What is Polymer Concrete | Types of Polymer Concretes | Properties of Polymer Concretes

What is Polymer Concrete | Types of Polymer Concretes | Properties of Polymer Concretes

What is Polymer Concrete | Types of Polymer Concretes | Properties of Polymer Concretes

What is Polymer Concrete?

Polymer concrete is a type of concrete in which polymer is used as a binder instead of lime-type cements. It is an aggregate mixture that cures and hardens in place with the help of an epoxy binder.

Although a polyester, vinyl ester, or standard epoxy combination is commonly employed, polymer concrete can be created with a variety of polymer resins that allow the concrete to be poured or troweled and then cured.

It cures by undergoing a chemical reaction with the polymer. Water, sand and gravel, or crushed stone are the essential constituents, just like ordinary concrete.

Although there is no hydrated cement phase in the composites, Portland cement can be employed as an aggregate or filler.

Properties of Polymer Concretes/Polymer concrete Characteristics

Polymer concrete composites have a distinct set of qualities that vary depending on the formulation.

These characteristics include:

  • Rapid curing at ambient temperatures ranging from –18 to +40°C (0 to 104°F);
  • High tensile, flexural, and compressive strengths
  • Good adhesion to most surfaces
  • Good long-term durability in terms of freezing and thawing cycles
  • Low permeability to water and aggressive solutions
  • Good chemical resistance.
  • Light weight.
  • Improved chemical resistance

Composition of Polymer Concretes

Thermoplastic polymers are commonly utilized in polymer concrete, however thermosetting resins are more commonly used as the primary polymer component due to their excellent thermal stability and resistance to a wide range of chemicals.

Polymer concrete also includes aggregates such as silica, quartz, granite, limestone, and other high-quality materials.

The aggregate should be of good quality, dry, and free of dust and other contaminants. Failure to meet these criteria can weaken the bond between the polymer binder and the aggregate.

Types of Polymer Concretes

There are three types of Polymer Concrete as given below.

Polymer Impregnated Concrete (PIC)

Polymer impregnated concrete (PIC) is a precast and cured hydrated cement concrete which has been impregnated with a low viscosity monomer and polymerized -in-situ.

This material is the more developed of the composites. It has a long life and is suitable for applications which are exposed to moisture. (It has been used in rural housing, industrial buildings, bridges and offshore structures).

Polymer Concrete

Polymers are the growth medium of self-reinforced cement systems. The water-cementitious phase is implemented into the binder and introduces a myriad of equivalent chemical bonds into the structure to produce highly elastic concrete that is resistant to deformation under stress.

The polymer concrete is gaining popularity as a cost-effective alternative to the traditional cement concrete. A polymer concrete consists of precast units which are cured end-to-end.

The process results in the introduction of an elastic reinforcement in the form of a polymeric binder, commonly referred to as a matrix binder (MBS).

Polymer Cement Concrete (PCC)

Polymer Cement Concrete (PCC) is a variant of polymer concrete. It is a blend of cement, aggregate and a polymer binder.

The special characteristics are the use of an environmentally friendly solvent (unlike the petroleum-based solvents used in the production of string or fiber reinforced polymer concrete), as well as no need for water curing, thus reducing delays at construction sites due to setting and curing time frames.

Polymer Concretes Uses

Polymer concrete can be used for new construction as well as repairing existing concrete. Polymer concrete’s adhesive qualities enable for the repair of both polymer and traditional cement-based concretes.

Polymer concrete’s corrosion resistance and low permeability make it suitable for use in swimming pools, sewage construction applications, drainage channels, electrolytic cells for base metal recovery, and other structures containing liquids or corrosive chemicals.

Because of its capacity to tolerate poisonous and corrosive sewage gases and bacteria often found in sewer systems, it is particularly suitable to the building and rehabilitation of manholes.

Polymer concrete, unlike traditional concrete buildings, does not require coating or welding of PVC-protected seams.

Because of its smooth surface, it can also be used as a bonded wearing course for asphalt pavement, for increased durability and strength on a concrete foundation, and in skate parks.

Because of the high price and difficulty associated with traditional manufacturing procedures, polymer concrete has long been underutilized.

However, recent advancements have resulted in significant cost reductions, implying that the usage of polymer concrete is progressively becoming more popular.

Polymer Concretes Vs Concrete

Typically, polymer concrete has a longer maintenance-free service life than Portland cement concrete and possesses also other advantages compared to Portland cement concrete such as increased bond strength (bonding to previously existing concrete); increased freeze-thaw resistance; high abrasion resistance; increased flexural, compressive and tensile strengths; fast setting times (curing within 1 or 2 hours); good durability; improved chemical resistance in harsh environments.

Polymer concretes are generally stronger than traditional concrete. Polymer Concretes are a new type of concrete that is composed of polymer molecules. Over the last few years, this concrete has been constructed in different forms and has been used across many different industries including construction, mining, and industrial applications.

Compared to traditional cement concretes, polymer concretes are more eco-friendly thanks to high strength with low weight and they are able to sustain better mechanical performance.

Polymer Concrete is designed to be stronger and lighter than cement concretes. In is developed with the use of high strength polymer, which includes polyethylene, polypropylene and polyvinyl chloride. The polymerization process of these materials allows for the creation of stronger long-term weathering and durability.

Compared to traditional cement, the polymer concrete has a great advantage in terms of strength and low weight to density ratio. This makes them good for arching structures that have a heavy load due to their low density.

This material is thus used for a wide variety of applications including roads, bridges, and dams. Polymer concrete is used for the construction and extension of railway lines. In short, polymers can be used to build large scale projects that have sustained heavy traffic over a long period of time.

This type of concrete is also suitable for use in residential buildings and offices.


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