Silicate concrete sealers are concrete densifiers. Silicates are commonly classified as densifiers, or concrete hardeners, because as they react with the concrete surface, they form serve to further densify and harden the concrete surface.
Concrete hardeners and densifiers provide benefits including concrete surface hardening, concrete dust proofing and concrete floor sealing. When the chemical process takes place between the silicate concrete sealer and the Portland cement in the concrete substrate crystals are formed that fill up the empty pores in the concrete. The concrete is hardened and densified in the process.
Densifiers are applied to the point of saturation, including lithium and colloidal silica. Densifiers penetrate into the surface of the concrete where they chemically react to form a permanent calcium silicate hydrate barrier in the pores of the cement surface. Potassium and sodium silicate sealers can leave behind high levels of silica glass residue. Waiting for the reaction to take place before cleaning the residue is very timely and labor intensive. If residue is allowed to harden it can be unsightly and difficult to remove. Lithium silicates reaction is quicker and leaves less residue when used to point of saturation. Little to no cleaning may be required. As the CSH forms within the pores, the density of the concrete increases and the size of the pores decrease.
Benefits of silicate densifier include:
- Silicate sealers help to reduce concrete “dusting” by sealing and increasing the surface strength and provide abrasion resistance of concrete.
- Silicate concrete sealers won’t change the look or color of the concrete.
- Traditional densifiers use potassium, sodium or lithium as the carrier and stabilizer for the silica portion of the silicates. They restrict water and chemical absorption.
- Densifiers are applied during concrete polishing.
- Silicate sealers help to increase the strength of the concrete by up to 45%.
- Silicate sealers help to reduce the movement of water and moisture through pores within the concrete.
- When the concrete floor is polished, the polished appearance will improve the look of the surface and make the concrete surface easier to clean and maintain. Using colors with penetrating sealers produce a transparent or translucent finish.
The two best types of silicate concrete sealers are sodium and lithium silicates. It is important to understand that all silicate sealers spark the same chemical reaction and leave behind the same CSH structure. They simply differ in how fast they achieve the CSH formation on various concrete surfaces.
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