Perhaps almost everyone could agree with the statement, ‘It’s the best thing that’s happened to concrete!’

Certainly the use of permanent coloured concrete has experienced a large surge in popularity over the past 15-20 years.

With many architects and designers being inspired by the seemingly limitless variety of colours that can be incorporated into an overall theme of a concrete building project, coloured concrete is being used solely on its own with normal float finishes as well as with an endless variety of concrete surface textures – conceivably together with matching or contrasting coloured aggregates in exposed aggregate or honed and polished concrete – all to create unique projects in commercial, residential, industrial and shire/council applications.

However, colouring concrete can carry special challenges. The use of a substandard colouring pigment product, incorrect finishing processes or too much mix water can lead to variable colouration and inconsistent white efflorescent bloom on the surface of the concrete.

With coloured concrete often being an important feature of any project in which it is used, any irregularities or inconsistencies tend to be amplified, so to ensure that the incorporated concrete reaches its ideal durability potential together the pigment’s full colouring capability and uniformity can be considered essential to a successful integrally coloured concrete project.

Critical to achieving high quality and consistent colouring in cement based materials is the use of a correct colouring product and preparation methods – especially in the mixing process, to ensure that the fine colouring pigment particles are fully dispersed into the cement/water mixture.

Most colouring pigments are supplied in the form of fine powders, the particles of which are insoluble in liquids such as water.

Permanent pigments for use in concrete are required to be dispersed throughout the cement, aggregates and water in the mixing process so that their particles are individually separated and homogenously spread throughout the mixture until all of the cement/water paste is tinted to the specified colour. This requires efficient mixing for an adequate time.

Achieving full dispersion of the tiny pigment grains is the key to consistent colouring in every part of the concrete mix. Sufficient time must be allocated for the mixing process to ensure that this occurs.

abilox® mineral oxide colouring pigments from Ability Building Colours provide an easy answer for colouring concrete that creates intense deep or milder colours according to the dose rate. Both quickly and consistently. In this process abilox® is blended with the fine and coarse particle concrete materials which when mixed adequately work together for easy mix dispersion to achieve a full uniform colour in a relatively short time.

abilox® fine mineral oxide colouring pigments from Ability Building Colours are used for the through-colouring of concrete, asphalt, mortar, grout, plaster and lime materials as well as cement bound building products such as pavers, bricks/blocks and roof tiles.

Unlike organic pigments which are degraded by UV rays, abilox® inorganic mineral oxide pigments provide permanent colour and are not affected by the sun’s UV radiation.

abilox® high purity oxides are available in over sixty (60) individual permanent colours and together with an online Colour Specifier, product data, ‘how to do it’ advice sheets and recommended dosing rates, Ability guarantee that you are provided with the best colouring material for an individual construction project.

Click here to find out more about abilox concrete colours.