Liquid silicates are used extensively as penetrating concrete sealers
. The silica reacts with free calcium in the concrete and forms calcium silicate hydrate. This seal results in a concrete surface that is more abrasion-resistant, more chemically resistant, harder, and less permeable to stains. Potassium silicate or lithium silicate can be used to prevent whitish blooming, or efflorescence. Liquid silicates are also used in paint coatings for floors and walls.
LITHISIL® is particularly effective as a high-end architectural concrete sealer and can also be used to carry water-soluble dyes into the concrete. A lithium silicate application followed by diamond polishing produces a sheen that does not require any extra coating.
Liquid or powdered silicates are added to cements to accelerate the set. Liquid silicates are used in shotcreting or gunning to provide immediate set. Powdered silicates are combined into dry cement admixtures and can be adjusted to modify the set time to meet your requirements.
Liquid and powdered silicates are also used in manufacturing refractory and chemically-resistant bricks, mortars, and gunning mixes. The silicate serves as a binder and as a source of alkali and silica to enhance heat resistant properties.
Because oil well cements have a relatively high water content, sodium metasilicate is added to help prevent segregation of the solids from the water.