PDY 12.11.18

Structural cancer!


Concrete bridges were once claimed to have a ‘fit for purpose’ life span of 100 years. Without warning, the collapse of the Genoa bridge, in Italy was just 65 years old. With no way of telling the condition of such a structure there is no knowing where and when the next casualty will occur.

Current cathodic protection and traditional protective coatings, bring with them costly maintenance and can cause more harm than good.

It is well understood what happens when entrapment of water freezes and well understand the mechanical damage caused by embedded expanding corroding rebar.

Thousands of such structures, worldwide are prematurely coming to the end of their usable life. Not least the loss of human life, the cost of having to dismantle and rebuilding will be costly.




Proven acrylic impregnation technology, employed in the automotive industry, successfully sealing leaks for over 35 years with an impeccable record is now available for structural
– ACRYLIC-C120 –


Peter Young’s Heritage

Peter retired from the casting impregnation industry in 1998 to concentrate on developing cold cure acrylic impregnation technology for the treatment of structural and general purpose applications.

The Design Council Production Engineers Design Award 1987

Acrylic impregnation was the brain child of Peter Young, developed and patented in major industrial countries in the late 1978. Owner & founder of a specialist impregnation company ‘Ultraseal international ltd’ www.ultraseal.co.uk A company providing a process inspired by Peter, for sealing porosity in metal castings.

Today, over 3,000 metric tonnes of thermal curing acrylic impregnant is consumed annually in making automotive engine cast components leak free. Applications also include sealing of domestic boilers, air conditioning compressor units and much more…

World leading Ultraseal International, 2014 Midlands Exporter of the Year Award

Ultraseal approvals

US Navy MIL I 17563B Class I. and 3. Underwriter’s Laboratory Inc. MH 16455. Lloyd’s Reg/Ship. MAT/05N1002. British Admiralty.

Automotive: Ford Motor Corp. General Motors. Chrysler Corp. Hyundai Motor Honda Motor Corp. Volkswagen Co. Toyota Motor Corp. Nissan Motor Corp. Perkins Engine Co. BMW Renault Motor Co. Fiat Motor Co. Bosch Auto. Cumrnins Corp. Citroen Motor Co. Rolls Royce Motor Co. Lucas Diesel Co. Peugeot Co. Catterpillar Corp. Rover Motor Co.

Aerospace: Boeing Aircraft Corp. (AWAC)British Aerospace. BAE/GW/374.Bundesamt FurWehrtechnik Und BeschafhingML 8030-010


Acrylic Monomer C120 has the unique properties of being undiluted whilst matching the viscosity of water. Simply, where water goes, so can C120. Its anaerobic properties benefit from curing in the absence of air. The result is a positive plug within the substrate, hidden from UV light. A partnership is formed where the substrate protects whilst being sealed.


Anaerobic ● Non-hazardous ● Simple application ● Rapid cure ● Weather proof within 30minutes of application ● Non staining ● Low shrinkage ● Viscosity of water ● No diluents ● Unaffected by solar UV


It is very important to bear in mind that C120 is not a surface coating. Correctly applied, there will be nothing to see to confirm that the application has taken place. It is for this very reason that the impregnant has to be applied to the point of saturation. When treating structures, start from the very top and work a curtain of impregnant down a vertical surface to mimic that of driving rain. Capillary attraction will draw the impregnant into the substrate. Do not precede with filling voids in the traditional manner. Pointing should be avoided. These only block access of the impregnant to penetrate.

Best condition for acrylic impregnation is clean and dry. For reasons of impregnant retention, disturbance of the repair site should be avoided. Some dampness as opposed to wetness can be tolerated but may require further impregnation when the repair site has fully dried out. However an important feature of an impregnant is that it can be reapplied as many times as necessary, giving 5/10 minutes between applications to achieve an acceptable seal.

Do not saturate a structure with impregnant without first taking account of areas that remain damp after a shower when the rest has dried out. Start with these. Use the impregnant as if it were Roundup. Repeat the treatment on stubborn areas until there is no prolonged wetness. Do not treat the impregnation as a five minute wonder. It takes time to and understanding. Accept that it may take a number of treatments to secure the repair and under the most severe situations, it may be necessary for annual re-treatment, especially where there is progressive structural settlement.


C120 can fill and seal the largest of voids as free flowing retainment fillers are first added to the void to provide the necessary capillary attraction the impregnant needs. Where appropriate to do so is to use ground up host material in order to match texture, coloring and coefficient of thermal expansion. An excellent source of fillers are shot for blast grit in particular silica. The addition of such fillers is a special feature of C120 as it also assists to minimize if not eliminate polymer shrinkage associated with large deposits of impregnant, a major problem noted with traditional sealants.

A further benefit derived from the use of fillers is the elimination of trapped standing water, allowing voids open to the surface to be filled in. This alone will minimize the risk of frost damage, a primary cause of structural decay.

For further information on Concrete Frost Damage please refer to the BRE Building Research Establishment, Watford – Reference: FROST DAMAGE RECOVERY 06.08.2013. Research and testing of X-Seal as a treatment for concrete
Prepared for: Mr Peter Young Managing Director X-Seal Technology Ltd. 27th July 2013 Client report number 278-997v2.0 x-seal2014\bre\bre\ frost damage extract 06.08.13 cdr©


As an impregnant is designed to work out of site within the structural defect, details of its performance has to be judged by what little evidence exists on the surface. It also becomes important to approach the actual impregnation application in a correct manner, noting the condition under which the impregnation took place. Ground rules of do’s and don’ts, bearing in mind that for the impregnant to be successful, it must be applied in a manner that mimics rain, always starting the application from the highest point and allowing it to make its way down the surface, drawn into the substrate by capillary attraction.

For the purposes of demonstration we have inverted what we imagine a typical vertical void defect that could trap rain water and freeze. By inverting, we have a visual view in what would be happening within a void. A steel bolt mounted onto a mineral base, onto which is poured white sand and then impregnated with Acrylic-C120 Impregnant. Finally, being able to pick up the entire mass within 4 minutes expounding the level of density that has taken place between the composite makeup. This is only at the point of polymerisation from the point of gel. The impregnant will continue to harden up over a period of time

Shrinkage of acrylic monomers can be as much as 10 to 15% by weight although to some degree inhibited by the silica structure within which it resides. Should there be an occasion where high shrinkage has occurred, the repair site can always be made up by further application of impregnant.



With Acrylic-C120, there is an opportunity to make good use of resident iron oxide (rust) by allowing it to remain in place and fusing it to the substrate by saturation of the impregnant. Such a combination provides a more stable and maintainable platform and control over further deterioration. A principal benefit of impregnation is that the structure remains free of intrusive damage, which in turn serves to protect historical integrity and appearance. Not least, acrylic impregnation works quickly to provides weather protection. Requires no special skills. The impregnant itself is non hazardous, structurally passive and biodegradable.

Pre-war Crittall window, weakened by many years of water damage, was recovered by first removal of excessive rust, not all, as it was needed for retainment of pre-cured Acrylic impregnant, to ensure full encapsulation and protection against further damage. Repair was filled and decorated. SW facing South Coast UK July 2013


1. Rust is hydrophilic and acts as a receptacle for moisture and oxygen, which in turn eats away at the metal substrate.
2. Current maintenance includes removal of the rust and then application of protective coating. ‘Impregnated’ rust denies access of moisture and oxygen to the virgin metal substrate.
3. The rust oxide, becomes encapsulated within the impregnant which, in turn is bonded to the metal surface.
4. The anaerobic volatility of the liquid impregnant, allows it to evaporate from the surface, leaving it free and clear of contamination.
5. Oxide protects the substrate impregnant from solar radiation.
Life expectancy of the protected coating 20/30 years.
May be painted over


● Avoids negative disturbance/damage of the structure.
● Makes preservation more affordable.
● Removes the requirement of specialist bygone craftsmanship.
● Avoids the need for tenting as the impregnant can be applied during dry calm periods, becoming rain proof within minutes of application.
● Reduces the level of moisture retention to inhibit the growth of fungi/ vegetation.
● Protects against loss of historical element.
● Consolidates resistance against environmental/pedestrian erosion.


Being that the anaerobic acrylic impregnant is unable to cure on an open surface, visual testing of the product under actual working conditions becomes impossible to judge. Acrylic-C120 is much like a hermit crab, it needs a home within which to reside and protect, whilst itself being protected by the shell of its surroundings. This is a unique and special relationship when it comes to weather protection. Paints merely cover up the problem and do not fare well against environmental degradation; very often causing more damage through vapour entrapment than for the surface being left open to the environment. On the other hand an impregnant does nothing more than fill voids through which water can otherwise enter the structure.

In order to be able to gather performance data on the impregnant under direct weather conditions, the following test procedure was developed using dry, free flowing granular material to form a stable pyramid (becoming the porosity) onto which the impregnant was carefully drip fed to a point of saturation. The fact that the specimen is not contained is important as any surplus impregnant can drain away, otherwise the impregnant becomes nothing more than an encapsulant. The pyramid also reflects ‘in the reversed plain’ to that which would be formed within a normal structural cavity which cannot be seen. This reversed exposure test provides an excellent opportunity to gauge the protective value of an impregnant.

The impregnant itself is thinner than water and as such has the ability to be lost in cavities where there is no retention by capillary attraction. Rather than thickening the impregnant, it was decided prudent to pre-add filling agents as described here to cause such retainment. It is therefore highly desirable for both the impregnant and fillers to be employed in structural sealing applications. It also reflects directly on the described above test procedure.

Having produced the following specimens the plastic film was removed from the base onto which Acrylic-C120 in Gel form was added and then positioned onto a vertical weather facing brick wall and held in place for 3 minutes for the gel to cure..

1. Common grade fine cooking salt . 2. White free flowing sand – aquarium quality. 3. Ground walnut shell – shot
blast quality 4. Builders sharp sand.

These examples of pre-fills provide an option to match the host material such as a particular type and shade of sand stone. Also to be able to carry appropriate chemicals to assist in corrosion protection for fighting back decay or minimising the growth of vegetation as a result of the pre-fill being resistant to retainment of moisture on which the growth relies. A further feature of these in-fills is their low shrinkage.
A further sample was added to wall 03.08.17 – C120 GEL



1. Spray impregnate bridge deck and parapet walls to form umbrella weather protection. 2. Spray and encapsulate open wounds
of rusted steel reinforcement (do not remove as rust acts as retainment of the impregnant. 3. Spray with concrete. 4. Leave to season – 1 year. 5. Spray repair patch with C120 to seal.


Cathodic Protection of Reinforced Concrete Bridge Elements, requires constant specialist maintenance for it to work correctly. It is also at risk of damage in being required to operate in an outdoor, potentially unprotected environment. Saline and various latex coatings may provide short term sealing of fine cracks only.

Compared to that of X-Seal Acrylic C120 Impregnant, these treatments are unable to check retention of rain water and therefore do little to prevent frost damage, the major cause of so called Cancer. At best they need regular maintenance and able to deface.

Acrylic C120 offers in one product all the elements required to protect. There is little in the way of required maintenance as the impregnant operates out of sight within the structure, where it has no enemies e.g. sunlight. C120 is best used as a maintenance tool as it may be applied as and when required. There is no special preparation of the structure to be sealed other than being dry and no limit how large the defect may be.


Recommended Starter Pack10ml Syringe Pack is an integral two barrel dispenser.
Mixing nozzle may be flushed through with water immediately after each application. Pack is provided with cup and pipette for dispensing product without a nozzle.
Availability: Impregnant or Gel
Ideal for general and pressure injection applications.




50ml Cartridge Pack is an integral two barrel dispenser.
Mixing nozzle may be flushed through with water immediately after each application. Pack is provided with cup and pipette for dispensing without nozzle.
Ideal for general and pressure injection applications.




200ml Pack Ideal for jobbing and spray applications.
Trigger Spray is duel function. Use as dispenser – one shot of impregnant two drops of Activator.
Drench Gun. Optional. Use for rapid spray application.
Requires compressed air 600cfm/minute minimum
For use with squeeze bottle application




400ml Pack. Make ready for application, Add all contents of bottle Part 3 ‘Activator’ into bottle Part 2, this mix has a usable shelf life of 1 month when mixed. Shake and attach both Part 1 & 2 to gun. No further mixing required. If its liquid, its usable!

X-Seal custom spray applicator provides for instant standby jobbing and spray applications. Requires compressed air >600cfm.



Custom packaging available


Currently undergoing consideration for commercial application. Truck mounted spray application for the sealing of concrete bridge decks. Corrosion protection of suspension bridge cables. General injection of tunnel leaks. Protection of general structures in control of concrete cancer, metal corrosion and timber decay.

Commercial enquires welcome.


With the advent of Drones, are we that far away from targeting structural defects with an airborne impregnant that can be applied as a drench, being self penetrating and fast curing? A Drone would have the ability to search out difficult to get to locations requiring treatment thus avoiding the costly
expense of scaffolding and the related dangers. If the Drone can carry the impregnant to site then structural maintenance would become more cost

With thermal imaging and modern day programming technology, the Drone could be targeted to go and seek out dampness and deal with it effectively!
If there is no capillary attraction, the impregnant is designed to just evaporate off. Sealing of a domestic brick chimney could become nothing more
than a mornings work and without the need for expensive and intrusive scaffolding.

Imagine the Firth of Forth bridge with its encrusted 100 years of environmental damaged coating. Acrylic C120 would simply have delivered the
impregnant to this crust, rejuvenating its seasoned protective ability to extend life. Might this have been a more secure way of sealing the Bridge
than intrusive removal of this coating (paint) and cutting out the labour intensive aspect of constant maintenance, not least the health hazard of lead
often contained in such coatings.




£13 million extending into a 6 year project on this stately home near Drewsteignton on the edge of Dartmoor to make it water-tight. Over 600 tonnes of granite were removed and mapped in order to insert a plastic membrane. An enormous project and involved removing the roof, dismantling walls, replacing windows and re-pointing more than 40 miles of joints. The project commenced in 2013. The first contractor went into liquidation midway through the contract. As of July 2018 completion is ongoing. The project has overrun from the initial Lottery Grant of £11m. Whether water tightness will have been achieved, only time will tell.

X-Seal Acrylic C120, should it have been considered, could have attempted this weather proofing without one stone removed or one window and pointing disturbed. No obvious change in the castles appearance. No need for tenting. No need to close the castle to the public for a price tag of £50k.


The Firth of Forth Rail Bridge, connecting Edinburgh with Fife, at the height of the project, took up to 400 people a day worked on it. It was revealed in 2011 that the latest paint job, which took 10 years and cost £130m to complete and should last for at least 25 years. A task that had to be undertaken should the bridge fall into disrepair.

Today it is possible that the very asset and its hindrance -over 100years of encrusted, seasoned paint could have better served its protection if it had been left in place. This assumption is drawn from the possibility of the Acrylic Impregnant would have rejuvenated and sealed the remnants of paint to the metal surface. Metal corrosion could have become encapsulated. The big question is whether to strip down to bare metal is better than the opportunity that acrylic impregnation affords – to leaving well alone. In consideration impregnation is passive. It changes nothing of a dynamic nature and deals directly with the underlying problems of environmental protection by stripping off the paint does that not aid inspection of the metal and joints that otherwise may be hidden from view, just being ‘devils advocate’.


Little detail has been made public on the preservation and restoration of the Palace of Westminster. We do know that from a structural point of view, work is being carried out on issues of metal corrosion and associated stonework. Traditional methods in use would no doubt include replacement as opposed to
preservation. This is invariably intrusive and detrimental in structural disturbance, inflicting points of weakness in the need to improve weather proofing and structural appearance.

X-Seal Acrylic C120 can embrace the need for weather protection without it being structurally intrusive. Structural appearance would, in the main remain unchanged. However, there is another aspect where appearance may need to be considered, in adding back weathered detail in the form of reconstituted stone moulded with Acrylic C120. An example of this can be found below. Green quarried stone from Ventnor IOW was partly ground up and then added back to the stone and impregnated in place with C120. As will be seen, there is no distinguished difference. This specimen was weathered for two years without adverse effect.


X-Seal Limited
PO Box 357 Lymington, Hampshire. SO41 8WF UK
www.x-seal.co.uk | www.x-seal.net | www.casting-impregnation.com

All information provided is advisory only. No liability is assumed or suggested.