Hydrogel v Silane Concrete Treatments

Time for a real-world comparison

Hydrogel v Silane Concrete Treatments
19 September 2018 Posted in ,

Firstly, what are these two treatments? And why are we comparing them?


“Silane” refers to many compounds with four substituents on silicon, including an organosilicon compound. Examples include trichlorosilane (SiHCl3), tetramethylsilane (Si(CH3)4), and tetraethoxysilane (Si(OC2H5)4).” Wikipedia

OK, so what does that have to do with concrete?

Silane / siloxane technologies are used in the construction industry as the basis for a number of penetrating concrete sealers. These silane-based sealers are frequently used for the remediation of ageing concrete infrastructures, such as bridges or wharves.


“… a network of polymer chains that are hydrophilic, sometimes found as a colloidal gel in which water is the dispersion medium.” Wikipedia

Riiight … and the connection with concrete?

Hydrogels can be induced in concrete by the application of nano-particle colloidal silicates. Hydrogels also protect ageing concrete structures (amongst other things) by closing up the bleed channels and porosity, protecting against moisture-borne contaminants, and enhancing durability.

Ah, so the two products can be used in the same situations?

Yes. Unfortunately, silane and hydrogel treatments may appear very similar in intent, application and appearance – but their real-world performance value is rather different.
Markham – adding life to concrete
If you’re making some costly decisions in concrete infrastructure remediation, it’s important you make the right choice for long-term satisfaction.
Markham – adding life to concrete
Here are the key differences:


SILANES penetrate 3 – 30 mm depending on the brand.
AQURON HYDROGEL penetrates over 150 mm.
NOTE – depth of steel in marine infrastructure can be up to 70mm. Hydrogel treatment protects the rebar zone.


SILANES will need to be re-treated every 5 – 10 years. They are organic and gradually decompose.
AQURON HYDROGEL is permanent, lasting as long as the concrete itself.


Most SILANES are solvent-based and flammable. Overspray presents a risk to flora and fauna, as well as humans.
AQURON HYDROGEL is nil VOC and nil toxin. It can be successfully and safely used over waterways without posing a risk to the environment. It does not harm humans.


AQURON HYDROGEL carries a 15-year warranty when required quality control has been observed. This can be extended to much longer timeframes under certain circumstances, and a project-specific service life warranty can be issued for many infrastructure types. The AQURON warranty is performance-based, guaranteeing that the treatment is genuinely offering the protection it claims.
Most SILANE warranties are limited to the replacement of faulty product … check the fine print!
Bottom line: you need long-term protection, peace of mind, and value for money. Concrete hydrogel treatment is significantly superior to silane.
There’s more to this story. Aquron hydrogels are available both as spray-applied treatment or admixture. If you incorporate hydrogel treatment into a new structure, you greatly enhance its long-term durability. If you treat a young structure, you’re making a practical and cost-effective decision – proactive maintenance!
Intrigued? Want more information? Get in touch! We’re keen to discuss the needs of your concrete infrastructure with you.
Markham – adding life to concrete

Download free information on Aquron hydrogel concrete protection




Let’s talk
about it

We understand that choosing the correct solution and type of product is essential for the success of any project. Markham has a technical support team with many years of concrete industry experience and successful project applications and we are ready to help you find the right solution for your application.

Ask an expert

0800 693 694

Monday to Friday.

9am to 5pm.