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Counter-UV Sealer Offers Instant Curing
Introduced to the U.S. market in June 2008, Counter-UV from Surface 519 is one of the only concrete countertop sealers available that cures instantly upon exposure to ultraviolet light, allowing immediate final finishing and polishing. The product is a unique blend of a polyurethane oligomer (a type of polymer), acrylates, methacrylates and "photo-initiators," says Surface 519 owner Bob Chatterton. The photo-initiators act as a catalyst to trigger the nearly instant cure.
How the sealer works
"One of the most unique features of this product is the way it 'walks' into the substrate," Chatterton says. "Counter-UV has excellent surface penetration. Since it doesn't cure until exposed to the specific wave length emitted by the UV light, it has plenty of time to penetrate the surface, ensuring a tenacious bond."
This product also develops an extremely hard surface that allows the applicator to sand or polish it to the desired sheen, from a natural matte finish to a high gloss and anywhere in between.
Project Profile: Using Counter-UV
Read about how Counter-UV allows countertops to be delivered the same day they were sealed.
Counter-UV is suitable for both residential and commercial concrete countertops and on indoor or outdoor surfaces. It contains no VOCs (volatile organic compounds) or harmful chemicals and is low in odor, allowing safe application indoors. However, because the desired sheen is often achieved by sanding or polishing of the cured sealer, countertops with intricate details will require extra time and effort for finishing. Counter-UV can also be applied to previously sealed surfaces, but applicators should consult with Surface 519 before attempting this, says Chatterton.
Performance in stain-resistance tests
In stain-resistance tests conducted by The Concrete Countertop Institute and available on the Concrete Connections website, Counter-UV performed exceptionally well. Only mustard left temporary discolorations in the sealer, and those could be easily and completely removed with household bleach. Very few sealers in the test were completely resistant to mustard.
Under a scoring system ranging from 0% (complete failure) to 100% (no failure), Counter-UV applied at 3-mil thickness achieved 100% resistance to stains from acids, solvents and cleaners and 98% resistance to harsh staining agents such as vinegar, mustard and red wine. The sealer was exposed to the substances for 24 hours.
Where to get it
Counter-UV is available through local distributors and directly from Surface 519. A gallon of the sealer costs around $360 and covers about 300 square feet. The cost of the UV light needed to activate the sealer is $2,900 and includes a safety kit consisting of a Tyvek suit, full face shield, gloves and a caution sign. Counter-UV carries a 10-year warranty against delamination and staining.
Concrete Connections article: New Fast-Curing, Stain-Resistant Sealer