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  A few words about stained concrete

A few sentences of pigments and their application already found on this site, but I want to show the full possibilities offered by the combination of concrete based on white cement and pigments cement.

Clearest and najdobitniejszymi effects that can be seen are the ones that receive the great and the small producers of concrete elements (eg.a pavement, sett) and mineral plasters. Most, however, we are not aware of what and how much can be gained.

Staining may be full depth (referred to as "weight") and the surface. This is an important and significant difference. In the first case the concrete is colored by the full thickness, and in the other only 1-2 mm of the outer layer. Each of these methods has its advantages and limitations.

Staining weight:

  • no worries, if the surface is reflected / scratched
  • does not fade under the influence of use
  • no problems with cutting
  • there is no problem showing the whole element on the full thickness
  • drawback: the high costs

Surface staining:

  • the main advantage is the price - slightly higher than the undyed element

Because of the costs and drawbacks of surface staining is most commonly found in the cobblestones, but do not apply to all the beautiful colors and the color overlapping, but also "normal" red tint. An exception to this rule are curbs / edges, which, because of how they are attached must be dyed in bulk.

Basically all other cases, is used in the mass dyeing. This applies to both mineral plaster restoration and architectural concrete or concrete decorative elements.

There are two basic ways to tint or coloration weight concrete or plaster:

  • by means of fillers
  • using a pigment

In the first case, the matter is simple - using a white or similar to white blend components such as cement (when it is concrete) and lime (mortars), you can easily change the color by using the "non-white" filler. Circulating it is called, because of its granulation (typically 0-2 mm) sand. Changing its color to gray, get gently grey mix, using yellow sand - the concrete will be yellowish in color, and so on. This method usually does not allow for a very strong and perfectly equal color, but it is the least expensive and very easy to use.

In the second case, that is using a pigment - there is a need to make the color of the filler as possible neutral, or white or similar thereto. This is a very simple reason - the more neutral sand is used, the prettier and finer range of colors you can get and the more repetitive it would be. The obvious is the fact that probably no natural rock is not always perfectly the same, but the colors were wanting to repeat, you need to use such fillers, which further batches of as little different from each other.

Currently in the world there are many companies or chemical companies producing cement pigments. Usually in its offer they have several shades of one color, and importantly, very rarely - shades of blue. This is related to the fact that a relatively small resistance cobalt oxides UV and external conditions. This pigment simply "likes" fade.

Using this method, dyeing concrete or plaster usually meets two color groups of products:

  • those with repetitive color (usually plaster)
  • those with color selectable individually

In the first case, the quality of the ingredients and the quality of the pigments is important for a very simple reason - the desire to achieve full color consistency, that is, ensure that two batches of two different series were the color indistinguishable to the beholder. In the second composition of purity gives us almost unlimited possibilities staining and create a full palette of colors

In both of the above cases, keep in mind a few things:

  • there is an upper limit power of color, which allows us to achieve a pigment
  • each manufacturer has its own unique pigments that do not substantially overlap coloring competition; otherwise "work" (stain), have slightly different shades or parameters
  • each manufacturer has several shades of the same color type, and the Red 110 Company X does not mean that it is identical to the 110's Red Y; It is also important that every hue different "works" in the blend
  • lime usually "eats" the power of color
  • chemicals used, the amount and behavior affects the staining behavior and the pigment in the mixture
  • dark colors using poor cement the case that you see a gray-white raids, or calcium bicarbonate; this is related to how much alkali in the cement - the less the better
  • finally, each manufacturer gives the upper limit, which is the recommended dosing of pigment, as this as not involved in the binding and having a very fine granulation added in too large amounts may simply weaken the mix; usually the limit is 5%, but the amount depends on the cement - the cement stronger, the more it can "bend" and "stretch"

Producing a mixture of plaster of reproducible colors, the most widely used is the same chemistry, the same filler, the same application process. This means that the majority of issues is basically only once. The most important of them, which constantly need to pay attention are:

  • reproducibility of the pigment
  • accurate balancing of added amount of pigment

Poor pigment (usually cheap or unknown company) may mean that the parameters (strength, durability, color) are neither equal nor strong. This will mean only trouble, as the risk that subsequent batches will be different from each other, borders on certainty.

Not very accurate balancing of pigment (up to a gram, in extreme cases, and less - to a gram) will simply mean that each package or a small range of goods will be a variation on some color. You should not "weigh" pigment volume (ie, "in glass", "on the cups," etc.), as each type of pigment, each manufacturer has its own density, which is the same unit volume (word mentioned cup) will vary in weight . As experience shows, in this case it is very accurate balancing of individual batches of pigment. Of course, this should be accompanied by a mixture of stability, which is colored. Stressed there should be another significant and important thing. Pigments cement stain is not linear, but logarithmic. That is, first a small change in the amount of the pigment in the mixture is nearly hue change and the strong colors - the changes are not so abrupt.

Quite the opposite problems are found in a situation where the most important task facing the producer is the creation of individual colors, individual invoices, individual "unique" product.

In this case, the pigment serves as a means to an end, and the purity of the mixture expanding only the range of colors that can be achieved in the production process. A one-off also means that almost every order will have their "own separate color", that will be unique.

The problems encountered here are caused mainly by:/p>

  • fillers (sand, dust, etc.)
  • quantitative composition of the mixture
  • chemistry

Need to use different fillers (eg. dust, glass sands etc.) causes changes sometimes quite uncoloured tone mix, which in turn affects what shade and how they will be applied to give pigments. Depending on the amounts of said components of it can be really different, so it is important to perform tests, would not be surprised at the end result.

Writing composition I mean mainly the amount of cement, since he determines how much pigment can be used without affecting the strength of the whole. Changing the amount of cement of 100 kg / m3 is possible to increase an amount of the dye of at least 5 kg, which is indeed a significant amount. This is how cement (purity, color and strength) is used also has a strong influence on the upper limit of the amount of pigment and its behavior. Interestingly, some differences in the composition of the chemical additives that may be in cement, which are entirely consistent with the standards, they can basically almost impossible to achieve certain colors.

Chemistry, or any plasticizers, additives for changing the surface tension, increase liquidity etc. also affect the pigments and their behavior. Suffice it to mention that the use of different plasticizers may affect whether the pigment is uniformly mixed in a weight or not, even if the amount of other components (e.g.,. Water) is the same.

The only outlined the possibilities and problems show that really white cement as a binding material with a neutral color with the proper knowledge of pigments and chemicals used for concrete or mortar gives us a hand to a powerful tool for shaping our environment in keeping our ideas for color. Interestingly, the vast majority of cases Half of color really is limited merely by our imagination, especially where projects, monuments and architectural elements are made as a unusual thing for individual orders, whether under such a project.

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