Reinforcing Fabric vs Elastoproof Joint Band – What’s the difference?

Today I'm going to talk about Gripset RF Fabric and our Elastoproof Joint Band. The discussion has come up of recent times, where we've been asked why we don’t recommend the RF Fabric at all floor junctions, even though you can use it, and we have seen people using it with membranes with a sealant bond breaker. But I might have to go back in time to explain how we evolved with this one.

So Gripset RF Fabric has been in the Gripset range now for 20 years, and we don't use polyester, we use a polypropylene. It's a non-rotting material when it's used with moisture and constant moisture, very good resistance to both alkaline and acidic PHs, but more importantly when you use it with a liquid membrane like our Gripset 38FC, where external membranes, it doesn't wrinkle, it wets out really nice and is easy to work with.

Years ago, before we had gone through the development of the Elastoproof range, we would embed products like the Gripset 38FC into this, to give you high strength.

Back in the day they used to always use fiberglass and try and embed it out to give it high strength. But if you've got an elastomeric membrane it makes no sense to put it into a reinforcing fabric like this, and have all those properties that are gone, immediately once it dries. So we use this more for where you want strength and reinforcement in what we call, non-movement joints. So a lot of the time between wall to wall junctions, where you've got minimal movement or non-expected movement, but you do have a joint, or you've got joins on floor sheets that are not movement joints, but not between two different substrates, the same substrate, or it could be a saw cut potentially, that just needs reinforcement, or even some spider cracking that are not live, this works really well embedded into the membrane over that. We do have it one meter wide, but our 100, 150, and 200 mil wide strips are the most popular.

So if you do use this at a wall to floor junction, is it going to fail? Likely not. But the fact is you still have to use a sealant bond breaker with your Class 3 membrane, and then you're putting this on top, and for us it made no sense. So we went down the path of evolution and brought in our Elastoproof range, and we are coming up to our 15th year anniversary with this product, and it has served us so well.

This gives you the ability to have movement at a joint and junction, which is waterproof, but most importantly it's the elastic recovery that counts. That's what you get with the Elastoproof Joint Band. We have a nitrile butadiene rubber and the reason we use that type of rubber is because it has got excellent resistance to chemicals, and more importantly, this fabric is a great carrier for things like tile adhesives, and liquid membranes, and coatings that come on top of it.

But instead of having to use a sealant bond breaker at a wall/floor junction, this product works with all our membranes, whether you've got a Class 1, Class 2, or Class 3 system. It works underwater, in a water tank, a swimming pool, fish pond, immersed areas. It works underground in planter boxes and retaining walls, and as you know it works in our wet area applications for both external wet areas on balconies, or internal wet areas.

We embed this into the membrane - it gets wetted out, and when you see that from side on, this is the bond breaker. There's no need to put a sealant bed. You've got the elastic recovery, it's instantly waterproof, so the most critical joint is waterproof, not just elastic reinforcement, but it's waterproof, and you have a system that will serve you very, very well.

I had this argument many, many times with many of our friends out there, that are still lovers of sealant bond breakers out in the marketplace, that tell me it's quicker. It's not quicker because the fact is you've got to put the sealant down, then you've got to come back, and if you're using a sealant that's got to wait to dry, that's time. Your time is worth more money than the material. What this costs you a lineal meter, you use less of the liquid membrane in the wall/floor junction, so you save on that. Our calculations are you are 20 to 30% off per lineal meter with this product, when you analyze your time and job, and at the end of the day you cannot compare the quality.

Because you've got to remember that with all sealants, you've got a minimum build up that you've got at the wall/floor junction with a sealant, and even the data sheet from many of the manufactures will tell you that. Yet I see some sealants being used like 20, 30 mil just bogging up the joint, and that's not going to work. Our Joint Band is 65 mil wide the rubber, 120 is the span of the fabric, and if you need we've got wider ones, we can get them. But this has served us very, very well 99% of the times on wall/floor junctions, for both internal and external areas. So that is the difference between what the Elastoproof and the RF Fabric is. They still sit in our range, serving you guys well with what you need, but there is a difference. So there's a time and a place we use a reinforcing fabric, and there's a time in a junction where you use the joint band.