Anti-Carbonation Protective Coating Systems for Concrete Structures


  • Protective coating systems are one of the most effective ways to protect your structure from deterioration.
  • Cost to repair/rebuild infrastructures are usually much higher than its maintenance cost.
  • Without effective maintenance plans, the lifespan & asset value of the infrastructure will decrease at a higher rate.
  • Solvent-based MMA coatings with a silane-siloxane primer is most commonly used to protect concrete structures (e.g. Dri-Gard CF 900 & Dri-Gard CP 700).
  • New technology enables water-based acrylate coatings (e.g. Dri-Gard AC 800 system) to achieve similar performance as solvent-based coatings, while reducing application time by half.

Preventing the Deterioration of Concrete Structures

One of the most effective ways to prevent a concrete structure’s deterioration is through the usage of protective coatings. Ideally, these coating systems should be implemented during the time of construction of the infrastructure. Without proper protective & maintenance measures, there may be more unforeseen costs incurred for the repair or rebuilding of the structure.

[Source: (1) NEWMAN, J., Concrete Repair Strategies, Essentials of Concrete Investigations, Institute of Engineers of Ireland, 2003. (2) FEDERAL HIGHWAY ADMINISTRATION, Delivering Infrastructure of America’s Future, US Department of Transportation, June, 2002.]

So, why exactly should we care about this?

Ultimately, the asset’s value & lifespan are the 2 factors that are vital to the asset’s owner.

Without proper maintenance, the structure’s lifespan, and subsequently its value, decreases. However, if effective maintenance & periodic repairs were carried out, the structure would be able to meet the designed lifespan (or even exceed it!). The later the problem is discovered, the more the funds required to repair the structure to its initial designed lifespan.

[Source: P. ROBERY, Effective Management of Concrete Assets, Halcrow Group Ltd. ]

Maintenance works preserve infrastructures to prevent future deterioration, and sustain/improve their conditions. Hence, it is much more effective for these preventive systems were implemented during the time of construction.

Let’s take a look at some examples of protective coatings for concrete structures in the following section.

Methyl Methacrylate (MMA) Protective Coating Systems

Solvent-based, MMA protective coatings, e.g. Dri-Gard CP 900, are usually applied onto concrete structures with a silane-siloxane primer, e.g. Dri-Gard CP 700. This system acts as a protective barrier to prevent carbonation & chloride attack to concrete.

[Image from News Straits Times]

MRT tracks in Malaysia are coated with an equivalent system to Dri-Gard CP 700 & Dri-Gard CF 900. This system also complies with Jabatan Kerja Raya (JKR) requires for concrete bridges & infrastructures. Dri-Gard CP 700 & Dri-Gard CF 900 has also been used for various JKR projects, such as certain packages of the Central Spine Road.

Water-Based Acrylate Protective Coating System

Conventionally, solvent-based coating systems are able to deliver higher performance & results compared to water-based ones. However, Dritech Chemicals has developed a water-based, acrylate coating – Dri-Gard AC 800, that is able to achieve similar performance to that of a solvent-based MMA coating (check out the test report here!), while reducing the application time by half!

The application time of Dri-Gard AC 800 system only takes half of the time needed compared to a coating system using a silane-siloxane primer.

by Elyse Kymberly Teoh
[30 July 2019]

Please contact us for more information on appropriate protective coating systems for your structures.