WHY INTEGRAL CRYSTALLINE WATERPROOFING TECHNOLOGY
Integral waterproofing is also referred to as internal waterproofing. This type of waterproofing functions within the pores of the concrete as applied to on the surface. Integral waterproofing chemicals are designed either to penetrate into the concrete once applied from the surface of the concrete or mixed into the concrete during batching.
Integral waterproofing has several advantages
- It is extremely durable since they are not subject to puncturing, tearing or abrasion, unlike a surface film. Integral waterproofing is especially useful in highly corrosive environments such as septic or waste water tanks.
- They are not reliant on skilled or careful workmanship in order to perform at their best.
- The admixture variety saves on the overall waterproofing costs since it requires almost no labor at all
Integral waterproofing products are broadly classified into two major groups reactive (crystalline) or un-reactive.
Unreactive products, as the name suggests do not react in the presence of water and cement. They waterproof by simply densifying the concrete i.e. they reduce the permeability of the concrete to the extent where water cannot flow. These products, also known as densifiers, fill the microscopic pores in the concrete matrix to eliminate water infiltration. The biggest setback of such products is they are inadequate when it comes to dealing with construction joints and hairline cracks that usually appear in concrete.
Reactive products on the other hand create true waterproof structures because they create crystals that fill the pores, capillaries and hairline cracks of the concrete mass. In the presence of water, crystalline products react with the cement in the concrete calcium hydroxide and other by-products of cement hydration to form non-soluble crystals that fill and plug the pores and microcracks in concrete—even years after it was poured. Unlike unreactive products, crystalline products sit dormant inside the concrete until a new ingress of water appears. Chemical reaction begin again and crystals are formed which completely shut off the water.
Most contractors in Kenya do not understand the mechanisms of the waterproofing chemicals they buy. They should not confuse crystalline products such as PENETRON with:
- Products that are simply concrete densifiers
- Products that are blockers
- Unreactive waterproofing chemicals that only crystallize when concrete is dry, and fail to react in the presence of new moisture.
- Waterproofing products that will not resist high hydrostatic pressures, especially in extreme exposures such as below-grade structures, tunnels, subways, pools and dams
THIS IS HOW PENETRON TECHNOLOGY WORKS:
- The PENETRON chemicals penetrate into the cracks, micro-cracks and capillary tracts of the concrete through osmosis, Brownian movement and dry particle reactions.
- The PENETRON active ingredients react with concrete minerals to form insoluble crystals, which fill in cracks, pores and voids up to a width of 400 microns (0.4mm). This crystalline growth takes place deep inside the concrete structure relatively far from the point of application.
- Water molecules (and harmful chemicals) can no longer pass through the concrete. However, air can still pass, allowing the concrete to breathe. This avoids the build-up of vapor pressure.
- In the absence of further moisture, the PENETRON components lie dormant. Should moisture reoccur at any time, the sealing process resumes
But the most important factor that contractors and individuals should consider when selecting a waterproofing product or a waterproofing conctrator is a repeated history of success. Contractors should also select a waterproofing contractor who has the willingness & ability to provide on-site service and support for projects undertaken. Technical support is the biggest value a contractor or an individual can get for his project.
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- Report on Chemical Admixtures for Concrete.