Adhesives and sealants used for roads and infrastructure

Compostable artificial grass
Compostable latex adhesive over backing with natural fibers (sisal, coconut fibers)
Compostable latex adhesive over backing with natural fibers (sisal, coconut fibers).

True eco-friendly latex polymer replacement

Latex has been a household name for decades. It is appreciated in various industries for its properties, and used for a wide variety of products, coatings, sealants, and adhesives. Many everyday products now are made of or contain latex. Its uses are nearly limitless: binders for fabrics, fibers and cords; the main ingredient in coatings for walls, ceilings, paper; adhesives for back-sizing carpets and rugs; sealants for construction work, and countless others.

Many industries rely on latex’s distinct properties. Unfortunately, there is a downside to its many upsides: it isn’t a very eco-friendly material. The additives are to blame, really.

Practically all latex products are laced with a range of substances to enhance certain qualities. Chemicals, plasticines, accelerators, dispersions; all kinds of processes and additives are used to enhance latex performance and durability. Good for the industry and consumers, not so much for our planet.

Ready for the good news?

Let’s stick to latex adhesives for now. The carpet industry uses them as a binder. They are used as a secondary backing to keep fibers and backing firmly joined. At the same time, they add stiffness and bounce to carpets and rugs, while also providing grip on slick surfaces, like tiles or wooden floors. Nice and safe!

Production plant for artificial grass from 100% compostable materials
Production plant for artificial grass from 100% compostable materials.

In a similar fashion, the artificial grass and artificial turf systems industry uses latex adhesives to fixate the artificial grass fibers that are woven through the carpet backing. Their adhesives are much more rugged and resistant to any kind of weather, athletes’ shoes and other abuse, and still last for years.

Modern latex adhesives do the job well, but while real grass can be composted to degrade into organic fertilizer, artificial grass systems can’t. These are currently recyclable at best, but they need costly and time-consuming separation and recycling. Compostable or even bio-degradable? No, generally they’re not.

Good news after all. Latex looks best in green.

Click here to find out why.

An increasing number of components of artificial grass and turf systems are now eco-friendly, bio-degradable, compostable even. Still, latex adhesives are the one factor that keeps these systems from being completely compostable.

A leading polymer technology firm has recently developed a fully compostable latex adhesive. A product that is just as weather-resistant and able to withstand abuse by pro athletes or gardening aficionados.

Compostable artificial grass and backing with compostable latex adhesive.

So far, the missing finishing touch was a fully compostable latex adhesive with the same properties as the old stuff. This now, is no longer a fantasy.

Just think of the products that finally can be made completely compostable due to this innovative adhesive:

  • Fully compostable artificial turf sports fields
  • Fully compostable carpets made from natural fibers, but now with a compostable latex backing:
    • Sisal fiber
    • Seagrass
    • Coconut fiber
    • Wool
    • Cotton

The need for durability and eco-friendly components is not limited to carpets and artificial grass. This new polymer latex replacement can also benefit your area of expertise!

Contact us and you could be the first in your industry to take advantage of this new material. Jump the gun and beat your competitors!

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landfill sealants and dump truck

Landfill sealants protect soil and groundwater

Landfills are areas carefully designed and placed in or on top of the ground. Their main purpose being waste disposal, it is crucial that the waste does not get the chance to contaminate the surrounding soil, or more importantly, the groundwater. Therefore, the use of landfill sealants has become a necessity.

Several types of sealants can be used in different parts of landfills. Here we will take a look at those parts as well as the suitable landfill sealants.

Landfill sealants in different parts of the construction

Nowadays most landfills are built in the ground in order to allow efficient processing of the waste water (leachate) and gasses formed in the landfill. The waste is placed into cells, which are covered with soil at the end of each day. A landfill, nonetheless, is much more than the cells, waste and soil: here we will take a look at the other parts that require landfill sealants.

Note that next to actual landfills, similar soil sealants are also applicable in recycling plants and waste processing facilities.

Waste storage and drop-off areas

Some landfills are surrounded by concrete fields which allow for easy drop-off of waste. Others, in turn, have a storage area where the waste is dropped off and later delivered to these areas which often make use of concrete fields of high density, so that the chemicals in the waste do not get to affect the soil. The concrete fields are sealed together using special, impermeable landfill sealants which resist chemicals, abrasion and traffic.

Bottom liner landfill construction

The bottom liner in a landfill construction is the primary protection layer between the landfill and the ground. It is usually made of high density polyethylene (HDPE) plastic. Here, the use of soil sealant systems is possible, yet not necessary, as the seals in HDPE are usually created by applying heat and allowing the parts to melt together.

Leachate collection system

Even when solid waste is disposed of in a landfill, there is always contaminated liquid going to the bottom of the landfill. This calls for special landfill sealants or soil sealant systems. The liquid is called leachate and it appears as a combination of different kinds of chemicals. The leachate is directed into pipelines which take it to leachate collection tanks or ponds nearby. Both the pipelines and the tanks or pond require chemical resistant sealants to prevent soil contamination.

Methane gas collection system

While the waste is laid in the cells covered with a new layer of soil each day, bacteria breaks it down, which results in gases. These waste gases contain some 50% methane, which is a toxic gas that can explode if not processed appropriately. Therefore, each landfill has pipelines which remove the gas from the landfill to be later either naturally vented or control-burnt. Landfill sealants are used in the pipelines embedded in the landfill.

The 2 most common types of sealants for landfill construction

Many sealants are suitable to be used in the different parts of landfill constructions. However, there are two, that are most often chosen for: modified silicone polymers and polysulfide sealants. Contact us for consultation on the best landfill sealants for your application.

1. Polysulfide sealants

The most chemical resistance can be reached with polysulfide sealants which are not affected even by full chemical immersion. Also these sealants are suitable for different materials used in landfills, and they provide sufficient abrasion resistance. These systems are ideal for instance in the landfill liner construction.

The mechanical stress resistance of polysulfide can be increased by adding epoxy into the formulation. Epoxy polysulfide sealants are used for example on concrete fields in waste storage and other locations outside landfills including filling stations and harbors.

2. MS polymer sealants

Modified silane polymer sealants have the beneficial properties of both conventional silicone sealants and polyurethane. They are extremely resistant to chemicals and can be applied to many materials including concrete, plastics and PVC.

As polymer sealants, they are also easily modified in order to give them other beneficial properties. In the case of landfill sealants, these could be abrasion resistance and increased mechanical stress bearing capacity.

Contact us for the right soil protection sealants for your application

Choosing sealants for landfill construction is never an easy job, as landfills are subject to multiple rules and regulations due to the risk of contaminating surrounding soil or groundwater.

Do not hesitate to contact us, if you need any assistance in choosing the right landfill sealants. Our experts are happy to help you find the most efficient and safest systems.

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sealants for ports being used in a harbor

Marine sealants for ports increase durability and protect the soil

Ports are busy areas subject to continuous traffic on and off water. Ships of all sizes come and go picking up and delivering cargo, brought to the port by trucks and trains, and people who have arrived by public or private vehicles. To protect the ports and the large concrete fields in them, special sealants for ports have been developed. As many ports are located at close proximity to seas and salty water, these are usually marine sealants.

The sealants for harbors and ports increase durability and safety as well as protect the soil and water from contamination by chemicals by making the joints impermeable.

3 types of concrete sealants for marine environments

sealants for ports resisting heavy loads and abrasion by container
Epoxy polysulfide sealants for ports result in strong seals which are resistant to chemicals and abrasion.

Ports are harsh environments which require the sealants to be heavy duty qualified. Several types of sealants can be applied to concrete fields in ports for both new concrete and repairs:

Ports are harsh environments which require the sealants to be heavy-duty qualified. Several types of sealants can be applied to concrete fields in ports for both new concrete and repairs:

  1. MS polymer: modified silane sealants retain the chemical resistance of industrial silicone sealants, but they also have increased abrasion and mechanical stress resistance just like polyurethane based systems. These properties make MS polymer sealants an ideal choice for ports as they also commonly have a life expectancy of 25 years.
  2. Polysulfide: polysulfide marine sealants are the ones that provide the chemical resistance especially to fuels and oil. They are not affected by full immersion in fuels. Abrasion and mechanical stress resistance can be achieved by modifying the formulation. These sealants are also very common at airports.
  3. Epoxy polysulfide: when epoxy is combined with polysulfide, it is possible to create extremely strong and abrasion resistant marine sealants without compromising on chemical resistance.

Desired characteristics of sealants for ports

As ports and harbors are located in harsh environments where fresh or seawater are present, exposure to the elements inevitable and where the traffic never stops, the industrial sealants for ports have several desired characteristics which guarantee durability of concrete fields.

sealants for ports requiring seawater resistance
Marine sealants for ports must be resistant to many factors such as seawater, fuels, mechanical stress and abrasion.
  • Resistance to chemicals and water: similarly to bridge foundation sealants, the best sealants for ports are resistant to fresh or seawater depending on the environment’s requirements, and to chemicals ranging from mild acids and gritting salt to fuels and motor oil.
  • Heavy mechanical stress resistance: along with the trucks delivering cargo containers comes the heavy loads. Not only are there heavy loaded trucks but also industrial cranes to move the containers to the ship.
  • Abrasion resistance: ports and harbors are subject to continuous traffic meaning that the marine sealants used on concrete fields must be extremely resistant to abrasion caused by the traffic.
  • Resistance to microorganisms: especially marine environments offer excellent conditions for algae and other microorganisms to grow. They may, however, contribute to faster degradation of concrete. Therefore, the marine sealants must prevent the growth and not be affected by it.
  • Weather resistance: last but not least, sealants used in ports are always exposed to the elements from sunshine to rain to snowfall depending on the location. The uv radiation, temperature fluctuations and wet conditions are not to affect the marine sealant system.

The aforementioned three types of concrete sealants for ports all have these beneficial properties to a certain extent. However, to make the final choice, the required proportions of these properties should be carefully weighed, and the system should be chosen based on its suitability to the specific environment.

What to consider when choosing sealants for harbors and ports?

Next to the physical properties, there are several other factors to consider when choosing a sealant for ports and harbors. These are related to the efficiency of the sealants in the specific environment:

  • Application: marine sealants can be applied through different methods which allow the application to be completed in different time frames. The fastest method is not always the best: one should opt for the most suitable method resulting in the most durable seals.
  • Curing time: different types of sealants for ports require different curing times. Usually the most beneficial sealants cure fast and so minimise downtime. Note that the durability of ultra fast curing marine sealants may be compromised.
  • Durability: sometimes the more complex application method and longer curing time results in an extremely durable sealant which does not require maintenance for the first 25 years. This however, means longer initial downtime.
  • Need for maintenance: some marine sealants may be fast and easy to apply but might not lead to a maintenance free result. Therefore, it is good to consider whether short downtime due to maintenance is desired, or whether initial downtime could be extended in order to reduce the need for maintenance.

Expert advice for choosing the right sealant

Choosing the best marine sealants for ports and harbors is not always as easy a job as one might think. Many factors need to be taken into consideration and the physical properties of the sealant must be as beneficial as possible. Therefore, our experts are happy to help you choose the best possible sealing systems for your port or harbor construction. All you need to do is contact us and share some project details.

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sealants for concrete at gas station in use

Gasoline resistant sealant contributes to safety at gas stations

Gas stations, or filling stations, are designed for refuelling motor vehicles from tanks underneath the stations. At gas stations, harsh chemicals such as gasoline, diesel and motor oil are present at all times. Therefore, the area in and around filling stations must meet certain requirements to guarantee safety. The forecourt is usually made of high density concrete pads which are joined together with a gasoline resistant sealant. Not only is the sealant resistant to gasoline but it also makes sure no fuels and oil can access the soil or groundwater.

The gasoline and diesel resistant sealant systems primarily have three aims:

  1. Keeping the soil and groundwater clean by providing impermeable seals which prevent chemical penetration.
  2. Reducing fire hazard by not contributing to the spread of flames in occasion of fire.
  3. Increasing overall safety when the right product is chosen: protecting the environment and the concrete as well as the people refueling their vehicles.

Characteristics of gasoline and diesel resistant sealant systems

sealants for gas stations around a sewer lid
Sealants for gas stations must be oil, diesel and gasoline resistant, strong and abrasion resistant.

At filling stations, fuels such as diesel and gasoline are present as well as oil spills are possible. They are also subject to almost continuous traffic from heavy loaded trucks to lighter motorcycles which not only drive on the concrete, but also stop to be refueled. Therefore, the most important requirements for gas stations sealants are:

  • Chemical resistance: the sealant must not be affected by fuels and oil but retain its strength and sealing properties even when some fuel is spilled to the ground.
  • Heavy load bearing capacity: even when heavy loaded trucks stop for refueling, the gasoline resistant sealant is not to break or crack.
  • Abrasion resistance: also abrasion resistance is of high importance as the concrete and the sealant are subject to almost continuous traffic.

Note that similar requirements also count for applications at airports and harbors.

The types of diesel and gasoline resistant sealants for gas stations

The gasoline and diesel resistant sealants applied at gas stations are made for heavy duty as the environment is harsher than the most. Even though similar sealants are used for example in bridge expansion joints, the ones for gas stations must be a little more resistant. There are several types of sealants that are suitable for new forecourt concrete and concrete repairs.

  • Polysulfide sealant: The most resistance to fuels can be achieved with polysulfide sealants. These result in impermeable seals which do not degrade even in full fuel immersion. As they are polymer sealants, they can rather easily be modified to possess other properties such as abrasion resistance and increased load bearing capacity.
  • Epoxy polysulfide sealant: epoxy is one of the toughest resins used in sealants. Therefore, it is also suitable for gas stations. An epoxy polysulfide has increased chemical resistance, which together with its strength makes it the toughest gasoline resistant sealant. It is also suitable for concrete repairs.
  • Modified silyl polymer sealant: conventional silicone sealants are known for their chemical resistance, but modified silyl polymer sealants have increased abrasion and heavy mechanical stress resistance.

Contact us for more information and assistance for choosing the best fuel resistant sealant for your project.

What to take into account when choosing a fuel resistant sealant for filling stations

Each country and region has their own rules and regulations for filling station construction. Always check with the local authorities which type of sealant is recommended. There are, however, some general aspects to take into consideration when looking for the perfect diesel, oil and gasoline resistant sealant for concrete at gas stations.

sealants for concrete at filling station
Gasoline, oil and diesel resistant sealant prevents fuels from seeping into the soil or groundwater.
  • Environment: it goes without saying that one of the most important aspects to consider is the environment: is the sealant sufficiently impermeable and oil, diesel and gasoline resistant?
  • Safety: gas stations always have an increased fire hazard due to the presence of flammable flues. Therefore, the gasoline resistant sealant must be fire retardant to a certain point in order to reduce the hazard even when there is gas on concrete.
  • Application and curing time: a filling station is a business where time is money. Therefore, it is good to consider how fast the sealant can be applied and how long it takes before it is hardened. Keeping the downtime at the minimum is desired.
  • Durability and need for maintenance: sometimes it is better to invest in a sealant which application takes longer, but which does not require frequent maintenance. However, it can also be a conscious choice to keep the downtime at its minimum, even if it meant more frequently short periods of maintenance.

Find a oil, diesel and gasoline resistant sealant for gas stations to meet requirements

Gas stations are subject to a wide variety of rules, regulations and standards depending on the country and region. Therefore, the best fuel resistant sealant is not always a straightforward one-off decision. In case you are looking for a sealant for concrete at a filling station (new or repair), contact us to get the most suitable solution!

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parking garage sealant applied in a garage

Parking garage sealant for higher durability

Parking garages are usually concrete constructions whose floors consist of concrete fields. These concrete structures include control and isolation joints which require a special parking garage sealant. The parking garage joint sealants contribute to the durability of the concrete structures increasing the overall durability of the garage.

Parking garages are subject to temperature fluctuation, occasional fuel and other chemical spills, heavy mechanical loads and traffic. Therefore, the parking structure sealant must be one that does not deteriorate as an effect of the aforementioned factors.

Desired parking structure sealant properties

Parking garage sealant systems are suitable for sealing parking structure joints in new concrete and for repairing damaged or cracked concrete or asphalt. Both of the parking garage joint sealant applications call for a certain set of properties. These include the following.

  • Flexibility: parking garage caulking and sealing should be realized with a product that retains its flexibility even when subject to temperature changes. The fluctuation in temperature can cause movement of the concrete fields, meaning that the joints also move. The sealant should live with the movement instead of cracking or tearing.
  • Chemical resistance: fuels and oil or occasional spills of other chemicals should not affect the sealant, but it should retain its strength and sealing properties even when it becomes subject to coolant fluids, road salt or fuel spills.
  • Heavy load bearing capacity: the garage sealant is not to be affected by the weight of cars that are parked in the garage. Note that a stronger sealant may be necessary if buses, trucks and other heavy vehicles have access to the parking lot.
  • Abrasion resistance: also abrasion resistance is of high importance as the concrete and the parking structure sealant are subject to almost continuous traffic, comparable to that on bridges. The traffic is caused by cars and other vehicles driving in and out the garage.

3 types of parking garage sealant systems

Due to the different requirements a parking garage may have, there are several types of sealants that are suitable. Here we will introduce three of the most common parking structure sealant systems.

  1. Polysulfide: tough sealants with extremely high resistance to chemicals, especially fuels and motor oil. Also common at gas stations. When an even stronger and tougher system is needed, epoxy can be added to the formula.
  2. Polyurethane: top of the class in flexibility but lacks superior chemical resistance. Polyurethane sealants are among the most common parking structure sealant systems.
  3. Modified silane polymer: chemical resistant like conventional silicone sealant systems with additional abrasion and mechanical stress resistance. Also, flexible like polyurethane.

Tip: where fast repairs are necessary, consider special products designed for speedy concrete repairs. Contact us for custom solutions that fill the needs of specific applications.

Factors that affect the choice of parking structure sealant

The choice of parking garage sealant not only is based on the product type and its physical properties but also on other, practical factors. When choosing a parking garage sealant, application and curing time as well as overall durability should be considered.

parking lot sealant applied in garage floor
When choosing a parking garage sealant, application and curing time as well as overall durability should be considered.
  • Application method and time: whether the parking garage caulking sealant is applied to new concrete or as a means of repair, it is good to consider the time it takes and the method through which it is applied. Complex application methods and long application time usually means more downtime.
  • Curing time: especially for concrete repairs, it might be beneficial to apply and cure the parking lot sealant as fast as possible to open the area for traffic right after application.
  • Need for maintenance: for new concrete, one should opt for a parking structure sealant that lasts long without maintenance. Even though the curing application and curing times of these products may be slightly longer, the garage is not likely to go through downtime any time soon after construction. Minimum maintenance is also important for sealants for ports.

Find the right sealant

Are you looking for the perfect parking garage sealant for your project? Our experts are happy to provide you with assistance in choosing the best possible system, and suggesting solutions. For more information, do not hesitate to contact us!

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sealants for bridge foundation applied to bridge footing under water

Bridge foundation sealants increase reliability and safety

One of the most critical parts of a bridge is the foundation: it must be safe and reliable as the weight of the entire bridge lays on it together with the traffic on the bridge. To guarantee bridge safety and construction reliability, bridge foundation sealants are used. The sealants fill and seal joints in the foundation making them watertight. 

Bridge foundation sealants are used especially on bridge footings such as pedestal footing, pile footing and spread footing. Here the sealant can be applied to the pile caps in order to seal the joints between the cap and columns, piles or walls depending on the construction design.

Desired properties of sealants for bridge footing systems

As bridge footing must be absolutely reliable, special sealants are used to prevent water from seeping into the structures. In most of the cases the bridge footings are made of concrete meaning that the bridge foundation sealants must be designed for the specific material. Note that if joints between asphalt and concrete require sealing, a special product is needed. Get more information on these systems by contacting us.

The desired properties of sealants for bridge footing systems include the following.

sealants for bridge foundation applied to a concrete footing
Usually a bridge footing is made of concrete: the bridge foundation sealants must be suitable for the material.
  • Watertight: most importantly, the bridge footing sealant must be water tight. Some products can even be applied underwater.
  • Flexibility: depending on the environment and climate conditions, the footings may be subject to movement caused by temperature fluctuation, heavy traffic on the bridge or soil type. The sealant for bridge foundation must not crack, but be flexible enough to allow the movement. 
  • Resistant to microorganism: the sealant should also be resistant to microorganisms present in the specific environment such as algae and moss. 
  • Chemical resistant: the environment of the footing defines the need for chemical resistance of the bridge sealant. Common chemicals that the sealants may be subject to include fuels, road salt and salt water.

Which properties are the most important for your bridge foundation and which sealant has those? Send us a message to find out!

Determining the best sealant for bridge foundations

The choice of the sealant for foundation should be based on the bridge, footing and foundation type, requirements of the soil and climate as well as the preferences of the applicators. 

Bridge footing sealants include industrial systems such as MS polymers, polymerized and cementitious systems, silicone based solutions as well as polysulfide sealants. Similar systems are also applied to other expansion joints in bridge constructions. To determine the best type of sealants for bridge foundation some factors must be considered.

  • Movement capability: the sealants vary by flexibility. When great movement of the concrete (or asphalt) is expected, a flexible foundation sealant with movement capability between 50% and 100% is recommended.
  • Curing time: the curing time of the sealant is important regarding efficiency. However, the fastest curing solution is not always the most reliable.
  • Pretreatment: also related to efficiency, the pretreatment required to guarantee good adhesion is important. Some bridge foundation sealants can be applied directly to clean concrete whereas others require a primer.
  • Debris accumulation: some sealants let more debris and dirt accumulate than others. This is a factor to consider especially in environments where the chance of pollution is above average.
  • Joint width: the joint width affects the choice of sealant as some are designed for narrow seams and the others perform better in wider joints.

Guarantee bridge reliability with the best bridge foundation sealant

The bridge footing must be appropriately sealed in order to guarantee a foundation which is capable of carrying the weight of the bridge and the traffic on the bridge. There are different types of bridge foundation sealants with different properties, the best one is chosen based on several factors such as the requirements of the environment, type of the bridge and the footing design. Discover which sealant that offers the most reliability to your foundation – get in touch with us!

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expansion joint sealant for bridges applied

Expansion joint sealant for bridges increases construction reliability

Movement joints, better known as expansion joints in bridges, are designed to keep parts together. Additionally, they safely absorb expansion by temperature changes, contracting of building materials and vibration caused by traffic, ground settlement or seismic activity. The behavior of these bridge expansion joints can be unpredictable if not sealed properly. Therefore, to increase construction reliability, the expansion joint sealant systems for bridges should be chosen carefully. The choice should be based on factors such as material, environment and possible hazards.

Requirements for bridge expansion joint systems

The most common expansion joint sealant systems for bridges fall under three categories. These are MS polymers, polysulfide joint sealants and epoxy polysulfide systems. These three types of sealants all meet the most important requirements for bridge joint sealants:

  • Chemical resistance: most bridges are made for vehicle traffic. This means that the bridge joint sealant is likely to come in contact with fuels and their fumes.
  • Flexibility: the purpose of expansion joints is to absorb movement caused by various factors. Therefore, the sealant must be flexible and allow for elastic bonding and sealing. There are several types of flexible joint sealant solutions.
  • Abrasion resistance: nearly continuous traffic by vehicles of different masses should not affect the expansion joint sealant.
  • Load bearing capacity: the expansion joint seal must endure prolonged pressure, for example during a traffic jam.

MS polymer systems as bridge expansion joint sealant

MS polymers, also known as silyl modified polyethers, are a newer addition to expansion joint sealants. The polymer was first developed in Japan in the 1980 ́s and later introduced to the bigger public. MS polymer bridge joint sealant systems offer a sustainable alternative to more conventional systems, as they do not contain solvents, isocyanates or silicone. These sealants are also common in bridge foundations. The advantages of MS polymer bridge joint sealant systems include the following.

MS polymer benefits

  • No bubbling: when isocyanates come into contact with water, the reaction produces CO2 molecules. The reaction may cause bubbling and result in sealant failure. Due to the absence of isocyanate groups, this does not happen with MS polymers.
  • No shrinkage: the MS polymer sealants are 100% solid meaning that they contain neither solvents nor water. Other water or solvent based systems cure through evaporation, which leads to shrinkage of the expansion joint seal as the density increases and volume decreases.
  • Easy and fast application: MS polymer based products require minimum surface preparation, are applicable without a primer and adhere to most surfaces, even damp ones. Contact us and find out more about MS polymers increasing process efficiency.

Polysulfide joint sealant – flexible sealant for bridge expansion joints

black polysulfide expansion joint sealant for bridges
Polysulfide joint sealant is usually black by color.

Synthetic rubber such as polysulfide is common as a sealant for bridge expansion joint systems due to its versatility. A polysulfide joint sealant is the right choice especially when no plastics are involved or when there is a possibility that the joint needs to be disassembled. Polysulfide is also suitable for bridge expansion joint repair projects, and projects that require an elastic joint sealant.

The solvent used in the sealants may attack plastics resulting in a system failure. When applied to substrates other than plastic, polysulfide expansion joint sealant systems provide excellent adhesion and flexibility allowing for movement associated with stress, vibration and temperature fluctuation.

Polysulfide benefits

  • Low temperature flexibility: as the name implies, polysulfide sealants have a high sulphur content. This grants the systems exceptional low temperature flexibility.
  • High impermeability: the high sulphur content also contributes to high impermeability which is a desired property as water and contamination should not seep into the joint.
  • Adhesive properties: of all the joint sealant options for bridges, polysulfide sealants have the best adhesive properties.

Epoxy polysulfide construction joint sealant

Epoxy expansion joint sealants are known for their extreme toughness, and they are very common as industrial and construction joint sealant solutions. The epoxy resins exist in many types and they are compatible with other ingredients. The type of epoxy joint sealant most commonly used for expansion joints in bridges contain polysulfide. The epoxy polysulfide sealants are more flexible than regular epoxies and tougher than regular polysulfide sealants.

Epoxy polysulfide benefits

  • Toughness: epoxy polysulfide sealants for expansion joints in bridges are tougher than the alternatives meaning that they are more resistant to abrasion and have better load bearing capacity.
  • Increased chemical resistance: epoxy alone is resistant to a wide range of chemicals, however, the addition of sulphur included in polysulfide broadens the range and even allows for full immersion of the sealant.

Which system is the best for your bridge expansion joints?

Choosing the sealants for expansion joints in bridges may seem like a simple process. However, this is not always the case. As some expansion joints may have specific requirements it is always good to check with a party specialized in joint sealing systems. The suitability of different sealants should be assessed based on the requirements set by the environment, materials, bridge type and expected traffic. Contact us for free assistance in choosing the perfect product and getting in touch with acknowledged expansion joint sealant manufacturers.

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airport with sealant on runway

Airport joint sealant systems in a crucial position

The loading and unloading areas, runways, aprons and washing areas of airports are subject to high traffic, heavy loads and nearly uninterrupted use. Therefore, it is paramount that the airport floors made of concrete and/or asphalt fields are treated accordingly with airport joint sealants that make the joints between the fields impermeable. Poorly sealed joints are likely to cause problems over time including:

  • Sagging of the fields, also known as corrosion that can be caused by climate, chemicals or abrasion
  • Soil contamination due to chemicals that can access the ground through poorly sealed joints
  • Safety hazard on runways during landing and take-off

Fortunately, there are several airport joint sealant systems that are suitable for concrete or asphalt from runways to washing areas. The most common airport sealants include MS polymer and polysulfide systems.

Minimum requirements of airport joint sealants

It goes without saying that airport joint sealants should be as durable as possible and protect the concrete and asphalt fields as well as the underlying soil from any damage for as long as possible. Regardless of whether one is looking for an airport runway sealant or opting for a sealant for washing areas, the system should have at least the following characteristics:

airport joint sealants have made floor impermeable
Airport joint sealants must be impermeable and resistant to chemicals to prevent damage of the fields and protect the soil.
  • Impermeability: the ability to not let through any water, microorganisms or chemicals such as de-icing substances or fuels is crucial in every outside area of an airport. Impermeable joints prevent corrosion of the concrete and asphalt fields as well as protect the soil from contamination.
  • Resistance: depending on the environment and specific application the airport joint sealants should be resistant to chemicals and microorganisms that could possibly harm the seals.
  • Flexibility: as the sealants are applied to joints and trench drains, flexibility is of high importance. The sealant is not to break when the fields experience movement as a result of temperature fluctuation or any other reason.
  • Abrasion resistance: due to the continuous traffic by heavy vehicles, abrasion resistance is a must. Furthermore, airport runway sealants, in particular, require additional impact resistance to endure the frequent landing of planes small and big.

Next to the technical requirements, airport joint sealants should also meet some economical needs. These include maximum durability with minimum maintenance and fast application and rapid curing. Minimum downtime is often desired because the less time the application and curing take, the sooner the area can be opened for use.

Types of sealants that are used at airports

When it comes to the types of joint sealants for runways and other areas at airports, there are many options of which two are the most common. These are polysulfide and MS polymer.

These sealant systems exist as combinations of different products including primers, sealers, crack fillers and tacky sealants. Some of these products are self leveling making the application even easier and less time consuming.

Polysulfide systems – chemical resistant runway sealants

Of the two most common airport joint sealants, polysulfide based systems are the most resistant to chemicals. These sealants make airport areas impermeable to fuels, oils and de-icing agents reducing the risk for foreign object damage.

When high polysulfide content (~30%) is combined with an epoxy sealant, the result is an extremely hard wearing and chemical resistant system which is ideal for example as a runway sealant. Polysulfide sealants are also suitable for other areas of airports since modifying the formula to suit different applications is possible.

MS polymer sealants – flexibility and abrasion resistance

Modified silane polyether systems, better known as MS polymer sealants are not as chemical resistant as polysulfide based systems but they do come with multiple other benefits. MS polymer airport sealants are known for their extreme flexibility and abrasion resistance. The chemical resistance also reaches a sufficient level and effectively holds back fuels, water and microorganisms.

MS polymer sealants also have the advantage that they adhere extremely well to different substrates. Therefore, they can also be used when joints between asphalt and concrete fields need to be sealed. They also cure faster than for instance polyurethane sealants.

Compared to polysulfide based systems, MS polymers are also more user and environmentally friendly since they do not contain any solvents, isocyanates or silicone.

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MS polymer, polysulfide or another airport joint sealant? If you are looking for a specific sealant or need advice on airport joint sealants, contact us. Our experts are happy to assist you with extensive projects, local repairs and completely new airports. We will make sure your enquiry ends up with the best possible sealant manufacturer.

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