Polymers are used in the production of 3 types of polymer concrete composites: polymer-impregnated concrete (PIC), polymer concrete (PC, polymer Portland cement concrete (PPCC).
Polymer concrete is formed by polymerizing a monomer, mixed with aggregate at ambient temperature, using curing agents or a chemical catalyst. Just as cement is used as a binder in cement concrete. Monomer or resin is added to bind preheated aggregates consisting of course fine ultrafine and other aggregates. The commonly used binders are styrene, methyl-methacrylate, polyesters and epoxies.
In the prepack method, graded dry aggregates are packed in the moulds, and polymer is poured into the voids, if necessary by vacuum process.
In the premix method, polymer and aggregates are mixed in conventional mixers and mix transferred to moulds. The mix is vibrated for compaction.
They are highly resistant to chemical attack, freeze and thaw. Permeability a
nd absorption ids almost zero.
Even though the initial cost is high, the material cost efficiency is estimated to be 400% compared to ordinary cement concrete. Hence they are used to manufacture polybeton pipes for carrying chemicals in industries.
Polymer concrete has been used for surface patching and full depth patches of bridge decks, as for example, the work on the Major Degan Expressway in New York City. Manufacture of wall panels and pipes are other uses, to which this material has been put. It has been used as a corrosion-resistant pipe liner, and could be used as such in repair procedures.