Pre-compressed sealants possess some interesting physical properties. First of all, the sealant has been compacted. Due to that factory-inserted material property, the product is charged with energy. On application, the pre-compressed polymer uses that charge to fill nearby gaps. Talking of applications, in a different context, of course, what uses and applications benefit from this self-expansion feature? Let’s open up with a look at expansion joint systems.
Construction Grade Pre-compressed Sealants
Inserted in the longitudinal breaks that separate concrete segments, the elastomeric sealant takes up residence as a waterproof expansion joint. It literally increases in size after the utilization phase, then swells to fully occupy slim crevices. In a car park, one of those multistoried structures, the joint absorbs vehicle vibrations. In seismically active locales, the polymeric compound goes a step further, with its self-expanding form acting as a ground energy dampener.
Weather Stripping Uses
Rubberized weather seals require special solutions. Lesser plasticized products perform acceptably, but their mediocre functions are exposed when the frame around the weatherized site expands and contracts. Pre-compressed sealants are designed to leverage that expansion effect. In point of fact, this is a product that automatically expands when it’s applied, so a slice of that swelling force is converted into pressure when the elastomer contacts a surface. In effect, that contact site develops into an adaptive material joint, a pairing of surfaces that dynamically expands and contracts as required. Installed as a self-adhering layer of sponge-like tape, this open cell member of the pre-compressed sealing family excels as a weatherproofing solution.
Pinpointing Retrofitting Applications
There’s a burgeoning range of caulks and silicone sealants in use at the moment. They’re dutiful performs, at least they are until structural movement events corrupt their cured outlines. When caulk failure occurs, pre-compressed sealants move in to rescue the day. Extruded as a sausage-like tube or installed as a thick tape, the elastomeric stuff addresses dynamic movement issues when it sheds its compacted form. The caulk has been cleaned away, the sealant is expanding, and the retrofitting project has gained new material attributes, including a handy back pressure feature that continually adapts to the width of the gap.
UV-stable and imbued with compressive energy, pre-compressed sealants have numerous construction-biased applications. They’re the parking garage and stadium seals that absorb structural vibrations. Blocks of concrete gain a buffering insert because of that self-expansion capability. Then, whether the usage site is seismically active or just feeling the effects of the weather, those dynamic conditions won’t cause a seal gap, not when a pre-compressed sealant can constantly adapt to the movement.
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