As the industry leader in concrete repair and protection, Sika has gained a wide range of experiences in many countries and dedicated technology and research to provide systems to restore and rehabilitate damaged concrete structures. Typically, damages as a result of mechanical, chemical and physical influences need to be managed and repaired in a sensitive manner to prolong and extend the service life of the structure. Sika’s wide range of concrete protective solutions aims for long term sustainable refurbishment strategies, in terms of cost, time, materials and impacts.

Protecting Concrete and the Environment

Concrete Repair

The action of protecting one square meter of construction (as part of a refurbishment strategy) was analysed for two scenarios of similar performance: a typical traditional system (scenario 1) and a Sika state of the art system (scenario 2).

Cumulative Energy Demand (CED) accounts for the consumption of energy resources, namely the primary energy from renewable and non-renewable

Global Warming Potential (GWP) measures the potential contribution to climate change, focusing on emissions of greenhouse gases, such as carbon dioxide (CO₂).

POCP is the potential contribution to summer smog, related to ozone induced by sunlight on volatile organic compounds (VOC) and nitrous oxides (NOx).

Scenario Description Characteristics      
    Material efficient Time efficient Overall cost efficient VOC content
1. Traditional Mineral and solvent based products
Resurfacing mortar and protective coating
- - ++ ++
2. State-of-the art Polymer based products (low VOC content)
Hydrophobic impregnation and protective coating
+++ ++ ++ +

Qualitative characterization of the scenarios
Legend: - very low; + low, ++ average; +++ high; ++++ very high

Results and Conclusions

To depict the environmental impacts from both scenarios, they were compared through Life Cycle Assessment (LCA). The LCA is from cradle to grave, which means it investigates the potential environmental impacts from raw material acquisition, production, use,  to end-of-life treatment, and final disposal.  

The hydrophobic impregnation in scenario 2  replaces the traditional resurfacing mortar and allows more than 85% material savings and also significant time savings (five times shorter curing time).  Scenario 2 is a material and time efficient solution which allows the reduction of VOC emissions.