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Dyes in Concrete Industry
Dyes have a special affinity towards concrete, and when used they can
result in spectacular effects that is not possible with any other coloring
medium. There are a class of dyes that are used in concrete and are
collectively known as Concrete Dyes.
They are essentially the water and solvent-based dyes that come in a wide
array of colors, and comes with unique qualities. Water based dyes can
produce softer hues while bolder hues are possible with solvent based ones.
Concrete Dyes as they are called can achieve vibrant tones that is just not
possible with stains.
How the Dyes Work
Concrete dyes gets packaged in concentrated form.
This allows flexibility in the end color. Depending on the nature of
application. Concrete dyes can be used full strength or diluted with water
Concrete dyes are generally translucent and penetrating color solutions.
They are different from acid-based stains, as no reaction takes place
between the dyes and the concrete. Instead, the concrete dyes contain minute
coloring agents which actually penetrates into the concrete surface. As the
image depicts when applied full strength, dyes can produce gorgeous colors,
like this border stripe.
Limitations of Concrete Dyes
Variations and inconsistent color- A
feature that you have to cope up with, even if the dyes are applied in the
No hiding of the defects- Concrete Dyes, are meant for enhancing
rather than camouflaging the surface. They are not supposed to hide cracks,
blemishes, or other defects.
Buyer's guide for Concrete Dyes
Dyes are more or less permanent colors so before
venturing into buying dyes and applying hastily to the surface can result in
some situation that could have been easily avoided if some thought was first
given to. Here are a few smart tips that will help you in buying these dyes:
What sort of coloring effect that you intend?
As dyes that are used in concrete are packaged in concentrated form (liquid
or powder) that gives flexibility in the end color. So you must choose
whether to use it in full strength to give depth to color or dilute it with
water or solvents for paler shades. There is also another option of blending
different dyes to produce custom hues.
What is exactly the condition of the concrete?
Dyes are meant for enhancing the looks rather than disguising the surface.
Color effects will usually show greater intensity on new concrete than older
or weathered concrete. Contaminants like dirt, grease, sealers, curing
compounds, that are found on the concrete surface can easily block or
inhibit the penetration of dyes. This can result in washed-out color. So
that is the reason why manufacturers insist on the importance of surface
Can the product be used for both interior and exterior applications?
It is must to consider a dye for an outdoor project, because some dyes are
not at all suitable for exterior use because the color may fade away on
being exposed to sunlight.
Is it easy for the product to mix and apply?
Dyes can reach you as liquid concentrate or powder that needs to be diluted
with a suitable solvent or water before application.
Information on 'coverage rate'
Average is an operative word that is used to assess the coverage rate of a
dye. Manufacturers can give you a fixed average range (in units like square
feet per gallon), but there is a catch here, they will also state that the
rate can change dramatically depending on situations like porosity of the
concrete substrate, or the intensity of color.