Page 8 - Flooring Specialist Spring 2021
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                            ADHESIVE TERMINOLOGY – PART I

                               By Seth Gladden, Taylor Adhesives

                                                                                                                                 RH testing refers to the process of drilling and placing   pH level, the rebar will begin to corrode and the
                                                                                                                                 a test probe in a concrete slab. It measures how   concrete will lose strength, durability, exhibit spalling/
                                                                                                                                 much moisture is present in relationship with how   cracking and can lead to complete structural failure.
                                                                                                                                 much moisture could be present, or in other words,   However, higher levels of pH can attack adhesives and
                                                                                                                                 a percentage of saturation. The higher the number,   even floor covering materials. Be sure the products
                                                                                                                                 the closer to standing water you get. It is important to   chosen can withstand or even block unwanted
                                                                                                                                 remember that this is dependent upon atmospheric   alkalinity. NOTE: pH is measured on a logarithmic
                                                                                                                                 conditions and that RH is only a snapshot in time   scale, meaning that every number the pH increases,
                                                                                                                                 and can change with time and seasons. Remember     it is ten times more alkaline (ex. pH of 12 is ten-times
                                                                                                                                 high-school chemistry? Whether you were a fan of it   more alkaline than a pH of 11).
                                                                                                                                 or not, one of the easiest ways to think of RH is like
             HE North American flooring adhesives market is   but one of the easiest ways is to look at a product’s data         potential energy (stored), whereas MVER is like kinetic   •  Waterproof Bond = This means that an adhesive,
             estimated to reach $1.1 billion dollars by 2023 (fcimag.  and warranty. Really understanding the terminology that   energy (moving).                                   once fully cured, will achieve a bond that cannot
        Tcom), comprising nearly 16% of the global flooring   flooring adhesive manufacturers rely on is key to knowing                                                             be broken down, or re-emulsified by water alone.
        adhesives market ($6.95 billion by 2023 – adhesivesmag.  the capabilities, and just as importantly, the limitations of a   •  MVER = Moisture Vapor Emissions Rate – also   However, this does not mean the adhesive provides
        com). Any market of this size invites competition, leading   product. Let’s take a closer look at some of these well-known,   known as the Calcium Chloride test (CaCl), this is a   any protection against moisture. Always check for
        to lots of options when it comes to flooring adhesive   but often little-understood terms that can make or break         measurement of how much moisture vapor is emitting   moisture barrier products vs. moisture tolerant
        manufacturers, product chemistries and application methods.   your installation.                                         from a concrete slab (ASTM F1869). The higher the   products. Water is a great carrier and can bring
        This is why knowing what products to use, and when, is so                                                                MVER number, the more moisture is emitting from    high alkalinity (pH) to the surface along with it, so
        important.                                          MOISTURE… I hope that word caught your attention!                    the slab, which can lead to flooring failures, mold,   if an adhesive that forms a waterproof bond does
                                                            Dubbed as “The Billion Dollar Question” (TAYLOR TIME LIVE            mildew and a host of other problems. An MVER of 8   re-emulsify, it is typically indicative of a high pH
        Truly understanding the differences between flooring   - S1 E1), moisture leads to more flooring-related claims every    lbs. means that eight pounds of water vapor is emitting   environment.
        adhesives and when to use them can save you countless   year than any other source. And while the terms below may        from every 1000 square feet every 24 hours. Water
        amounts of time and money. And while it is true that all   look familiar, you might be surprised at what they actually   weighs in at just over eight pounds per gallon, meaning   •  Water-Resistant Bond = This is referring to an
        flooring adhesives are sticky, getting stuck with the wrong   mean.                                                      that almost a gallon of water is coming out of that   adhesive that once fully cured, will be resistant to its
        one can really trip you up. Remember, not all adhesives are                                                              1000 square foot every day.                        listed levels of water vapor. However, if exposed to
        created equal, so be sure to understand what you are buying,   •  RH = Relative Humidity – This is not to be confused   •  pH = A measurement of the acidity, or alkalinity of   higher levels of water vapor or standing water, these
        and that it is the right product for your job.           with atmospheric relative humidity, although that               a substance. As it relates to flooring, this applies   products can lose their tack and lead to a loss of
                                                                 does play an important part as well (temperature,               primarily to concrete slabs. Newly placed concrete   proper bond, likely resulting in a flooring failure.
        How do you know which product is right for you? There    humidity, air pollutants, dew point, barometric                 holds a pH of 12-13 on the inside and often 10-11 on the   •  ASTM E1745 = This is the “Standard Specification
        are many factors that go into choosing the right adhesive,   pressure, sunlight, airflow). In the flooring industry,     surface. If concrete drops below this healthy internal   for Plastic Water Vapor Retarders Used in Contact
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