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Application of Dyes and Pigments
Dyes in Concrete Industry
At first look, it can seem that what is the connection between dyes and something like concrete. But dyes have a special affinity towards concrete, and when used they can result in spectacular effects that is not possible with any other coloring medium. There are a class of dyes that are used in concrete and are collectively known as Concrete Dyes.

They are essentially the water and solvent-based dyes that come in a wide array of colors, and comes with unique qualities. Water based dyes can produce softer hues while bolder hues are possible with solvent based ones.

Though often underrated, Concrete Dyes as they are called can achieve vibrant tones that is just not possible with stains.

How the Dyes Work

Concrete Dye
Concrete dyes are generally translucent and penetrating color solutions. They are different from acid-based stains, as no reaction takes place between the dyes and the concrete. Instead, the concrete dyes contain minute colouring agents which actually penetrates into the concrete surface. As the image depicts when applied full strength, dyes can produce gorgeous colours, like this border stripe.

Usually Concrete dyes gets packaged in concentrated form. This allows flexibility in the end color. Depending on the nature of application. Concrete dyes can be used full strength or diluted with water or solvents.

Limitations of Concrete Dyes

No hiding of the defects- Concrete Dyes, are meant for enhancing rather than camouflaging the surface. They are not supposed to hide cracks, blemishes, or other defects.

Variations and inconsistent color- Variations and inconsistent colour with dyes a feature that you have to cope up with, even if the dyes are applied in the same surface.

Buyer's guide for Concrete Dyes

As the Dyes are more or less permanent colours so before venturing into buying dyes and applying hastily to the surface can result in some situation that could have been easily avoided if some thought was first given to. Here are a few smart tips that will help you in buying.
  • What sort of colouring effect that you intend?
    Here are a few option that you can weigh
    - As dyes that are used in concrete are packaged in concentrated form (liquid or powder) that gives flexibility in the end color. So you must choose whether to use it in full strength to give depth to color or dilute it with water or solvents for paler shades. There is also another option of blending different dyes to produce custom hues.

  • What is exactly the condition of the concrete?
    Here are the few things to be considered for
    - Dyes are meant for enhancing the looks rather than disguising the surface.
    - Colour effects will usually show greater intensity on new concrete than older or weathered concrete.
    - Contaminants like dirt, grease, sealers, curing compounds, that are found on the concrete surface can easily block or inhibit the penetration of dyes. This can result in washed-out color. So that is the reason why manufacturers insist on the importance of Surface preparation.

  • Can the product be used for both interior and exterior applications?
    - It should be kept in mind that some dyes are not at all suitable for exterior use because the colour may fade away on being exposed to sunlight. That is the reason that you must check on the dyes before considering a dye for an outdoor project.

  • Is it easy for the product to mix and apply?
    - Dyes can reach you as liquid concentrate or powder that needs to be diluted with a suitable solvent or water before application.

  • Information on 'coverage rate'
    - Average" is an operative word that is used to assess the coverage rate of a dye. Manufacturers can give you a fixed average range (in units like square feet per gallon), but there is a catch here, they will also state that the rate can change dramatically depending on situations like porosity of the concrete substrate, or the intensity of colour. Still, this calculation can come handy as you compare the prices of different products and plan how much is the right one.


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