Polysulfide polymers and urethane elastomers have been used for a long time to seal a variety of construction joints. These materials perform well when selected for the proper applications. The sealing of potable water reservoirs requires products with stringent requirements that are difficult to attain when formulating either with conventional polysulfide or polyurethane polymers. Excellent hydrolytic stability, resistance to cold flow, retention of elasticity, and adhesion are a few of the desired properties of these products. New polymers which possess the good properties of the polysulfide and polyurethane polymers within the same polymer structure have been developed. These polymers are known as mercaptan-terminated polyoxypropylene materials.
These polymers can be formulated into potable water reservior sealants without the use of heavy metals or toxic substances. Results on adhesion to concrete, physical properties, hydrolytic stability, and performance after long immersion of these sealants in water are presented. The chemistry and curing mechanism of these polymers are discussed, illustrating how these new sealants provide a new dimension in the potable water reservoir sealant industry.
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