Tile and construction adhesive specia- list TAL enhanced its tiling solutions offering by launching the cementitious powder primer Keymix in February.
Keymix is used to prepare the surface and enhance the bond of the adhesive onto the surface substrate. The primer forms part of a tile adhesive priming system that improves adhesion between the tile and floor surface.
“It offers phenomenal adhesion to most dense, impervious and smooth surfaces such as power- or steel-floated concrete and screeds, existing tiles and glass . . .” explains TAL technical advice supervisor Sharon Margon.
TAL marketing manager Gela Ohl adds that, while it is unlikely that anyone would want to tile over glass, the fact that Keymix can increase adhesion on a low-energy, silicon-based material, such as glass, demonstrates its unique adhesive capability.
She notes that, when a surface is dense, smooth or impervious, it tends to have low porosity and little suction, thus offering no mechanical key, or tough texture, for the adhesive to grip onto.
“In the past, these surfaces would have to be suitably prepared by either roughening the surface, which can be time consuming and messy, or priming the substrate. As a result, construction workers would make cement slurry to create a mechanical key.”
However, porous substrates might leach the mixing liquid from the adhesive into the substrate, which will adversely affect the integrity and performance of the adhesive.
Moreover, contamination on the surface, such as dust and loose particles, will act as a ‘bond breaker’ and prevent the adhesive from bonding onto the substrate. Incorrect or inadequate surface preparation can adversely affect the integrity of the installation and might lead to installation failure.
“In all tiling installations, correct background preparation is paramount to a successful tile installation. Substrates must be allowed the minimum curing or drying times, be integrally sound and of a quality and consistency suitable for tiling,” Margon says.
Ohl adds that the need for quality and consistency in the substrate was instrumental in the development of Keymix, stating that its introduction provides certainty. “Instead of using varying types of cement in varying quantities to improve adhesion, we can offer a uniform product with clear-cut mixing instructions used to create a slurry with a consistent texture.”
Priming the surface using Keymix will also enhance the water resistance of the tiling installation, such as showers and balconies, particularly when used in conjunction with adhesive and grout where TAL Bond Powder has been added to the mix. However, when a fully waterproofed installation is required, the correct waterproofing system, such as TAL Sureproof or TAL Superflex, needs to be applied before tiling, she says.
Margon indicates that Keymix cannot be used on its own and must be mixed with TAL’s Keycoat liquid in a 2:1 volume ratio. Adding the powder to the liquid ensures better dispersion and prevents lumps from forming.
When tiling onto conventional reinforced concrete suspended slabs, the Keymix and Keycoat slurry, applied to a minimum of 2 mm thickness, improves the flexibility of the tiling installation. This, together with correctly placed tile panel movement joints, will help prevent the tiles from cracking and lifting.
Once sufficiently mixed, the slurry is brushed onto the surface using a builder’s block brush. “Owing to the innovative formulation, this TAL Keymix primer system has excellent work- ability and drying time. Tiling can start after four to six hours once the TAL Keymix primer slurry is touch-dry, in other words, when there is no visible transfer when wiped or rubbed,” Margon explains.
Ohl states that TAL’s value proposition is enhanced by its internationally certified research and testing facilities. Expert laboratory staff work in 12-hour shifts in temperature-controlled environments, conducting vigorous tests on TAL products and construction materials in order to improve and develop better tiling and construction solutions.
The laboratory includes a custom laboratory informational management system (LIMS) used to collect, track and exchange data. The LIMS was installed two years ago, and will ultimately be integrated with the production and dispatch systems.
She notes that product development can take six weeks to a year, depending on whether the company is developing a completely new product or creating a new variation based on a client’s request.
Ohl comments that, as long as the request is feasible from a quantity standpoint (TAL pro- duces products by the ton), the company can create or modify products for almost any application, citing a client’s request for turquoise grout for a swimming pool tile installation at an international resort.
“Management has invested in state-of-the-art laboratory equipment and we continue to expand and improve our know- ledge base . . . we are confident that we can meet client requests regardless of their complexity,” she concludes.