We get a lot of questions with regard to our DirtGlue® polymer, the ensuing line of products containing this technology, how it responds to varying application variables, and how it stacks up to other polymers on the market. It’s a fair thought to have, and we’re happy to answer it for you.
First things first:
What is DirtGlue® polymer emulsion?
DirtGlue® is an environmentally safe, powerful acrylic polymer emulsion that produces highly effective control of dust and erosion thereby stabilizing the soil. DirtGlue® polymer emulsions are designed to coat and bond soil particles together. They are formulated to fill the microscopic spaces between soil particles that are essentially in direct contact with each other and will achieve their highest level of performance under those conditions.
How does DirtGlue® compare to other polymers and copolymers?
It’s the goal of Global Environmental Solutions to offer a line of products that harness the advantages of latex acrylic polymer emulsions. Compared to other latex polymers like Polyvinyl Acetate (PVAs) or Vinyl Acetate Ethylene polymers (VAEs) that are used in the same industry, pure acrylics offer crucial and industry relevant advantages:
- Superior bonding strength (more durable film, tougher crust).
- High UV resistance (increased longevity).
- Superior hydrophobicity (extremely water resistant).
In order to use acrylic polymer effectively, GES decided to address two functional attributes. First, the temperature range in which acrylic polymer could cure sufficiently was felt to be too narrow. Second, although acrylic is less susceptible to water reabsorption than the other latex products, it was felt that improvement was necessary.
GES has spent years researching and developing our unique, eco-friendly suite of products to study and improve the performance of the acrylics for soil stabilization while keeping the substantial advantages already inherent in the product. Our research and development efforts involved fine tuning a blend of the acrylic polymer with proprietary additives. The result of these efforts has created a powerful acrylic polymer with the following outstanding characteristics:
- High resistance to UV degradation.
- Superior bonding strength in all applications.
- Expanded temperature range, applications are also successful at low temperatures.
- Enhanced flexibility of cured product, brittleness has been eliminated, and durability has been increased in freeze-thaw cycles.
- Extreme water resistance – the cured products are nearly impervious to water.
- Smooth and consistent film forming capabilities at low temperatures.
Despite the obvious advantages of pure acrylic polymers for the soil stabilization industry, most other companies use vinyl based polymer emulsions and copolymer blends of vinyl like PVAs or VAEs.
These vinyl-based products are slightly cheaper, offer relatively good flexibility, and have certain bonding capabilities. However, the disadvantages outweigh these characteristics.
Disadvantages of vinyl based products:
- Low UV resistance.
- Average bonding strength for most applications.
- Susceptible to water reabsorption after long-term, continuous exposure to water weakening the product substantially (poor hydrophobicity).
There is another, lesser-known product that is used in the soil stabilization industry. This product is known as ultra filtered (UF). Its only advantage is a very low cost. It is typically made up of a blend of latex polymers, which is derived from the wash water of the polymer tanks between batches of the polymer making process.
The process involves extracting clean water from polymer-contaminated water that has been used to flush the tanks and lines after making the various latex polymers. Once most of the water has been extracted the remaining water that is contaminated with a blend of various latex polymers is either disposed of or sold extremely cheaply to the dust control industry.
There are several problems with this product:
- The major that it’s made of a blend of many different materials and is always different. There is no consistency of product and therefore no consistency of application quality.
- The market strategy of most, if not all other vendors is to buy huge quantities of the UF product for extremely low cost. They keep reapplying, which in most cases is many times due to the weakness and inconsistency of the product.
What have we learned?
We believe that DirtGlue® is the only polymer soil stabilization company that goes through an extensive testing program of all of the polymer before it becomes DirtGlue®. We have several very specific characteristics that the polymer must have in order to become DirtGlue®. Some of these are film forming quality, film forming temperature range, film strength, bonding strength, UV stability, hydrophobicity, and unconfined compressive strength (wet & dry). We have a chemist that has developed tests for all of the above to ensure consistent product and therefore consistent application and performance.
Global Environmental Solutions has positioned its products differently than all other latex polymer emulsions in the soil stabilization industry. We use only acrylics for superior UV stability and strength. These desirable characteristics are enhanced through the use of proprietary additives. Additives also permit the use of these better quality acrylics at a wide range of temperatures. Additives give the superior flexibility to an otherwise brittle product and create a tough, flexible film that is nearly impervious to water reabsorption. For these reasons DirtGlue® is a superior choice for any soil stabilization solution.
At a glance:
|DirtGlue||DVA||Acrylic||Ultra Filtered UF|
|% Solids:||50||35 –55||40 – 50||05 – 30|
|Bonding Strength||Excellent||Good||Very Good||Poor – Good*|
|Film Forming||Excellent||Good||Fair – Good||Poor – Fair|
|Application Temperature Range (ºF)||38 – 120||50 – 110||70 – 110||unknown*|
|PH||7 – 8||4 – 6||8 – 10||unknown*|
|Resistance to Water (completed application)||Excellent||Poor||Fair||unknown*|
*UF latex polymer products have a wide variation in quality and consistency due to their origins.
The above information is typical of the various latex polymers. There may be variations that fall outside of the typical range.
Feel free to give us a shout if you have any further questions or are in need of further information on Global Environmental Solutions and our DirtGlue® line of products!