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Decorative Anti-Carbonation Protection Provided by Monodex Ultra


An anti-carbonation coatingmanufactured by UK-based Flexcrete Technologies Limited, part of AkzoNobel, has been produced in a rainbow of different colours to coat the 10,000m2 concrete façade of a prominent office and manufacturing building in Taiwan.

The reinforced concrete building, which is fittingly known as Rainbow House, is located in Neihu, Taipei. Originally constructed in 1976 by the Tong-Fong Brush Factory Co Ltd, the world’s largest manufacturer of hairbrushes, Flexcrete’s Monodex Ultra Coating  was specified for application to the external walls to brighten and redecorate the building’s outward appearance and protect the surface from carbonation and water ingress. A total of seven colours were produced in Monodex Ultra to BS or RAL colour codes in shades of light grey, steel grey, red, mint green, peach, sage and sky blue.

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Rainbow House is a seven storey building with two storeys located underground. From the time of construction the exterior of the building was not renovated until this refurbishment in 2017. Over the years, high levels of dust and grime had accumulated on the exterior surface as the structure is located in a heavily industrialised area.

Exterior Building Protection

Flexcrete’s distributor in Taiwan, Parallel Industrial Co., Ltd, recommended the Flexcrete coating system in order to enhance and protect the exterior of the building. Prior to the specification of an anti-carbonation coating, other solutions were considered such as laying ceramic tiles on the exterior walls. Once it was decided to go down the route of applying an anti-carbonation coating, various brands were considered before Monodex Ultra was selected on the basis of its performance criteria. Water vapour transmission is no less than 19g/m²/day in accordance with BS EN ISO 7783 and permeability to carbon dioxide (µ) of no less than 4.17 x106cm2/s in accordance with EN 1062-6. Once applied, Monodex Ultra provides the equivalent of 1384mm concrete cover and the equivalent air layer thickness is 555m at 132μm dry film thickness.

Following the erection of scaffolding all around Rainbow House, the complete surface area of the concrete façade was first power washed using high pressure water jet techniques to remove dust, grease, old paint and other forms of contamination. The concrete was in poor condition, and with cracking evident and several areas that were uneven, it was necessary to undertake repair works prior to proceeding with the coating application.

Following power washing, the surface was allowed to dry out for seven days before the surface was primed with a spray coat of Flexcrete Bond-Prime applied using Graco airless spraying equipment. Two coats of Flexcrete Monodex Ultra were then spray applied using the same Graco equipment to achieve a high quality finish. As the project utilised seven different colours of Monodex Ultra, demarcation of the different areas was carried out prior to the application of the coating. The majority of the building was coated in a light grey colour, so this was applied first before the application of the remaining colours.

Extended Service Life

Rainbow House weatherproof coatingsMonodex Ultra is a rapid drying, minimal VOC, elastomeric water-based coating with a smooth, matt finish and a service life of 10 years. Able to extend the service life of both newly constructed and existing buildings, the waterborne, cost-effective, low hazard formulation is non-toxic, non-tainting and ultra-low odour. Due to its fast drying properties, two coats can be applied on the same day even in inclement weather conditions. The coating is through-cured in 2-24 hours dependent on ambient temperature. As a guide Monodex Ultra is touch dry in approximately one hour in hot conditions (>30⁰C), two hours at 20⁰C and four to 12 hours at lower temperatures (<10⁰C).

Monodex Ultra incorporates an active in-film fungicide which inhibits the growth of mould, fungi and lichens and remains unaffected by exposure to direct sunlight, ensuring a bright, clean appearance is maintained for many years. It is suitable for the external decorative protection of facades, soffits and elevations of structures in temperate and tropical climates, and due to its excellent fire performance characteristics, is particularly suited for internal use too.

Monodex Ultra provides effective protection against carbonation and a durable barrier to rainwater ingress with inherent flexibility to resist substrate hairline cracking and elongation of 272%. Its vapour permeable nature allows damp substrates to breathe and dry out without blistering of the coating. It is CE-Marked in accordance with the demands of EN 1504 Part 2 and is available in a range of both standard and special colours.