Photo - Higher Actives

Actives Content

Active content is a term often used when discussing sealers and refers to the percentage of active ingredients in a formula. Active ingredients are the ingredients within a formula that are biologically active. In contrast, inactive ingredients only act as a carrier.

Most commonly available penetrating sealers contain active ingredients silane, siloxane, siliconate singularly or a combination there-of. These active ingredients react within the substrate and the moisture within the atmosphere to create long-lasting bonds. Formulations with higher levels of active ingredients will inherently perform better and last longer.

Potency of the active ingredients can vary widely. Most of the penetrating concrete sealers sold at the big box store will contain 5-20% active ingredients. The Department of Transportation requires at least 40% active ingredients to be approved for use on local, state, and national roadways or bridges. There are a select few manufacturers that offer 90-100% active ingredients in their formulas.

Higher actives mean better performance and longer service-life. A high actives concentration means you are getting a high amount of active ingredient into the concrete without any filler or byproduct or carrier to evaporate.

Solids Content

Solids content on the other hand is a term often used when discussing coatings, where the solvent or water serves as a carrier for the solid/non-volatile content. “Solids content” refers to the amount of base product (proportion of non-volatile material) left in the coating once the volatile solvent has vaporized.

This number is expressed as a percentage. For example a sealer that contains 25% acrylic resin and 75% solvent carrier or water is generally called a 25% solids sealer. As far as percentages go, 18-20% is fairly low, whereas 30%+ is good. Low solids coatings are prone to evaporation since they are largely made up of solvents, which exist only to make the actual coating (or “binder”) easier to apply. Higher and 100 percent solids coatings, on the other hand, have been engineered to be applied without the help of a solvent.

Choosing a Treatment

When looking for a penetrating concrete sealer look for a high actives formulation. A high actives concentration means you are getting a high amount of active ingredient into the concrete without any filler or byproduct. Silanes and silane/siloxanes are available in actives concentrations as high as 100% and as low as 5%. Silanes and silane/siloxanes are available with water based carriers or solvent based carriers with the solvent based carriers penetrating deeper and performing better over time.

Ghostshield's silane, silane/siloxane and siliconate based penetrating concrete sealers are formulated with high actives ranging anywhere from 40% to 100%.

8510 Concrete Sealer Bottle

Siloxa-Tek 8510

Water, Salt & Oil Repel +

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