When it comes to waterproofing concrete, the joints are greatly affected by moisture. The joints account for the weakest points found in a structure. Concrete is an extensively used artificial material worldwide and is an ideal medium for constructing dams, swimming pools, viaducts, and more. That is why concrete is preferred in most constructions because they are extremely prone to water permeation and without apt fortification, the concrete gradually wears out. When this happens, it also affects the immediate steel reinforcement present. To prevent this, joints made of concrete should undergo extensive protection. The level at which a concrete remains watertight depends on the type of construction and extension joints in the structure. This brings us to hydrotite.
What is it?
A hydrotite is a hydrophilic waterstop that swells controllably upon exposure to moisture to generate a pressure seal in the concrete joints structures. It includes a unique blend of expandable hydrophilic materials and non-expandable chloroprene rubber joined together to generate a single strip. The co-extruded profiles control the course of expansion through the joints instead of taking the path with little resistance. Doing this achieves greater contact surface compressions and also shuts out water ingress.
The hydrophilic material used in the design ensures durability and protection against microbial wear in the joints. What’s more, it also prevents long-standing stress relaxation.
Where is it needed?
This type of seal is applied in areas where the integrity of the waterproof is compromised. The areas are mostly in the construction joints of the following;
- Pipe penetrations
- Sewerage and water treatment plants
- Subway stations
- Swimming pools
A hydrotite is supposed to block water using low movement joint initial concrete and new or existing concrete. It can also be applied around the beginning of penetrating pipes before placing the concrete. The hydrophilic polymers in it expand up to 800% up on contacting moisture providing a resistance toward hydraulic heads that extend up to 50 meters.
During expansion, it generates a lot of pressure. Therefore, it should be well-placed by ensuring at least 100mm concrete coverage that will handle the pressure. Since a hydrotite is used in both existing and new concrete with minute steel continuity, there might occur some trivial movement. That is why it is an ideal choice for expansion joints.
· High expansion capacity
This refers to the hydrophilic material used provides a preliminary solidity seal with backup expansion ability to handle impending movements in the joints.
· Initial Compressed seal
Hydrotite water stop is designed to be extremely elastic and includes a hollow core that creates an initial compressed seal in the middle of proximate surfaces at the time of construction.
· Hydrophilic reaction
Upon contacting water, a water stop creates a hydrophilic reaction whereby it attracts water and spreads steadily to yield a secondary expansion. As a result, it maintains an impenetrable seal throughout.
· Residual expansion
If there is impending structural movement, hydrotite provides a residual expansion to maximize high contact surface pressure and maintain an impermeable seal.
· Expansion delay coating
Expansion delay coating on the water stop is responsible for slowing down premature expansion when the product encounters underground or rainwater before its installation. What’s more, the coating ensures that the freshly placed concrete cures before the expansion process.
- Since it is self-adhesive, installation becomes easier, thus minimizing construction costs.
- Delay coating feature prevents untimely and unexpected expansion
- Wet and dry cycles don’t affect it
- Unlike conventional PVC waterstops, hydrotite doesn’t require site welding
- It easily attaches to conventional PVC waterstop
- It is neither toxic nor hazardous
- Doesn’t create compaction or movement issues
Hydrotite is an essential commodity in construction today. It provides more advantages than its limitations. Investing in a quality water stop is ideal and saves you time and effort. Waterproofing joints in concrete structures will ensure clean water in the future.