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Epoxy Surface Plate
   " When Accuracy Matters "

Viper Project

Surface Plate 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.

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    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.





1) The 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 plate area.





2) This 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.







3) The 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.






4) 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








5) 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.








6) In 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.






7) The 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 working.











8) Once 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.








9) The 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.










10) The plate’s copper grid system is connected to the grounding source and the grounding system is complete.








11) 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 Precision Epoxy







12) 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 plate.







13) The border area is primed as described in the Santex application procedures section.








14) After completion of the border preparation, we are ready to install the ramp/border.












15) The 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 handle the 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.












16) 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.








17) 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.







18) 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, Ltd.






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Precision Epoxy Products
4279 Midway Drive
Douglasville, Georgia 30134
Mike Ramy
(770) 489-0340

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