Flexible, resin bonded surfacing
StarScape FLEX is a high-performance adhesive used for decorative, resin bonded aggregate surfacing applications on unknown or low quality asphalt/bitumen surfaces.
A completed installation provides an attractive alternative to traditional exterior flooring types such as paving, concrete, gravel and bituminous surfaces. StarScape FLEX is a coloured resin which is applied to a base and covered with a decorative aggregate. When cured, the surface is swept to remove any excess aggregate, resulting in a finish that has the attractive, natural appearance of a loose gravel surface but without the inherent problems associated with loose gravel such as aggregate migration, trapped litter and tyre rutting.
Incorporating the latest in polyurea technology, StarScape FLEX's unique formulation ensures it will not crack due to minor base movement, will not discolour, delaminate or lose its natural look.
Image owned by Star Uretech
Why choose StarScape FLEX?
● The experts - Star Uretech formulate, test, manufacture and supply all of our own products. Unlike many distributors that specialise in marketing, our expertise is in the products we supply.
● Flexible - Ideal for use on blacktop surfaces.
● Approved Aggregates - Tested aggregates ensure strength and a highly aesthetic appearance.
● Moisture tolerance – Nitrogen blanketing and a unique formulation allows for moisture tolerant application.
● Highways Grade - Passes the Highways Agency scuffing test to Type 2.
● Low Maintenance – Easy to clean and resistant to plant growth.
● Weather Resistant – Will not become brittle or crack in freezing temperatures.
● Solvent Free - Does not contain any hazardous, flammable solvents.
● Low Viscosity - Easy to mix, low viscosity formulation enables simple, easy-trowel, error-free application.
● Chemical Resistant - Resistant to oils, brake fluid, diesel and pesticides.
Unlike expensive, two component, polyurethane bonded systems that lose aggregate and become brittle over time, StarScape FLEX's unique, polyurea formulation provides outstanding performance at a significantly reduced cost.
StarScape FLEX is developed for use as a flexible, decorative paving system. Commonly used on driveways, pathways, patios, conservatory surrounds and most domestic/commercial exterior surfacing applications.
StarScape FLEX is commonly referred to as a ‘surface course’ which is a finishing layer applied over a base. The StarScape FLEX resin components are mixed together, applied to the surface as a self-levelling screed and then covered with aggregate to produce a hard wearing, decorative surface.
Image owned by Star Uretech
There are a number of differing specifications for the installation of a StarScape FLEX resin bonded surface and these are defined by the base on which the resin is to be applied.
The base course (substrate) needs to be free from standing water, solid and undamaged. If the resin bonded surface is to be applied to an existing base (not installed specifically for a resin bonded surface) then certain factors need to be taken into consideration.
A resin bonded surface should never be viewed as a restorative solution to an already damaged surface and must only be applied to solid base (such as asphalt/concrete).
A StarScape FLEX resin bonded surface is a cost-effective alternative to other forms of decorative surfacing such as resin bound, block paving or pattern imprinted concrete. If the product selection is constrained by budget, the existing surface type or simply requires the natural look of a gravel path without the gloss effect of a bound system, the applicator and their customer should give serious consideration to a StarScape FLEX resin bonded surface.
The formulation and unique chemistry of StarScape FLEX resin bonded surfacing enables us to guarantee:
“StarScape FLEX will not crack on blacktop surfaces where other decorative surfacing products would fail.”
The StarScape FLEX specification guide should always be consulted prior to deciding which type of surfacing is suitable for each specific installation. The following guidance is based upon the assumption that the proposed installation has been correctly specified.
A StarScape FLEX resin bonded surface is ideal for use on commercial installations, driveways, patios and garden paths. Unlike a resin bound surface, it is ideally suited for application on to a surface that has a high level of deflection.
StarScape FLEX resin bonded surfacing is rated as a type 2 surface. (Roads carrying over 2.5 to 10 msa)
In order to confirm that a StarScape FLEX resin bonded surface is the correct system to use, provide a detailed specification and produce an accurate quotation, an initial site survey should be completed. There are several key areas which must be taken into consideration in the site survey:
● Examine the current surface of the site:
If the existing surface is an undamaged concrete, asphalt or tarmacadam surface then this may be suitable as the base layer for a StarScape FLEX application however a loose surface (such as gravel or compacted), a jointed surface, block paving or flags are not suitable and would need to be replaced prior to the application of a resin bonded surface.
● Damage to the surface:
If the existing surface shows signs of damage from reflective cracking or lifting then this should be repaired prior to the application of a resin bonded surface. Damage is usually caused by the sub-base layer not being fully compacted, collapsed drains, heaving by tree-roots or craters caused by impact damage.
Whilst impact damage can easily be repaired using a reinstatement product such as the StarPolymers POTHOLE system, sinking or heaving of the surface suggests larger underlying problems and that the surface should be replaced.
● Expansion or structural joints:
If the existing surface is to be overlaid then any movement or expansion joints in the base must have matching joints applied to the resin bonded surface.
● The topography of the site:
Does the installation area have restricted access, slopes, steps, drain covers or uncommon traffic?
Restricted access: Does the installation area have restricted access? Working in enclosed areas (such as between a garage and garden wall) can prove tricky. It should be decided where the installation will begin and end and which areas of access will be affected. A mixing area should also be chosen ensuring there is adequate space for delivery and storage of aggregate/resin pallets and protection for members of the public.
Slopes: Any incline greater than 15% (8.56⁰) can cause a liquid applied resin to flow downhill, which can result in a rippling effect and areas with too much or too little resin. When installing a resin bonded surface onto an incline it is important to ensure that the resin is applied at a minimum depth of 1.5mm and the aggregate used is no larger than 1mm to 3mm. The mixed resin will initially flow more freely in hot temperatures. We do not recommend the use of a liquid applied system at inclines greater than 30% (16.7⁰).
Steps: If the area has steps which are to feature a resin bonded surface then the use of a non-slip nosing profile or edge masking should be considered.
Drains and Manholes: If the application area has pre-existing drains or manholes then these should be masked off during the resin application.
Uncommon traffic: Whilst the completed area may be typically used to park a single, non-turning car any specification should be created around a ‘worst case scenario’. Is the area used by larger vehicles for turning? Do refuse collection vehicles access the area?
Full Installations & Overlays
In basic terms, a ‘Full Install’ requires excavation and removal of the existing surface whilst an ‘Overlay’ simply applies a resin bonded system over the existing surface. Unlike resin bound (trowel applied) systems, A resin bonded (coat & scatter) system is ideally suited for overlaying most existing, undamaged asphalt & concrete surfaces.
● Full Installation (Dig-Out):
A ‘Full Installation’ involves the current surface being removed along with its sub-base if this fails to meet the minimum specification. The excavated surface is then replaced by the specified sub-base and overlaid with a tarmacadam or concrete base course. Finally, the resin bonded surface is installed over the new base. Unlike a resin bound surface there are no significant benefits to a full installation unless the existing surface is damaged, has inadequate load bearing properties or suffers from drainage problems.
An ‘Overlay’ installation simply covers the existing surface with a resin bonded surface. This is significantly cheaper than a full installation (dig out) and one of the systems key advantages over a resin bound installation. In most instances, an undamaged, concrete or tarmacadam surface will be suitable for a StarScape FLEX resin bonded surfacing installation.
There are three common types of base on which a resin bonded surface can be installed:
● Concrete – Non-porous
● Tarmacadam – PEN Value <100
● Tarmacadam – PEN Value >100
Asphalt/Bitumen (tarmacadam) surfaces are available in a variety of grades which amongst other test results are defined using a PEN (penetration) value. The PEN value is used to indicate the hardness of a bitumen surface with lower penetration values indicating a harder surface and higher values indicating a softer surface. The following table defines the suitability of a tarmacadam surface to be overlaid with a decorative resin surface.
The optimum asphalt/tarmacadam base-course PEN value for a StarScape FLEX resin bound surface is 100 to 220.
● StarScape FLEX: BS EN 13108-5
100 to 200 PEN – 20mm Dense (Close) Graded
● StarScape PRO: BS EN 13108-5
70 to 100 PEN – 20mm Dense (Close) Graded
If an existing surface is tarmacadam and it shows any indications of movement/sinking, its PEN value is likely to exceed 100 and it should only be overlaid with the StarScape FLEX system. If an existing tarmacadam surface is over two years old and shows no indications of movement or water puddling then it may be suitable for the StarScape PRO system.
● Application to an existing concrete surface:
If the concrete is over 12 months old and shows no signs of dusting or chemical contamination then it is suitable for a resin bonded application. A resin bonded surface should never be applied to a damaged concrete base.
● Application to an existing bituminous surface:
Most surfacing systems specify that a bituminous surface must have a specific penetration (PEN) value however in practical terms, this information is rarely known about a pre-existing surface. If the quality of an asphalt/tarmacadam surface is unknown but it shows no indications of movement, slumping or compression (such as depressions made by vehicle tyres) then it is likely to be suitable for a StarScape FLEX resin bonded surfacing application.
● Application to a new concrete surface:
If the concrete base is to be laid as part of the resin bonded groundworks then consideration to the use of StarScape PRO should be given and the specifications listed below should be consulted. No concrete base should ever be less than 50mm in depth, the concrete should always comply with BS5328 and be given a minimum of 10 days to cure before the application of the resin bonded surface.
● Application to a new asphalt/tarmacadam surface:
If the asphalt/tarmac surface is to be laid as part of the resin bonded groundworks then consideration to the use of StarScape PRO should be given and the specifications listed below should be consulted. No bituminous base should ever be less than 50mm in depth, the asphalt/tarmac should always comply with BS EN 13108 and be given a minimum of 10 days to cure before the application of the resin bonded surface.
The base course is essential in providing the load-bearing capacity of the completed resin bonded surface and it is essential that StarScape FLEX is only installed on a base course that meets the minimum specification requirements.
If a new base course is being installed it should be laid in advance by a specialist concrete, tarmac/asphalt installers. The base course should be laid to levels within an accepted tolerance of 4mm. Any deviation within the tolerance can be corrected with a scratch-coat which consists of a 20kg kit of StarScape FLEX combined with 8kg (40%) of 16/30 sand. High/low areas beyond the tolerance should be corrected with additional base course material, in order to achieve the required performance and coverage rates from the StarScape FLEX surface course.
When installing a base course for a resin bonded surface the base course material should be left slightly lower than the edging to leave a working edge for the resin bonded surface (typically 5mm). The ideal base for a StarScape FLEX installation is a high PEN value asphalt/tarmac surface.
The following diagrams detail the minimum substrate specifications based upon the base course and required end use. All StarScape FLEX depths are shown for a typical 1mm to 3mm approved aggregate:
If the existing base is to be replaced then the following minimum depths should be used to specify the substrate layers:
After confirming that a StarScape FLEX resin bonded surface is suitable for the desired application the next step is to calculate the material requirements and order your resin, aggregate and equipment. Before you can order your materials you need to measure the application area. The best method of measuring an area is to break it down in to separate squares or rectangles.
To measure a square or rectangular area you simply measure the length and the width of the area. These two measurements are then multiplied one by another.
Example: If a rectangular driveway measures 8m long and 4m wide, the total area is 32m² (8x4=32)
If the application area has an irregular shape it is easier to draw a sketch of the layout and then identify areas which can be split into separate squares or rectangles. Each of these areas can then be measured in the way explained above and the totals simply added together.
The next stage is to use the calculated total m² area to work out the material requirements. To do this simply use the table below to find the name of your selected aggregate and the application surface type.
Example: A 20kg StarScape FLEX kit laid on an un-textured surface at 1.2mm depth using 1-3mm aggregate = 9.11m²
This number (9.11m²) is the total m² each 20kg resin mix will cover. Next simply take your total area and divide it by this number:
44.9m² ÷ 9.11m² = 4.9 (Always round this number up) 5 x 20kg Kits
Area ÷ Coverage Rate = Resin Kits
The material requirements should allow for undulations in the base layer. The minimum resin depth of StarScape FLEX should be between 40% and 50% of the largest stones size (i.e. 1mm to 3mm aggregate will require a resin depth of 1.2mm to 1.5mm). In order to achieve maximum adhesion whilst maintaining the surfaces highly aesthetic appearance the aggregate should be embedded between 40% and 50% in to the resin.
● 1mm to 3mm aggregate: A coverage rate of 7m² to 8m² per 20kg kit on an untextured surface.
● 2mm to 5mm aggregate: A coverage rate of 5m² to 6m² per 20kg kit on an untextured surface.
StarScape FLEX should only be used with our approved aggregates. All of our aggregates have been selected to provide a surface that not only looks great but also results in a high-performance finish. Our state-of-the-art testing facilities enable us to measure the overall performance, strength, hardness and density of each aggregate.
When covering the liquid resin with aggregate, each m² of the surface will need approximately 11kg of aggregate to ensure the resin is completely covered and has a sufficient aggregate weight to embed itself fully into the resin.
When the resin bonded surface has fully cured and any loose aggregate has been removed, the surface will typically hold 4kg of aggregate for every m². Approximately 7kg of aggregate will be recovered (swept) from each m².
Recovered aggregate can be stored for use on another installation or if the current installation is divided into two or more individual applications, the aggregate recovered from the first area can be reused on the second area and so on.
Areas can be divided using expansion joints, channel drainage, incorporation of a banded pattern/colour change, block paving line or simply a straight, masked edge day joint.
When selecting the aggregates to use with StarScape FLEX it is imperative that only approved, washed, dried, dust-free aggregates are considered. Standard aggregates (purchased from a builder’s merchant or garden centre) are not suitable for use with bonded surfacing resins. There are several factors to consider before selecting the aggregates as each aggregate has its own unique properties.
●Aesthetics – Complimenting surrounding areas is easy with over fifty aggregates.
●Performance – Some aggregates are more than five times stronger than others.
All of the StarScape aggregates have been fully tested and come with a detailed performance guarantee which includes SG (specific gravity), hardness (Mohs) and resistance to smoothing (PSV). When used with StarScape FLEX resin all of the aggregates provide a high-performance finish.
When it comes to selecting an aggregate for any specific application the criteria should be a combination of performance and aesthetics. The required performance is defined by the end use or traffic type of the completed installation whilst the aesthetics are entirely down to personal preference.
The following table lists the typical material requirements for a 1mm to 3mm aggregate laid on to a low texture surface:
Planning a suitable works schedule is a vital aspect of installing a resin bonded surface. The weather, temperature, material availability and access limitations all need to be taken into consideration.
Unlike a resin bound system, a resin bonded system can be installed on to a damp surface but not on standing water. If the application base is darkened by moisture the resin will use this as part of its chemical reaction however any visible standing water would cause the resin to foam. All decorative surfacing applications must only be installed in dry weather with works planned around the weather forecast. No installation should take place during or immediately after rainfall. If it begins to rain mid-application, work must immediately be stopped until both dry weather and a dry surface have returned. It should be noted that stopping an installation midway through will require a day-joint. This can be achieved by using a masking tape to create a long, straight edge to work up to and laying the resin up to this neat edge. Whilst the edge will be visible on the completed resin surface it will not look unsightly and allows for the possibility of incorporating a design feature.
Hot weather can also present issues for unprepared installers. In direct sunlight the temperature of the base on which the resin is being laid can be up to three times higher than the ambient temperature. This is particularly likely on darker surfaces such as tarmacadam. Higher temperatures of the base, resin or aggregate can greatly increase the rate of cure and reduce the working time of each mix.
To help alleviate hot weather issues, work should be carried out early in the morning before temperatures have reached their height. Keep the stone and resin in a cool, shaded area. The ideal temperature for the installation of a StarScape FLEX surface is between 10⁰C and 20⁰C. The minimum temperature should be no lower than 1⁰C whilst the maximum temperature should not exceed 30⁰C.
StarScape FLEX is the only resin bonded system that comes with accurate coverage rates for each approved aggregate. This allows for the installer to order the correct quantity of resin and aggregate for every job and reduce waste. In order to ensure materials are available on the selected installation date it is good practice to allow at least 5 working days from point of order to delivery. Whilst Star Uretech stock the entire range of StarScape resins and aggregates, in peak times we cannot guarantee immediate availability. If the weather is dry and there is a secure, covered storage area, materials should be requested for delivery prior to the installation date. If secure, dry storage is not available then a pre-10am or timed delivery should be arranged for the installation date.
● Site Access
Both during and after the installation of a StarScape FLEX surface consideration should be given to site access. The working area needs to be protected from traffic from the start of the installation to 6 hours after the installation is complete. This includes foot traffic (such as the Postman) and even pets (such as cats).
Whether StarScape FLEX is to be laid on an existing base or a base installed specifically to accommodate the resin surface, there are several stages of base preparation that must be completed prior to the installation of the bonded resin surface.
A resin bonded surface must only be installed on a structurally sound base. All forms of surface dressing are only as good as the base on which they are applied. Cracks in the base suggest movement and this can result in reflective cracking of the resin surface. Any damaged areas should be removed by mechanical means to a minimum depth of 300mm. This should then be reinstated with either 150mm of DTp1 / Type 1 MOT with 150mm of concrete or 100mm of tarmacadam. In both cases the DTp1 / Type 1 MOT must be compacted to refusal. Cracks greater than 5mm wide but not exceeding 20mm wide can be filled with either concrete or an elastomeric crack repair product and covered with galvanised brick reinforcing mesh however, it should be noted that the reason for the cracking of the base may still be present (such as tree roots or broken drains) and could result in future problems if not rectified prior to the installation.
● Levelling & Edging
If the resin surface is working up to a non-permanent, existing edge such as a fence or raised paving then the edge can be masked using a biodegradable self-adhesive paper tape. This will prevent the resin from adhering to the fixed edge and becoming damaged if the fixed edge is moved or replaced. Surface imperfections or small undulations (less than 4mm) in the base can be corrected during the resin bound surface application however any undulations greater than 4mm should be corrected with a StarScape Scratch coat or an exterior levelling compound.
If the application area has preinstalled manhole covers these should be covered with a protective tape. It is important to remember that utility companies will require access to the drains and failure to allow for this can result in the surface being removed and the installer being billed for this.
Unlike most decorative surfacing systems, StarScape FLEX does not typically require the application base to be primed. If the base is constructed from concrete and has smooth, float finish then it should be checked for dusting. Older bases (over two years old) are less likely to dust or require a primer however this can be confirmed by simply rubbing your finger over a small area of the surface. If small sand particles are easily removed from the surface then the use of StarScape PRIME is advised. If the base is constructed from asphalt it should only be primed if there is any evidence of oils leeching from the surface. This is unlikely on asphalt surfaces over 12 months old however if the surface has an iridescent (coloured) appearance when wet then the use of StarScape PRIME is advised.
● Cleaning & Drying
Before any StarScape FLEX installation, the base must always be fully cleaned and dried. This should be done with a stiff sweeping brush and a high-pressure power wash. Ensure any loose material, organic material such as algae growth and chemicals such as oil and brake fluid are removed. If a heat gun is being used to speed up the drying time of the surface, care should be taken on asphalt surfaces as excessive heating can result in oils leeching from the surface.
● A new asphalt/tarmacadam base must be given a minimum of 7 days before the application of StarScape FLEX:
It is desirable to keep the time between the base being installed and the surface layer (such as resin bonded) being applied to it as short as possible however, not allowing a sufficient cure time can result in a reduction in the strength of the resin bonded surface or even a system failure. Strictly speaking, a bituminous surface relies on thermal transfer, oxidation and solvent evaporation rather than a specific chemical reaction cure although the time taken for a bituminous surface to become solid is still referred to as the ‘cure time’.
Although uncommon, asphalt/tarmacadam surfaces can have problems with curing and this can result in the surface remaining soft or tacky for much longer than expected. The keys reasons for this can be the use of an unsuitable PEN value binder, the use of a poor-quality solvent or simply climatic conditions delaying the evaporation of the solvents. If the resin bonded surface is applied prior to the base achieving full cure, any problems with the asphalt/tarmacadam installation may not become apparent for weeks or even months after completion. If solvents within the base course have not sufficiently evaporated this can manifest itself by attacking the resin surface and resulting in a soft surface which loses aggregate or delaminates from the base.
Star Uretech recommend that a new tarmacadam/bitmac surface is given ten days (a minimum of seven days) to cure before a resin bonded surface is installed. It can take up-to seven days for the majority of the system’s volatiles (solvents) to evaporate and a further four to twelve weeks for full oxidation to occur. After 10 days there will only be trace levels of volatiles remaining and any oils on the surface will have sufficiently oxidized making it suitable for a surface coat.
A resin bonded surface laid on to a asphalt/tarmacadam base which has not been given seven days to cure may initially look unaffected however it can result in the underside of the bonded surface becoming soft due to solvent egress and delamination due to oil contamination between the surface and the base.
This table shows the changes to the physical properties of a asphalt surface over a period of ten days:
● A new concrete base must be given a minimum of 7 days before the application of StarScape FLEX.
As with asphalt/tarmacadam, it is desirable to keep the time between the concrete base being installed and the surface layer (such as resin bonded) being applied to it as short as possible however, not allowing a sufficient cure time can result in system failure. Not unlike the resin used for a bound surface, concrete has different stages of curing. The types of concrete typically used for a domestic driveway will achieve approximately 50% of their strength after 24 hours. Between 80% and 90% of the concrete’s total strength is usually achieved after three days. After seven days the concrete should have cured to over 95% of its total strength with full strength/cure taking up to 12 months.
The reaction process that cures cement is called Hydration and this involves the cement reacting with water to form calcium silicate hydrate compounds. As the cement reaction is taking place the level of water left in the concrete is constantly reducing. If water is still present in the concrete when a resin bonded surface is applied to it, the isocyanate (hardener) will begin to draw the remaining moisture out of the cement and use this as part of its own curing reaction. The overall strength of a resin bonded surface applied to a three-day old concrete can be significantly reduced when compared to a resin bonded surface laid onto a seven-day old concrete surface.
● Mix Markers
In order to ensure the correct minimum application depth is maintained and the ordered material is sufficient for the total area it is good practice to mark out squares for each individual mix using chalk or a spray-on line marker. These can then be numbered to reflect the desired application order.
Materials & Mixing Area
Prior to starting any installation, the required materials should be checked and a mixing area created. The resin is supplied in three components and each kit should be mixed for the same amount of time. The first job is to ensure the required materials are on site. Any materials being delivered to site should be checked and counted before accepting delivery. You should now confirm that you have all of the equipment listed below.
● Paddle Mixer
● Masking tape
● Wheel Barrow
● Power Supply (Generator)
● Serrated Squeegee
● Access Barriers
● Long reach roller
● Plastic sheeting
● StarScape Solvent
● Cleaning Rags
Whilst it is impossible to plan for every scenario, it is advisable to have certain contingency plans in place prior to starting an installation. What will happen if it starts to rain? What will happen if a resin bucket is dropped? What will happen if the mixing equipment breaks down? Things like having a secondary drill & paddle mixer, generator ‘or knowing where to hire them’ can help prevent costly problems and failed installations.
The first task should be to confirm the required materials are all accounted for. The resin should be removed from the pallet and lined up so that each ‘A’ component (viscous liquid in a 20ltr bucket) is accompanied by a ‘B’ component (white liquid in a 5ltr plastic bottle) and a ‘C’ component (amber/brown liquid in a 2.5ltr plastic bottle).
For larger installations (>250m²) it may be more practical to purchase the aggregate in bulk and either spread it directly from the back of the vehicle or by positioning bulk bags alongside the application area however for smaller installations or areas with limited/difficult access it may be more practical to lay the 25kg bags along the edge of the working area, ready to be spread over the applied resin. After the materials have been prepared/lined up they should be counted to ensure that there are the required materials for the calculated number of mixes. A suitable mixing area should now be created. The mixing area should be an area in which the floor is protected from spills and splashes by the use of tarpaulin or plastic sheeting and where tools and equipment are stored.
Materials & Mixing Area
Smaller installations (<250m²) can be completed by a two person team if the installers are skilled and experienced in the use of StarScape FLEX however, a resin bonded surface installation typically requires a minimum of three trained applicators. Having a fourth applicator helps to ensure that the installation runs smoothly.
This role encompasses mixing the resin components, timing the mix and distributing the mixed material onto the prepared base. It is essential that mixed material is not allowed to stand in the bucket and is poured onto the working area immediately after mixing.
The role of the spreader is to evenly distribute the resin over the application base using a roller or squeegee.
The Scatterer is responsible for covering the resin with aggregate by scattering (broadcasting) the aggregate over the resin whilst ensuring a wet edge remains free from the stones.
It is always advisable to have a support role which can be filled by an untrained applicator. This takes the pressure off the skilled applicators, allows them to have breaks and can be the difference between a failed or successful mix.
Start the mixing process by removing the lids of the three components. Ensure the tamper evident lid collars of the plastic bottles are removed to ensure they do not drop into the ‘A’ components bucket. Prior to adding the additional components, the A’ component (bucket) should be mixed for 60 seconds to ensure any settlement is fully dispersed. A light skin may form on the surface of the ‘A’ component and this is perfectly fine to be mixed back into the resin however if stored incorrectly or allowed to reach the end of the components use-by-date a thicker, solid skin could form and this should not be used.
After mixing the ‘A’ component for 60 seconds, mixing should stop whilst both the ‘B’ component and ‘C’ component are added to the bucket. Holding the bottles ‘side facing down’ when pouring will help reduce splashing. You should now start to mix the three components together.
IMPORTANT: From the moment the resin components are in the bucket, the curing process has already started and it is essential that the resin is poured from the bucket onto the application surface as soon as possible. Under no circumstances should mixed resin be allowed to stand in the bucket.
Mixing the three components together should take approximately 60 seconds and certainly no longer than 90 seconds. The amber/brown ‘C’ component will mix into the ‘A’ component very quickly however mixing is only complete when the white/clear ‘B’ component is fully mixed into the ‘A’ component and no white/clear liquid remains on the surface or edges of the mix.
The mixed resin is immediately poured onto the application surface. To ensure no resin is wasted the bucket should be overturned (placed upside-down) onto the application surface and left to drain for 30-60 seconds.
As soon as the resin has been poured onto the application surface the spreader takes over from the mixer. The overturned bucket should be removed from the surface and stacked in a waste area that is protected from spills. The resin should be distributed over the application area using either a 6mm serrated squeegee or a long reach roller with a low-pile roller head.
A long reach roller can be used for areas with a high textured base or small installations (<100m₂) however a 6mm serrated squeegee is ideal for most installations.
If the application area has been marked out to identify the individual mix areas the spreading process should be relatively simple as the resin will self-level to the correct depth. StarScape FLEX should be viewed as a thick paint that completely overcoats the application area (the base should no longer be visable) but is not allowed to pool in areas of undulation or high texture. It should take between 60 and 120 seconds to adequately spread the mixed resin over the base.
When the resin has been fully spread to cover the required area, the Spreader should then inform the Scatterer that the surface is ready for the aggregate.
Scattering (Aggregate Application)
IMPORTANT: It is essential the aggregate is kept away from the wet edge of the resin in order to produce a uniform, level finish.
The aggregate must fully cover the resin (no resin should be visible other than the wet edge). A single 25kg of aggregate will typically cover 2m² with each kit of StarScape FLEX requiring four bags of aggregate. Spiked safety shoes can be worn to step on the liquid resin however the aggregate covered resin should not be trafficked.
The aggregate must fully cover the resin (no resin should be visible other than the wet edge). A single 25kg of aggregate will typically cover 2m² with each kit of StarScape FLEX requiring four bags of aggregate. Spiked safety shoes can be worn to step on the liquid resin however the aggregate covered resin should not be trafficked.
The typical application time is dependent on both the skill of the installers and the difficulties presented by the application area. A novice three-man team can expect to lay approximately 50m² every hour (approximately 400m² per day) however a skilled four-man team can expect to lay between 75m² and 100m² every hour (approximately 700m² per day). A resin bound surface should never be rushed to completion and in our experience the most experienced installers are not the quickest installers. The best possible installations require skill, an attention to detail and time.
StarScape FLEX is a unique formulation which utilises the very latest technologies. This means that certain ‘common’ practices associated with older/inferior technologies do not apply. StarScape FLEX does not require a separate, hazardous catalyst addition, is not affected by dew-point moisture and has a significantly larger application window.
StarScape FLEX has been specifically formulated to be used in the UK’s temperate climate. It can be used in damp (not wet) conditions and in temperatures as low as 0⁰C or as high as 30⁰C.
The rate at which StarScape FLEX cures is affected by several factors with higher temperatures increasing the rate of cure and lower temperatures reducing the rate of cure. All of the following factors can change the rate of cure when combined:
● Ambient Temperature
The ideal temperature for the installation of a StarScape FLEX surface is between 5⁰C and 20⁰C. At temperatures lower than 0⁰C the cure time is reduced to a point that will hinder the process of sweeping loose aggregate from the system.
● Surface Temperature
In direct sunlight, the temperature of a dark coloured base (such as tarmacadam) can be over three times greater than the ambient temperature. The temperature of dark coloured surfaces in direct sunlight should be checked prior to the application of a StarScape FLEX surface. If the temperature exceeds 60⁰C the material curing time can be reduced to unmanageable levels.
● Aggregate & Resin
Both the resin and the aggregate should be stored in a cool, dry and sheltered location. If the bags of aggregate are allowed to heat up in sunlight and are then cooled over-night, condensation can form within the packaging. This can be enough moisture to have a detrimental effect on the adhesion between the aggregate and resin. Under no circumstances should aggregate be used if moisture is present within the packaging.
● Mixed Resin
As soon as the resin components begin to mix together the chemical reaction which cures the material has started. The reaction cannot be slowed and it is imperative that the mixed material is applied to the surface, spread and covered with aggregate as soon as possible. As the curing reaction continues the resin will form a skin which prevents aggregate adhering to the surface.
The average daily temperature in the UK is 10.5⁰C and ideal for the installation of a StarScape FLEX surface. The following table shows the average UK monthly temperatures and their suitability for installing a resin bonded surface:
In the height of summer, the average daily temperature in the UK is 17⁰C. It should be noted that this is the average temperature and on certain days it is not impossible to expect temperatures that exceed 30⁰C. The following table represents the key curing stages of StarScape FLEX at 17⁰C:
Once the installation is complete it is important to thoroughly clean the mixer and tools as fully cured resin cannot be removed. Before the surface is signed off as complete all loose aggregate must be swept from the surface and surrounding areas. If vehicular traffic is permitted to access the surface whilst loose aggregate remains it will have a grinding effect which can damage the surface. The ideal method to remove loose aggregate is to use an industrial, engine driven sweeper however a stiff bristled broom will be adeqate for most domestic installations.
SuDS is an acronym for Sustainable urban Drainage Systems. Provision for SuDS and the national standards required for their design, construction, maintenance and operation is included in the Flood and Water Management Act 2010. Both a resin bonded and resin bound surface can be used as part of a SuDS compliant surface however despite some disingenuous marketing, neither is compliant within itself. A large number of resin bound (trowel applied) surfaces are over-laid on to a non-porous base and this is not part of a SuDS compliant installation. To be incorporated into a SuDS compliant installation, StarScape FLEX must be installed in a way that directs rainwater to an area where it can be stored (attenuation) or the water can drain naturally (infiltration). When installed in this manner a StarScape FLEX resin bonded surface can be part of a SuDS compliant installation.
More information regarding SuDS regulation can be found on the government website:
In summary: If either a resin bound or bonded surface is laid onto a level, non-porous base it is not part of a SuDs compliant installation. If the base slopes away from drains to an area of natural drainage or storage then both bound and bonded are part of a SuDs compliant installation.
A StarScape FLEX surface is designed to be used by pedestrians and all common light vehicle types (7.5 tonnes gross weight - Classes A to C1). A StarScape FLEX surface is not intended for use by heavy goods vehicles, skips, vehicle jacks or farming equipment.
To clean the surface, it should be swept with a soft bristle broom and soapy water. To remove more stubborn dirt, it may be necessary to use cleaning products however the use of abrasive pads and wire brushes should be avoided. Before using a cleaning product, a small, discrete test patch should be chosen for a trial before general use. Cleaning products should be biodegradable and flushed with clean water to reduce the risk of staining the resin.
If a broom and cleaning product is insufficient to remove dirt then a cold-water power wash can be used. To power wash the surface, use only sufficient water pressure to remove dirt or contamination. Use cold water only with a fan jet, maintaining at least 300mm between the lance and the surface holding the lance at an approximately angle of 45⁰. Avoid concentration of the jet on one area by using a side-to-side sweeping motion.
Small, localised repairs can be achieved using the same approved aggregate used during the installation. To avoid further degradation, repairs should be carried out as soon as damages have been identified. It should be noted that repairs are unlikely to be invisible and may initially appear as a lighter colour until the repair has had sufficient time to age.