by Aschak Damani and R. Padmanabhan, Zylog ElastoComp
Today, preformed membranes are hugely popular for waterproofing in the building/construction industry, including for roofs, basements, wet areas and water storage. These membranes provide a solid layer of impermeability between the substrate and water, preventing ingress into cracks of concrete.
Preformed membranes are primarily made from EPDM, PVC, TPO, HDPE, atactic PP, SBS and modified bitumin, etc. The focus of this article is TPO membranes, which are extensively used for exposed roof waterproofing and heat insulation. First introduced in Europe in the early 1990s, TPO membranes were developed as an alternative to PVC to overcome issues around plasticizer migration and membrane integrity breakdown, resulting in wash away and chemical contamination, as well as mold growth affected by weathering over the years; and finally culminating in cracking and leakages. TPOs have since become very popular due to their durability, UV and heat resistance, energy efficiency, as well as cost-effectiveness.