Concrete Repair and Protection

As the industry leader in concrete repair and protection, Sika has gained a wide range of experiences in many countries and dedicated technology and research to provide systems to restore and rehabilitate damaged concrete structures. Typically, damages as a result of mechanical, chemical and physical influences need to be managed and repaired in a sensitive manner to prolong and extend the service life of the structure.

Sika’s wide range of concrete protective solutions aims for long term sustainable refurbishment strategies, in terms of cost, time, materials and impacts.

Environmental Impact Criteria

CED accounts for the consumption of energy resources, namely the primary energy from renewable and non-renewable resources.

GWP measures the potential contribution to climate change, focusing on emissions of greenhouse gases, such as carbon dioxide (CO₂).

POCP is the potential contribution to summer smog, related to ozone induced by sunlight on volatile organic compounds (VOC) and nitrous oxides (NOx).

Protecting Concrete and the Environment

The action of protecting one square meter of construction (as part of a refurbishment strategy) was analysed for two scenarios of similar performance: a typical traditional system (scenario 1) and a Sika state of the art system (scenario 2).

Scenario Description Characteristics      
    Material efficient Time efficient Overall cost efficient VOC content
1 Traditional Mineral and solvent based products
Resurfacing mortar and protective coating
- - ++ ++
2 Sika state of the art Polymer based products (low VOC content)
Hydrophobic impregnation and protective coating
+++ ++ ++ +

Qualitative characterization of the scenarios

Legend: - very low; + low, ++ average; +++ high; ++++ very high

Results and Conclusions

To depict the environmental impacts from both scenarios, they were compared through Life Cycle Assessment (LCA). The LCA is from cradle to grave, which means it investigates the potential environmental impacts from raw material acquisition, production, use, to end-of-life treatment, and final disposal.

To illustrate the environmental impacts from both scenarios, the Cumulative Energy Demand (CED), the Global Warming Potential (GWP) and the Photochemical Ozone Creation Potential (POCP) are shown below.

1. 85% Material Savings

The hydrophobic impregnation in scenario 2  replaces the traditional resurfacing mortar and allows more than 85% material savings and also significant time savings (five times shorter curing time). Scenario 2 is a material and time efficient solution which allows the reduction of VOC emissions.

2. Lower Environmental Impacts

Polymer based coatings have greater environmental impacts per weight unit than traditional mortars. Since they are used in much smaller quantities, the cradle to grave balance is better for scenario 2 thus avoiding the resurfacing step improves the overall environmental performance.

3. More Sustainable Value

To show the overall environmental and economic performance of Sika State-of-the-Art systems vs. traditional systems, a relative comparison for the main sustainability drivers in refurbishment (materials, time, costs, GWP, CED, POCP) is shown below. The Sika State-of-the-Art system has the best overall performance.