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Contents Perfect Weathering Protection Water-Repellent, yet Breathable Dipping and Spraying Individually Tailored Simple Tests for Success WACKER at a Glance

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Heavy clay construction materials are particularly sensitive to weathering and environmental effects. Their open pores literally soak up water. Damp is not only an ideal breeding ground for bacteria and a vehicle for salts, but also the start of a serious decline in property value.

Whether in roof tiles, facing bricks or unglazed paving slabs the open-pored structure of heavy clay ceramics allows water to easily penetrate into the construction material. That is where the vicious circle starts. Water dissolves salts in the clay and deposits them on the surface as the material dries. Here they attract more water and reinforce the wetting process. In the long term, this destroys the material structure and leads to serious surface damage. Efflorescence also spoils the optical appearance. Warm, humid conditions also promote the growth of mosses, lichens and algae on non-impregnated ceramics. Once the process has started, it is expensive to preserve the building fabric.

When the issue is one of not only preserving an immaculate appearance, but also conserving property value and minimizing maintenance costs, SILRES offers an effective solution. This brochure illustrates the potential of this siliconebased hydrophobic masonry protection agent for maintaining property values. To find out more about the benefits that WACKER can offer you, contact our service engineers from the silicone masonry protection team.

Photo front page: Remmers


Natural beading effect

For over 40 years, WACKER SILICONES has been investing its expertise in the development of silicone-based masonry protection agents. The result is an outstanding range of products for rendering mineral substrates water repellent.

Water Simply Runs Off SILRES preserves the beauty and value of heavy clay products in the long term. These silicone impregnation agents make the construction material water repellent without stopping its breathing. As a result, water simply runs off the surface while water vapor escapes freely. Damp patches can easily dry out improving the materials thermal insulation. The frost resistance of the impregnated material must be specially tested.

A Stable Network SILRES is a silicone impregnation agent that renders the pores hydrophobic. It works by lining the ceramic pores and capillaries with a stable, three-dimensional network of silicone resin, which forms in the masonry surface and coatings. It is highly water repellent and anchors firmly to the substrate.

Open-pored impregnation with SILRES: the stable silicone resin network causes water to run off while still allowing water vapor to escape.

Water vapor

Non-impregnated heavy clay products: water penetrates from the outside, and alkalis, salts and dirt are deposited on the surface.






SILRES by dipping SILRES by spraying

With SILRES, almost any heavy clay construction materials can be weatherproofed. Silicone impregnation can be applied by either dipping or spraying.

Durable Roof Tiles Roof tiles can be impregnated with SILRES to protect against efflorescence, dirt and moss. This makes them much more durable. The tiles taken directly from the kiln at about 30 C are dipped in SILRES BS 16. To obtain the required penetration depth of 3 4 mm, dipping should take from 15 seconds to 5 minutes, depending on the porosity of the clay tile.

Attractive Facades SILRES-treated facing bricks remain clean in the long term. Mortar residues can be easily removed, while efflorescence and soiling are prevented, and algal attack is delayed. The best method is to spray the stretcher and header surfaces with SILRES BS 16 immediately after firing until the impregnating agent has penetrated to a depth of about 3 4 mm.

Clean Floor Slabs Unsintered, unglazed floor slabs are highly susceptible to efflorescence of internal or external salts. Spray impregnation with SILRES BS 16 to a depth of 3 5 mm prevents this in the long term and facilitates cleaning. Special WACKER products are available for additional easy-care treatment.

Protection of Plant Pots Plant pots can undergo unsightly efflorescence of salts contained in the clay, water or plant food. SILRES prevents encrusted deposits, making cleaning unnecessary. Impregnation can be carried out by dipping or spraying.


6 5 Water absorption [wt. %] 4 3 80 C 2 1 0 0.5 1 2 Drying time [hours] 3 4 40 C

60 C

Water absorption of roof tiles acc. to DIN 52252: the rate at which the water-repellent agent forms depends on the temperature and can be increased by raising the drying temperature.

For optimum effectiveness in the impregnation of heavy clay ceramics with SILRES BS 16, the solution strength and dip time must be optimized for the individual production conditions.

Easy to Use SILRES BS 16 is a concentrated, aqueous potassium methyl siliconate, which is diluted with water and then applied to the ceramic by spraying or dipping. It reacts with atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) to form polymethyl silicate. This active substance forms the waterrepellent silicone resin network. The rate at which this process occurs depends on the clay composition, drying temperature and ventilation. Suitable Clay Grades The ease with which heavy clay products can be impregnated depends on their absorbency and alkalinity. The fired clay should not have a pH higher than 8. The proportion of free lime must not be too high, since it absorbs the water from the impregnation agent, expands and exerts a pressure in its vicinity.

Correct Dilution To obtain the best water repellency, it is important always to use SILRES in the correct strength. Dilution should therefore be carried out according to the clay composition and absorbency of the product. If the concentration is too low, water absorption is impaired. If the concentration is too high, the potassium carbonate by-product is deposited on the ceramic surface. In tests, a strength of 1: 65 has proven effective as a starting point (1 kg SILRES in 65 kg water). Fast Drying For uniform impregnation, the treated heavy clay product should be dried by means of infrared radiators or CO2-rich exhaust air from the kiln. The higher the temperature and CO2-content, the faster the protective silicone resin network develops. Detailed information about use of SILRES is available from the product data sheets and product overview, which are available on request or can be downloaded via the internet at:


14 ohne Water absorption [p.b.w.] 12 10 8 1: 130

1: 50 p.b.w p.b.v 1: 75

1: 100 6 4 2 1: 65 0 1 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16 18 20 22 24 1: 150 10 20 30 40 50 60 1: 98 1: 125

Test time at room temperature [hours]

Consumption of 0.1 n HCI after dilution [ml]

Dependence of the impregnation effect of SILRES BS 16 on solution strength

Testing the solution strength of SILRES BS 16

To determine how SILRES impregnation can be optimized to the heavy clay product, a few simple tests should be carried out. It is essential to maintain and continually check the set values, since the conditions and clay quality can fluctuate.

Checking the pH The pH of the clay must be regularly checked as follows: finely grind 100 g of the ceramic product, take 30 g of the powder and form a slurry in 50 g distilled water, and close with an airtight seal. After two days, determine the pH of the supernatant liquid. Testing Penetration Depth For long-term effectiveness, the impregnating agent must penetrate 3 5 mm into the ceramic. First test version: break the ceramic 10 20 minutes after impregnation. The wet penetration depth appears as a darker, moist zone. Second test version: break the impregnated product when it is dry. When the fracture surface is wetted, the impregnated zone remains dry and light colored, while the untreated zone absorbs water and appears darker.

Measuring the Solution Strength The solution strength can be checked by titration against hydrochloric acid. If it is too strong, water should be added. If the solution is too weak more SILRES should be added. Checking the Impregnation Effect Once the silicone resin network has formed, the water-repellent effect can be checked by immersing the brick in water for 24 hours. Weigh the brick and immerse it in water. The water level must be 5 cm above the top of the brick. After 24 hours, weigh the brick again. The difference between this weight and the dry weight in % gives the water absorption. We recommend using control charts to allow continuous production monitoring.


More Information This brochure has shown you how much SILRES can do for hydrophobic treatment of heavy clay products. To find out more about SILRES technical data, ask for our product data sheets. WACKER SILICONES can, of course, offer far more in the field of masonry protection with silicones. For our complete range in this area, see our product overview. We will be glad to send you a copy on request. Or just visit us on the internet at

Individual Service Individual challenges require individual solutions. That is why our technical service engineers are here for you in person. They understand your production flows and requirements as well as our products and their wide range of talents. With this background, we can draw up exactly the solution you need. Just call us. We will be glad to help you, wherever you are located.



WACKER is a technology leader in the chemical and electrochemical industries, as well as an innovative global partner for its customers in key sectors worldwide. Our portfolio mix focuses on semiconductor technology, silicone chemistry and specialty chemicals. With some 15,600 employees, WACKER generates annual sales of around EUR 2.5 billion. Germany accounts for over 20 % of sales, Europe (excluding Germany) for over 30 %, North America (NAFTA) for approximately 25 % and Asia Pacific + ROW for almost 20 %. Headquartered in Munich, Germany, WACKER has 22 production sites worldwide and a global sales network of over 100 subsidiaries and sales offices. With R&D spending at almost 6 % and capital expenditures at 13 % of sales, WACKER is among the top research companies worldwide.

Siltronic is one of the worlds leading producers of hyperpure silicon wafers, supplying several major chip manufacturers. Siltronic develops and supplies wafers up to 300 mm in diameter at facilities in Europe, the USA, Asia and Japan. Wafers made from hyperpure silicon form the basis of state-of-the-art microelectronics used, for example, in computers, telecommunications, motor vehicles, medical technology, consumer electronics and control systems. WACKER SILICONES is one of the worlds leading silicone producers. With a portfolio of over 2,000 products, this division is number one in many global markets. Silicones are the basis for materials offering highly diverse product properties for virtually unlimited applications. These are found in a broad range of industries from the automotive, construction and chemical sectors, through electrical engineering, electronics, cosmetics, consumer care, pulp and paper, and textiles, to mechanical engineering and metal processing.

WACKER SPECIALTIES is the global leader for high-quality binders and polymer additives. Products such as redispersible powders, dispersions, solid resins, powder binders and surface coating resins are used in the construction, automotive, and paints and coatings industries, as well as by manufacturers of printing inks. Additionally, this division has expertise as a provider of customized fine-chemical and biotechnology solutions, including building blocks for syntheses in the pharmaceutical, cosmetic and agrochemical industries. WACKER POLYSILICON has been producing hyperpure silicon for the semiconductor and photovoltaics industries for over 50 years. As one of the largest global manufacturers of polycrystalline silicon, WACKER POLYSILICON supplies leading wafer and solar-cell manufacturers.



Wacker-Chemie GmbH Hanns-Seidel-Platz 4 81737 Mnchen