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Silicone additives to concrete

04 June 2013

Silicone additives to a concrete

       All constructions of silicate materials - concrete, expanded clay, foam concrete, brick, cinder block, cement and cement-sand plaster, artificial stone, drywall, roofing slate, tiles are constantly exposed to the negative influence of various atmospheric factors leading to a reduction in their service life and a significant deterioration of operational properties.

      The most powerful factor of the negative impact of construction materials is water. One of the features of modern building materials is their porosity, and because of this - high moisture absorption. Water penetrates through the surface into the capillaries, forms a film in which corrosive gases and solids are dissolved, solutions of salts that disrupt the structure of the material and lead to premature failure. In addition, it promotes the growth of microorganisms (bacteria, lichens) that produce various chemicals and accelerating the destruction.

      However, the main destruction factor is the temperature difference at which the cyclic freezing - thawing of moisture in the pores of the material whereby it is gradually destroyed.

            In addition, the wet materials largely lose its insulating properties, which leads to additional heat loss and increased heat consumption.

      Currently there are methods of protection of building materials against moisture with the help of chemical additives, which have been widely used in developed countries. Their application blocks the penetration of water into the material.

      There are 2 main methods of weatherproof treatment:  volumetric treatment of building materials at their production stage and surface treatment of already produced building materials.     In  1st method the required chemical is added, for example, at production of concrete or gypsum board, into mixing water by small portions (0,05-0,2% of the weight of cement or gypsum), whereby ready material reduces moisture absorption tenfold, which significantly improves the performance characteristics and increases the service life of buildings and structures.

At present in the developed countries, most types of concrete are produced with chemical additives: in Japan more than 80%; USA, Germany, France and Italy over 70%.

In new construction the method of volumetric treatment is preferred, since it is less costly and more efficient.

      Most effective and easy to use are water repellents of silicone (silicon organic) compounds. They form strong chemical bonds with the surface of the material being processed and at volumetric treatment are effective for the entire service life of the material.

An important advantage of silicone water repellents is the comprehensiveness of their action. Using them allows to achieve following objectives:
- Protection from penetration of moisture into the material;
- Increasing the thermal insulation properties of the surface;
- Extend the service life of buildings and structures;
- Increased frost resistance and corrosion resistance of structures;
- Increasing the strength of the material;
- Prevent the growth of microorganisms and lichens on the surface of the material;
- Reduced consumption of cement;
- Protection from the salt stains.

At the same time the air permeability of concrete structure is not reduced, i.e. concrete is still "breathe". Using silicone additives significantly improves the technological properties of the concrete mortar: long-lasting mobility, workability, excluded water separation, retained stability.


At present the best choice for volumetric water repellency treatment of concrete, brick, gypsum products, other silicate materials and surface protection of buildings and structures are silicone products Unisil SL-11K and Unisil SE 50-94M.

Unisil SL-11K is the aqueous solution of potassium or sodium methylsiliconate, Unisil SE 50-94M is the aqueous emulsion of polymethylhydridesiloxane liquid.

            Both products are mass-produced, and have a quality meeting the best foreign analogues.

            The use of these materials is provided by international standards and norms as waterproofing, plasticizing, and gas generating and gas involving concrete admixtures.

            The use of additives is easy and possible in conditions of large factories-producers of reinforced concrete, and directly at the place in the preparation of concrete, cement mortars or other building mixtures.

Before use, in surface treatment method the liquid is easily diluted with water to a working concentration, in volumetric method the calculated amount of water repellent is added directly to the mixing water in a concentrated form.  

As already noted, buildings and constructions of concrete, brick, natural stone and other silicate materials are constantly exposed to the powerful negative effects of water and other environmental factors, leading to a deterioration of their performance characteristics, premature aging and destruction In this case, the most effective way to solve the problem is the treatment of façade surfaces with 5-10% aqueous emulsion Unisil SE 50-94M. At that the water absorption of materials is reduced tenfold and significantly extends their service life.

Using emulsion Unisil SE 50-94M as an additive for concrete allows to increase the frost resistance for 3-5 times, reduce the consumption of cement, reduce capillary suction of structures, increase interrepair period for 2-3 times, reduce the time of drying mortar for 20-50%, eliminate waterproofing coating on cement screeds.

The emergence of new positive performance properties when using silicone additives is very important in the construction of responsible hydraulic and transport facilities, such as hydroelectric power plants, bridges, port facilities. Since concrete with silicone additives used for these structures has stable frost resistance at 1000 and more cycles of freezing and thawing.

An advantage of silicone materials is their good compatibility with other chemical admixtures for concrete, including plasticizers (C-3) lignosulfates etc, while producing the maximum effect. For example, the combination of superplasticizer C-3 and emulsion Unisil SE 50-94M as complex additive significantly improves waterproofing, frost resistance, water resistance and resistance to aggressive environments.


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