We showcased our Consolideck ColorHard line of one-step hardening-densifying colorants for unpolished and outdoor concrete surfaces at World of Concrete this past January with a terrific, colorful design including new colors “White” and “Black.”
To make sure we’d know exactly what we were doing on the slab at World of Concrete, we made a practice design here at PROSOCO, in Lawrence, Kan., home of the mighty Jayhawks. Shawn Wardell, Specialized Inc., Waterloo, Wis., provided the artistry. We provided the slab and the ColorHard.
ColorHard is a pre-measured color concentrate. You pour a 4-ounce packet into a gallon of Consolideck LS (lithium-silicate) Hardener-Densifier and stir. It gives you a colorant for concrete that also hardens and densifies, increasing the stain, abrasion and weather-resistance of the concrete — and also making it easier on the eyes.
Of the 21-color ColorHard palette, 14 are designed for outdoors. We can simulate and accelerate weathering on samples in the Lab. But nothing tells you how well a product stands up to the environment like actually sitting in that environment for seven months.
So here are some shots I took of the slab Wednesday — you be the judge about how well it’s held up.
Traffic was one challenge the slab didn’t have to face. However, it was frequently used as a platform for building other test structures. So it did have a certain amount of lumber and masonry shoved around on it.
Here’s a long shot, showing in the background a wall-assembly mock-up that we hammered together on the slab.
I thought the slab resisted weathering pretty well, probably because of the hardening/densifying. But the parts of the design left uncolored, and without the benefit of the lithium-silicate hardening/densification, appeared to have weathered slightly.
I should add that this slab has had no cleaning or maintenance since it was created. In fact, except for when we needed it for a utilitarian platform, we just forgot about it, leaving it to the tender mercies of ultraviolet radiation and the other elements.
The trade pubs always show the glossy glamor shots of brilliantly colored floors and outdoor flatwork. I’ve sent in my share! But I think the true test is how the surface looks after having taken months of what its environment can dish out.
# # #