Application of Zycosil soil on pavements

Application of Zycosil soil on pavements

Submitted by  Ashraf K

Zycosil is new generation of nanotechnology, which has been developed for waterproofing and has UV resistance, thermal resistance, and an ability to withstand the wind erosion due to its nano-size and penetrative power. Water intrusion in building materials has been a problem for the last 1000 years. Fortunately, new developments in science and technology have incorporated the use of nanotechnology to produce eco-friendly, organo silicon products that can render most materials hydrophobic for cycles of 20 to 30 years at a very economical cost.

ZYCOSIL soil on pavements
ZYCOSIL soil on pavements

Water- the great destroyer

Moisture damage is caused by a loss of adhesion, commonly referred to as “stripping” aggregate surface or a loss of cohesion within the binder itself, resulting in a reduction in stiffness. Heavy traffic on a moisture-weakened pavement can result in premature rutting or fatigue cracking . The presence of moisture can also accelerate the formation of potholes

Water repellents

  • Resistance to water intrusion
  • Prevention of water-soluble salts, particularly chloride salts
  • Penetration of repellent treatment to a measurable depth
  • Long-term stability in an alkaline environment
  • Low environmental and health risk
  • UV stability (20+ years)

Types of water repellents

Film formers: These film formers have a particle size greater than 100 nm, which will not allow them to penetrate inside the pores of the building materials but instead form a film covering and protecting the surface from water absorption. Failure of film formers: –
  • Blocks breathability
  • Life of only 2 – 5 years

Penetrants: they are solvent based, soluble monomeric materials less than 6 ηm in size which can easily penetrate inside the pores and sub-branches of the pores.Failure of penetrants: –

  • Flammability
  • High cost
  • Toxic VOC solvents

Zycosil nanotechnology

Any technology based on particles size less than 10 ηm is considered Nano Technology. Zycosil molecule when dissolved in solvent has estimated size of 3-6 ηm. Most pavement materials contain hydroxyl (OH) groups. These OH groups can chemically react with alkoxy groups of Silane to form permanent, mother nature’s strongest siloxane bonds. These types of products impart water repellency by modifying surface characteristics from hydrophilic to hydrophobic.

Zycosil nanotechnology
Zycosil nanotechnology

Features of Zycosil

  1. Permanent water repellent layer on all types of soils, aggregates and other inorganic road construction materials
  2. The technology addresses the critical subsurface drainage problems in road making and repairs
  3. Zycosil’s reactive bonding ability with the aggregates and asphalt helps to eliminate stripping of aggregates t a great extent

Advantages of using zycosil

In subgrade & GSB

  • Maintaining CBR value
  • Reduction of Soil Plasticity
  • Maintaining Breathability

In stone base course

In surface layers

Limitations of Zycosil

  1. Adverse effects of the solvent used- ethylene glycol
  2. A lot of precautions to be taken
  3. More effective on pre-existing cracks than cracks which occur after the application
  4. It cannot be applied if:
  • Ambient temperature is below 10º C or above 50ºC
  • Rain is expected within 2 hours following the application.
  • Precipitation has occurred within 24 hours prior to application.
  • High winds or other conditions prevent proper application and overspray that may have an adverse effect on surrounding materials



  • Unpaved aggregate roads: – Saturate the aggregate-soil surface including 2 meters each on both sides of the road with diluted Zycosoil solution @ 3-L/M2.
  • Black topped roads: – Spray diluted Zycosoil solution @ 1.5- L/M2 on black top, shoulder and slope. Sun dry for 2-3 hours and check for water repellency by drilling a hole in the soil area


  • Potholes
  • Cracks