Elephant Armor® FAQ
What is unique about GST International’s Elephant Armor®?
Unlike other mortars, Elephant Armor® (EA) is a single component, fiber based, zero polymer, engineered ductal mortar. It is very easy to use, even in remote places – Just Add Water.
EA contains no polymers, allowing it to accept stains, tints, or any other color pigments (other than white).In addition to the mechanical bond, our fiber creates a fully engaged molecular bond within the mortar matrix, providing extremely high tensile and flexural strength. This also means EA has vastly superior bond strength to anything on the market.
Elephant Armor® is a ‘highly ductile mortar’, which allows the overlay or repair to ‘Flex Without Failure’.
Elephant Armor® is highly resistant to de-icing salts and freeze/thaw.
Elephant Armor® prevents propagation of existing cracks through the surface.
Elephant Armor® contains a patented low embodied energy high cementitious formulation, a green technology that reduces our carbon footprint through resource conservation and reduced landfill waste.
How many square feet per 50lb bag does Elephant Armor® cover?
When using a GST Texture Roller (looped roller), with specially developed GST ¼” Cap Gauges, a 50lb. bag will cover approx. 20 sq. ft. Using ½” gauges with the GST Texture Roller, that number goes down to 10 sq. ft. per bag. Total yield per bag of EA is ½ cubic foot.
Are Fiberglass Fibers used in Elephant Armor®?
No, the fibers used are a highly specialized Polyvinyl Alcohol.
Is Elephant Armor® an Exothermic Material?
Yes – What does that mean? Heat and sunlight will expedite the cure process.
Can you slow down or speed up the curing process? Yes, colder water in the hot months will extend the working time and warmer water in the cold months will expedite the curing process. When used in volume (multiple bags), the product will create a lot of heat and will cure (stiffens up) quickly.
Can Elephant Armor® be stained?
Yes, EA contains no polymers, allowing it to accept stains, tints, or any other color pigments (other than white).
Can Elephant Armor® be stamped or broomed?
Yes, Elephant Armor® accepts all textures including stamped or broomed. A smooth finish with a GST Squeegee Trowel can also be achieved.
Can Elephant Armor® be polished?
Yes, EA can be polished. Please contact your local Elephant Armor® representative for information.
Can you use a grinder on dried Elephant Armor®?
Yes, Elephant Armor® grinds well. It is a preferred finishing method in many repair applications.
Do you mix Elephant Armor® the same way you mix other concrete products?
No, the amount of water required is very specific. You have to be consistent with your water measurements every time. For a 50 lb bag, you typically use between 5.5 - 6.5 qts. (5.2 - 6.2 liters) of water – no more. All of the water should be poured in at one time; the water does not need to be slowly mixed in.
Elephant Armor® recommends having one individual dedicated to the mixing of the material for larger projects, ensuring consistent color and material rheology.
The exact measurement of water allows for an efficient mixing process. Two bags of Elephant Armor®
(100 lbs.) can be mixed in a GST EA 70 Quart Mixing Bucket in less than 90 seconds, realizing additional labor savings.
Excessive water and/or over-working the material, may cause the fibers to be exposed on the surface.
Does Elephant Armor® need to be ‘fluffed up’ prior to mixing?
Yes, due to transportation and storage EA may become compacted. It’s recommended that the bag be ‘rolled’ prior to placing material in the EA 70 Quart Mixing Bucket. Once the EA is in the bucket, prior to adding the water, dry mix (fluff) the EA using the ColloMix Xo55 Duo ensuring proper water integration.
Watch our EA Mixing Video.
Is a special mixer required?
Yes! The ColloMix Xo55 Duo (available from your EA dealer) is mandated for mixing Elephant Armor®, due to its high fiber content. The ColloMix Xo55 Duo provides the high sheer required for a homogeneous mix.
Are there additional considerations when working with Elephant Armor®?
Always have several extra 5-gallon buckets of water around your work station to keep your tools clean, as EA is fast setting.
Immediately upon completion of mixing Elephant Armor®, spin the ColloMix paddles in a bucket of water to clean them.
Approximately 30 minutes after final placement, and the product achieves final set (lightens in color), it’s strongly recommended that you apply a light coat of Ecobeton Vetrofluid on the completed repair.
Pump up spray bottles are also required: one with clean water and another with Ecobeton Vetrofluid.
Read about Ecobeton Vetrofluid here.
Do I need any special tools to place Elephant Armor®?
Yes! Unlike traditional concrete, you will need a GST International Texture Roller to properly spread Elephant Armor®, and a GST International Squeegee Trowel for finishing. You can use standard metal trowels to finish off the product.
What happens when you try to use a metal trowel instead of a Texture Roller to spread EA?
The metal trowel will ‘grab and pull’ at the material, as opposed to spreading it out.
Can Elephant Armor® be used to make counter tops or water features?
Yes, counter top or water-feature construction are examples of reverse-casting. EA is used extensively in the manufacturing of outdoor kitchen industry. These are just a couple of the many possible uses for Elephant Armor®.
How much pressure do you need to spread out Elephant Armor® using a Texture Roller?
None, the weight of the GST Texture Roller is really all you need to spread out the material.
Do I need to use a Special Primer? Why?
Yes, primers are the number one reason for failure for the majority of repair mortars currently in the market. There are two types of primers, acrylic based (typically white) and polyvinyl acetate based:
When using EA Primer (acrylic), you MUST place the EA before the primer dries. If you don’t, and the acrylic primer dries, it is now a bond breaker. EA Primer (white) can also be mixed into a slurry and applied depending on the type of repair being made.
GST’s EA Overlay Primer (polyvinyl acetate) which is pink in color, MUST be fully dry before the EA is placed. If EA is placed on wet EA Overlay Primer, it becomes a bond-breaker.
What is the PSI rating of Elephant Armor®?
4000 psi in 4 hours, with the ultimate strength at 28 days of approximately 7000 psi.
What is the recommended thickness of overlays using Elephant Armor®?
EA is highly structural at ¼”.
Can Elephant Armor® be used for vertical or overhead repairs?
Yes, EA is currently used extensively on bridge and tunnel repairs. Contact your local Elephant Armor® Representative for project specific details.
What are the benefits of using Elephant Armor®?
EA eliminates the need for the full de-construction/re-construction process, realizing substantial labor & material savings. This also allows for a quick return to service.
How long has Elephant Armor® been around?
Elephant Armor® has been in development for over the last twenty-seven years, and has been commercially available since 2013.
What is the ideal size of a mixing container?
GST 70 qt. Mixing Buckets with rope handles are ideal for mixing two bags at a time.
Can a Hippo mixer be used to mix Elephant Armor®?
No! The ColloMix Xo55 Duo (available from your EA dealer) is mandated for mixing Elephant Armor®, due to its high fiber content. The ColloMix Xo55 Duo provides the high sheer required for a homogeneous mix.
What is the recommended practice for larger projects?
Larger jobs where you will be mixing multiple bags (or pallets) should have a crew of at least 5 people. Each person should have a dedicated task with at least 1 person dedicated to mixing EA, and at least two people focused on finishing. One person should be a floater and responsible for cleaning tools and supporting the rest of the crew.
What is the recommended practice for ‘deep fill’ (greater than 2”)?
If a deep fill is required, the preferred method is to Fill and Cap the spall in at least two layers, with the final cap layer not to exceed ½” thick. Since EA will create heat in volume, it is extremely important to time when the final cap gets placed. If the volume has attained initial set and hasn’t created a lot of heat, the final cap can be placed immediately. If it has begun to create heat, it is critical to wait until the initial fill has fully set and cooled before placing the final cap. You don’t want to place the final cap on the initial EA fill if it is still creating heat, as it will ‘cook’ the cap and make it impossible to finish properly.
Can Elephant Armor® be placed over an existing Segmental Paver System?
Yes, Elephant Armor® can absolutely be placed over an existing paver system. This proven two step practice has been utilized in this type of application in the past. This process involves priming the paver surface with the EA Overlay Primer and letting it dry. A highly flowable ‘wet fill’ mix is then poured to fill the chamfers of the pavers which will leave a smooth and level surface for the placing the 1/4” overlay. This overlay will accept any standard concrete finish. The pavers don’t have to be grouted or mortar set as the initial ‘wet fill’ will lock them down and tie them together.