The difference between sealants and sealers

by Ofentse Sefolo
The difference between sealants and sealers

Sealants and sealers are often the subject of confusion because of inconsistencies when describing these materials.

1. Sealers are products applied to surfaces, usually to reduce the penetration of undesirable materials such as water or chlorides. Sealers may penetrate the surface or form a very thin surface layer (typically less than 3mm). Thicker surface treatments are usually called coatings.
2. Sealants are products used for filling voids, gaps, cracks and joints. A variety of sealants are available for different applications and types of construction. Sealants may be rigid or flexible, non-sagging or self-levelling, depending on performance requirements.

Sealants, such as Den Braven Polyflex 422, Polyflex 452 and Hybriflex-540 are made from flexible material and are polyurethane sealants (SPUR), ideal where expansion and contraction are of concern. They show excellent adhesion to most substrates, including steel and aluminium and can be painted. Additional sealants available with high performance characteristics are: Silicone NO (neutral), Structural Silicone, 1001U Acetoxcy silicone, as well as a certified passive Fire Protect sealants range.

Typical characteristics of sealants
Sealants need to have sufficient adhesion to substrates and resistance to environmental conditions to remain bonded. When used between substrates or surfaces with different thermal coefficients of expansion or differing elongation under stress, adequate flexibility and elongation are essential. Sealants contain inert filler material and are usually formulated with an elastomeric for flexibility and elongation. Their paste-like consistency allow filling of gaps between substrates and they usually cure at room temperature to form a durable and tough rubbery seal. This curing process is called vulcanisation.

For more information, contact Den Braven:
Tel: +27 (11) 792 3830
Website: www.denbraven.co.za

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