Waterproof Concrete

Concrete, as strong as it may be, cannot stop water from seeping through it and forming cracks. The U.S. Company Penetron has developed a series of powder-like waterproof materials, which can protect concrete from even the strongest of elements. Penetron is a surface-applied crystalline material composed of Portland cement, specially treated quartz sand, and a compound of active chemicals. It is designed to protect a structure against rainwater, seawater, wastewater and aggressive groundwater, as well as from many aggressive chemical solutions.

Once applied, the active chemicals in Penetron react with the free lime and moisture that are present in the capillary tracts of the concrete to form an insoluble, crystalline structure that won’t cause damage to the concrete. These crystals fill the pores and minor cracks in the concrete to prevent further water penetration, even under pressure.  

Penetron lies dormant in the absence of moisture, but once it encounters the slightest bit of water vapor, the chemical action and sealing process repeats itself automatically and penetrates deeper into the concrete, reaching depths of up to 1 meter. 

One of the benefits of Penetron is that it can be applied to old concrete as well as to new concrete, enabling older structures to be restored and waterproofed with ease. 

Penetron is sold in over 60 countries around the globe and is currently being used in a variety of places, such as the Statue of Liberty, the Seabrook Nuclear Power Plant, the Monterey Bay Aquarium, the Kariba Dam in Zimbabwe, and the Singapore Changi Airport. It is more effective protecting concrete structures and less costly than other systems such as membranes, clay panels, pore blockers, and coatings. 

Other products offered by the company include Peneplug, which forms a rapid setting compound capable of stopping severe leaks under pressure, Penetron Admix, which is an additive mixed into new concrete at the time of batching for complete integral waterproofing, and Penecrete Mortar, which is used for filling cracks and covers at joints, and to fill form-tie holes, honey-combed areas, and routed out cracks in mortar consistency. 

Recently, TFOT covered Innovation Lab’s concrete, which can be transformed into a screen, LiTraCon’s light transmitting concrete, and the air-cleansing coating of the Jubilee Church.

More on the Penetron coatings can be found on the company’s website. A video demonstrating how the materials are used can be found here.

Image: left: how Penetron waterproofs concrete, right: How Penetron waterproofs a crack.