Is SCP a Bond Breaker?

“Are Spray-Lock Concrete Protection (SCP) products bond breakers?” To answer this question, we need to define a bond breaker and examine how SCP reacts in the concrete matrix. A bond breaker is a product that forms varying layers of separation between contact surfaces. SCP is a penetrating concrete treatment that does not change the surface of the concrete matrix. An SCP application is not a coating and has no negative effect on bond integrity.

Testing of SCP’s application on concrete was performed to show that the product is not a bond breaker. Test methods included (1) ASTM C1583 Standard Test Method for Tensile Strength of Concrete Surfaces and the Bond Strength or Tensile Strength of Concrete Repair and Overlay Materials by Direct Tension (Pull-off Method) and (2) ASTM E303 Standard Test Method for Measuring Surface Frictional Properties Using the British Pendulum Tester.

In the ASTM C1583 test method, the concrete sample is cleaned of surface contaminants and loose or deteriorated concrete. The sample is then prepared to the typical surface conditions of the in-place concrete structure. The test material is applied and cured in accordance with the manufacturer’s specifications. After cure, a core drill is used to make a circular cut perpendicular to the surface. The test material is left intact on the concrete substrate, while a steel disk is attached to the top of the material using an epoxy adhesive. A tensile loading device is then attached to the steel disk to apply a tensile load to the test sample with force parallel to the vertical axis of the specimen. The load is applied until failure, and results are recorded.

In the ASTM E303, the concrete surface is cleaned and freed of loose particles. The instrument is placed and leveled. The pendulum is lowered so that the edge of the slider just touches the concrete surface. Water is applied to thoroughly cover the test area. One swing is performed, and the reading is not recorded. Four more swings are made, and the surface is rewet before each swing. The results are recorded.

Testing shows that SCP Treatments increased the pull-off strength of concrete up to 73% compared to untreated concrete and had no statistical effect on surface friction. Since SCP Treatments become an integral part of the concrete matrix and are not surface coatings, there is no need for a mechanical key, additional treatments or removal prior to using a covering or coating. SCP can be used in conjunction with all types of coverings and adhesives without a negative impact on a covering material or adhesion of material to the concrete.

Commentary on ASTM E96 Testing of SCP Products

ASTM E96-10 Standard Test Methods for Water Vapor Transmission of Materials is an umbrella standard that allows the user to choose the most appropriate method to test a material for water vapor transmission.  ASTM E96 is written to allow for multiple products to be covered by a single standard, and it is appropriate for materials up to 1 ¼ inches (32mm) in thickness.  The thickness limit has been set primarily because the time to reach equilibrium of water permeance increases as a square of the thickness.  Therefore, thicker materials would potentially take much longer to test.  When testing concrete specimens, a laboratory should select test conditions that most closely approach the conditions of use, as set forth in section 5 of the standard, “Significance and Use.”

ASTM E96 details two primary methods of testing.  The first is the Desiccant Method.  The Desiccant Method utilizes a test specimen sealed to the open mouth of a test dish containing a desiccant with the assembly placed in a controlled atmosphere.  Periodic weighing of the sample determines the rate of water movement through the specimen into the desiccant.  Spray-Lock Concrete Protection (SCP) does not consider this method as most appropriate for use with concrete because concrete almost always contains water that is nonevaporable, held in reserve for later hydration (chemical reaction).  This nonevaporable water may be extracted artificially with a desiccant and provide false moisture transmission readings.

The second method of testing involves the use of a dish that contains distilled water that is affixed to the specimen.  The specimen and dish are exposed to a controlled environment where the water moves through the specimen in vapor form, allowing calculation of water movement.  SCP selected this method as the nearest to actual conditions in the field where water vapor movement from below a concrete slab to the top of the slab is most critical for flooring manufacturers and installers.  A 1 inch concrete slab thickness was chosen to enable calculations within the normal time frame of the testing regime.  Although greater thicknesses could be tested, the time for the test to run would have been increased considerably.  The specified relative humidity in the test chamber is 50 +/- 2%.  The specified temperature is 100 +/- 1° F (38 +/- 1° C).  An air velocity of 0.066 and 1 ft./sec (0.02 and 0.30 m/s) is specified in the test chamber.  E96 allows for extreme humidity, if desired, and temperatures between 73.4° F (23° C) and 80° F (26.7° C).  The specified, rather than alternate, test values for temperature and humidity were utilized for the testing under consideration.

SCP decided to use the second test method utilizing a dish and distilled water.  After the test method to use, a secondary decision then had to be made whether to test with one side of the specimen being wet or not. An additional consideration was that of isolating the effects of the SCP concrete treatment on the water vapor transmission of the concrete. To remove the possible effects of capillary action with liquid water, and to isolate the water vapor transmission only, the decision was made to test specimens that were dry on both sides at the beginning of the test.

The test results presented by SCP for water vapor transmission values are compared to a control specimen that was tested following the same procedure and at the same time as the experimental samples.  The calculations used to determine water vapor transmission are also the same, and are detailed in section 13 of the standard.  When interpreting results, consideration should be given to the statement contained in section 1 of the standard: “Agreement should not be expected between results obtained by different methods.”  Of additional importance is that the laboratory conditions described above were chosen to best test the efficacy of the treatment to reduce water vapor transmission, and they likely will not mirror exact performance in the field where environmental conditions, the concrete mix used, and the concrete thickness will all vary considerably from laboratory conditions.


Waterproofing Concrete: One-time Treatment vs Topical Treatments

Most waterproofing sealers can be grouped into two categories: topical and penetrating. Before examining treatment options, however, the difference between waterproofing and dampproofing should be established. The American Concrete Institute (ACI) Terminology Committee (TAC 90-02) has changed the definitions of these terms:

Waterproof: an idealized property of a material indicating imperviousness to water in either liquid or vapor state. 1

Dampproof: a treatment of concrete or mortar to retard the passage or absorption of water or water vapor either by application of a suitable coating to exposed surfaces, or by use of a suitable admixture or treated cement, or by use of a preformed film such as polyethylene sheets placed on ground before placing a slab. 2

ACI has limited the use of waterproofing so that products now fall under the dampproofing descriptor, but most product manufacturers are still using “waterproofing” to describe their products. Spray-Lock Concrete Protection (SCP) utilizes the terms “waterproofing” and “dampproofing” interchangeably to facilitate fair comparison of product performance.

Topical sealers, which include acrylics, epoxies and polyurethanes, form protective barriers on top of the concrete surface. Some of the common issues when applying protective film sealers are surface traffic and proper application. Acrylic and epoxy sealers require regular maintenance because both have a high wear potential. Polyurethane sealers are thicker, with a durable abrasion-resistant finish, but they cannot have any water on the surface during application. Additionally, with all topical sealers, reapplication is required when removing flooring placed over a sealed surface.

Then there are the penetrating sealers, which include silanes, silicates, siliconates and siloxanes. These sealers penetrate the top surface of the concrete and react within the bleed water capillaries of the concrete to stop the migration of moisture and deicing chemicals. These products also create problems when installing floor covering systems, as ASTM F710 requires them to be removed from the surface prior to installation.

SCP products also penetrate the surface, but work differently than other sealers. Colloidal silica chemically reacts with the available alkali in concrete to create calcium silicate hydrate (C-S-H), blocking capillaries and pores and chemically stabilizing the pH within. SCP is a one-time treatment that penetrates the concrete matrix, reducing water migration levels to an acceptable range for most coatings, adhesives and floor coverings. Within the interaction zone of SCP, the concrete becomes permanently dampproofed for the life of the concrete. Unlike topical treatments, SCP does not wear away or need to be reapplied. SCP Treatment also provides many additional benefits, including reducing drying shrinkage up to 91% and vapor transmission up to 88%.


1 ACI Concrete Terminology – ERRATA as of January 6, 2017
2 ACI Concrete Terminology – ERRATA as of January 6, 2017

The SCP Solution to Fast Tracking without Sacrificing Performance


Some may wonder how the concrete is affected when SCP allows contractors to install coatings and coverings on concrete in only 14 days? Is SCP technology good or bad for concrete?

The answers will surprise many. Spray-Lock Concrete Protection (SCP) Technology achieves the results of curing by working differently than a membrane system. Unlike membrane systems and other sealers, SCP doesn’t simply create a barrier against moisture. Instead, our treatments penetrate inches into concrete capillaries and pores where colloidal silica chemically reacts with calcium hydroxide and forms calcium silicate hydrate (C-S-H). This C-S-H formation becomes part of the concrete structure itself, greatly reducing the diameter of capillary pores. With this reduction, the C-S-H is able to shut down liquid water movement, trapping the remaining water needed for proper hydration in the concrete.

To really see if SCP’s “curing system” is effective, we tested concrete treated with SCP for improvements in performance that are related to better curing. We also measured how well SCP-treated concrete performed in areas that are not achieved by curing alone. SCP-treated concrete outperformed in the following areas:

  • Compressive Strength – ATSM C39: up to a 20% Increase
  • Drying Shrinkage – ASTM C157: up to a 92% Reduction
  • Abrasion Loss – EN 5470-1: up to a 58% Reduction
  • Water Permeability – ASTM D5092 @ 328ft Head Pressure: up to an 89% Reduction
  • Water Permeability – DIN 1048 @ 72.5-psi Pressure: up to a 99.8% Reduction
  • Water Vapor Transmission – ASTM E96: up to a 88% Reduction
  • Pull-Off Strength – ASTM C1583/C1583M: up to a 73% Increase
  • Carbonation (Dusting) – BS EN 13295: up to a 31% Reduction
  • Freeze-Thaw Damage – ASTM C666: up to a 78% Reduction
  • Chloride Content – ASTM C1543: up to a 64% Reduction

As the results show, properly cured concrete performs better! Contractors everywhere are asking for a way to build buildings faster and better.  SCP helps fill this demand by curing concrete, waterproofing concrete at time of placement and allowing fast-track installation of any coating or covering.

SCP Accelerates Schedule with a Superior Cure for Tukwila’s First High-Rise

The city of Tukwila, WA, just outside of Seattle, has experienced significant growth over the past decade. Washington Place, slated to be complete in 2017, will be the city’s first high-rise. Construction began on the 19-story, 418,000 ft2 building in 2014, and to accelerate the schedule of this large project, Absher Construction chose SCP Treatments to cure and waterproof several decks, creating “dry-slabs.” By doing so, they were able to avoid weather delays during construction, in addition to providing insurance against future problems caused by leaks throughout the service life of the mixed-use structure.

With a tight schedule, curing the multi-slab structure quickly was crucial for Absher. They used SCP 327 on multiple levels for an excellent cure that allowed slabs to be accessed in only 1 hour. The treatment increased the concrete’s compressive strength and reduced shrinkage cracking, while allowing other trades to access lower levels without the need or cost of installing a temporary roofing system.

Absher also chose SCP 578 to treat a preexisting outdoor concrete patio deck. With proper sealing on cracks and penetration joints, the deck is now waterproofed throughout and will last for years to come. The deck now has better chemical stabilization, as SCP 578 reconditions the pH of existing concrete to improve its resistance to environmental and chemical attacks. Additionally, SCP-treated concrete allows for all coatings and decorative applications, improving performance and reducing maintenance costs.

Once complete, Washington Place will be a major part of Tukwila’s city center. By using SCP Treatments, the contractors ensure that the concrete will be protected throughout its service life and require significantly less maintenance, all while keeping the project on schedule.

SCP is a Home Run for Parties at Cheney Stadium

Peanuts, popcorn, crackerjacks, and more are a big part of baseball culture.  But much of the food and drinks land on the concrete in a baseball stadium, creating ongoing maintenance and safety issues.  And, on ballpark party decks, there’s a greater variety of spillage, including BBQ sauce and grease, creating major cleanup challenges.  That’s why Mortenson Construction used SCP 327 to protect the concrete on the new Bullpen Party Deck at Cheney Stadium in Tacoma, WA.


Mortenson also selected SCP 327 because of its curing qualities and for quicker access. Once SCP was applied to the raised deck, the construction crew was able to access the slab within one-hour!  This immediate access allowed the contractors to finish the job ahead of schedule, opening the 70,000 square foot deck just 20 days after time-of-placement.


Cheney Stadium SCP SprayingSCP 327 is not a coating; it is a spray-applied treatment that produces a calcium silicate hydrate gel (C-S-H) to effectively plug the capillaries and pores and protect the concrete from the inside out.  In addition to minimizing the readily accessible concrete porosity, SCP Technology helps maintain concrete chemistry to preserve reinforcing steel corrosion resistance.


SCP 327 allows for easy post-game cleanup and decreases the need for pressure-washing.  And, unlike coatings and other penetrating sealers that require re-application every three to five years, SCP is permanent, locking out moisture and saving recurring maintenance costs.


SCP Technology is a home run for Cheney Stadium’s partygoers, making a huge difference in the appearance and sustainability of the park’s concrete surfaces.  Because of SCP’s performance and easy maintenance benefits, Cheney’s owners plan to apply SCP Technology to the other party decks in the near future.

SCP 327 Saves Time And Money On Maintenance At ALSCO Laundry Facility

With more than 16,000 employees and over 150 branches, ALSCO is one of the world’s largest laundry companies.  As in any industrial facility, commercial-grade equipment creates an occasional mess.  In a laundry facility, cleanliness is critical.  That’s why BCPI Construction selected SCP 327 to protect the exposed concrete floor in the company’s newest 70,000 square foot facility in Kent, WA.10-9-2014 4-39-23 PM


Floor construction was completed in three separate concrete placements. As soon as power trowels finished surface prep, SCP 327 was spray-applied. The owner requested a medium gloss surface which floor finishers achieved with only an 800-grit diamond polish. The placement, finishing, sealing, and waterproofing were completed in just one day –saving time and money.


Since SCP makes clean-up between construction phases easier and faster, tilt-up walls began just two days after placement, versus the typical forming timeframe of more than a week.


SCP 327 sealed the floor, protecting the surface from moisture, eliminating concrete dusting, and providing chemical attack resistance.

A year later, the facility’s management team is still praising the benefits of SCP protection.  In the past 13 months, hydraulic fluid, oil, and detergents have been spilled on the SCP-treated floor.  In every case, cleaning was easy with only a wipe-up required.


With Spray-Lock Permanent Concrete Protection, the ALSCO laundry facility is easier to maintain, making the structure more sustainable and durable for years to come.


SCP Technology Saves Maintenance Costs at Southern Adventist University

southern press release img1Located in Collegedale, Tennessee, Southern Adventist University consistently ranks in the top tier among Southern Regional Colleges in the United States.  Its beautiful campus boasts a landscape well known for its design and impeccable maintenance.  In 2010, the Landscape Services team selected Spray-Lock Concrete Protection Technology (SCP) as part of its maintenance system.

Landscape Services Director Mark Antoine states, “The simplicity of the application and the fact that it’s applied only once, and lasts for the entire life of the concrete, made the decision to use Spray-Lock Concrete Protection an easy one.  We have been applying SCP Technology to all new outdoor concrete and are noticing that the concrete is cleaner and exhibits great qualities such as minimal cracking, and no mildew growth.”

“After two major storms this winter we experienced hard freezes, with the temperature dropping to single digits, and below zero for a brief period of time.  What we saw on the concrete, protected with SCP Technology, went beyond our expectation.  After application of de-icing chemicals, there was no damage whatsoever.  It took less de-icing product to remove the ice, it dried quicker, and the concrete retained its integrity and looks.”

Spray-applied at time-of-placement, SCP Technology provides a fast, excellent cure equal to or exceeding water ponding.  On application to rough finish concrete, SCP Technology penetrates and reacts to form a gel within the concrete capillary and pore structure. It reduces water migration levels and can prevent dirt and other debris from collecting in the pores of the concrete. By protecting the concrete against de-icing chemicals and salt damage, the need for costly repairs is reduced, lowering maintenance costs.

With SCP, foot traffic is accessible to most flatwork in 1-hour.  In really dense concrete or extremely high moisture conditions, it may take up to 3 hours.southern press release img3

Antoine said, “I can say without a doubt that our concrete investment has been, and continues to be, protected with Spray-Lock.”

In 2010, SCP was applied on steps and sidewalks outside the student housing at the University.  Four years later, the difference in SCP-protected concrete and untreated concrete is visible.


SCP 327 Prevents Moisture Intrusion at University of Washington’s New YMCA Student Center – Tacoma

Much of Tacoma, Washington is built on a hill overlooking beautiful Puget Sound. While the view is spectacular, Tacoma averages more than 37 inches of rain a year, creating a surface and subsurface water challenge for the business district below.

During construction planning, Mortensen and University of Washington-Tacoma Facilities teams addressed the challenge by installing pumps that move up to 4,000 gallons of water from the building footprint daily.

A 6800 square foot shotcrete wall system was also constructed to protect the new structure from the water run-off.  The construction team included Spray-Lock Concrete Protection (SCP) Technology as an integral part of their solution to prevent moisture intrusion into the building from the hill.

After Spray-Lock application, tests showed that SCP 327 penetrated over 7.5 inches into the 9-inch thick wall, reducing potential for moisture issues, efflorescence, and shrinkage cracking.  Thirty days later, there was no shrinkage cracking and no evidence of moisture or water intrusion through the wall.

Because of these proven sustainability benefits of its technology, SCP will be used in additional walls and the Student Center slab as construction continues.  The Student Center is expected to open in January 2015.


SCP Protects Over 1 Million Square Feet of One of the World’s Largest Piers

12/24/2013 (press release: spraylockcp1) // Chattanooga, TN, United States // Pat Ledford

Salt spray. Wind abrasion. Continuous moisture changes. These are some of the harsh conditions that structural concrete must withstand in maritime environments.

Açu Superport is the third largest industrial port complex in the world. Located north of the state of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, the newly-constructed port’s gigantic pier juts nearly two miles out into the South Atlantic hosting cargo ships carrying millions of tons of oil, iron ore, and other mining products.

During the construction process, port owners Anglo-American and LLX Logistica S.A. were concerned about the impact of the extreme marine environment on the pier structure. They identified Spray-Lock Concrete Protection Technology [SCP] as the only solution to protect the concrete in this important port infrastructure investment.

In just five weeks, SCP 578 was spray-applied to over 1 million square feet of the pier’s massive concrete surface. SCP 578 penetrated the pier’s surface to seal and waterproof the concrete’s capillary and pore structure, reduce potential rebar corrosion, and provide permanent chloride ion protection. dicksopen

With SCP Technology protection, the pier now stands as the region’s most significant commercial resource, its concrete resistant to the effects of the harsh marine environment.

SCP Technology is the solution to providing sustainability for important structures like Porto do Açu.
SCP 578 benefits include waterproofing existing concrete, providing permanent chloride ion protection, and reducing potential rebar corrosion.