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BAL overcomes issues with rapid-sets in hot weather

SUMMER’s here, which means lengthy days and hot temperatures (if we’re lucky!). This can cause issues when tiling, with reduced working and open times for your tile adhesive. This is particularly prevalent with rapid-set adhesives, where temperatures over 20deg C can cause them to ‘go-off’ either in the bucket, or skim-over on the wall – potential causing bad contact and grip with the tile.
To compensate for high temperatures some fixers will decide to switch to slow-set or ‘standard’ set tile adhesives. However, this can cause time delays waiting for the adhesive to set and ready for grouting, with most standard-sets taking up to 24 hours to set.

To overcome issues with rapid-sets in hot weather, while ensuring fast-track project completion, the simple solution is an enhanced standard-set adhesive such as BAL Flex One, or BAL Flex Fibre Plus, says the company.

The UK market has seen the launch of ‘semi-rapid’ products, which are essentially based on over-retarded rapid-set formulations. However, the new BAL technology is described by the company as the first truly enhanced standard-set technology – meaning it’s innovation developed from traditional standard-set chemistry as a basis.

When traditional rapid-set chemistry is retarded to get a longer open and working time, there’s a limit on how much the cement chemistry can be retarded before strength development is adversely affected. Heavily retarded rapid-sets may therefore have performance limitations or suffer in on-site conditions where the required working and open times may not be achieved, as the product increases in viscosity and application becomes more difficult.

Long open and working time performance will always be achieved more consistently using a standard set adhesive, or a product using this chemistry as a basis.

In response to customer demand, BAL’s R&D team has developed two enhanced standard set adhesives with what it describes as a long open time, excellent non-slip properties and may be grouted in as little as four hours, ‘something that’s never been achieved before’.

Says the company: ‘BAL Flex One and BAL Flex Fibre Plus provide a truly innovative technology that raise the standard. Set your own pace – even in the heat. BAL Flex One and BAL Flex Fibre Plus give fixers longer working and open times even in the heat – but a faster set for quicker grouting.
‘Outperforming ‘semi-rapid’ products with an excellent 2.5-3 hour working time and a 45-60-minute open time – this means more time to fix in hotter conditions (and less wastage in buckets), more time to adjust larger tiles, and more time when working on particularly complex installations. From a four-hour set time, the new adhesives allow fixers to grout in the evening or early the next day – significantly cutting down installation time compared to traditional standard setting products that require up to 24 hours to set.’

The company continues: ‘Fixer-friendly, BAL’s new standard set technology also provides outstanding usability – helping overcome the many obstacles that face tiling contractors on a modern project. With the thickest bed depths on the market for standard sets at 15mm and 20mm respectively, on both floors AND walls, the formulations help fixers to overcome background irregularities where isolated building out may be required.

‘What’s more, it utilises technology first developed by BAL including super smooth gel rheology, a thixotropic formulation with shape memory, and full wettability where there’s no need to adjust the water content to get the full performance benefits. The new adhesives also have superb non-slip performance, easily exceeding the requirements of EN 12004 for ‘T’ rated adhesives.’

Described by the company as highly flexible with S1 deformability, the adhesives are reportedly suitable for use with all tile types including ceramic, porcelain, natural stone – including marble, mosaics, terrazzo, brick slips and uncalibrated stone.

‘Suitable for interior and exterior applications and in dry and wet environments, the adhesives are particularly recommended for large format wall and floor tiles and may be used for swimming pools and total immersion and showers. Because both adhesives are highly polymer modified, they can be used on installations subject to limited movement and vibration, plus underfloor heating, including heated sub-floors, electric cable, and piped systems.’

The adhesives are white in colour, meaning only one bag is needed whatever the tile or stone type.

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