Osmosis Solutions

Technical Know-How for Challenging Applications

The blistering of an industrial flooring system is a very rare event, occurring in a tiny proportion of installations (less than 1%). Nevertheless, it is still a serious issue that can be extremely inconvenient, not to mention costly. Osmosis blistering is a phenomenon that occurs rarely in the installation of synthetic resin flooring systems. When it occurs, severe blisters can form on the coating of the flooring anywhere as soon as three months or as late as two years after the initial installation. The blisters can vary in size from a few millimetres up to a centimetre wide, and when drilled into or forcibly burst, a high-pressure liquid is expelled from the blister. It is the presence of this high-pressure aqueous liquid that characterises the blister as being formed by osmosis.

So, what is osmosis? Osmosis is the movement of water from a dilute solution to a more concentrated one through a semi-permeable membrane. This becomes an issue when water within the underlying concrete or substrate exerts pressure strong enough to debond a cured resin flooring and force it away from the surface of the floor, creating a blister. Internal osmotic pressure must build up to a level strong enough to deform a fully cured resin, this is why blistering does not occur instantly after installation but can take some time. Usually, a trigger will cause osmosis to occur, such as a rapid change in temperature or sudden exposure to localised sunlight or heat. Fortunately, osmosis blistering does not occur over a floor’s entire surface, it tends to be localised to specific small areas of the flooring. Even so, the result of osmosis is not desirable.

RESPOL specialise in preventative methods to minimise the risk of osmosis occurring in our technical flooring solutions. We use our expert knowledge and years of experience to ensure the correct surface preparation is combined with the correct materials to achieve maximised results. We take care to measure the moisture content of the base substrate and investigate the previous use of flooring systems to assess if any soluble material could have been absorbed into the floor’s surface. If our assessments conclude that there may be a higher risk of osmosis, we will endeavour to recommend a flooring system that is water vapour permeable, thus allowing any build up of osmotic pressure to disperse.

Additionally, if your flooring system has been unfortunate enough to be affected by osmosis, we can use our skills and expertise to rectify it. We will cut off the affected area and mechanically clean the substrate to ensure the underlying surface is thoroughly prepared. We will then replace the flooring with a resin known for being resistant to osmosis, if possible, ensuring the colour and thickness matches the rest of the flooring system.

Trust RESPOL’s experience and expertise to provide advanced osmosis solutions for a range of applications.

Request a Quote


Latest from our Knowledge Centre

Looking to keep up on the latest industry innovations, regulations and news? Visit our knowledge centre for up to date expert articles and blog posts.

Sign up to receive latest news

Contact RESPOL

Please use the enquiry form below to get in touch, ask a question or just register your interest! Our friendly experts will get back to you as soon as possible.

Note: we will not use or pass your details on to any third parties.