Written by: Dave Darche, Bona National Market Manager
With the adhesives industry evolving rapidly, silane-based adhesives are setting the precedent for floor installation. Silane adhesives are easier to use (less arm fatigue, easy to clean, will not etch finish) it offers an environmentally friendly product that offers a healthier workplace.
Adhesives have adapted over the years to make the floor installation process easier. Basic research of silanes as conducted in the 1940’s which lead to the development of Silicone sealants in the 1980’s. Silane compounds were used as coupling agents between fiberglass and epoxies in the 1950’s, resulting in white plastic boats that soon became more popular and affordable than wooden boats. In the 1970’s a company named Kaneka filed a patent for MS-Polymer, which was used to create silane-based sealants, primarily for outside applications. This led to Silane use in Japan for stone and tile adhesives to prevent cracked walls during the regions frequent earthquakes. When using a rigid adhesive, the crack would penetrate through the tile or stone installed on the wall while with a softer elastic adhesive, the wall would still crack, but not the outside tile. Using MS-Polymer, researchers found there was great adhesion with some elasticity that allowed tiles to move with the earthquakes and not crack.
What is Silane Technology
Silanes are considered the “glue within the glue” as well as “adhesion promoters.” It creates a mechanical bond with wood and penetrates into the cell structure of wood. A mechanical bond is when molecules interlock but do not change the chemical make-up of those molecules. When silane-based adhesives are used with concrete, silanes form a chemical bond and are not affected by moisture when cured.
Benefits of Silane Technology
Silane-based adhesives are used on a majority of installations in Europe. Silane will not etch the finish of pre-finished wood flooring and for 72 hours, can be easily removed without damaging the boards. It is imperative for contractors to have excellent lighting when installing wood floors, so it is easier to see if any adhesives have accidentally gotten on the wood floors.
Homeowners are requesting safe, sustainable products in their home more than ever before, which means companies are creating products that provide healthier, safer work environments. Since flooring accounts for the second most surface area in a building, having sustainable, healthy products is a priority. GREENGUARD Gold certification provides stringent criteria for indoor air quality and accounts for sensitive groups (such as children and the elderly) that can be used in areas such as schools and healthcare facilities. GREENGAURD Gold benefits commercial developers in obtaining LEED points, which is becoming more important to commercial building owners and tenants alike.
Look carefully at the Safety Data (SDS/MSDS) and Technical Data Sheets (TDS) when selecting an adhesive to use on a project as well as following manufacturers guidelines. This is where specifiers and installers will find valuable information about shear strength, permeability, IIC and STC ratings. This information will go a long way in determining if the adhesive meets the demands of the flooring material being installed.
Doing research to pick the right adhesive is crucial since there are a wide variety of adhesives made with different materials and technologies. Looking at important documents from the manufacturer will give contractors all the necessary information and pick the right adhesive for the job. Silane based adhesives provide a variety of benefits for homeowners, as well as the installer. Both will have peace of mind knowing the floor will last a lifetime.