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Firm launches new waterproof technology for building, engineering industries

By Leke Adeseri

For the first time, a world patented,  Nano technology-based water soluble waterproofing agent known as Zycocil has been introduced into the  Nigerian market to boost building and engineering construction in the country.
It can be easily applied by spray brush or roller to new and existing masonry structures to protect them from mildew, fungus, efflorescence, leaching, stains,  premature ageing, scaling, spalling and corrosion of  reinforced steel.

According to Femi Oshoniyi, Managing Director of Sparta Contractors, a building and civil engineering construction company in Magodo, Lagos, Nano sized Zycosil  penetrates deeply into structures and provides repellence into cementitious pores where other film-formers like silicone resins, acrylic resins and epoxy resins cannot  penetrate.
“Because of its nature, it penetrates up to some millimetres and fills micro cracks, still maintaining them breathable. It  can be applied to any substrate, old or new like concrete,  brick, mortar, plaster, cement sheets, lime, sandstone, granite, tile and grout by using low pressure agro spray  pump or brush or paint roller for vertical surfaces and simply flooding for the horizontal surfaces.

“The substance can be used for basements, foundations, utilities like kitchens, toilets and bathrooms, internal and  external walls, rooftops, underground water tanks and overhead cement tanks for hospitals, clinics and hotels and restaurants, concrete paved areas and paving blocks cement sheets and pipes, as well as  clay/cement pots, statues and sculptures.”

The product, Oshoniyi said, also finds invaluable use at the industrial level in the construction of bridges,  flyovers and tunnels, dockyards and shipyards, railroad sleepers, aircraft runways as well as in road construction where it is used as an underlay and overlay on bitumen roads to prevent water rise through capillary action and to prevent water from penetrating the surface of the bitumen road.
For rural roads, Oshoniyi said; “Zycosilis is an  excellent solution to make ordinary laterite roads  irreversibly hydrophobic and water repellant, gives higher compaction of soil, improves the resistance to wind and rain erosion of treated soil.

Oshoniyi stated further that the new product will be useful and more effective in solving the water problem people face in the Lekki area of Lagos where the durability of many structures is now being threatened by underground  water.

The patentee, Mr. Prakesh Mehta said the durability of concrete structures depends on extent   destructive reactions occur during  the life cycle of the structure.
“All these reactions require water as reactant or as reaction medium. If intrusion of water is reduced then these  reactions can be minimized and durability of the structure can be increased. Therefore, it is important to protect cement material from water.

“The technology that provides long lasting protection  from water and salt, is based on organo-silane chemistry. Organosilane compounds are  reactive and penetrative materials that provide longevity to the structure. This technology has been known for over 40  years. However, because it is a solvent-based technology and  relatively expensive, widespread use did not materialize.

According to Mehta, the product developed by Zydex  Industries, Vadodara, Gujarat,  is an organosilane  water soluble product which,  because of it’s nano  size  penetrates inside the pores of the substrates.
Waterproofing of building materials has been a  problem in the  last 1,000 years. The problem has not been  addressed completely due to lack of understanding at nano level of the building material.  “The new development in science and technology has allowed using  the latest  nano technology to produce eco-friendly organo-silicon products to waterproof practically all the different kinds  of building materials. The nano technology has ensured that service life of this approach will lead to life cycles  beyond 20 to 30 years at very economical cost,” said Vascant Kothari, managing director, VXL Nigeria Limited.

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