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Welding & Plasma Cutting Over An Epoxy Floor?

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  • Welding & Plasma Cutting Over An Epoxy Floor?

    Does anyone here have experience welding over an epoxy floor? How about plasma cutting? Any problems encountered?

    I'm not sure how resistant epoxy is to sparks and slag.
    Millermatic Passport
    Miller Spectrum 375 Cutmate

  • #2
    Great question! I wonder the same thing. My wife bought me a couple of gals. of epoxy paint and before I paint it this spring it would be nice to know if there is going to be any trouble. I was at a couple of race car garages and they didn't have any trouble but they weren't welding in the area that I was in very much.
    Bulldog
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    • #3
      Bulldog, thanks for your comments. Glad to know I'm not the only one that's been pondering this question. I'm getting close to purchasing a Millermatic 210 MIG unit w/3035 spoolgun and a Miller Spectrum 375 or Hypertherm Powermax 380 plasma cutter, but my entire garage floor is already epoxy coated. Before I pull the trigger, I'd really like to clarify this issue.
      Millermatic Passport
      Miller Spectrum 375 Cutmate

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      • #4
        If the Plasma arc is any closer than 18" to the floor the Epoxy is toast and will burn through. The slag produced will also discolor and embed in the finish. I have even encountered Plasma arc discoloring Pave Stones in the 18" distance ( the size of my miny saw horses & the wife was not happy ) I have since covered the floor with a piece of stainless in my cutting area and problem solved. Hope this helps,
        Laurence

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        • #5
          Heck i used to bubble the concrete with the one i ran at work. I used to cut big sheets of 1/4" on 4x4's on the floor. I guess thats kinda too close. LOL...Bob
          Bob Wright

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          • #6
            Originally posted by lramberson
            If the Plasma arc is any closer than 18" to the floor the Epoxy is toast and will burn through. The slag produced will also discolor and embed in the finish. I have even encountered Plasma arc discoloring Pave Stones in the 18" distance ( the size of my miny saw horses & the wife was not happy ) I have since covered the floor with a piece of stainless in my cutting area and problem solved. Hope this helps,
            Laurence
            Thanks for the feedback. So if I cut higher than 18" above the floor, say 3 ft high, will the epoxy be OK? Did you ever try cutting that high?
            Millermatic Passport
            Miller Spectrum 375 Cutmate

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            • #7
              Epoxy will burn with any live sparks on it and any metal that hits it above its melting point will damage it, globs of weld will melt in it and burn. Its essentially a form of plastic,, whatya think it might do to it? Hot grinding debris will imbed in it.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Sberry
                Epoxy will burn with any live sparks on it and any metal that hits it above its melting point will damage it, globs of weld will melt in it and burn. Its essentially a form of plastic,, whatya think it might do to it?
                I don't really know. Hence my question. I know my epoxy floor is much harder than any other plastic that I've seen, and I have been pleasantly surprised at how durable it's been since I moved in, but I've never welded or used a torch inside my garage so far.

                One of the epoxy coating manufacturer's websites said it would be OK to weld above a certain height, similar to what lramberson said. (Can't remember offhand the name of the manufacturer or the specific height, but I read it in a FAQ document online.) Having said that, I'd rather get the real-world experience of people here that have personally tried it, rather than rely on assurances from an epoxy coating manufacturer in an online FAQ.

                What I'm really trying to figure out is whether I can weld/cut with unprotected floor, as long as it's above a certain level, or whether I have to go outside onto the concrete driveway for both. Alternatively, I can put something down to protect the floor where I'm working. Just trying to figure out what I need to do before I start rather than after I screw up.
                Millermatic Passport
                Miller Spectrum 375 Cutmate

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                • #9
                  I used a few sheets of 1/2 Hardy tile backer board, on my floor under the plasma table. Works great,and costs about $9.00 at Home Depot. (3' X 5' ) I also used high heat duct tape for the seams.
                  Attached Files

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Scott V
                    I used a few sheets of 1/2 Hardy tile backer board, on my floor under the plasma table. Works great,and costs about $9.00 at Home Depot. (3' X 5' ) I also used high heat duct tape for the seams.
                    Scott, thank you! I never would have thought of that. That's awesome.

                    The only Hardibacker that I can find online is max 1/4" thick...

                    http://www.jameshardie.com/backerboa...ardibacker.php

                    Did you use a generic product, or did you double up the thickness?

                    Edit: Scratch that... Hardibacker 500 is 1/2" thick...

                    http://www.jameshardie.com/backerboa...ibacker500.php
                    Millermatic Passport
                    Miller Spectrum 375 Cutmate

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                    • #11
                      My formal recommendation- if it is possible to have a dedicated cutting area with raw concrete. The finish, applied,epoxy, concrete seal, or painted will deteriorate quickly if you oa cut (the slag will get you) or plasma arc. I have been told the plasm arc is still molten at 30" on the bigger units Just go with a floor protector as recommended by Scott or have a nice cutting area designated. I made the mistake of doing a plasma cut in the drive and it is like a tatoo of my work and will be there for a long haul (pissed wife ) so think ahead. I never would have thought the plasma arc with 18" clearance would leave a permanant mark in Pave Stones.. Learn from my mistake and cover your assets from damage.
                      Laurence

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by lramberson
                        My formal recommendation- if it is possible to have a dedicated cutting area with raw concrete. The finish, applied,epoxy, concrete seal, or painted will deteriorate quickly if you oa cut (the slag will get you) or plasma arc. I have been told the plasm arc is still molten at 30" on the bigger units Just go with a floor protector as recommended by Scott or have a nice cutting area designated. I made the mistake of doing a plasma cut in the drive and it is like a tatoo of my work and will be there for a long haul (pissed wife ) so think ahead. I never would have thought the plasma arc with 18" clearance would leave a permanant mark in Pave Stones.. Learn from my mistake and cover your assets from damage.
                        Laurence
                        Thanks, Lawrence. I appreciate your advice. I'd much rather learn from your mistake than mine on something like this.
                        Millermatic Passport
                        Miller Spectrum 375 Cutmate

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Roadster
                          Scott, thank you! I never would have thought of that. That's awesome.

                          The only Hardibacker that I can find online is max 1/4" thick...

                          http://www.jameshardie.com/backerboa...ardibacker.php

                          Did you use a generic product, or did you double up the thickness?

                          Edit: Scratch that... Hardibacker 500 is 1/2" thick...

                          http://www.jameshardie.com/backerboa...ibacker500.php

                          The .250 should work just as well, if you keep it under about 1000 amps output!!!

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                          • #14
                            If you have one of these, you don't have to worry about the floor.

                            http://photobucket.com/albums/v252/R...tting%20Grate/

                            The bars drop into the slots and can be removed when burnt up. Pan of water under the slot frame soaks up the sparks.
                            Arcin' and Sparkin', Rocky D

                            "Experience is the name we give our mistakes"

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                            • #15
                              We had an epoxy floor in the old weld shop at school and it was a mess and was really easy to blister. I agree with the fellows, plain concrete is better in a weld shop.

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