What is the difference between between silicates and colloidal silica?
Sodium, Potassium, and Lithium are known silicate materials. Sodium silica dates back to 1930’s Germany, and has been used extensively worldwide, as an inexpensive hardener and densifier. It effectively minimizes dusting and efflorescence, and increases abrasion resistance and surface water repellency.
As of late, there has been much ado about the improved performance of colloidal silica –which means the silica is amorphous, spherical in shape, minute in size, and remains suspended into an aqueous base. It outperforms silicates, simply because it is a finer solids then a non-colloidal silicate.
All colloidal silica solutions on the market are made using known silica materials. The “glass-like” alkali reactive gel (C-S-H) formed at the surface and sub-surface levels of a concrete mass is what creates the added abrasion resistance, stops dusting and decreases surface permeability.