Expansion Joints and Pre-Compressed Sealants


Tech Data

Install Data


Guide Spec


Sample Request



en español


(click image to enlarge)

• Primary seal
• Watertight
• Airtight
Sound attenuating
Thermally insulating
• High-movement, tensionless silicone bellows
• Rapid installation--new or retrofit
Non-invasive anchoring
Aesthetically and practically versatile
• Easily handles changes in plane and direction
• Easily handles curved expansion joints

Ideal for new installations as well as expansion joint repair and retrofit

As a watertight seal in joints in
protected deck applications beneath cover-plates, or at perimeters in
Decks: structural joints, perimeter joints, isolation joints at stair-towers/elevators
parapets, roofs
concrete covers on above-grade tunnels, wastewater tanks etc.
back-up seal beneath expansion joint-cover assemblies
arenas, etc.

Standard Sizes
1/2" to 8" (12mm - 200mm)

Note: Sizes under 1 1/2" (40mm) are manufactured with a single bellows and are supplied as 10' lengths on reels. Larger sizes incorporate multiple bellows and are supplied as 6' sticks.

Movement Capability
• Total 100% (+50% and -50%) of nominal supplied size.

26 Standard COLORS
Custom Colors

Product Description

HORIZONTAL COLORSEAL is ideally suited for ensuring watertightness in horizontal-plane structural, seismic, and abutment joints in non-trafficked decks of cast-in-place, precast or post-tensioned concrete.

HORIZONTAL COLORSEAL is among a family of industry-standard setting pre-compressed hybrid sealant technologies.  Developed by EMSEAL in the early 1980's, pre-compressed hybrid sealants combine the best of liquid and preformed sealant features while eliminating the shortcomings of each.  EMSEAL has an unrivaled 30+ year track record of  performance.

HORIZONTAL COLORSEAL combines a factory-applied and cured silicone bellows with an impregnated expanding foam backing and is watertight, odorless, clean handling, UV stable, non-staining, low temperature flexible, high-temperature stable.

HORIZONTAL COLORSEAL features EMSEAL’s unique microsphere-modified acrylic impregnation infused into a cellular foam base material and is coated with a high-grade silicone coating.

Related products include:

COLORSEAL or  SEISMIC COLORSEAL for aesthetically compatible transition to joints in the vertical plane.

SEISMIC COLORSEAL-DS (Double sided) for shallow-substrate applications.

HORIZONTAL COLORSEAL for non-pedestrian-trafficked, seismic and structural joints in decks, roofs, stair-tower perimeters etc, is SEISMIC COLORSEAL shipped and installed into EMSEAL-supplied epoxy.

Features Explained

Why silicone for the bellows?  Polyurethane sealant options have been proved to suffer dramatic modulus and other physical properties changes at low temperature and over time.  The silicone used on HORIZONTAL COLORSEAL remains pliant, UV stable and watertight over time and temperature gradient.

Tensionless--The bellows holds the key to HORIZONTAL COLORSEAL's unique performance.  Backpressure from the stored strain energy of the pre-compressed foam secures the system to the substrate and ensures that the silicone bellows are never under tension from the effects of joint movement.

Cheap alternatives comprised of a pre-cured block of silicone over an un-impregnated foam backing must still be caulked to the substrate with large applications of sealant.  This flanking sealant still suffers the same shortcoming of conventionally installed liquid sealant, namely adhesion in tension during joint opening.

Pre-compressed--Unlike imitations that use closed-cell foam backings that must be forced into compression in the field, HORIZONTAL COLORSEAL is supplied pre-compressed to smaller than the joint size.  This means that neither the bellows nor the corner bead, nor the foam backing are in tension either during the full extent of movement capability nor as a result of compression set typical in closed-cell foams.

Non-invasive anchoring--means you are not drilling and screwing into sensitive substrates. This eliminates the risk of spalls and enables installation into inside corners that are impossible to seal with screw-anchored strip-seals.

R-value--An R-value of approximately 2.15 per inch of depth imparts thermal insulation at structural joint-gaps where thermal loss through strip-seals or looped membranes is often significant.  R-value is higher when the joint gap is wider as the foam becomes less dense.

HORIZONTAL COLORSEAL is produced by coating an acrylic-impregnated open-cell polyurethane foam with silicone.

• The expanding foam has an acrylic adhesive infused into the cellular foam base material.

• The silicone external facing is factory applied at a width greater than maximum joint extension and is cured before final compression.

• When compressed, a bellows is created in the coating. As the joint moves, the bellows fold and unfold; the silicone primary seal is thus virtually NEVER IN TENSION.

• HORIZONTAL COLORSEAL is supplied in shrink-wrapped lengths (sticks or reels). It is precompressed to less than the joint size. After insertion, it expands against the joint faces.

• Non-invasive anchoring and sealing against the substrate is achieved through a combination of the backpressure caused by the stored strain energy of compression in the foam backing, a field-applied epoxy adhesive, and the installation of a field-injected corner bead of silicone at the substrate-to-bellows interface.

Figure 1: HORIZONTAL COLORSEAL in Typical Non-Traffic Deck-to-Wall Condition

Performance Limitations
• Substrates must be capable of resisting, without deflection, displacement, or deformation, at least 2.5 pounds of backpressure per square inch of the HORIZONTAL COLORSEAL material.

• Metal coverplates (by others) must be installed above HORIZONTAL COLORSEAL where spiked-high-heel pedestrian traffic, or other high-pointload/small-contact-surface area loads are anticipated.

• If movement exceeds ±50% (100% total) of joint-gap size at mean temperature, integrity of seal will be affected.

• Capable of lateral ("shear") movements up to ±50% (total 100%) of joint size at mean temperature.

• Standard sizes from 1/2" (12mm) to 10" (250mm). Other sizes available subject to review of application: consult EMSEAL.

HORIZONTAL COLORSEAL is used for horizontal, deck applications that are protected from direct contact with traffic; for example, recessed slightly below concrete surface and covered with a metal plate, or located next to a wall or in other locations where no traffic, pedestrian or otherwise, can contact the product.


IMPORTANT: The following instruction summary is generic. Refer to "Install Data: Horizontal Colorseal" and job-specific instruction of EMSEAL technician for complete procedures.

• Store indoors at room temperature. Expansion is quicker when warm, slower when cold.

• Ensure material nominal size matches joint size.

• Mix epoxy now and trowel onto joint faces.

• Remove shrink-wrap packaging, hardboard (on sticks), and release liner.

• Wipe factory-applied release agent off silicone facing using clean, lint-free rag made damp with toluene.

• Apply thin bead of silicone sealant along face of bellows at end where the material will join with next length.

• Insert material into joint with at least a 1/4" (6mm) recess and adhere to one side. Material expands to seal joint. (Wedge larger-sized material in place while it expands.)

• Blend silicone at butt joins into the silicone bellows to create a consistent finished appearance being sure not to restrict the folds of the bellows.

• Once material has equalized its expansion across the joint, inject and tool a 1/4" x 1/4" (4mm x 4mm) corner bead at the substrate-to-bellows interface (see Fig. 1). (Note: unpainted metal surfaces and some natural stone surfaces may require priming -- consult EMSEAL.)

(US Patent 9,200,437
Patent Pending)

Patent Pending)

Factory-Fabricated Transitions— as in all EMSEAL expansion joint systems, continuity of seal through changes in plane and direction is an essential performance differentiator.

HORIZONTAL COLORSEAL is manufactured in straight-run sticks which can be joined in the field to EMSEAL’s patented and patent-pending "Universal-90" transitions.

These factory-fabricated single-piece 90-degree units have a 12-inch long leg and a 6-inch vertical piece on each side of the elbow.

The Universal-90 transition pieces are symmetrically coated on both faces.  This allows them to be installed as an inside corner or as an outside corner.

In addition to guaranteeing watertightness, EMSEAL’s "Universal-90's" allow for much faster and secure installation by eliminating field cutting or notching and bending, at angles.

Custom-90's, coated on just the weather-facing faces, are also available when field conditions and measurements are known up front. Consult EMSEAL.


(More on Universal-90's)


Universal-90 Upturn Transition

Universal-90 Flipped-Over as Downturn Transition

Availability and Price
SEISMIC COLORSEAL is available for shipment internationally.
Prices are available from local representatives and/or directly from the manufacturer.
The product range is continually being updated, and accordingly EMSEAL® reserves the right to modify or withdraw any
   product without prior notice.


EMSEAL JOINT SYSTEMS LTD. 25 Bridle Lane, Westborough, MA 01581
EMSEAL LLC. 120 Carrier Drive, Toronto, ON M9W 5R1



1-800-526-8365 -- 508-836-0280 --  techinfo@emseal.com -- Fax: 508-836-0281

Copyright © 1998-2016 by EMSEAL Joint Systems, Ltd. All rights reserved.
This document may not be reproduced in whole or in part without permission.