Silicone solutions for sealing and bonding prefabricated buildings

Prefabricated buildings, also known informally as prefabs (or referred to in some languages as industrial or modular constructions), are erected by on-site assembly of building components that have been manufactured in a factory. Prefabricated buildings may range from temporary shelters to large-scale commercial buildings intended for long-term use. Several of the world’s largest retailers and restaurant chains, for example, now use prefabricated buildings for most of their new outlets, bringing down costs, but also giving consumers the same shopping layout or experience wherever they may be.

Therefore, while prefabricated buildings can be put up more quickly and at a lower cost, they must be robustly assembled to ensure the same safety standards, environmental protection and comfort requirements as traditional buildings. The key to achieving these criteria is the quality of the sealing and bonding of expansion joints between the different parts and components, which must be functionally and aesthetically perfect.

This is why silane-modified and silicone sealants are the materials of choice for prefabricated buildings since they offer better bonding, weatherproofing and overall resistance for outdoor joints. They also enable better finishing because they come in various colors and are compatible most types of paints. 

What are the main advantages of Elkem silicone-based materials for sealing and bonding prefabricated buildings?

Elkem Silicone façade sealants are formulated with different functional group structures in the organic silicon polymer main chain to provide strong adhesion, flexibility, and reliable long-term performance to deliver their initial specifications for many years. Our sealants for prefabricated buildings work with the full range of structural and decorative building materials used in these structures, such as concrete, steel, other metals, PVCs, glass, etc.

These high-performance factors are particularly important as buildings around the world are exposed to an increasing number of climatic and environmental challenges, both natural and man-made. Elkem Silicone sealants are constantly being adapted to meet these challenges and slow the ageing process of underlying structures by reinforcing the interface between building components.

From a processing and installation point of view, silicone sealants for prefabricated buildings offer the following advantages:

  • Low modulus to effectively reduce the internal stress caused by the displacement process of building components
  • Excellent bonding between all types of building materials, in particular high load-bearing concrete, as well as bricks, stone, metal, glass, etc.
  • Efficient extrudability for installation efficiency
  • Four packaging options for different construction practices, including drums, big bags, cartridges and tubes
  • Non-toxic substances to ensure safety for manufacturers of components and building installers.

For property owners, residents and end-users, silicone sealants for prefabricated buildings feature:

  • Long-lasting sealant protection, elasticity and low shrinkage
  • Resistance in a wide range of temperature conditions to ensure weatherproofing 
  • Insulating power and, where required, flame-proof sealants to isolate spaces from smoke and toxic fumes
  • A wide range of color additives for better aesthetic effects and compatibility with all coatings and paints
  • Non-toxic substances to ensure safety for end-users.

Our product offering 

The BLUESIL™ SLT line of products features both acetoxy and alkoxy silicone elastomers in one or two-component systems, featuring high-performance mechanical properties that are ideal for applications in silicone sealants for prefabricated buildings. These products cure at ambient temperature and in the presence of air humidity to form a strong, flexible long-lasting seal.

Acetoxy technology

This original family of silicone sealants remains the most widely used in multiple construction applications and, in particular our high-performance products are well-suited for protection of expansion joints against harsh outdoor conditions.  This technology, because it creates acetoxy acid in the curing process, can only be used in applications where there is no risk of corrosion in the surrounding environment.

Alkoxy technology

This technology is based on an alcohol curing mechanism and is therefore completely neutral and odorless. It is used in the same range of construction applications as acetoxy technology, but also in areas where corrosion is to be avoided, such as near electrical installations, in contact with sensitive metals (such as copper and its alloys) or in structures that may be exposed to hazardous chemical or environmental pressures.

Here are two outstanding examples of efficient solutions for prefabricated building assembly in our vast product offering:

  • BLUESILTM SLT NOVART S is a one component, neutral alkoxy, ready-to-use and fast curing silicone elastomer suitable for weather-sealing and bonding seals in construction applications. It crosslinks at ambient temperature to give a flexible seal of low modulus and combines the advantages of primerless adhesion and neutrality. It can be used on most materials used in prefabricated buildings. It can withstand movement of 25% in constant service throughout a wide temperature range, is highly resistant and is not affected by exposure to sunlight, rain, snow and ozone over many years. 
  • BLUESIL SLT 10T is a one component, neutral alkoxy, ready-to-use and fast curing silicone elastomer suitable for weather-sealing and bonding in construction applications for prefabricated, as well as partition walls, terracing joints, roof tiles, etc. It cures at ambient temperature in the presence of air moisture to give a flexible and strong seal with low modulus of elasticity. It adheres without a primer on virtually all surfaces found in building construction and accepts movements of 25% in continuous service within a wide range of temperatures. It is available in PVC white and off-white.

Why choose Elkem Silicones as your partner for sealant applications in the assembly of prefabricated buildings?

Elkem was the first silicone manufacturer to introduce a sealant cartridge in 1957 and since then, the company’s R&D, working closely with builders, has continued to develop new silicone-based applications for construction of all types, including prefabricated buildings. Our products are versatile, customizable, safe and easy to process, provide innovative and robust performance features and guarantee safety for manufacturers, building professionals and end-users.

Elkem Silicones can help meet your material specifications for prefabricated buildings through our custom silicone rubber compounding solutions provided by our Mix & Fix Centers.

We are also available to work collaboratively upstream on R&D to develop customized products that meet evolving market needs and regulatory changes.