SBR in Mortars and Concretes

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When we mention SBR, we are often asked what it stands for, its full name is Styrene Butadiene Rubber, doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue! It is very useful with different versions used for different purposes, in the paving trade, its commonly use to “Bulk Up” Concretes and Mortars.

With our Slate Products, it is used in its form as a thickish, gloopy white liquid.  It is readily available from any Builders Merchant in 5 litre containers, it is possible to buy in bulk quantities depending on your project. Depending on where you buy the SBR prices can range from £3-£6 a litre

Why do we use it?

When is added to Mortar or Concrete SBR it increases its bonding strength that helps the Paving and Coping bond to Mortar.


Benefits

  • Enables fine mortars to be laid as much thinner layers
  • Increased flexibility of mortars
  • Reduced susceptibility to freezing
  • Reduced susceptibility to salts/efflorescence
  • Improved resistance to a wide range of common chemicals
  • Reduced susceptibility to cracking and shrinkage
  • Much reduced water: cement ratio improves strength and workability
  • Improved resistance to damp and water vapour
  • Reduced laitance in fresh mortars and concretes

Disadvantages

The only disadvantage of using SBR it that it reduces the working time of the Mortar or Concrete. With SBR added you have 10-15 minutes before the mix “Goes off”, which really isn’t a problem. They way to get around this is to mix in small batches, which will reduce wastage.

You must work cleanly and wipe up spills and splashes immediately as SBR is very sticky and can take a while to clean up if left until the end of the job.

Using SBR with Paving

  • To provide additional bonding impermeable Paving such as Slate
  • Strengthens Concrete surfaces
  • Adhesion agent for pointing and bedding

Quantity

A good quality SBR is widely used ration is 200ml per 1kg of Cement. However, we do recommend reading the instructions on the packaging, as this can vary depending on the quality of the SBR and brand used.

Work Clean

We have mentioned this before but its really important and will save you a lot of time and elbow grease!

Wipe up spills straight away with lots and lots of clean water. Wipe it again and use more water, SBR really does stick! Make sure you wear gloves and long sleeves. Its also an idea to clean your tools at regular intervals, including the drum of the mixer.

Legend says that white spirit will get rid of any spilt SBR, it will as long as it is used right away! Its best to clean up as you go along-you will thank us later!