Thermoplastic Systems are a Sika R&D core technology. Solutions are developed in 15 Technology Centers worldwide. Thermoplastic materials are types of plastic that turn soft when they are heated and hard when they cool down. The corresponding solutions developed by the Sika team worldwide encompass the following areas of application: waterproofing, roofing, and concrete.
During the melt phase of the polymers, special ingredients provide products with their final performance. Processing is one of the key parameters of a quality product. The controlled heating and cooling of the thermoplastic material dictates the mechanical properties and longevity of products. For example, Sika's specially formulated roofing membrane is designed to withstand the everyday occurrence of standing water and other factors such as radiation, pollution, wind, hail, snow, and the growth of biological organisms.
One of the properties of thermoplastic membranes is that the material temporarily changes from a solid to a semi-solid state when heated sufficiently, enabling the overlapping sheets or panels to fuse together and return to a solid upon cooling. Thus, a monolithic, continuous sheet membrane is created. Sika Thermoplastic Systems also support injection materials, bituminous products, and engineered solutions like waterbars or fibers, which are used in reinforced concrete. Fibers added to concrete during production improve the performance of cracking and fracturing. After many years of research and development, the market now fully accepts fiber reinforcement to improve the performance of concrete and mortar.
The quality of countless buildings, tunnels and other infrastructures worldwide is enhanced by Sika’s thermoplastic systems and brands such as Sikaproof®, Sikaplan®, Sarnafil®, Sikadur Combiflex®, Sika® Injection, SikaBit®, Sika® Igolflex® and SikaFiber®.
"In thermoplastic systems we are developing many great patent protected technologies. Our team is responsible for products that contain a significant amount of thermoplastic polymers. At Sika these include all membrane products in different system build ups in combination with reinforcement, various felt, and adhesive technologies." Patricia Heidtman, Head Thermoplastic Systems