Thread: Sealers
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Unread 04-15-2003, 03:55 PM   #1
John Bridge
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: Rosanky, Texas
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Copied by JB from Thread No. 5904 (Professionals' Hangout)

Restoration Specialist

Registered: Nov 2002
Location: Denver, Colorado
Posts: 264
I started a response to this last night, and well, just as I hit my 7th page use Word I decided I would not bore most folks with this subject.

Bottom line is most impregnators on the market clog pores, just as Maurizio states. They do allow for SOME vapor transmission, but usually not enough, especially in a shower environment were there may be moisture seeping in from any of multiple locations.

Silicones, which include silanes and siloxanes (same animal), silicates, epoxy and vinyl resins can and will clog pores.

Solvent-based impregnators tend to have a lower surface tension. Most are formulated with N-Heptane, a solvent with a very low surface tension (19 dynes/cm3). Surface tension is what everything is based on when it comes to “sealing”. The lower the better. This is why solvent-based technology is usually best (among a few other reasons). A low-tension product can penetrate deeper into the surface and provide a sub-surface barrier with a low-tension rating. But truth be told, the technology does exist to formulate a water-based product with 1/3 the tension of any solvent-based product on the market, but you good folks would not want to pay the $1000 or so a gallon it would cost.

Again, everything is based on surface tension. When cleaning a surface, you need a product that is low enough in tension to get between the bond of the contaminant and the surface and break that bond. Water based contaminants tend to have a tension of around 35 (give or take here) and oil based contaminants are around 25 (again, give or take a bit). This same rule applies to impregnators and seals. If the protectants surface tension is lower than 35 but higher than 25, this protectant becomes water repellant and not a stain repellant. But if a protectant falls below 25 it becomes both water and stain repellent.

Dense surfaces need a product very low in surface tension to allow for adequate penetration (he he he…. yes I said adequate penetration). THIS HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH MOLECULAR SIZE EVERYBODY!!!! Jeeez people, a molecule is anything composed of at least two different atoms. ATOMS!!! Molecular size and blah, blah, blah sound great as a sales pitch, but this is B.S.!!

I have done extensive research on this subject, sort of a life’s work if you will. Years ago, 3M (the makers of Scotch Guard) had a raw material called FC-759. This was the king of the hill for fluoro technology. Well, the EPA stepped in, and 3M being the good company they are, stopped manufacturing it. Everybody’s research, as well as products based on this technology, went down the tubes. Back to the drawing board folks. Now this technology is back, stronger and better than ever before.

We are now crossing over into reactive impregnators. Products that physically change the make-up of the surface, not clogging pores. Clogging pores is easy, just pour some oil on the surface, like a lot of old timers used to do, and, well, what do ya know…its sealed. Duh.

I have worked with the likes of Dupont, 3M, Dow and many other smaller guys. We flat stole the technology from carpet folks (yup all you tile guys…. carpet guys) and adapted it for our own use. This required a lot of research, but years ago, when I sealed a piece of SILK with FC-759 and it held brake fluid for 24 hours, yet I could still breath (blow air) through the SILK, I was sold.

So, please keep an open mind everybody. I will share notes with anybody that is in a position to do so. I have pages of information to add here, and I will happily, just ask away.

Bottom line? Newer products, or old ones being re-formulated, based on fluoro chemicals (be it fluoropolymers or fluorosurfactants) are hitting the market everyday. THESE PRODUCTS WILL NOT CLOG PORES…PERIOD.

04-14-2003 03:53 PM

Last edited by John Bridge; 04-15-2003 at 04:22 PM.
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