How Does Xypex Work?

To create its crystalline waterproofing effect, Xypex becomes an integral part of the concrete mass. It does so by taking advantage of the natural and inherent characteristics of concrete; concrete is both porous (capillary tract system) and chemical in nature. By means of diffusion, the reactive chemicals in Xypex use water as a migrating medium to enter and travel through the capillary tracts in the concrete. This process precipitates a chemical reaction between Xypex, moisture and the natural chemical by-products of cement hydration (calcium hydroxide, mineral salts, mineral oxides and un-hydrated and partially hydrated cement particles). The result is crystallization and, ultimately, a non-soluble crystalline structure that plugs the pores and capillary tracts of the concrete. In this condition, the pores become discontinuous and the concrete is thereby rendered impenetrable by water and other liquids from any direction. The Xypex crystalline process will reactivate whenever water is present.

The crystallization process that Xypex causes within the pores and capillary tracts of concrete is illustrated below in electron microscope photos taken by an independent research team.

1. Concrete – Untreated

A control sample of concrete was sheared through at 50 mm below the top surface. The sheared face shows some of the by-products of cement hydration with which Xypex reacts. Precipitated calcium hydroxides together with cubic and rhombic particles are visible.

2. Xypex Crystallization – Initiation

Taken at 50 mm within a Xypex-treated concrete sample, this photograph shows the initiation of the Xypex crystalline reaction after Xypex Concentrate was applied to the surface.

3. Xypex Crystallization – Mature

This photo was taken 26 days after the application of Xypex Concentrate at a depth of 50 mm into the concrete sample. A dense, fully developed crystalline structure has formed within the capillary tracts of the concrete to completely block the flow of water.