Lithium silicate is preferred over sodium and potassium silicates for concrete surface treatments, specialty paints or coatings, and glazes just to name a few. It is an ionic compound that uses lithium to act as a transport agent for silica.
While it comes in many forms, one of the most common uses is as a hardener and densifier. According to Safety Data Sheets (SDS), lithium silicate is non-toxic, though you should take precautions when using it.
Follow the instructions of the SDS and the specific brand’s instructions on the bottle, which may tell you to cover certain areas of skin or only use it in a well-ventilated area.
Benefits of Lithium Silicate in Hardeners/Densifiers
- Increased durability
- Reduction in maintenance
- Improves reflection & ambient light
- Strengthens the floor
- Effectively penetrates the floor’s surface
Lithium hardeners are excellent at penetrating deep into concrete surfaces due to their low viscosity and alkalinity. Lithium hardener is also composed of very tiny molecules which allow for an even and consistent reaction, producing a denser surface.
Applying a lithium hardener prevents Alkali-Silica Reaction (ASR) by preventing water from penetrating the surface. (Water plays a crucial role in ASR). Lithium densifiers harden and seal concrete surfaces as well as make them dust-proof.
In addition to the benefits of using a lithium silicate densifier, it’s also easier to apply than its sodium counterpart and the process is faster too.
Lithium silicate is not classified as a toxic material. However, it does have the potential to cause skin and eye irritation, which is why you should always wear the proper protective equipment and follow manufacturers instructions when applying lithium-based products to your floors.
What to Do if Lithium Silicate Comes into Contact With Your Body
Skin: According to Lithium Silicate Densifier’s Safety Data Sheet, if it comes into contact with your skin, you should wash with soap and water and seek medical attention if you notice irritation. Remove clothing that has come into contact with lithium silicate and wash it before re-wearing.
Eyes: If this product comes into contact with your eyes, thoroughly rinse your eyes immediately while lifting the upper and lower eyelids. Seek medical attention right away.
Inhalation: Immediately leave the area and lay down. You should stay warm and rested in the event of inhalation. False teeth should be removed from the mouth, as this can block the airway. If failing to breathe, artificial respiration will be needed.
Ingested: If you accidentally ingest this product, you should rinse out your mouth and seek medical attention if you notice any symptoms. Induced vomiting is not advised. If vomiting does occur, lay on your side or lean forward with your head down to prevent blocking your airway and aspiration. Liquids should not be given if the patient is showing signs of sleepiness or reduced awareness.
Lithium silicates can be used in so many versatile ways, but most often as a concrete densifier and hardener. Its unique composition improves the interaction and compounding characteristics in coatings, seals, and specialty treatments.
Lithium silicates can be applied as powder coatings, catalysts, admixtures, surface treatments, and so much more. The solution is stable and has a low viscosity which results in water and abrasion resistance as well as improved hardness and bonding. If you have any questions about the safety or application of lithium silicates, contact us today!