Since they were first launched twenty years ago, MS Polymer sealants and adhesives have continued to grow in popularity due to their versatility. Andy Cummins, Senior Product Manager at Geocel discusses the differences between silicones and acrylic sealants, while also highlighting the performance benefits of MS Polymers and their unique characteristics.
Fundamentally and taking things right back to basics, construction sealants are used to prevent fluids, air, heat, sound and fire from passing through material surfaces, joints, or openings. Sealants are also typically used to fill openings that are too small for other materials to be used. They have a crucial role in a wide range of applications, from large scale projects to smaller, everyday tasks for trade professionals.
The reliability of a product is key when choosing a sealant, with callbacks not just a hassle but a waste of precious and valuable time. As a result, it is crucial for merchants to stock and recommend high-quality sealants and adhesives that are guaranteed to perform for the intended job.
While silicones and acrylics have traditionally been used by most tradespeople, the emergence of MS Polymers as an alternative has led to a wide variety of options. This makes selecting what to stock and what to recommend a more complex task. With this in mind, it is useful to understand the key differences between each type of sealant and the multi-use applications that each has to offer.
A popular choice due to their versatility, silicone sealants adhere well to a wide range of construction substrates while providing durability. Silicones are available in a variety of colours and offer excellent UV and colour stability in addition to extreme temperature resistance.
Silicones are also renowned for their elastic and water-resistant properties. As such, they are ideal for use on expansion and connection joints in sanitary areas, floors, walls and glazing applications. Furthermore, silicones have an established heritage due to years of usage across all areas of construction. This means users can be assured that the product will reliably perform as intended for projects ranging from the most complex to the day-to-day.
Acrylic sealants are best used for applications where there is low movement, and little or no contact with water. While acrylics do not offer the same flexibility or weather resistance as silicones, the products are ideal for jointing, caulking and filling gaps on materials like plastered walls, masonry and wood. With no sanding required, acrylics can provide the ideal solution for simple, construction jobs.
Over the past decade, MS Polymers have continued to grow in popularity. According to research carried out by GFK in 2018, MS Polymers grew by 32% in 2018, a significant increase, to bring the category to 22% of total sealant sales in builders’ merchants.
First introduced to the trade market 20 years ago by Geocel, MS Polymers feature many of the attributes found in traditional sealants — the flexibility and UV stability of silicones, the paintability of acrylics and the durability and toughness of polysulphides.
However, MS Polymers also offer some unique advantages of their own. For example, their non-staining properties on natural stone make the sealant ideal not only just for facades but also for projects such as sealing marble or granite kitchen work tops. The excellent adhesion properties — superior to ‘grab’ adhesives — can also enable direct use on wet or dry surfaces, including most plastics, tiles, wood, stone, metal, brick, glass, concrete or plasterboard and can even bond and cure underwater. Finally, once applied they won’t attack synthetic materials, unlike solvented grab adhesives.
Simply put, MS Polymers are ideal multi-use products, perfect for ‘odd job’ type projects, which may otherwise prove tricky to find a suitable solution. By using these products, trade professionals can seal, fill and bond almost any surface, wet or dry, inside or out, so they are a really good and effective all-rounder.
As a pioneer of the initial MS Polymer products, Geocel recently announced its new THE WORKS PRO range. A construction sealant and adhesive with the brand’s most advanced formulation yet, THE WORKS PRO provides an extremely secure bond and flexible seal. Also available as a high grab construction adhesive and cleaner spray, the range is designed for tradespeople that require a premium product for versatile use.
When it comes to providing trade professionals with high quality sealants and adhesives that offer lasting performance, workability, fast curing times and a long-lasting finish is crucial. For merchants looking for versatile products that can provide a solution to a wide range of customer needs, then it is worthwhile considering MS Polymers such as THE WORKS PRO range.
For more information on THE WORKS PRO range from Geocel, go to: https://www.geocel.co.uk/news/the-works-pro-range/