Water may be the stuff of life, but for buildings and infrastructure it’s the harbinger of rot, decay, and erosion. Therefore, any-thing impeding its ingress is the focus of a great deal of ongoing technological innova-tion – which of course amounts to big business.
For example, Research and Markets estimates that in the field of waterproofing admixtures alone, the market is expected to reach an estimated $4.4 bil-lion by 2023 and is forecast to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 6.5 percent from 2018 to 2023, with growth drivers being increasing building and construction activities, renovation of old building structures, and growing awareness of construction quality. The research agency also notes that emerg-ing trends include adoption of performance sheet membrane, liquid applied PU membrane, and cool green waterproofing.
Some systems have developed to the point where their manufacturers have seen fit to rebrand them in order to promote a better understanding of their attributes. Such is the case with Kryton International Inc., which has rebranded its proprietary line of crystal waterproofing products as Smart Concrete to reflect the fact that unlike competing products, the Smart Concrete admixtures identify and correct water ingress as it occurs long after a construction project is finished, even in the harshest conditions.
Kris Till, Kryton’s product manager, explains that, “In the 1970s we pioneered Krystol, a unique type of crystalline technology whereby our coating turned normally porous concrete into watertight concrete. Concrete is able to protect itself against water intru-sion by filling its capillary pores with millions of microscopic, needle-shaped crystals.”
In the 1980s, Kryton invented the world’s first crystalline waterproofing admixture employing the same technology, thus eliminating surface applied coatings and membranes. Equally impor-tant, because the admixture reacts to unhydrated cement within the concrete, Krystol treated concrete has the unique ability to respond to moisture enter-ing through newly formed cracks by growing more crystals to shut off the water. Competing admixtures react to free lime in the concrete, which unlike unhy-drated cement, dissipates over time.
Given water’s alarming ability to erode, Kryton recently introduced a highly specialized admixture that gives concrete up to six times greater resistance to abrasion or erosion. When added to the concrete at the time of batching, Hard-Cem’s proprietary tech-nology increases the hardness of the concrete paste and reduces fine and coarse aggregate exposure that creates degradation to concrete surfaces. Since it is integral, it continues to offer surface wear resistance throughout its life.
Hard-Cem is ideal for industrial floors, roadways, hydro spillways, and many other applications in trans-portation, agriculture, power generation, and marine structures. “It was recently used in the Iona Island Wastewater Treatment Plant in Richmond, B.C., which experiences large volumes of fluid borne erosion through the mechanical process beginning with screening, then on to pumping and other processes,” says Till. “All of these primary treatment processes expose the concrete tanks to extreme erosive wear because water with large parti-cles is consistently pumped through.” Due to Hard-Cem’s ability to be used in vertical and horizontal applications, Hard-Cem shotcrete was placed in the primary treat-ment screening tanks, providing the tank bottoms and walls with highly erosion-resistant surfaces.
Hard-Cem was also used in the White River Hydro project in Ontario, in accordance with the manu-facturer’s instructions for all concrete exposed to running water; Lafarge established a portable silo on site and 240 tonnes of bulk Hard-Cem was trans-ported from Kryton’s Calgary manufacturing facility to Northern Ontario.
Excerpted From Award Magazine