All available concrete hardeners and densifiers in today’s marketplace will provide, in general, three main benefits:
- Surface hardening
- Surface dust proofing
- Surface sealing
These benefits are result of a chemical reaction that takes place between the actual silicate/silicanate, portland cement, and the calcium hydroxide (free limes) in the concrete. When the reaction takes place, crystals are formed that fill any empty pores within the cream of the concrete, resulting in a hardened and densified surface.
A lithium silicate will evenly penetrate into a tight steel troweled finish, burnished finish, broom finish, or a float finish. This is possible because of its small molecular structure. Contrary, sodium silicate is much larger and has a difficult time to evenly penetrate tighter finishes. Lithium silicate will evenly react filling all empty pores with no inconsistencies or weak points at the surface. Sodium or potassium based hardeners will react inconsistently, therefore will leave the weak spots at the surface, which will eventually cause those areas to deteriorate and dust.
The lithium silica reacts with the calcium hydroxide in the concrete to form stable tri-calcium silica structures that are insoluble, providing greater density and resistance to abrasion, dusting, and attack. Contrary, a single structure of sodium silicate is leaving opportunity for deterioration, dusting and attack to the surface.
A concrete surface that was hardened and densified through consistent and deeper penetration will produce increased hardness, abrasion resistance, long-term durability, and a dust-proofed surface, making surface easy to clean and maintain.