Monolithic crack-free consolidants via inverse surfactant micelles
UCA has developed a low-cost and easy route to produce monolithic crack-free consolidants, via inverse surfactant micelles.A stable microemulsion of water and TEOS or its oligomers is produced due to the combined effect of the surfactant and ultrasonic agitation. The micelles created by the surfactant act as nanoreactors, producing a structure composed of nearly uniform silica nanoparticles. The materials present mesoporosity, which is produced by the inter-particulate spaces, preventing cracking. This solution has given rise to an invention patent under exploitation by several companies from natural stone and agglomerate stone fields.