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Waterproofing Adhesives

SpecialChem / Andy Extance – Sep 9, 2009

Despite the kind of "oily" organic compounds that many might consider inherently water-repellent being the primary constituents of adhesives, dealing with moisture remains a major, severe challenge. Existing solutions include careful choice of backbone polymers and the monomers used to make them. However, another exciting possibility that may usher in a new era of high-durability bonding could now come from the seemingly unlikely direction of shellfish. For construction adhesive applications where waterproofing is the major concern engineers deploy highly viscous organic liquids, modified with polymers to improve bond strength. Major applications using this approach include roofing, where the base liquid is bitumen, and bridge building, which largely exploits asphalt. Both are commonly modified with styrene-butadiene-styrene (SBS) rubber to enhance adhesion, and roofing adhesives are also often modified with atactic polypropylene (APP) for similar purposes.

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