What is Polymer Concrete
The conventional concrete is porous due to air voids, water voids, or the inherent porosity of the gel structure itself. On account of the porosity, the strength of concrete is naturally reduced.
The process like vibration, pressure application, etc. is generally adopted to reduce porosity, But none of these methods could really help to reduce the water voids and the inherent porosity of gel.
The impregnation of monomer and subsequent polymerization is the latest technique adopted to reduce the inherent porosity of the concrete. Such type of concrete is known as polymer concrete.
Types of Polymer Concrete
Four types of polymer concrete materials are being developed presently. They are
a) Polymer Impregnated Concrete (PIC).
b) Polymer Cement Concrete (PCC) or Polymer Modified Concrete.
c) Polymer Concrete (PO).
d) Partially Impregnated and Surface Coated Polymer Concrete.
a) Polymer Impregnated Concrete
Polymer Impregnated Concrete is nothing but conventional concrete, impregnated by a monomer system which is subsequently polymerized. The commonly used monomers are Methylmethacrylate(MMA), styrene etc.
Use of Polymer Impregnated Concrete
The polymer impregnated concrete is found suitable in the following areas of application:
1) Pre-fabricated structural elements.
2) Pre-stressed concrete.
3) Marine works.
4) Desalination plants.
5) Nuclear Power Plants.
6) Sewage works.
7) Waterproofing structures.
8) industrial application.
b) Polymer cement concrete
Polymer cement concrete is made by mixing cement, aggregates, water, and monomer. Such plastic mixture is cast in molds, cured, dried, and polymerized. The commonly used monomers are Polyester- styrene, Epoxy-styrene, Furans, etc. This concrete is also known as Polymer modified concrete.
Use of Polymer Cement Concrete or Polymer Modified Concrete
The polymer cement concrete is found suitable in the following areas of application:
1) Resurfacing of bridge decks.
2) Industrial flooring.
3) Food processing factories.
4) Fertilizer stores.
5) Damp-resistant floors.
6 ) Railway Platform.
7) Nuclear processing areas.
c) Polymer concrete
Polymer concrete is an aggregate bound with a polymer binder instead of cement. The commonly used polymer binders are MMA, Styrene and polyester styrene, methanol etc.
d) The Partially impregnated and surface coated concrete
This type of concrete is produced by initially, soaking the dried specimen in liquid monomer then sealing and keeping them under hot water at 70° C.
Use of partially impregnated and surface coated concrete
It is best suited where the major requirements are surface resistance against chemical and mechanical attack in addition to strength increase.