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Re: Protective Coatings on Precast Concrete

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Nick,

Here's an unconventional idea that may be what you are looking for.  Look
into coating with hydraulic lime plaster.  The plaster will bridge the
cracks; it is permeable so that any moisture that isn't eliminated from the
wall before application still has a route out; cracks in lime plaster are
self-healing because moisture that enters cracks dissolve some of the lime,
and redeposits it in the cracks as it evaporates.  Lime cures over time by
reacting with CO2 from the atmosphere -- it will tend to delay carbonation
of the concrete by engaging the CO2 before it gets into the concrete.
Buildings that the Romans built still have their hydraulic lime plasters --
not in perfect condition, of course, but what would you expect after 2000
years; it is definitely not a high maintenance coating.

Three sources:
     Transmineral USA in northern CA [ www.transmineralusa.com ]
     Cathedral Stone in Maryland [ www.jahnmortars.com ]
     Riverton Hydraulic Lime in Virginia -- I don't have a website for you
on this one.

Nels Roselund
Structural Engineer
South San Gabriel, CA
njineer(--nospam--at)att.net



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