The durability of an entire building depends on its ability to prevent water penetration. CYRIL CISINSKI, managing director of Wacker Chemicals Middle East, elaborates on some of the company’s efficient solutions for long-lasting building protection and waterproofing.
Waterproofing buildings and structures is essential in the Gulf region due to the high humidity level and the proximity to the shoreline. Without using the right technology, water can penetrate buildings, thus weakening their structure and maybe even causing them to collapse if the damage is not discovered and repaired in time. To prevent such consequences, hydrophobic binders or impregnators enable effective waterproofing materials that can be applied in many parts of the building, including walls, floors, facades, wet areas and roof.
The right binder plays a key role in many construction materials. Being high-quality, versatile polymer binders, special dispersions and dispersible polymer powders of Germany-based Wacker Chemicals’ Vinnapas brand provide a strong hydrophobic effect. Thus, waterproofing membranes based on Vinnapas dispersible polymer powders seal almost every kind of masonry and thus offer a sure form of lasting “water protection”.
Vinnapas 550 ED, for example, is a versatile binder for two-component waterproofing membranes such as sealing slurries for creating permanent, hard-wearing seals in wet rooms, including kitchens and bathrooms.
Further characteristics are good water resistance, outstanding crack-bridging ability, high tensile adhesive strength, and ease of processing. Moreover, the dispersion is manufactured without the use of alkylphenol ethoxylates (APEOs), plasticisers or solvents. Vinnapas 550 ED is ideal for flexible two-component waterproofing membranes and so affords a reliable means of protecting buildings against moisture penetration.
For exterior applications, Vinnapas 8034 H is the right choice: This dispersible polymer powder has a powerful hydrophobic effect and lowers the water uptake of mortars, without compromising their high water-vapour permeability. In addition, the powder makes the end product extremely easy to process, and confers high abrasion resistance, very good adhesion to all substrates, and enhanced flexibility. The very good water repellency bestowed by this binder on formulations makes it ideal for challenging exterior applications, such as decorative plasters and skim coats.
Much of the damage caused by water can be prevented or significantly reduced by means of hydrophobic impregnation with Wacker’s Silres BS products. These products are based on water-repellent silicone resins and silicone resin emulsions and offer buildings protection for decades.
Silicone resins form an extremely stable and highly durable three-dimensional silicone resin network on mineral surfaces and within mineral-based coatings. The network repels water and moisture, but is permeable to water vapour inside the wall, which keeps the building structure dry and prevents wall damage and decay caused by moisture.
Wacker offers a range of waterproofing solutions especially for concrete. Silres BS 290, for example, is a solventless silicone concentrate that is based on a mixture of silane and siloxane. When diluted in organic solvents, the product serves as a high-quality general-purpose water repellent for impregnating and priming mineral and highly alkaline substrates.
Silres BS 1306, on the other hand, is a solventless, water-thinnable emulsion of a polysiloxane modified with a functional silicone resin. In aqueous masonry coatings and aqueous primers, the additive enhances the water repellency and resistance and water-vapour permeability of the formulations. It also improves the processability and anti-block characteristics of water-based coatings.
Meanwhile, Wacker’s Geniosil WP-series alpha-hybrid polymers can be used to produce innovative waterproofing products with properties comparable to liquid polyurethane waterproofing membranes. Membranes based on Geniosil WP can be formulated using conventional equipment without the use of solvents.
The one-component end products adhere to many different substrates with no need for a primer and can be processed with a roller or airless spray gun in almost any weather conditions. When cured, the membrane forms a firm, non-tacky surface that is rainproof and watertight while still vapour permeable.
Waterproofing membranes based on Geniosil WP do not require classification as hazardous substances, and are suitable for waterproofing flat roofs, balconies and terraces.
Wacker Chemicals Middle East is the regional subsidiary of Wacker, the Munich-based chemical company, which has 100 years of experience in its field.
A strong focus on research and development and a regionally based technical centre equipped with the latest technology give Wacker Chemicals Middle East a number of advantages in the market, allowing it to deliver products that meet the demands of the Gulf region.
Having had a presence in the Middle East since the eighties, Wacker Chemicals Middle East understands the region’s specific needs, especially in the construction sector. Its team works closely with customers to deliver products that are tailor-made for the region.
The company uses its training and competence facility, Wacker Academy Dubai, to enhance the awareness within the industry about key issues such as the importance of having a sound waterproofing system.