Concrete Densifier | Polished Concrete with Concrete Densifier | Lithium Concrete Densifier

Concrete Densifier | Polished Concrete with Concrete Densifier | Lithium Concrete Densifier

Concrete Densifier | Advantages of Concrete Densifiers | Concrete Densifier vs. Sealer & Epoxy

Concrete Densifier

What is concrete densifier?

A concrete densifier is a chemical applied to a concrete surface in order to fill pores, increasing surface density. It is a chemical hardener that is often placed on top of the concrete slab following placement, and is also used during the polishing process.

Whether the slab is polished or left unpolished, employing a densifier is an economical technique to increase a concrete slab’s strength, endurance, and longevity.

Densifiers for concrete are typically employed during the refinement process of concrete polishing, although they are also frequently utilized on unfinished concrete slabs. This product serves as a pore filler and raises the concrete slab’s surface density.

When applied to the concrete slab, the densifier penetrates deeply, initiates a chemical reaction, and produces a byproduct that fills every pore.

This results in a hardened concrete surface that is also less prone to pitting. It considerably increases the surface durability as compared to untreated concrete surfaces.

Chemical densifiers are used on polished and non-polished concrete to reduce dusting and wear; on polished concrete surfaces densifiers help concrete take a better polish and make the surface less permeable to liquids so the slab does not require sealing.

How Does Concrete Densifier Work?

Concrete slabs emit a byproduct called free lime during the curing process (concrete dusting). This component is calcium carbonate, which when combined with the concrete densifier can result in a stronger material.

Due to the porous nature of concrete slabs, applying a densifier is an excellent approach to make them less porous and generally stronger as a finished floor surface. Calcium-silicate-hydrate gel is formed when the concrete densifier combines with the free lime.

This gel is composed of extremely dense and tough crystals that create a continuous layer. The chemical reaction creates a bond between the concrete and densifier, resulting in a slab that is stronger and more resistant to wear than it was before to treatment.

Another advantage of using a densifier on your floor is that it prevents the floor from dusty (a continual natural occurrence with concrete over time).

Polished Concrete with Concrete Densifier

Concrete polishing uses densifiers to achieve a better shine. Polishing works by smoothing out peaks and valleys in the surface.

If the concrete is not strong enough, this abrasion will remove micro-chunks that decrease the surface uniformity and quality of shine. Concrete surfaces face two major obstacles to polishing: bleed water and pores.

Excess water in newly placed concrete rises to the surface. This bleed water carries with it the finest aggregate and laitance, making it much softer than the slab’s core.

It also increases the water to cement ratio, which further weakens the surface. Densifiers address this problem by binding to available lime in a pozzolanic fashion, creating additional cementitious material and strengthening the surface. It is important to note that densifier cannot improve weak/sub-standard concrete to satisfactory levels.

Concrete is by nature a porous material, with pores formed by water evaporation during curing. These pores interfere with surface uniformity, and make the slab more susceptible to staining from spilled liquids, including oil.

The additional cementitious material formed by the densifier and lime tightens these pores for better surface hardness and durability.

Most densifiers can react within 1-2 hours with concrete surface, however the chemical reaction with the calcium and free lime in the concrete will continue for up to 2 months after the application of it to the surface of the concrete.

Densifiers may use various carrying agents to accomplish the hardening process, potassium, sodium, lithium, or other agents.

Densifiers are used on non-polished concrete mainly to reduce dusting and improve stain resistance. They contain an active substituent or carrying agent alkali or alkaline earth metal silicate, such as lithium, sodium, magnesium or potassium silicate, with lithium silicate being preferred.

The Advantages of Concrete Densifiers

Whichever type of densifier you choose, it’s critical to grasp the excellent characteristics and benefits they provide, such as reduced dusting, increased gloss readings, increased abrasion resistance, and a longer concrete floor’s lifespan.

Here is a list of advantages of concrete Densifiers:

  • Strength and abrasion resistance are added to the surface of a functioning garage.
  • Surface that is non-slip
  • Compressive strength of concrete is increased
  • Repels liquids and other fluids, which contributes to the stain resistance of your garage floor.
  • Eliminates dusty and efflorescence problems
  • It will not peel, will not leave tire prints, and will not yellow. Assists in acting as a moisture barrier for your garage floor.
  • Enhances weathering and tolerance to the effects of freezing and thawing
  • Reasonably priced
  • Years without the need for reapplication
  • It is simple to apply and becomes operational within an hour or two.

How A Concrete Densifier Works on A Floor

Densifiers for concrete have been around for decades. They are a type of concrete hardener that has been used extensively in the flooring industry for polishing concrete floors, increasing abrasion resistance, dust control, and moisture mitigation.

They are primarily used on smooth, machine troweled, and hard troweled concrete. They are sometimes used to cure a soft concrete surface or to aid in the hardening of softer concrete surfaces prior to grinding.

When concrete cures, bleed water rises to the surface, increasing the ratio of water to cement. This procedure can assist in smoothing the surface of concrete.

However, it can result in a softer surface than the underlying cement. This is due to the rise in laitance and fine particles carried to the surface by bleed water.

When a densifier is added to concrete, a chemical reaction occurs that increases the surface strength by an average of 20% to 40%, depending on the original pour and finish. However, how is this accomplished?

Densifiers are a water-based chemical solution that penetrates the concrete’s surface and reacts with calcium hydroxide to form calcium silicate hydrate (CSH). This is the material that provides the strength to concrete.

Following that, the CSH generated fills the concrete’s open pores and capillaries. This results in an increase in the density and strength of the material at the surface.

Lithium Concrete Densifier

Lithium densifiers are the most often utilized type of densifier in garage floors. This is because they are easier to apply and have a lower reactivity to carbon dioxide, which can cause a whitening effect on the floor.

In comparison to sodium densifiers, lithium densifiers are also effective at repelling road salts. After application, the concrete retains its natural appearance.

It is critical to remember that concrete densifiers are non-film forming, which means they do not leave a surface layer that protects against stains.

Additionally, densifiers are not strictly a water-repellent sealant. They do not generate the same molecular membrane at the subsurface that other non-densifying penetrating sealers do to repel liquids. This is why, until recently, they were rarely employed as a concrete protectant for garage flooring.

With the addition of silicone and siliconate agents to densifiers, their usage as a sealant and all-purpose protectant for garage flooring has changed considerably. These siliconates act as a waterproofing agent directly on the concretes subsurface.

This addition enables the densifier to function as a sealer for your garage floor, repelling water and oils, resisting stains, and shielding the concrete from chemicals such as road salts and other fluids.

FAQS for Concrete Densifier

What Does a Concrete Densifier Do?

A concrete densifier is a chemical that is placed to the surface of concrete in order to plug the pores and so increase the surface density.

What Is the Best Concrete Densifier?

Users think the best densifiers and hardeners for silicate sealers are lithium-based. Due to the fact that lithium silicates react with the calcium hydroxide in concrete to form the same molecule that concrete naturally forms to hold itself together, we consider this is the strongest and most durable densifier available.

Do I Need a Concrete Densifier?

Whether the slab is polished or left unpolished, employing a densifier is an economical technique to increase a concrete slab’s strength, endurance, and longevity.

Densifiers for concrete are typically employed during the refinement process of concrete polishing, although they are also frequently utilized on unfinished concrete slabs.

Is Concrete Hardener a Sealer?

Concrete hardener is a water-based impregnating and hardening sealant designed to accelerate and simplify the mechanical sanding and polishing of concrete floors.

Concrete hardeners are a clear, permanent sealant that protects the underlying concrete against chemical and pollutant degradation. When applied to concrete, liquid concrete hardeners initiate a chemical process that penetrates the pores.

Densifier vs. Sealer & Epoxy?

Densifiers are not similar with sealants. Densifiers may aid in stain resistance, but they are no substitute for a soak-in or topical sealer. Densifiers are not the same as topical epoxy (or other polymer) coatings in terms of behavior and performance.

Epoxy coatings with a thin mil thickness and a high build produce a totally sealed surface that frequently outperforms the chemical resistance of conventional concrete (densified or not).

Epoxy coatings serve as a sacrificial surface, bearing the brunt of wear and strain rather than the concrete. Densifiers merely increase the abrasion resistance of the native concrete surface.

Epoxy coatings continue to be the industry standard for protecting residential garage and basement flooring. Additionally, coatings are used in food processing, service bays, and chemical storage.

Although it is uncommon, densifiers may be used on concrete prior to preparing and applying epoxy systems.

Sealers may be employed following the application of a concrete densifier. Several manufacturers now offer concrete densifiers that double as sealants, allowing for a one-step application.

However, these sealers are frequently soak-in, hydrophobic, and give little topical build. The lifespan of the sealer is strongly related to the amount of wear and tear on the concrete surface.

When a decorative application to a concrete floor is nearing completion, a sealer is used as the final stage after the color (if required) and densifier have been applied.

A sealant enhances the color and sheen of decorative concrete flooring, bringing out its beauty. Additionally, a sealer guards the floor surface against abrasions and stains. Depending on the sealer used, a floor may require extra sealer coats.

 

Densifying Application on Concrete Floor | Concrete Floor Densifier

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