VIPER Dyno Lab
being constructed in the paddock at VIR. The VIPER Dyno Lab is to
be a part of the overall Viper Facility and houses the in floor Chassis Dyno and
the Epoxy Surface Plate along with a full compliment of set-up and chassis
tuning tools and equipment. The Epoxy Surface Plate from Precision Epoxy
Products was chosen for the new facility because it is absolutely the most
accurate and low maintenance set-up plate available and was the only plate that
would suit the facilities unusual application environment.
In order not to have a raised set-up plate, the concrete
sub-strate for the shop was poured with a 1½" ± depression at the desired
plate location. This would allow the plate to be installed flush in the shop
floor allowing for the extremely low ride height vehicles from the variety of
racing disciplines that compete at VIR to easily roll on and off the
Epoxy Surface Plate. The concrete work that we encountered at the job site was
typical and required some additional effort on our part to achieve what the customer was
looking for, the cosmetic value the Epoxy Surface Plate has to offer and to meet
Rock Art's exacting standards.
The first problem arose when the concrete recessed area was
not formed properly and ended up not being the proper size. To try and
correct this, the concrete contractor saw cut one side of the recessed area to the correct size and tried to jack hammer
down the newly poured sub-strate. This idea was abandoned when the
results were less than desirable and that's when we stepped in. Among this
problem and other installation headaches that we will solve during the
installation, is the fact that to
install a plate flush with an existing floor is next to impossible unless the
adjoining perimeter of that existing floor is perfectly level beforehand. This
is not the case with any concrete floor and was definitely not the case with the VIPER
Dyno Lab floor. You can only match up a perfectly level surface to an unlevel
surface at one point or another not the entire perimeter. A
flush In-Floor Epoxy Surface Plate requires a 3 to 6 inch wide troweled Santex
border at the outer perimeter to make a proper transition from the perfectly
level plate surface to the uneven concrete substrate surface.
Epoxy Surface Plate Flush in Floor Installation
The following installation in the VIPER
Dyno Laboratory at the Virginia
International Raceway is a normal flush in floor installation and will give you
a good idea of the time line and procedures involved with this type project.
plate area has been enlarged to the desired size, detailed and the FP-100 epoxy
primer applied. Notice the rough 12 inch wide area at the right side of the
photo, this is the concrete area that was cut and removed to widen the original
is a closer look at the texture difference between the installed troweled
finish concrete recessed area at the top and the course chiseled out concrete
finish at the bottom of the picture.
new concrete substrate had already developed stress fractures within the
recessed area. Our IG-100 Fiberglass System was applied to minimize the
telegraphing of the crack back through the epoxy plate. This is the same
application that is applied when stress fractures or expansion joints are
present in substrates that our On-Floor Plates are forced to be applied over.
This installation was
next to the entrance roll-up door and although the room is a controlled
environment, the concrete substrate is subject to ‘Thermal Shock’ from the
outside ambient air temperature. The expansion and contraction of the concrete
from temperature changes is greater than that of the extremely hard epoxy
surface plate material. The FP-100 epoxy primer is flexible and designed to
absorb thermal movement in the concrete under normal conditions. To further
assist the bonding of the plate to the substrate, anchor bolts are installed
with the top of the bolt extended above the substrate to be encapsulated by
the base coat pour of Floor Plate Epoxy. Now the Epoxy Surface Plate is not
only bonded to the concrete substrate, but also mechanically fastened to the
substrate by the anchor bolts.
This anchor bolt system is now a part of
all our floor plate ’In-Floor’ and ’On-Floor’ installations. Pictured
at right shows the anchor bolt grind for a recent on-floor plate we installed
for ACS Express Racing in Huntington Beach, California. More info at www.acsexpress.com
The base coat of FP-85
epoxy is poured using the vertical concrete sides of the recessed area as the
containment wall for the floor plate epoxy. The top of the encapsulated anchor
bolt is still visible in the foreground. The anchor bolt will be covered by
the next base coat or the color coat pour and no longer be visible. Should the
anchor bolt head protrude higher than the thickness of the color coat, it is
ground down as needed.
The air bubbles throughout the top surface are created as the epoxy penetrates the porosity of any
unprimed concrete or pre-applied Santex System and displaces the air as it
soaks in. The surface tension of the epoxy, at cooler application
temperatures, may be too great to allow the air to release on its own and the
epoxy will cure with surface bubbles. The bubbles flow across the surface as
the epoxy flows and seeks it’s on level within the contained area. Surface
imperfections and/or surface bubbles are sanded to remove and to profile the
base coat prior to the next pour of floor plate epoxy.
At this point it is determined that the
base coat is level to within 2 tenths of 1% of perfectly level and if the
epoxy surface plane is to within the desired 3/8 to 7/16 ±
inch below the concrete floor height. If the epoxy plane is still too low,
additional pours are made to fill to the proper level before proceeding to the
final two pours. For deeper recessed areas, pre-fill can be accomplished by
using our Slurry Coat System or our Santex System to reduce material cost.
The Viper Project, due to the unusual situation of the
installed recess area and the chiseled out recessed area combined, a slurry
coat was applied first to pre-fill the course chiseled area. This was followed
with two ¼ inch base coat pours to level
the recessed area and achieve the desire height of the epoxy surface plane.
Now that the recessed area is acceptable (level and recessed to within
tolerances) we are ready to proceed with the Epoxy Surface Plate installation.
The tolerances needed to this point cannot possibly be achieved by a concrete
contractor; however, the closer they come, the less costly the Epoxy Plate
installation will be.
preparation for the perimeter detailing, it is determined the width of the
border work to be applied for the project. A detailed saw cut, approximately ¼
” deep, is made into the adjoining floor surface at the plate’s final outer
perimeter. Additional saw cuts are made as needed to aid in the concrete
removal within the ramp/border area.
concrete is then manually removed with use of a chipping hammer and hand
chiseled as needed for finer detailing and to prevent any damage to the
adjoining floor edge. The results are well worth the time and effort needed to
complete this phase of the installation. Although this can be a messy operation,
every effort is taken, as is through the entire installation process, to
eliminate any disruption to normal activities within the location that we are
the perimeter border detail work is complete, we can install our ‘Advanced
Grounding System’ to dissipate static in the epoxy plate. The conductive
copper tape is installed in the 1 foot grid system as described in the Grounding
System Installation section.
Grounding rod is inserted through the concrete substrate if poured on grade. If
needed, the plate’s grounding system may be connected to an already existing
grounding source within the building.
plate’s copper grid system is connected to the grounding source and the
grounding system is complete.
The color coat and
final clear coat pours of the Epoxy Surface Plate are contained by the mounting
of the ‘L’ angled zinc strip permanent retaining walls. The zinc strip
vertical side is the exact height of the combined final two pours and must be
mounted on a near perfectly level surface (within 2 tenths of 1%) in order for
the final epoxy pours to fill flush along the entire perimeter of the plate.
The zinc strips are mechanically mounted
to the usable plate’s surface area outer perimeter by drilling and inserting
anchors and mounting screws through the perforated mounting base. The mounting
screws are inserted at every 6 to 8 inches in order to secure the zinc strips
firmly enough to be troweled against during the Santex application step to
follow. Once the plate is completed, the zinc strips will be encased on both
sides with only the top of the vertical edge visible.
Mounting of the zinc strips is done with
great care and detail to assure that the correct height is maintained throughout
the entire perimeter. It is also very important that the sight line of the zinc
strips and the outer saw cut are true to each other in order to achieve the
final cosmetic results desired in the completed plate’s appearance.
This type Surface Plate installation is
far superior to any other with regards to accuracy, dependability, cosmetic
value, and the years of maintenance free service it will provide. This is
absolutely the best Set-Up Surface Plate available on the market today.
No one is more committed nor has taken
Surface Plates to
such an art form as
The perimeter is now
prepared for the hand troweled Santex ramp/border installation in a matching or
contrasting color. Both inside and outside perimeters are detailed, taped and
covered. Note: The lines showing outside the masking tape are the existing saw
cut expansion joints in the concrete substrate and not a part of the surface
The border area is primed as described in the
Santex application procedures section.
After completion of the border preparation, we
are ready to install the ramp/border.
Santex System is comprised of a colored sand or colored sand blend mixed with an
epoxy binder into a mortar type consistency and hand troweled into place. The
top of the mounted zinc strip retaining wall, which will also be the top of the
surface plate plane, is the guide for placement of the trowel work on the inside
perimeter. The ¼ ” deep saw cut is used
as the guide for placement of the trowel work at the outer perimeter of the
ramp/border. By using the ¼ ” depth of
the saw groove, the Santex material maintains a structural thickness and can
abuse as objects are rolled on and off the plate without chipping. The Santex
ramp/border allows for the transition between the level surface plate plane and
the uneven concrete substrate to appear flawless. In reality, however, as the
majority of the two surfaces will be exactly even or flush, some points on the
perimeter may and will have a slight up or down hill slant onto the plate
surface. This will be determined by how out of level, how wavy or how irregular
the substrate we are working to is. Unless the substrate is major out of level
or flawed, the in-floor plate installation will be, for all practical purposes,
flush with the existing floor. Additional techniques can be employed to correct
abnormal substrates if needed. Consult with Precision Epoxy should any unusual
circumstances be apart of your project.
The color coat pour of
the plate installation is made. This can be any color we offer and hides the
grounding system grid and the zinc retaining wall mounting base and hardware.
The color coat is allowed to cure and is then
detailed in preparation for the clear and final pour of FP-80 Floor Plate Epoxy.
Any decal graphics, reference points or center line indicators to be a part of
the plate installation are installed and the clear coat is ready to be applied.
The FP-80 clear coat laminates over the decal
graphics while giving them increased visibility. It also fills flush to the
retaining wall zinc strips and the ramp/border work. A Final detailing of the
work area is made and the Santex border work is sealed with the FS-190 Epoxy.
This completes the Flush-In-Floor Epoxy Surface Plate Installation.
The completed installation
is allowed one week to fully cure and reach its full hardness of 13,500 psi
before it is ready to be put into service. The Epoxy Surface Plate can be cleaned
as you would clean any floor area in your shop. For detail cleaning, use plastic
cleaners that are non-abrasive and offer anti-static and scratch resistance. The
plate will show scratches over a period of time. Avoid dragging heavy and/or
sharp objects over the plate surface. Plastic or rubber feet for jack stands and
plastic, nylon or rubber wheels for jacks used on the plate will minimize
scratching. Scratching of the plate is only cosmetic and will not affect its
primary use as a set-up tool.
Professional 'Turn-Key' Installations generally run between
$125.00 to $195.00 per square foot. Sub strate preparation, location of
job-site, size of project, depth of recessed area in substrate, travel and/or
freight cost, special equipment needed, unusual factors associated with
project, etc. all contribute to the pricing of professional applications. The
recessed area should be at least ¾ of
inch deep at the thinnest point within the plate area. The epoxy will correct
any and all irregularities in the substrate surface. The recessed area can
either be fabricated into the substrate by the concrete contractor when the
floor is poured or for existing floors, a concrete contractor is employed to
saw cut and removed the existing concrete and repour the new concrete recessed
into the original floor.
We have installed a number
of flush-in-floor surface plates over the years and each one has presented their
own unique circumstances creating the need to alter our application techniques
in order to achieve the most accurate and highest quality surface plates
possible. The application procedures described are for an average installation
scenario. Some projects may require variations from the outlined
application techniques herein due to the condition of the substrate, location of
job site, size of the project, shape of the completed surface plate, designs
and/or artwork in the finish, special equipment needed, any unusual factors
associated with the project, etc. Please note: Precision Epoxy only offers this
type floor surface as a professional installation by Rock Art, Ltd. Some
proprietary information has been deliberately omitted from this installation
paper. No one is authorized as a contractor to represent themselves as able to
install this type flooring as offered by Precision Epoxy Products and Rock Art,