Improve Resiliency of Building Materials with LUDOX®
LUDOX® Colloidal Silica - A Versatile Tool for Building & Construction
The demand for resilient products from consumers of building materials has increased drastically over the last decade. In order to stay competitive, producers of building materials like concrete, coatings, adhesives, and sealants need to innovate to improve resiliency of their products while also reducing costs. Formulating with LUDOX® colloidal silica provides end products with improved strength and consistency that boost productivity and reduce cost.
Shotcrete & Sprayable Concrete
Traditionally silica fume has been used as a pozzolanic rheology modifier and binder in sprayable concrete. LUDOX® colloidal silica offers a number of benefit over silica fume when used as a concrete bonding agent. LUDOX® densifies concrete and imparts shotcrete with better cohesive strength than silica fume thus improving sprayability, increasing layer thickness, and reducing rebound. LUDOX® also reduces setting time when compared to silica fume due to a higher surface area and faster hydration. Because it is an aqueous dispersion, LUDOX® can be easily dispersed in concrete without generating any hazardous dust and reduces mixing time and the risk of agglomeration.
Concrete Sealer and Paint
LUDOX® colloidal silica can be easily added to water-based formulations to improve resilience and antisoiling properties. In latex paints, the silica particles of LUDOX® bind resins and other formulation components to create a cross-linked film that has better abrasion resistance and durability. Paints and sealers that incorporate LUDOX® also provide outstanding adhesion to masonry and cementitious surfaces, as silica forms strong bonds with inorganic materials. Additionally, LUDOX® can be used as an additive to silica-based coatings to improve the cure rate and water resistance.
Lithium polysilicate from Grace can also be used in cement coating and densifier applications with or without a potassium silicate cobinder to improve surface density, protect from corrosion, and increase cure speed. Grace's lithium polysilicate is a high-ratio silicate with a higher molar ratio of silica to metal oxide. A higher molar ratio of silica is essential to prevent deleterious aging effects in
Chromium-based coatings are commonly used to protect materials like metals, concrete, and wood from corrosion in building and construction applications. Recently, however, hexavalent chromium formulations are being phased out due to regulatory concerns. As an alternative, trivalent chromium can be used for corrosion protection. LUDOX® can help to improve the adsorption of trivalent chromium, promote film formation, and improve rheology.
Zinc-rich primers are typically used in saltwater environments to protect steel against corrosion. Grace's lithium polysilicate exhibits outstanding compatibility with zinc powder and can be used as a binder and vehicle for zinc-rich primers. The high-ratio silicate property of lithium polysilicate mentioned in the previous section contributes to faster drying times, longer pot life, and better film-forming characteristics.
Caulks & Adhesives
Caulks and adhesives play a vital role in the long term durability of a building. Moisture damage can be costly and result in safety issues. LUDOX® particles will bind to other silica and inorganics in caulks and adhesives to provide reinforcement, added strength, and improved water and chemical resistance. LUDOX® also improves the adhesion of caulks and sealants to various materials commonly used in building components.
LUDOX® colloidal silica vary mainly in particle size, silica content, stabilizing ion, pH, and surface charge. The smaller particle size grades are suited for binding application and the larger particle size grades are better for surface modification. Most grades are stabilized with sodium but there are ammonium stabilized grades available for applications where sodium poses an issue. Positively charged, chloride stabilized grades are also available for formulations with significant levels of cations. Care should be taken to choose a LUDOX® grade that matches the pH of the formulation. Some commonly used grades and their specifications are listed below.
LUDOX® colloidal silica and lithium polysilicate play essential roles in increasing the durability and resiliency of a range of materials used in building and construction. In concrete, the LUDOX® silica particles help to provide better cohesion and pozzolanic activity than silica fume. Also, concrete densifiers and coating formulations that include lithium polysilicate have faster cure times, better penetration, and greater adhesion to concrete and masonry. When LUDOX® is used in adhesives and sealants, it becomes more resistant to chemicals and has better adhesion to building surfaces.
ChemPoint is here to help you with your formulation process for building and construction applications. Click below to speak to a specialist about Grace LUDOX® and lithium polysilicate today.