Getting the Most Out of Cartridge Sealants: Using and Reusing Effectively

Posted by Maribeth Taylor on Apr 23, 2024 7:45:00 AM
Maribeth Taylor
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Joint sealants are typically available in cartridges (either single or dual components). Each cartridge style is designed for specific applications and environments. Generally, cartridges are ideal for small applications such as penetrations, joints, cracks, and many other repairs requiring waterproofing or chemical containment. Partially used cartridges can be stored and reused later. Instant mixing and dispensing of sealants are often performed via a hand, air, or battery-powered caulking gun.   

In this article, we'll discuss:

  1. The advantages of using cartridges over other application methods
  2. The basic differences between single-component and dual-component cartridge sealants
  3. How to set up a sealant dispensing gun
  4. How to store a partially used sealant cartridge


Advantages of Sealant Cartridges 

Using joint sealant cartridges for cant beads, fillets, penetrations, joints, and cracks offers several benefits over application methods: 

  • Ease of Distribution: Cartridges provide a convenient and mess-free way to apply sealant, allowing for precise application along cant beads and fillets without additional tools.
  • Uniformity: Cartridges ensure consistent application thickness, which is crucial for maintaining the integrity of cant beads and fillets. 
  • Time Efficiency: Cartridges typically come with applicator nozzles that allow quick and efficient application, saving time during sealing. 
  • Cost-effectiveness: Sealant cartridges often come in standardized sizes, making it easier to estimate the amount of sealant needed for a project and reducing waste. 
  • Durability: Many sealant cartridges contain high-quality sealants that offer excellent adhesion and durability, ensuring long-lasting performance of cant beads and fillets.
  • Versatility: Sealant cartridges are available in various formulations to suit different application requirements, such as weather resistance, flexibility, and adhesion to different substrates. 
  • Cleanliness: Using cartridges reduces the risk of spillage and mess compared to traditional bulk sealant application methods, leading to a cleaner worksite and reducing the need for cleanup. 

Related Article: Essential Waterproof Coating Terminology


Single Component Or Dual Component Cartridges 

Single-component sealant cartridges contain sealant ready to use directly from the cartridge without any additional mixing required. They are typically used for applications where convenience and simplicity are essential, as they do not require any special equipment or preparation. 

On the other hand, dual-component sealant cartridges contain two separate components that must be mixed together before use. This mixing process can activate chemical reactions within the sealant, leading to increased strength or other desired properties. Dual-component cartridges are often used for more specialized applications where specific performance requirements need to be met. 

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Setup Instructions Cartridge for Two-Component Sealants 

For these instructions, we'll use CIM's polyurethane sealant, 1000 Trowel Grade, in cartridge form. The following offers step-by-step instructions for setting up the cartridge and dispensing gun.  

  1. Remove retaining nut and cartridge caps from the CIM Trowel Grade Cartridge.  
  2. Insert an orifice restrictor with a small hole over a smaller cartridge tube.  
  3. Attach the static mixer to the cartridge using the retaining nut.  
  4. Cut off the plastic tip of the static mixer to the appropriate width.  
  5. Insert the cartridge into the caulking gun.  
  6. Prime the static mixer by squeezing the caulking gun's trigger 2-3 times. Discard the first 6" shot of material dispensed from the mixer. Now, the product is ready for use. 

 Note: Perform steps 1-6 below with the tip of the cartridge and static mixer pointed upward. 


Related Article: Common Waterproof Coating Application Mistakes (And How to Avoid Them)  


Storing and Reusing a Partially Used Cartridge 

Joint sealants may be packaged for reuse. Review the product packaging or consult with the manufacturer for storage instructions. The manufacturers may suggest leaving the used static mixer on the partially used cartridge and allowing the product in the mixer to cure; this will act as a natural sealant. Alternatively, remove the static mixer and restrictor and replace the original cartridge caps and retaining nuts.  

Overall, joint sealant cartridges offer a convenient, efficient, and effective solution for sealing cant beads and fillets in construction and other applications. Various specialty sealants are available, depending on your project's specific requirements.  

Related Article: How to Successfully Apply Cold, Fluid-applied Waterproof Membranes  


CIM's two-part urethane fluid-applied liners and coatings have kept liquids where they belong for over 35 years. Our team of technical consultants is available to assist you with product information to meet your coating needs. Please contact us.  

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Topics: CIM 1000 Premix, Concrete Sealant

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