Crafco acquires PoreShield Concrete Protectant license from Indiana Soybean Alliance
Crafco, an Arizona-based supplier of packaged, pavement preservation solutions, will add PoreShield to its portfolio of products. PoreShield is a revolutionary concrete protectant that extends the service life of concrete. The soy-based product was created through a research collaboration between the Indiana Soybean Alliance (ISA), Purdue University and the Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT), funded by soybean checkoff dollars.
PoreShield extends the service life of concrete by five-to-nine times longer than competing products. In a single application, PoreShield delivers more than 10 years of proven protection against water, salt and freeze/thaw damage.
Not only is PoreShield a high-performance solution for concrete, it is also safe, environmentally friendly and easy to apply. PoreShield requires no additional personal protective equipment. PoreShield’s key ingredient is soy methyl ester-polystyrene (SME-PS), which is derived from U.S. soybeans.
“This is exciting news for soybean growers everywhere, but especially for those of us from Indiana who invested checkoff dollars into the research and development of this product,” said ISA Board Chair Mike Koehne, a farmer from Greensburg, Ind. “Soybeans have always been a versatile crop that can provide many, inexpensive products that help the world, and PoreShield is another product realizing its potential. Not only that, it creates new markets for soybeans.”
On average, 200 bushels of soybeans are used for every two-lane mile of concrete highway joint treated with Poreshield.
Crafco, Inc. is the world’s leading manufacturer of pavement preservation products and equipment, along with supplying specialized preservation products to the roofing, waterproofing and athletic surfacing industries. Established in 1976, Crafco helped pioneer the pavement preservation industry and continues to invest in cutting-edge research to extend the service life of infrastructure around the globe.
“Crafco is a great partner to take PoreShield to the next level, and I can’t wait to see all they are able to accomplish,” said ISA CEO Courtney Kingery, who added that farmers and staff of the state’s soybean checkoff program worked hard to create this opportunity. “So many people had a hand in getting PoreShield to this point. Everyone should be proud of their work.”
Under terms of the agreement Indiana soybean farmers will continue to benefit from PoreShield. For a period of time, Crafco will pay a royalty fee to ISA based on sales revenue.
A unique solution to enhance concrete
PoreShield’s unique solution to enhancing concrete should make it a popular choice for contractors and consumers.
The growth of PoreShield was aided by soybean farmers from across the country. The United Soybean Board (USB) invested in the product and helped showcase it to potential vendors from around the country. Kingery said checkoff groups working in tandem produce the best results.
“PoreShield is not a coating but is instead absorbed deep below the concrete surface to protect concrete from within,” said Paul Imbrock, the creator and technical lead for PoreShield. “This cutting-edge, renewable and sustainable technology has proven, powerful performance protecting and preserving new and existing concrete infrastructure including PCCP joints, highways, bridges, buildings, pipes and walkways throughout the nation.”
Imbrock is joining the Crafco team as PoreShield Product Manager to continue developing and promoting Poreshield.
University and Department of Transportation research studies demonstrate that PoreShield extends the life of concrete by reducing calcium oxychloride formation by 90 percent. At greater than 93 percent bio-content, PoreShield is a safe and cost-competitive choice for concrete protection that provides numerous environmental and public health benefits. PoreShield is non-toxic and is safe to use over waterways, and it does not pose any hazards, such as respiration, organ, eye or skin damage. By replacing traditional toxic products, PoreShield reduces volatile organic compounds by 83-93 percent, further reducing carbon dioxide emission impacts.
For these reasons and more, PoreShield became an attractive product to Crafco.
“We immediately recognized that PoreShield represents the next generation of pavement preservation products: safer, easier to use and more effective,” said Lisa Zentner, Vice President of Specialty Products for Crafco. “Innovation has long been a core value at Crafco, so we appreciate the extensive research and development invested in PoreShield. We are pleased to welcome this exciting product into our lineup because we believe it will become the new standard in concrete preservation.”
The origins of PoreShield
Water is the enemy of highway structures. It carries deicers, salt and chemicals into concrete pores where they react and ignite a domino effect of damage including cracks, chips, gouges and potholes. Once the network of concrete pores is compromised, it’s all over for the concrete.
Premature joint failure on highways and bridges costs $1 million per highway mile to repair, according to the Federal Highway Administration. Many highways do not have concrete protection, and those that do receive an application of silicon rubber, asphalt crack filling or hazardous surface sealants made of silane. In 2008, the Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) came to Purdue University seeking a more durable and sustainable solution to this costly problem.
They partnered with ISA and began researching Soy Methyl Ester as an environmentally friendly, longer-lasting alternative. This innovative technology has been branded PoreShield over a decade later, as PoreShield is adopted as a solution across the state, demand for Indiana soybeans continues to grow.
Each 60-pound bushel of soybeans contains approximately 12.4 pounds of soybean oil. There are 7.7 pounds of soybean oil per gallon of PoreShield, in the form of Soy Methyl Ester. On average, PoreShield utilizes 400 bushels of soybeans per mile of highway joint. That’s around 7.5 acres of soybeans.
In 2009, when the Purdue research project took off, Imbrock was an undergraduate research assistant working under Dr. Jason Weiss and Dr. Bernard Tao. “We were interested in SME from the start because of its ability to spread thinner than water,” he explained.
Current solutions create a top layer of protection that can trap chemicals in concrete pores. PoreShield is absorbed into the pores as a liquid. “Where other solutions work as a film cover, PoreShield protects from within the pores, preventing outside elements from entering the pores,” Imbrock added.
In 2019, INDOT applied PoreShield on sections of US 24, I-69, and I-65. INDOT saves money and reduces labor compared to the products and practices it replaced – estimates are a 20 percent savings from application on joint treatments and a 25-35 percent savings from surface treatments (i.e. bridges).
“You’ve invested millions in concrete highway, it’s something you want to last for at least two decades, and PoreShield has been proven to extend the life of concrete,” Imbrock added.
PoreShield isn’t only used in road and bridge maintenance, it has been applied on patios and walkways at universities including Purdue, the sidewalks of a fire station, on hundreds of driveways and can be used in other construction and architectural projects including parking lots and garages, curbing, buildings, dams and pipelines.