At its new competence center in Shanghai, WACKER will be able to investigate how silicone chemistry can effectively protect cement and concrete against environmental influences and at the same time improve the durability of these materials. For example, waterproofing technologies for cement and concrete are a hot topic in both academia and industry. Existing surface treatments with silicones are well known and established. For example they are capable of protecting the concrete surface from alkali-silica reaction, efflorescence, graffiti and corrosion. However, the surface treatment also has its limitations. “One of the goals of our lab is to develop silicone products that improve hydrophobicity, durability and other unresolved problems in cement and concrete. For example silicones are capable of making cement hydrophobic. Already several thousand tons of cement have been made using one of our products developed by the competence center for cement and concrete at the Wacker subsidiary in India,” says Dr. Peter Jerschow, Head of Global Product Development for the Business Unit Construction Silicones. “As WACKER’s first competence center which will deal exclusively with silicone-based cement and concrete admixtures, the new lab will leverage our worldwide technological expertise and resources to serve China’s growing cement and concrete industry”
Thanks to their unique properties, silicones are widely used for the protection of construction materials. Water repellent, vapor permeable and resistant to chemicals and UV radiation, they are available as solid powders, solvent-free liquids or water-based emulsion. Applications include waterproofing of inorganic insulation materials, protective coatings, damp proofing, pH adjusters for coatings and waterproofing agents for concrete.