What is it?
First of all, we need to know what it is: A polymer modified concrete overlay is a type of concrete that use polymers to replace lime-type cement as a binder. In some cases, the polymer is used in addition to Portland cement to form Polymer Cement Concrete (PCC) or Polymer. Therefore, concrete with polymers added during mixing to modify properties of hardened concrete is polymer-modified cement concrete (PMC).
Modified Concrete (PMC). Polymer modified concrete overlays are an alternative to breaking out and replacing an existing concrete slab, which can be expensive, messy, disruptive, and time-consuming.
Polymers are added to the concrete mixes either in the form of an aqueous emulsion or in a dispersed form. This is to improve the following properties of concrete:
- The extensibility and the tensile strength of the concrete structure
- The impact resistance
- The abrasion resistance
- The durability and the resistance to the aggressive fluids
- The bond between the old and the new concrete
The reason we use a polymer-modified concrete overlay is that we can give worn, lacklustre concrete a decorative makeover or restore it to like-new condition in as little as a day and at a fraction of the cost.
A polymer modified concrete overlay provides high performance, low cost, great convenience, and excellent durability.
Polymer-modified overlays are ideal for:
- Adding pattern, texture, and colour to exterior concrete slabs, including patios, pool decks, driveways, and sidewalks. Using special techniques and tools, skilled installers can precisely replicate the look and feel of natural stone, brick, tile, or slate
- Resurfacing interior floors, including those previously covered with linoleum tile or carpeting (after removal of all residual mastic). With the use of stains or dyes, it’s possible to create colourful graphic designs, logos, or stencilled patterns.
- Smoothing and levelling uneven or spalled concrete surfaces.
- Restoring surfaces quickly with minimal downtime. Polymer overlays cure fast and some systems can support foot traffic within a few hours.
General applications of polymer modified concrete:
- The polymer-modified concrete overlay can be used in the repair and rehabilitation of old damaged concrete.
- The floor construction in frozen – food factories gains great application. This is because of the higher freeze and thaw resistance of PMC’s.
- For floor construction of factories where chances of the splitting of chemicals and oils are more prone to happen.
- For the preparation of steel bridge and ship decks surfaces.
- For the concrete structure that is more subjected to large doses of de-icing salts.
- For the cementing ceramic tiles to concrete.
Not all existing concrete is a suitable candidate for a polymer-modified concrete overlay. The concrete must be structurally sound, without gapping cracks, severe delamination, or an unstable subbase. Proper surface preparation of the concrete is also imperative to ensure good bonding of the overlay. Any non-structural cracks wider than hairline should also be repaired.
Barefoot Concrete recommends using a flexible concrete polymer that maximises the prevention or the reoccurrence of cracks. A good polymer creates superior strength, adhesiveness, flexibility and is extremely weatherable.
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