There are several ways to enhance the natural greyness of concrete structures that can be found at every turn. The most common solution is to finish with third-party materials or to paint the surfaces. But apart from the additional costs, such measures are incomparable with the service life of a loadbearing substrate: Over time, their appearance deteriorates and needs to be refurbished.
There is another way to enhance the aesthetic appearance of a building – add a colourant to the concrete at the production stage, and use already coloured products for construction.
The compounds used to colour the concrete mixture are called pigments.
There are two groups:
1. Mineral. Among the inorganic ones, metal oxide-based formulations are the most popular. There is a reason for this. In addition to their affordable price, a 25-year research conducted by the German company Lanxess revealed that concrete painted with oxide pigments retains its aesthetic appearance longer than others.
2. Organic. Of this group, acid colouring pigments for concrete are the most common and are already used on finished surfaces. Learn more about how to work with this type of pigments by watching the video in this article.
Pigments come in the following forms:
● Suspensions are water-dispersible liquid pigment solutions. It is the easiest to use and can be handled without special respiratory protection. The disadvantage is the high percentage of water, which means that more pigment has to be applied by weight than dry pigment. Accordingly, the amount of transport and handling work is increased. But for private use, of course, this does not matter.● Powdered pigments are the first type to be used for tinting cement mortars. The classic version is the red brick powder, which gives the product a pinkish hue. Later, powder pigments using metal oxides were developed.