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Concrete epoxy is a material that is used to protect concrete against corrosion. It has a high chemical resistance, and it is also waterproof. This type of coating can be used on both interior and exterior surfaces, and it can be applied by brush or roller. The epoxy that is used in concrete coatings can be made from various natural ingredients, or it can be manufactured using petrochemicals.
The main chemicals found in epoxy are polyester resins (poly urethane), urethanes, epichlorohydrin and unsaturated polyester resins. Epoxy resins are used to make adhesives. These are typically made by reacting epichlorohydrin with unsaturated polyesters, typically bisphenol A or bisphenol F.
The first step in making epoxy is the reaction of epichlorohydrin with a monomer that forms a polyester. The resulting cross-linking resin has a lower viscosity than liquid epoxy and as such can be applied to surfaces as an adhesive. The application of poly(diphenyl ether diamine) (coated on glass) was used for research on "in situ" polymerization of pure t-butyl acrylate and 2,5-dimethylhexane-2,5 dimethacrylate. Poly(diphenyl ether diamine) is a double-edged sword.
On one side it has been shown to promote the synthesis of polymers by enhancing the free radical polymerisation reaction by eliminating the need for catalyst based cationic initiators. On the other hand, poly(diphenyl ether diam ine) is susceptible to degradation by light resulting in loss of functionality. In order to avoid this, the synthesis can be done under ultraviolet radiation with either a polymerisable monomer and initiator or the precursor dihydrogen phosphite which has been shown to have a low photodegradation rate.
A photocatalyst containing titanium dioxide is used during the radical polymerisation reaction as it promotes reduction of methanol and oxygen as these react with each other on contact. The catalyst also promotes the polymerisation of isobutyl alcohol, which gives a particulate product.
The content of titanium dioxide in the catalyst that is used will be less than 0.1% by weight, with a preferred range being 0.05% to 0.15%. The amount of titanium dioxide in the reaction mixture depends on how much methanol is present, with a preferred range being 1-10 g/l, and more preferably 4–7 g/l. The amount of titanium dioxide in the reaction mixture will not be limited so long as it does not cause any adverse influences on the activity of the catalyst.
The properties of titanium dioxide, such as its particle size, and its surface area, should be such that it can form a porous structure and remain in an active state when opposite surfaces are contacted with each other. The particle size is preferably greater than 10 μm, more preferably greater than 20 μm. The surface area is preferably greater than 100 m2.