There are a variety of resin bound surfacing systems appearing on the market, all claiming to do the same job – provide a decorative, functional permeable paving system. All seem “much of a muchness” apart from price.
However, resin bound surfacing systems can differ not only in quality and longevity but in other factors such as slip resistance, sustainability, health and safety and cost per square metre. So what features should be considered?
Currently there are no set standards in resin bound surfacing; it is therefore worth looking at the following credentials which are indicative of a reliable manufacturer.
ISO 9001 certificate – the accreditation for a company’s quality management systems.
ISO 14001 certificate – the accreditation for a company’s environmental management systems.
OH SAS 18001 certificate – this accreditation is the British Standard for occupational health and safety management systems.
FERFA membership – FERFA is the leading authority for 40 years on resin flooring systems. FERFA members subscribe to FeRFA Codes of Practice requiring high standards of operation, management, technical service, health & safety and business integrity.
Types of resin
The best resin bound surfacing systems use aliphatic resins rather than aromatic resins. An aliphatic resin is preferable to an aromatic resin because it will not yellow or darken in sunlight or become brittle when exposed to UV light.
Ratio of resin to aggregate
This should be minimum 7% to ensure consistent strength and performance of the system. Any less can drastically reduce the performance of the system.
Application thickness and the cost to the environment
This can vary, but a good quality system should be laid from 15mm for pedestrian traffic and 18mm for vehicular traffic. Cheaper resin systems need to be laid thicker meaning project costs go up whilst more materials transported to site make the system less environmentally friendly.
A good system should conform to BS 8204-6:2008+A1:2010 Appendix B. Aggregate blends can vary in their slip resistance but all should achieve ’low potential for slip’ in both wet and dry conditions. Using Pendulum Test Values (PTV) the risk of slip categories are graded as follows:
0 – 24 = High Slip Potential
25 – 35 = Moderate Slip Potential
36+ = Low Slip Potential.
A two part system where the catalyst is built into the manufacturing process should only be sourced. Systems that require a catalyst to be added by an operative on site rather than a chemist increase the risk of poor performance through guesswork.
Permeability – SuDS compliant system
A resin bound surfacing system should be permeable, but permeability rates can vary depending on the aggregate size.
So to sum up resin bound surfacing systems can vary greatly in terms of consistency and performance. Check the manufacturer’s data sheet carefully and remember if a feature isn’t listed, it is probably because the product does not have that feature!
If you are still unsure then ask for technical help, the Ronacrete Technical Department will be happy to assist.