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What concrete densifier should I use?

If you want to densify your concrete because it has a moisture problem, what concrete densifier do you use?

There are some good products like Densi-Proof and Moisture Fix, however, you can get a similar product called Forti-Col, a new technology colloidal silica for less from Barefoot Concrete.

What is Forti-Col? Forti-Col is the latest and best technology among the silicates. It has a smaller particle size, 4-6 nanometers, as opposed to 10-12 nanometers, that gives you better penetration and faster curing. It also covers a greater surface area with more reactive sites creating a better CHL (Hydrogel) structure inside the pores.

Of all the densifier types, our colloidal silica has the smallest molecule size, allowing the best possible penetration of low porosity concrete surfaces such as polished concrete. With the smallest size on the market, it provides a superior densifier result, providing a stronger, higher concrete surface.

In terms of concrete polishing, it can be used to impregnate concrete in the earlier stages of grinding (after 80 to 100 grit grind) and later stages (after using a 400 grit polishing pad). Therefore, it can be used to impregnate twice – once in the early grinding stages and again after the 400 grit pad, is recommended for optimal results.

Forti-Col is also used as an anti-dusting and curing treatment for green (freshly poured) concrete. To attain full strength, newly poured concrete needs to retain its water content for long enough for the maximum amount of cement to react and form the correct hydrogels to make the maximum number of bonds.

Treating the concrete with penetrating Forti-Col™ will form CSH hydrogel inside the pores of the concrete, substantially restricting water bleed and evaporation so water is retained and the concrete can cure properly. Because Forti-Col™ is more reactive and has more bonding sites per molecule, it builds on itself and forms better hydrogel structures in the pores than other silicates.

Fort-Col is also used as a primer/moisture barrier membrane for green concrete. Treating the concrete with penetrating Forti-Col™ will form CSH hydrogel inside the pores of the concrete, substantially restricting water bleed and evaporation so coatings and other floor coverings can be applied immediately.

Freshly poured concrete contains a lot of water which evaporates and causes coatings to blister and delaminate, salts to redeposit underneath and lift tiles, damp and mould growth under carpeting, insulation matting, wood etc. So, slabs are usually left to cure for 60 days before installing flooring.

A densified concrete surface provides substantially reduced water penetration and also prevents rubber marking from vehicle tyres.

Forti-Col can be used on new and old concrete slabs as a concrete densifier to densify the concrete surface and reinforce the concrete slab. It can be used at time of pour but generally is applied after the removal of the curing compound or at the commencement of the concrete polishing process.

What are colloidal silica densifiers?

Colloidal Silica densifiers have the smallest particular size in the concrete densifier product category. This is not the molecule size, but the agglomerated macro particle size (ie lithium silicate is a larger molecular than potassium silicate but the agglomerate size in the solution is much smaller).

The colloidal solution is an evenly distributed dispersion of individual particles and much finer again than traditional alkaline metal silicates (sodium/potassium/lithium silicate) clusters.

To understand the different densifiers, we use the order of particular size: Concrete densifiers start with Sodium Silicates and progress in size and cost to Potassium silicates, then Lithium Silicates, and finally the smallest Colloidal silica with a particle size of 6-8Nm.

Even though Sodium Silicates and Colloidal Silicates share similar raw materials (salt + sodium hydroxide), the final particle sizes depend on the polymerization of the sub molecules in the reaction chemistry.

In the production of Forti-Col, sodium silicate an intermediary product and used a feedstock for further reaction to create the final colloidal silica product. The silica gels commons known as “sodium silicates” in densifier terms are a larger agglomerates macro molecular approximately 500 microns in size. The colloidal silica used in the Forti-Col has a molecule size that ranges between 6-8Nm, an average of 7Nm, whereas competing products can average 10-12Nm.

Forti-Col has been formulated to be a superior technology than other major colloidal densifier products on the market with similar pH, solids and performance like Densi-Proof and Moisture Fix – and it costs much less!

Contact Barefoot Concrete for pricing on our concrete densifiers today.