In modern construction industry, there are many finishing and auxiliary materials in the form of putties, primers and protective mixtures, but along with them there is a well-known remedy that has been tested for centuries called liquid glass. The use of silicate mixtures is very wide, which makes them versatile and unique. More details about the areas of use of this substance can be found in this article.

Liquid glass: use in construction, everyday life and creativity
Liquid glass is a universal product with a wide range of applications

Liquid glass: composition and properties of the material

The term "liquid glass" appeared due to the properties of an aqueous mixture, when solidified, to transform into a solid transparent substance. Its popularity is due to its adhesive and waterproof characteristics. The tool was invented back in the Middle Ages. Its production is based on the reaction of silicic acid and alkaline compounds. The invention was patented only in 1818 by the German mineralogist Jan Nepomuk von Fuchs.

Liquid glass consists of a solution of sodium hydroxide and silica-containing elements
Liquid glass consists of a solution of sodium hydroxide and silica-containing elements

The classical composition of the substance has practically not changed after centuries. It contains silica-containing elements and sodium hydroxide solution, which are soluble in water. That is why liquid glass is also called soluble. Outwardly, it is a colorless (sometimes with a greenish or yellow tint) transparent substance of different consistency. The formula of water glass is a compound of alkali silicates, respectively, it looks like this:

  • Na2O (SiO2) n - sodium silicate;
  • K2O (SiO2) n - potassium silicate.

To get an idea of ​​what this liquid glass is, just remember the school chemistry course. The numerical ratio of SiO2 molecules to Na2O or K2O molecules is called the silica module, which determines the solubility and a number of other properties of liquid glass. The index n indicates the number of silica molecules.

The material is obtained by fusing quartz sand mixed with soda or sodium sulfate and coal. This takes place in special glass melting furnaces that operate continuously.The melting process is technologically similar to the production of insoluble glass. Liquid glass is also produced by autoclaving amorphous silica with caustic alkali of high concentration.

The substance is waterproof and adhesive
The substance is waterproof and adhesive

Liquid glass: characteristics and application of the material

The versatility of the tool is due to the mass of functions that liquid glass performs in construction (and not only), in particular:

  • repels moisture, eliminating the negative effects of water on building materials, thus acting as a hydrophobic insulator;
  • destroys bacteria, fungi and mold, prevents their reproduction, being an excellent antiseptic;
  • used to fill pores on various surfaces;
  • neutralizes static electricity, acting as an antistatic agent;
  • serves as a thermal insulator and ensures the fire resistance of the material.

Important! It is not recommended to apply liquid glass to a brick, since the composition of the product has a destructive effect on the porous structure of a brick surface.

Liquid glass is an irreplaceable material in construction
Liquid glass is an irreplaceable material in construction

The wide area of ​​application of liquid glass and its functionality is due to a number of specific characteristics:

  • ease of penetration of the material into microscopic cracks and pores, their full filling, making it easy to apply to concrete and wood surfaces;
  • minimal material consumption and low cost in comparison with other waterproofing products;
  • long service life, which starts from five years;
  • high moisture resistance;
  • the degree of protection, depending on the number of impregnation layers;
  • the applied solution forms a layer of waterproofing with a high degree of reliability.

Potassium or sodium liquid glass: application and differences

The main feature of liquid glass is its wide range of applications. As mentioned above, it can contain two minerals - sodium or potassium. This is the main difference between the two types of material, but there are still differences in the areas of their application.

Potassium water glass is often included in paints and varnishes
Potassium water glass is often included in paints and varnishes

Potassium-type liquid glass is most often used in paint and varnish production, since this substance copes well with various atmospheric and chemical loads. This component is quite often included in silicate paints.

The instructions for the use of sodium water glass provide for its addition to adhesive solutions, since the material is characterized by high binding properties. It is this composition that provides good waterproofing protection of surfaces. The sodium-based version increases the strength characteristics of concrete structures. Moreover, it favors their fire resistance and provides high antiseptic properties.

Thus, sodium water glass has a wider spectrum of properties, and its application, accordingly, is much wider. At the same time, the cost of potassium glass is higher, as it resists acids, moisture and atmospheric influences much more effectively. After using it, there are no whitish spots on the surface, typical for sodium solution.

Liquid glass: applications in various fields

During production soluble glass a relatively thick liquid is obtained. It is produced in various dosages, depending on which the physicochemical, mechanical, operational and other properties of materials change. Liquid glass is a chemically active substance capable of interacting with elements of various shapes - from solid to gaseous. The main properties are increased stickiness and viscosity. The agent can be stored for a rather long time in a securely closed container, since a reaction occurs when air enters, as a result of which it decomposes.Heating also leads to decomposition with the release of amorphous silica.

Silicate glue can be used as an antiseptic before wallpapering
Silicate glue can be used as an antiseptic before wallpapering

Good to know! The subspecies of liquid glass include ordinary school or so-called office silicate glue. Its consistency is slightly thinner than the material used in construction. It is often called that - liquid glass glue.

Silicate glue is often used to treat surfaces before painting or wallpapering, using it as an antiseptic. The substance has antibacterial properties that inhibit the development of bacteria and kill old colonies of microorganisms. Silicate mortar, when applied to wood, concrete or paper, increases their fire and moisture resistance properties. Therefore, it is used not only in construction, but also in artistic woodworking.

They use liquid glass in the production of materials for sealing pipes, when installing PVC tiles and linoleum, and impregnation of the fabric with this substance gives it heat resistance and fire resistance. The product is also suitable for the restoration of porcelain and glass objects. These are just a few areas of application of liquid glass, we will consider in more detail the scope of its use below.

Widespread use of liquid glass in construction

Given its high moisture resistance, adhesion, fire resistance and a number of other properties, water glass is most often used in construction. The list of works is very wide, the main ones are as follows:

Liquid glass is added for waterproofing to mortars
Liquid glass is added for waterproofing to mortars
  1. Painting and waterproofing of concrete foundations. For this purpose, sodium silicate is used in proportions 1: 2 with water, where two parts are water. The solution is applied with a brush in two layers, giving time for the complete drying of the previous layer.
  2. Waterproofing of underground premises - basements and basements. For the purpose of impregnation inside the basement rooms, a solution of liquid glass with water in a ratio of 1: 2 is used, and several layers are applied.
  3. The addition of sodium silicate to mortars is the most common application for water glass in construction. Depending on the end result, different proportions are used, but the classic recipe is 100 liters of mixture per 1 liter of liquid glass.
  4. Swimming pool waterproofing. Liquid glass, applied to the surface of the bowl, polymerizes, forming a reliable water-repellent shell. Apply two layers: the first is absorbent, the second is the control. Consumption is equal to 0.5 l of material per 1 m².
  5. Liquid glass as the main component of bactericidal grout. The addition of a substance to the grout composition protects the joints between the tiles from the formation of mold and mildew. Proportion: 1 part potassium silicate to 3 parts grout.
  6. The use of cement and water glass as components of a fast-drying adhesive for bonding ceramic tiles, as well as a fixing agent for types of construction work.
  7. The use of adhesive to fix linoleum and carpet on the floor ensures a secure installation of the floor covering.
Sodium silicate is added to the grout to become bactericidal
Sodium silicate is added to the grout to become bactericidal

The use of liquid glass in building solutions

Liquid glass is used in construction to improve the quality characteristics of concrete. It is especially advisable to use the product in cases where a constant effect of high humidity on a cement structure is expected. This extends the life of the building, preventing its destruction.

Helpful advice! A do-it-yourself mixture of sand and cement with the addition of a silicate solution in its pure form without water will have high adhesion and quickly harden. This composition is similar in characteristics to alabaster.

Therefore, the use of liquid glass in a cement mortar is especially desirable for such types of work:

  • erection of the foundation during construction on land with a close location of groundwater;
  • construction sites and improvement of premises located underground;
  • lining of stove and stone chimney ducts outside the building;
  • construction of premises with high air humidity: baths, swimming pools, showers;
  • creation of decorative artificial reservoirs.
Adding liquid glass to concrete improves its quality characteristics
Adding liquid glass to concrete improves its quality characteristics

In addition, a silicate solution, when added to concrete, makes it invulnerable to bacteria, mold and fungi. If the cement composition is used for outdoor work, then it is diluted with 10% liquid glass. The proportions of sand and cement are 1: 3.

Sodium silicate is added to concrete solutions in order to waterproof the material. It is indispensable in the construction of basement structures, and is used not only for flooring, but also for application to walls and ceilings. The ratio of materials in this case will be 1:10.

The use of liquid glass for waterproofing various objects

Liquid glass is used in almost all areas. Most widely - in construction, and primarily - to give or enhance the waterproofing properties of various surfaces. The use of the material creates waterproofing of foundations, basements, swimming pools. Therefore, its presence is advisable wherever contact with water is expected.

According to the instructions for use, liquid glass for construction (when preparing a clean solution) is diluted in water in a ratio of 1: 4. One of the disadvantages of glass coating is the impossibility of painting the surface after applying a silicate solution, since a smooth film forms on top, on which paints and varnishes simply do not stick. If it is necessary to impart waterproofing properties to concrete, then for this purpose a ratio of 1: 8 should be observed.

For waterproofing concrete, it is necessary to dilute a pure solution of liquid glass in water in a ratio of 1: 8
For waterproofing concrete, it is necessary to dilute a pure solution of liquid glass in water in a ratio of 1: 8

The walls of the attic and basements are treated with liquid glass. It should be noted that the universal product can be applied both from the outside of the object and inside it. With the help of the composition, they provide protection from moisture for the walls of the wells. This type of work is carried out in two stages. First, a thin layer of pure sodium silicate is applied, the subsequent layer is a concrete mixture with the addition of water glass.

The method of using liquid glass for waterproofing the pool is somewhat different. For this, the composition is applied in one, but a thick layer, stage-by-stage processing is also possible. This type of work inside the structure will prevent the walls from collapsing from constant exposure to water. Outside treatment will protect against groundwater penetration.

Related article:

Liquid glass for concrete: the versatility of silicate mixture

The composition of the solution, scope, rules of use. Composing proportions. The cost of the mixture and customer reviews.

Purpose and scope of liquid glass in other areas of production

Construction is the main area of ​​application for liquid glass, but far from the only one. The examples below show this.

Helpful advice! Sodium silicate solution hardens very quickly, in fact instantly, therefore builders with experience recommend not adding it to the cement composition, but using it as an impregnation on finished structures.

Sodium silicate can be used for waterproofing wood
Sodium silicate can be used for waterproofing wood

The use of liquid glass glue is wide and universal. The high degree of adhesion of the silicate solution allows it to be used for gluing various materials, including fiberboard, thin chipboard sheets, plywood, ceramics, cardboard.

With the help of liquid glass, the surface of cement floors in garages and other utility rooms is dedusted. The work is carried out by impregnating the base with a mixture of water and liquid glass.The solution penetrates into the concrete 3-4 mm deep, where it polymerizes, forming a smooth surface on top that does not collapse. Thus, cement dust does not form on it.

Silicate glue is used for waterproofing wood. Water glass is widely used for wood. The product is mixed with water and applied to the surface where a moisture-proof layer is formed. The coating also prevents air and insects from entering.

Liquid glass is used in horticulture. An aqueous solution of this substance is used to treat tree cuts after cutting branches. A dense airtight layer protects plant wounds from harmful bacteria and prevents the process of decay.

Plumbers use liquid glass to join pipes as a sealant
Plumbers use liquid glass to connect pipes as sealant

Silicate glue is used to create an airtight coating in plumbing. As sealant liquid glass is applied at the junction of water supply and sewerage pipes. For this purpose, use the product in its pure form.

The use of liquid glass in everyday life, creativity and decor

Liquid glass helps to solve a large number of economic problems, which has made it popular in everyday life. It removes scale, cleans dishes, removes stains from clothes, glues glass and ceramics, and is used to protect metal from corrosion. For example, for durability and protection from the effects of fire, costumes and curtains in the theater, as well as curtains in public institutions, are covered with liquid glass. Reviews of housewives characterize it as a universal remedy in the fight against scale and fumes. For example, the oldest frying pan can be restored to its original appearance. To do this, use a simple recipe.

The liquid glass is dissolved in boiling water in a ratio of 1:25 and a frying pan is boiled in the solution for 2 hours. Some of the carbon will go away, and the rest will be easy to clean with a knife and a metal sponge. The addition of soda ash and laundry soap will enhance the effect of the solution. In this way, you can easily clean any utensils made of metal, porcelain and glass. The digestion time can be reduced to 10 minutes.

The use of liquid glass in the decor allows you to create graceful stained-glass windows and mirror panels with mosaics. In addition to the above, silicate solutions are used to organize self-leveling floors in art design.

With the help of liquid glass, you can clean dishes from burning and limescale
With the help of liquid glass, you can clean dishes from burning and limescale

Helpful advice! With the help of silicate glue, earthenware and glass products are restored. However, it should not be used for gluing dishes intended for food.

Liquid glass is actively used in art. It can be used to easily glue a wide variety of materials: paper, cardboard, leather, fabric, rubber. Therefore, this substance is often simply irreplaceable in needlework. Liquid glass is excellent for enhancing shine and protecting vehicle surfaces. However, in this case, a special composition is used, which differs from the formula of ordinary silicate glue.

Application features: how to apply liquid glass

Before applying the product, the surface must be thoroughly cleaned of dirt that can reduce the absorption capacity. Surfaces treated with silicate solution must dry for at least a day. According to the instructions for use, liquid glass is applied in several layers, while allowing enough time for each layer to dry. The surface is treated with a product similar to thick paint - with a brush or roller. If you need to create a protective coating, then the material is applied with a plastering trowel.

All work must be performed sequentially, in accordance with the instructions. Liquid glass can be used independently, saving on payment for the services of masters. First, the surface must be thoroughly cleaned of stains, debris, dirt, old coating. Next, the first layer of the product is applied with a roller. After it dries, the surface is covered with a second layer.

Liquid glass must be added to the concrete solution immediately before work
Liquid glass must be added to the concrete solution immediately before work

If it is intended to use a concrete solution with the addition of sodium silicate, then it is prepared immediately before use, since the mixture hardens quickly. You need to have time to apply it in 20 minutes. It is important that the proportions are strictly observed. The slightest mistake can lead to the fact that the surface will crack and collapse.

During work, it is necessary to wear protective clothing and use personal protective equipment. At the end of the process, it is required to thoroughly wash your hands and tools until the remnants of the material have dried.

Compliance with Gosstandart. How much does liquid glass cost?

Soda water glass is produced in accordance with GOST 13078-81. The document states that it is a viscous substance of gray or yellow color without impurities, which has the following characteristics:

  • the density of the material should be from 1.42 to 1.43 g / cm³;
  • the concentration of sodium oxide concentrate is from 7.9 to 8.8%;
  • the presence of calcium oxide should not exceed 0.2%;
  • the proportion of silicon dioxide is from 21 to 24%;
  • the silicate modulus is 3%;
  • the sulfuric anhydride content should not be higher than 0.15%;
  • the presence of iron oxide and aluminum is permissible - up to 0.25%.
Liquid glass is an order of magnitude cheaper than most impregnations and adhesives
Liquid glass is an order of magnitude cheaper than most impregnations and adhesives

One of the advantages of the material is its affordable price. It is much cheaper than other synthetic adhesives and impregnations. Several factors affect the cost, in particular, density, modulus and the amount of purchased liquid glass. The solution is packed in special containers that are tightly closed to prevent the product from drying out. You can buy the material at any hardware store. If you need a small amount, it is recommended to buy liquid glass in containers or on tap.

Helpful advice! Liquid glass applied as an adhesive for linoleum will avoid the formation of fungi and mold under the coating. Such protection is not provided by other adhesives, for example, Bustilat or PVA.

Popular manufacturers of liquid glass, material price

In the event that a large amount of work is planned and the use of liquid glass is supposed, the price matters, because a lot of material will be needed. In this situation, it is better to order it directly from a large manufacturer or supplier, saving on intermediaries. The most popular large enterprises include the factories Kubanzheldormash, Metterra, Oxium, factories Ivkhimprom, Contact, CJSC Trading House Stekloprodukt. Small businesses such as the company "Silicat", "Alektic" also specialize in the production of liquid glass. In the retail network, this substance is presented not only in its pure form, but also in the composition of any impregnation and mixtures for finishing work.

Price grading table for pure solution in accordance with GOST 13078-81:

Material density, g / cm³ModuleThe cost
material in a volume of less than a ton, rub.
Material cost
in the amount of 1 to 10 tons, rub.
Material cost over 10 tons, rub.
1,27-1,292,910 70010 20010 000
1,38-1,422,911 20010 60010 300
1,45-1,46311 50011 20011 000
1,47-1,483,112 00011 70011 500

Thus, the larger the volume of purchased material, the lower the price will be. High density liquid glass has a higher cost.

Making liquid glass with your own hands: step by step instructions

It is possible to create liquid glass with your own hands, but it is troublesome. To do this, dilute crushed silica gel and soda in water, then heat the solution until a homogeneous mass is formed. Another recipe involves mixing sand and soda in a 1: 4 ratio. The ingredients are thoroughly mixed, ground and heated until melted. The first option is unprofitable for the reason that it will cost more than the finished material. The second one is simply unavailable, since the remelting of sand can only be done under special conditions.

Important! To apply a concrete solution with the addition of water glass, special skills are required, since the material hardens very quickly.

There are other ways to independently manufacture a moisture-resistant coating, but according to chemical characteristics, it will no longer be a silicate solution. An alternative moisture barrier, such as for car headlights, can be prepared in minutes. To do this, you need a simple paraffin candle, white spirit, an ordinary grater and a container for mixing the ingredients. The manufacturing sequence is as follows:

To make liquid glass with your own hands, you need soda and silica gel
To make liquid glass with your own hands, you need soda and silica gel
  1. The candle is chopped on a grater.
  2. The shavings are poured with white spirit. The proportions of materials correspond to 1: 3, where one part of paraffin and three parts of liquid. Do not make too thick a solution.
  3. The product is applied to the surface.
  4. The solution is rubbed in using a soft cloth.

Using such a coating, you can not only protect the car or other objects from moisture, but also get rid of microcracks.

Thus, the material called liquid glass is indeed a universal remedy, as it is used in various fields. Due to a wide range of positive properties, the use of liquid glass will help solve a number of problems both in everyday life and in construction. Its use will help to provide reliable hydro and thermal insulation of various objects, protect surfaces from bacteria, mold and fungi.