Concrete masonry is a popular form of construction for a variety of reasons. There’s wide-ranging design flexibility, durability and fire resistance, and attractive life cycle cost among others. Single-wythe designs present a streamlined and economical alternative to lesser performing systems. Schools, offices, strip malls and big-box retail stores use this form of construction for cost control and speed of construction. Since single-wythe walls (as opposed to cavity or composite ones) separate the building’s interior from the external elements – moisture control and management is a necessary design consideration. This is addressed in a few different ways:
- Topical treatments such as coatings and sealers are effective until they are breached, or are in need of re-application. In other words, a maintenance schedule of some sort is required.
- Water repellent admixtures are another approach used in the production of the block and the associated masonry mortar. These products are marketed as systems and often make the same claims though there’s a range of chemistries and levels of “synergy” between their block and mortar (admixture) counterparts.
An admixture that assists in making freeze-thaw durable retaining wall units would likely not be used in standard block production. An integral water repellent isn’t necessarily what you’d use to make high-density pavers or articulated revetment products. In many instances a combination of two products might be required to meet aesthetic and performance parameters.
Multiple admixtures, dosages, combinations and inventories can further complicate operations management and purchasing. Wouldn’t it be great if there was an admixture that could cover most – or even all applications? Euclid Chemical’s HYDRAPEL™ admixtures uniquely go a long way toward mastering them all. These silicone polymer-based admixtures perform equally well for all concrete masonry applications and excel in virtually all areas of performance. Two versions are currently available:
- HYDRAPEL 2.0 is recommended for more challenging material sets or manufacturing conditions.
- HYDRAPEL 2.5 is recommended where there is more control and selection of materials and more favorable manufacturing conditions.
Both admixtures are capable of providing major gains in productivity, product quality and consistency.
Advanced Chemistry, Optimized System Performance
Not all water repellent admixtures are created equal. Some are more hydrophobic than others. Some are more stable in long-term performance than others. Others can impose changes in wall construction timing and procedures. Some can interfere with mortar bond integrity. HYDRAPEL admixtures are perhaps the industry’s most stable and highly water repellent types available. They assist the block producer in making uniformly dense and water-tight concrete masonry units, and the mason contractor in applying the skills and craftsmanship for a successful project.
HYDRAPEL admixtures provide reduced stickiness, extremely efficient lubrication, and are super hydrophobic. Realized production benefits include higher mix water tolerance, faster production rates, improved texture and consistency, and reduced mold wear. Performance benefits are numerous:
- Reduced variation
- Increased density
- Higher strength
- Low absorption/water-repellent
- Reduced efflorescence
- Improved texture, color vibrancy/retention
- Freeze-thaw durability
- De-icing chemical resistance
- Higher mix water tolerance
- Faster production rates