We. Don’t. Do. Crystalline.

Let’s end the confusion.

Dedicated reader – this short article touches on a technical point that differentiates us from the vast majority of our admixture competitors. To the uninitiated, it may seem hair-splitting; but the difference has practical consequences.

We’ve frequently found ourselves bundled together in reports on the market, alongside our competitors, and all under the label ‘crystalline admixtures’. Well, we’re finally taking umbrage. We don’t do crystalline.

The industry is familiar with waterproofing admixtures.

Most concrete waterproofing admixtures are of the crystalline variety. The challenge of crystalline technology relates to the placement of the mix. As crystalline admixture reacts within the mix, it draws water for the purpose. This makes the mix stiffer and less workable. Placement working time is reduced. Irregular shapes become challenging to pour. Other admixtures may be required to restore workability.

Further, the reduced amount of water available for actual hydrated curing will tend to instigate higher levels of shrinkage and shrinkage cracking.

Yes, you can add more water to compensate, but this ‘water of convenience’ will weaken the cured concrete by forming bleed water porosity and internal voids during curing.

What’s the answer?

Nano-particle waterborne colloidal silica is the answer to this dilemma. The catalytic colloid reacts with the free limes and moisture in the mix, utilizing the water content but not taking it away. The result is a C-S-H hydrogel formation which makes the mix more workable during placement and permanently waterproofs the concrete upon curing.

Catalytic colloidal silica is the technology at the heart of our AQURON 300, CONQOR B52 and CONQOR B50 concrete waterproofing hydrogel admixtures.

And there’s more!

  • By optimizing hydration, hydrogel admixtures control heat build-up in mass pours, and significantly reduce curing shrinkage. This gives you higher quality, long-lasting concrete.
  • Hydrogel admixtures boost concrete’s inherent self-healing process. They will continue to self-heal non-moving cracks up to 0.5 mm, for a very long period after construction.


With easier placement and enhanced curing, hydrogel admixtures are a winner for the construction team.

With permanent waterproofing (never re-apply!) and enhanced durability, hydrogel admixtures are a winner for the design team, the asset owner, and the end-users of the structure.

Did we mention environmental impact and sustainability?

Hydrogel admixtures are safe for the environment, water-based and nil VOC. By making concrete last longer we’re reducing the need for new concrete and reducing the amount of old concrete that goes to landfills.

Furthermore, CONQOR B50 is developed from a waste by-product of the natural thermal energy supplies of New Zealand – a truly earth-friendly and sustainable product!

Concrete waterproofing with added benefits!

Don’t leave this as an interesting theory. Mix hydrogel admixtures into your next concrete project and prove the benefits for yourself.

The friendly, solutions-focused Markham team is keen to help with your specific needs – get in touch!

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