5 Layers of the Value Onion

It's not just about price

When embarking on project work, it’s crucial to look beyond just material expenses. Are your product choices designed to streamline labour efforts? Will they minimize the need for costly rework? Could they potentially slash long-term maintenance expenditures? And let’s not forget about their environmental impact – what’s the toll on the planet?

This is like the layers of an onion – the value onion.

The Value Onion for Concrete Treatments

All these factors come into play when selecting concrete treatments.

And that’s why we like to focus on the multi-layered benefits of nanosilica hydrogel treatments.

Layer 1: Cost-effective per square metre

OK, this is the first place most people look – the ‘bottom line’.

Hydrogel treatment is atomised or added in comparatively small quantities as admixture. Therefore, although it may seem costly per litre, it holds its own when compared by the square (or cubic) metre. But that’s just the start.

Layer 2: Simple application

Application time is brief – 2 or 3 light passes over the slab, making sure it receives the prescribed amount per square metre.

And we should mention in passing that the treatment is extremely safe, both for humans and for the environment. No need to catch overspray near water, for instance. This compares very favourably to chlorinated rubber, or crystalline silicate, or even many acrylic coatings with their notable VOC levels.

The only precaution is to keep the spray away from glass or polished metal, as the reactive form of the silica may etch them.

For the admixture version, the hydrogel is included early, with the mix water.

All this simplicity means low labour costs – don’t forget to calculate that saving into your comparisons.

Layer 3: Minimal downtime

The slab can be accessed as normal within a couple of hours.

Think what that means in terms of site preparation, access by other trades, or even traffic flow!

Minimal downtime means minimal cost to construction or production, or minimal traffic control measures. Factor that in.

Layer 4: Reduced long-term maintenance costs

Here’s where we get into the area that most people don’t think about.

High quality nanosilica hydrogel treatments make concrete more durable. The internal deterioration process which leads to steel corrosion and concrete spalling, is deferred or prevented.

This means reduced maintenance expense in the long term. (Ever heard of de Sitter’s Law of Fives?)

Layer 5: Nil impact to environment

Last but not least!

Nanosilica hydrogels are harmless for the environment. They are nil VOC, harmless to animals, and safe for use around sensitive environments.
Except glass, of course, as mentioned earlier.

We’re particularly pleased with the admixtures created from a by-product of the geothermal process – check out CONQOR B50, for instance.

And by making the concrete more durable and longer lasting, we’re helping reduce the amount of new cement production. We call this Adding Life to Concrete.


Best of all, MARKHAM now offers high quality hydrogel treatments for direct supply, and as project packages. We can scope your project and offer a package quote.

Interested? Like to add the value onion to your projects? Get in touch!

Photo by Wilhelm Gunkel on Unsplash

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