Comparison of Concrete Hardeners/Densifiers

Sodium (N)  Potassium (K) Lithium (Li) Silicates and Nano-Silica


Developed in 1930s (N&K) and late 1990s (Li).

Used to penetrate and harden concrete

Largest molecular ion size prevents deep penetration gives deepest (4-5 mm).

Varying degrees of reactive “Sites” provide low to moderate chemical reaction and bond time.

Water Soluble (N&K) causes expansion/contraction in Wet/Dry cycles. Li is insoluble and remains stable


Highle corrosive, increases the concrete’s pH to (Ph 11-13)

Not good for sealing concrete.

Generates corrosive,gelatinous slurry that must be scrubbed off and disposed of as hazardous waste.

Requires continous stirring and scrubbing to create possible reaction with concrete.

May contribute to sweating and White Precipitations (N&K)

Requires dwell time.


Nano-Silica Concentrated dispersion of Nano-silica in water.

Developed in the 21st century Penetrates and hardens concrete to increase abrasion resistance.

Up to twice the abrasion resistance compared to silicates

Smallest molecular ion size (5-30 nm) provides deepest penetration depth( 6.4 mm)

Highest concentration of reactive “sites” on nano-silica molecule provides the most efficient (fastest) chemical reaction and bonding

Water insoluble;remains stable under volatile climatic conditions

Non-corrosive (up to 1000 times less corrosive) and inert,maintains a neutral ph balance (pH7-9)

Can be used to seal concrete.

Does not produce excess mineral salts or white precipitates even if over-applied. Does not need to be scrubbed or discarded.

Spray-on application no ongoing stirring, scrubbing or rewetting required; concrete reacts immediately on contact.

Does not contribute to sweating or white precipitates.

Not dependent on dwell times.


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