Silicate Chemistry’s Storied History—and 21st Century Relevance

From D+D Online, January 2012

by Joe Maty

Murals on the facades of buildings in San Angelo, Texas, a lighthouse on the coast of Maine, and the exterior of the Arkansas state capitol building in Little Rock all share a common bond....
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Tagged categories: Coatings Technology; Concrete coatings and treatments; Edison Coatings; Historic Preservation; Inorganic coatings; Keim; Mineral coatings; Restoration; Silicate

Comment from Susan Morris, (1/5/2012, 8:59 AM)

Greetings and Happy New Year, would have been nice to see some of the murals done with this paint in this article. Check out our website as we add lights to our murals. We are in the fund raising mode as we raise money for the balance of the lights on the remaining three largest murals. Plan is to have that completed by March when we celebrate ten years of creating Historic Murals in San Angelo. Hopefully with that goal completed we will start our Military Mural to show the 135 yrs of military presence in San Angelo. This will be the largest mural of all in San Angelo it will be completed with lights making San Angelo, TX the only city in the country with Historic Murals that have both Lights and Sound. Susan Morris

Comment from Tom Schwerdt, (1/9/2012, 9:59 AM)

Interesting that KEIM talks about using chromium pigments - most US and European manufacturers have transitioned away from chromium due to heavy metals concerns, despite the durable and vivid color.

Comment from John Bogert, (1/11/2012, 6:09 PM)

The previous comment from Tom Schwerdt is an excellent observation. It is always nice to discover people who share our philosophy for environmentally sound and healthy products. KEIM uses only inorganic mineral pigments that are exceptionally stable and contain no heavy metals. All of our pigments are absolutely safe for humans and the environment. At KEIM, Health and Environmental safety are part of our guiding principles and why we are ISO 14001 certified. (Organizations that have ISO 14001 certification are demonstrating to their customers that their environmental processes and impacts are effectively managed, continually improving, and part of the corporate management structure.) The article above talks about Chromium in reference to pigments. “Chromium Green” actually describes the hue. At KEIM we use an oxide to make this color and like all KEIM pigments it is extremely stable and absolutely harmless to animals, humans and the environment. To learn more about KEIM and our philosophy visit us on the web at

Comment from John Fauth, (4/30/2012, 3:30 PM)

No doubt, silicate paints offer some obvious advantages over other coating chemistries. They are environmentally friendly, durable, and eliminate blistering and peeling commonly associated with film forming coatings. And although that makes them superior cosmetically, pigmented silicates alone do not fulfill the needs of most building envelopes, since they do not prevent the ingress of water and provide lasting protection for underlying masonry. As a result, ChemMasters has found that it’s advisable to consider a two part system comprised of a 100 % active silane (Aquanil Plus 100) pre-treatment followed by pigmented silicate (ColorSil). The penetrating silane maximizes water resistence and maintains full breathability, while the pigmented silicate creates an attractive architectural finish that will not blister or peel. This is the system specified for use on the Pentagon during its restoration following 9/11.

Comment from Tom Schwerdt, (5/1/2012, 8:35 AM)

Silanes are a good choice for stopping water permeation of dense masonry, like structural concrete. Siloxanes tend to be better for less dense masonry (larger pore sizes.) Some products are available which are a blend of silane and siloxane to better handle a range of pore sizes.

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