Heavy duty mastic flooring system

abeco® mastic is a cold laid bituminous mastic consisting of stone chippings, portland cement, sand and a binder, flintkote 3.


abeco® mastic has been successfully used in numerous flooring applications and has more than 45 years of service history in the South African market.

Single areas laid have often exceeded 10 000 m2. Joints are normally unnecessary. Construction joints disappear after a few days of traffic exposure. Also for floor repair, including timber surfaces.

Installations include warehouses, railway platforms, printing works, grocery warehouses, explosive magazines, heavily trafficable corridors, textile factories, goods sheds, loading bays, paper storage and packing areas, cold rooms, carpentry workshops, flour mills, ship decks.

abeco® mastic should not be used where it will be exposed to mineral or vegetable oil, mineral or fatty acids, solvents, continuous wet or abrasive conditions, point loading, such as 200 ℓ drums rolled on edge.

  • Produces a jointless, non-dusting, warm, resilient, quiet floor surface which is non-slip, vermin proof, damp proof, nonflammable and self-healing under traffic including the heaviest loads carried on steel, plastic or rubber wheeled vehicles
  • Does not produce disintegration – may be laid over any firm, sound, clean subflooring including concrete, asphalt, wellcompacted crusher run, steel and timber
  • Laid to a nominal 12 mm dry thickness abeco® mastic dries to a black colour
Preparation of Subfloor

The subfloor should be clean and free from dust, dirt, loose material, oil, grease and other foreign matter. Grease and oil should be removed by washing with detergent. The surface must then be well washed with water and allowed to dry. Subfloors must always be surface dry.

Surface Preparation

The substrate must be dry before application. Electronic moisture content tests must be conducted prior to application priming system. Maximum moisture 4 – 5% (e.g. Protimeter Survey Master or equivalent) or a practical overnight “plastic sheet test” is also advisable approximately 1 m masked down on surface.


The priming solution is made by diluting flintkote 3. Stir well during and after the addition of water. Apply a brush coat of this material to the clean, dust free subfloor at the rate of 2 m2/ℓ.

This coat, which goes on as a dark brown paint, rapidly dries to a black film.

If the dry film does not completely blacken the subfloor surface, apply a second coat immediately. If the subfloor is not fully sealed after two coats of primer, a third and even a fourth may be used. Allow to dry fully before proceeding further.

Physical and Chemical Properties


Recommended laid thickness 12 mm
Mass of laid mastic ±24 kg/m² at 12 mm
Indentation resistance A load of 2 MPa should not indent the surface more than 0.5 mm at 12 mm thickness at 20 °C
Thermal conductivity K factor – 0.8 Kcal/m²/h/°C
Volume electrical resistivity Approximately 1.3 x 10(11) ohm-cm at 12 mm
Dielectric strength ±1 260 volts/mm at 12 mm thickness at 60 cycles/second
Service temp limits -10 °C to 80 °C
Application temp range 5 °C to 40 °C
Fire resistance Non-flammable, wet or dry
Drying time to trafficability 36 to 48 hours
Drying time to initial set 1 – 6 hours
Chemical resistance Resistant to water spillage and washing, alcohol, most salt solutions, dilute alkalis. Not resistant to oil, grease, fat, solvents, acids
Clean up after laying Kerosene or white spirits
Storage of binder Store above 0 °C under cover
Shelf-life 12 months
Suitability for underfloor heating Surface temperature must not exceed 32 °C
Colour System dries to a black finish
Bond Coat

Immediately before the mastic layer is placed, apply an undiluted coat of flintkote 3 brushed on at the rate of 0.75 ℓ/m2. The mastic must be laid into the still wet bond coat.


flintkote 3, binder: use: 4.13 ℓ/m2 for 12 mm thick abeco® stone mastic. 2.65 ℓ/ m2 for 7 mm thick abeco® sand mastic.


Mixing is normally done by hand using shovels. Ideally there should be at least two operators per mix. Mechanical pan mixers with revolving drums and rotating paddles may also be used. Conventional drum concrete mixers are not suitable.

Mix sizes should be such that the entire quantity prepared can be laid within 30 minutes. Laying delayed beyond the time when the emulsion has started to break, will cause rapid failure in performance.

The sequence of mixing is:

  • Thoroughly blend the stones, sand and cement
  • Add sufficient water to dampen the material. About 25% by volume is generally sufficient if the aggregate is air dry, less than this if the aggregate is wet from rain, washing or other moisture
  • Add the total amount of flintkote 3 to the damp aggregate. Ensure that any lumps that form are completely broken down
    during mixing
  • Extra water may be added to adjust workability of the mix. The consistency must be such that the vertical face resulting from a shovel cut into the mix, is just short of flowing. Prolonged mixing must be avoided as this can cause the binder to shear (a defect not obvious in the wet mix but which leads to rapid failure in performance)
Laying Procedure

With the bond coat still wet, dump the mix onto the prepared area and using a wood float or rake, spread the mix between screed rails to a level slightly higher than the screed rails. Consolidate by tamping and then strike off to the correct thickness, using a straight edge laid across the screed rails and worked to and fro with a saw like motion whilst progressing forward. Close and smooth the surface with a wooden float which should be kept damp and free of semi dry and dry material.

A finer finish may be obtained by following up with steel trowelling just before the mastic achieves its initial set. The time for this will depend upon the drying rate of the job in hand and can only be determined by inspection. If steel trowelling is excessive or carried out too early, a large proportion of fines may be worked to the surface resulting in a weak surface layer.

On large areas, it is usual to lay mastic in alternate bays, the laid and cured panels acting as a depth gauge for the subsequent adjoining areas. To compensate for the shrinkage that will occur as the new placing dries, a strip of 3-ply malthoid must be put down on the set material to increase its thickness before using it as a screed rail for the new material.

Specialist Subcontracting Facilities

a.b.e.® will be pleased to advise prospective abeco® mastic users of the names of specialist subcontractors operating in specific geographical areas.

As a floor repair:

abeco® mastic makes an excellent repair material for potholed, damaged or ravelled concrete floors. Patching carried out on a morning, is normally available for full operation 2 days later with no danger of the patch pulling out.

Patching procedure

The area involved must be freed of all dust, loose material and cracked aggregate. Oily and greasy contamination must be removed completely.

Edges should be squared although this is not obligatory.

Surfaces to be treated must be primed as previously described with the priming coats extending onto sound concrete by approximately 75 mm.

Immediately before patching is placed, a bond coat must be applied. The damaged area is then filled with mastic to some 5 mm above final level, carrying the mastic onto the primed surround with a feather edge. The mastic must be well compacted with a wooden float. Any shrinkage developing during drying, will close under traffic. Where damaged areas are 20 – 30 mm deep, mastic should be applied in two layers. The first layer should fill the hole to within 12 mm of final surface and be allowed to dry. The final levelling then proceeds as described. The dried filling must receive a bond coat. Where potholes are in excess of 30 mm deep, they should be cleaned out and patched with concrete to within 12 mm of final surface. As soon as concrete has set, the patching to final level with abeco® mastic proceeds as already outlined.

Where patching is shallow (below 12 mm), aggregate size should not exceed 3 mm size and where the thickness is less than 6mm, abeco® sand mastic should be used.

Repairing V-joints in concrete floors

V-joints in concrete floors often present a hazard to small wheeled traffic. These joints can be filled very easily with either stone or sand mastic using the details given in this data sheet.

Prime and bond the surface as usual. Fill in the joint with a slight excess of mastic to allow for shrinkage and bedding under traffic. The choice of whether stone or sand mastic is used, will depend upon joint sizes.

Repairing timber floors

abeco® mastic can be used on timber floors with the same modifications
to the foregoing systems.

  • The timber must be clean and free of wax
  • Ensure that all floor boards are firmly nailed to their supports
  • Staple 12 mm chicken wire mesh to the boards and use this as a reinforcing for the mastic
  • Lay the mastic 15 – 20 mm thick
Protection on Completion

Protect the surface against traffic and spillage until cured. See laying procedure regarding shrinkage.


abeco® mastic floors can normally be kept clean by washing down with detergent and water. They may also be waxed using an emulsion based floor wax.

Temperature and Relative Humidity

See physical and chemical properties table.

Model Specification

The flooring will be abeco® mastic, a heavy duty mastic flooring system combining flintkote 3 bitumen emulsion mastic binder with selected aggregates and cement applied in accordance with a.b.e.® recommendations.


The binder, flintkote 3, is supplied in 5 ℓ, 25 ℓ and 200 ℓ.

Handling and Storage

All abeco® mastic related products have a shelf-life of 12 months if kept in a dry, cool store in the original, unopened packs. If stored at high temperatures and/or high humidity conditions, the shelf-life may be reduced.

Health and Safety

Wet abeco® mastic is mildly toxic and non-flammable. Always ventilate the working area well during application and drying.

Avoid inhalation of dust and contact with skin and eyes.

Suitable protective clothing, gloves, eye protection and respiratory protective equipment should be worn. The use of barrier creams provides additional skin protection. If contact with skin occurs, wash with water and soap. Splashes into eyes should be washed immediately with plenty of clean water and medical advice sought.

Cured abeco® mastic is inert and harmless.

Important Note

This data sheet is issued as a guide to the use of the product(s) concerned. Whilst a.b.e.® endeavours to ensure that any advice, recommendation, specification or information is accurate and correct, the company cannot accept any liability for application – because a.b.e.® has no direct or continuous control over where and how a.b.e.® products are applied.

Further Information

Where other products are to be used in conjunction with this material, the relevant technical data sheets should be consulted to determine total

a.b.e.® has a wealth of technical and practical experience built up over the years in the company’s pursuit of excellence in building and construction

Shrinkage Cracking and Curing

It is common for abeco® mastic to exhibit shrinkage cracking on overnight drying. Unlike shrinkage cracking of concrete screeds, this is not important. A few days of wheeled traffic will seal the cracks completely. Shrinkage cracking is normally due to too rapid drying of mastic and may be caused by several factors such as insufficient sealing of the subfloor, draughts, sunlight, and atmospheric conditions. To retard cure, the trowelled surface can be covered with polythene sheets for a few hours. However, if cracks are very wide, the following system may be used for sealing them.

  • Cursher dust: screened through fly screen 4 volumes (14 – 16 mesh) and retained material discarded
  • Portland cement: 0.25 volume flintkote 3 1 volume
  • Water: 3 volumes
  • Blend crusher dust and cement and dampen with water
  • Mix in flintkote 3
  • Add rest of water and mix thoroughly

Method of use

Pour the resultant sloppy slurry into the cracks and strike off with edge of a steel float.

Approximate Mix Proportions For abeco®
Materials Loose bulk density Relative density
Stone (5 mm) 1 300 kg/m3 2.70
Sand 1 100 kg/m3 2.60
Cement 1 667 kg/m3 3.14
abeco® 1 000 kg/m3 1.00
Water 1 000 kg/m 1.00
Volume conversions 1 000ℓ/m3 or 1 L provides 1 m2/mm thickness


Properties of Wet Material
Materials Volumetric mix Mass – kg Absolute volume
Stone (5 mm) 120 156 57.78
Sand 60 66 25.38
Cement 30 50 15.92
flintkote 3 60 60 60.00
Water for dry sand 15 15 15.00
Total 226 347 174.09
Approximate coverage 14.5 m2 for above ratios @ 12 mm thickness


Materials Volumetric
Mass – kg Absolute
volume – Yield
Sand 105.45 116 44.62
Cement 30 50 15.92
flintkote 3 45 45 45
Water for dry sand 15 15 15
Total 226 120.54
Approximate coverage 17 m2 for above ratios @ 7 mm thickness Priming:
Allow 1 ℓ/ m2 using flintkote 3 (subject to surface porosity)

Note: Adjust the water content for the moisture in the aggregates (i.e. less water for moist aggregates). All quantities must be measured accurately. Clean 5ℓ or 25 ℓ containers make excellent gauges.

Methods such as barrows or shovels must never be permitted.

Sieve Size (mm) Cumulative % Passing
4.750 100
2.360 85 – 95
1.180 70 – 80
0.600 45 – 55
0.300 10 – 20
0.150 2 – 10
0.075 0


2 Cumulative % Passing
19.000 Cumulative % Passing
13.200 100.0
9.500 95 – 100
6.700 70 – 90
4.750 0 – 10