Media Release

Louisiana Pigment Cooling Tower in Westlake Specifies Penetron for Durability


The new Louisiana Pigment specialty chemicals plant in Westlake, Louisiana was officially opened in July 2021. PENETRON ADMIX SB was used to provide comprehensive concrete protection for the concrete structures exposed to groundwater pressure.

Louisiana Pigment Chemical Company produces high quality titanium dioxide (TiO2) pigment, including black, white, and colored pigments. The Lake Charles facility in Westlake, Louisiana is one of the world’s newest TiO2 manufacturing plants and utilizes a chloride production process that recovers TiO2 from titanium ore (natural rutile, slag, etc.). First, titanium tetrachloride (TiCl4) is produced as an intermediate product, then oxidized to form TiO2 particles, which are washed to the required purity for further processing and finishing. The plant has the capacity to produce over 168,000 metric tons of treated TiO2 pigment annually.

“Titanium dioxide is an extremely versatile compound. It is used to make colorful paints, primers and base coats,” explains Christopher Chen, Director of The Penetron Group. “These products are used for building exteriors and to achieve the brilliantly hued automobile finishes we see today. Even appliances use TiO2, where a gleaming white finish is often needed. Finally, titanium dioxide is also found in high-quality papers, color plastics, textile fibers, glass, ink, porcelain, toothpaste, cosmetics, candy, food coloring, PVC, and even white sidewall tires. The list keeps growing!”

Past Performance a Guarantee for Success

The construction of the cooling tower at the Louisiana Pigment chemical plant required a durable and waterproof concrete foundation.

“Despite competitive offers, the client specified Penetron thanks to their previous experience with the performance of Penetron products,” adds Christopher Chen.

The main issue was high groundwater pressure. Penetron USA collaborated with Louisiana-Concrete, the project’s concrete ready-mix supplier, on a reliable waterproofing solution that treated the concrete mix with PENETRON ADMIX SB, in soluble bags, to waterproof the below-grade retaining walls and foundation slab.

Ensuring Resistance to Groundwater

PENETRON ADMIX SB is a permanent concrete waterproofing solution. Once added to the concrete mix, the active ingredients in PENETRON ADMIX SB react in a catalytic reaction to the moisture in concrete. This reaction generates a non-soluble crystalline formation throughout the pores and capillary tracts of the concrete. As a result, the Louisiana Pigment cooling tower’s concrete matrix is now impermeable, resistant to penetration of groundwater and liquids from any direction.

“PENETRON ADMIX SB also provides concrete with the capacity to self-heal micro-cracks for the lifetime of the structure,” concludes Christopher Chen. “This effectively eliminates the need for any future maintenance for waterproofing at the Westlake site.”