Given that concrete is one of the world’s most popular building materials, it’s unsurprising that new iterations are developed every year to help solve specialised construction problems. Polymer concrete is one of the more recent types of concrete that has seen a great deal of use in construction projects across the globe, and in this article we’re going to find out why.
Defining polymer concrete
Polymer concrete, as you might expect, is a composite material consisting of both concrete and polymer elements. It fully does away with the cement hydrate binders of traditional concrete and replaces them with polymer binders or liquid resins. Polymer concrete can be mixed with a variety of different resins depending on what characteristics the concrete needs to have for the project at hand, such as chemical and weather resistance. Here are the some of the different resins that are often used:
- Epoxy resin
- Furan resin
- Polyester resin
- Vinylester resin
The benefits of polymer concrete
One of the main benefits of polymer concrete is its versatility. That is, due to the sheer variety of different binders that you can use to create polymer concrete, you can leverage different benefits depending on the mix that you create. For example, acrylic binders are known to set extremely quickly and offer some additional weather resistance. Epoxy binders, on the other hand, create an extremely durable, high-strength material that’s extremely resistant to shrinkage as it cures. Finally, furan resins are often used to create polymer concrete that’s resistant to higher temperatures.
Where is polymer concrete currently being used?
At the moment, Asia is currently leading the polymer concrete market, so much of its usage is centred there. The United States is also starting to utilise polymer concrete more heavily, but Europe and the Middle East are lagging behind.
One of the main factors that’s impeding the growth of the polymer concrete market is its high prices. Given that polymer concrete is a relatively new, in-demand building material, it’s very expensive which means that it’s often overlooked in favour of more reasonably priced materials.
However, in the coming years, it’s clear that polymer concrete usage will start to grow rapidly. Polymer concrete is strong, versatile and carries with it a number of environmental benefits due to the fact that it completely bypasses the need for cement.
What applications is polymer concrete being used for?
Given that polymer concrete is a strong, workable building material which can be mixed in a variety of ways to bring about specific benefits, it’s used for many different commercial building projects. Some of these include:
- Nuclear power plants
- Marine works
- Industrial tanks
- Drainage systems
EasyMix is London’s favourite concrete supplier. If you are looking for the best quality concrete around, mixed to your exact specifications, you needn’t look any further. If you would like to put in an order with us, or if you would like to check which types of concrete we have available, all you have to do is get in touch and we will be there to help.