Penicillin, popsicles and the pacemaker are all great inventions that were created by accident. Now it’s time to add another one to that list: Glo-Kote from Super-Krete International Inc.
John Holwitz, founder of Super-Krete, was experimenting with different materials to make an integral color product when he accidently created a mixture that glowed. He switched gears, and he kept working on it until he found the perfect combination of glass, polymers and fluorescents to make it the product that it is today.
Glo-Kote is a versatile resurfacing product, much like Super-Krete’s Bond-Kote. After mixing with water, it can be applied by trowel, squeegee or brush, but Holwitz recommends using a compressor or hopper gun to create a knockdown-type texture similar to that used on pool decks and walkways. A base coat of white Bond-Kote is also recommended to increase the glowing effect of Glo-Kote.
During the day, Glo-Kote appears white, but it can be stained to a different color without affecting its glow. It can also be stamped and even used in vertical applications, so it is an ideal product for a number of decorative projects.
“It’s a crazy formula, but it works,” Holwitz says.
Despite its glow-in-the-dark properties, Glo-Kote is nontoxic, is environmentally safe and can contribute to LEED credits. The product uses crushed clear glass instead of silica sand as a filler, eliminating hazardous silica fumes. In addition, the glass aggregate creates an antiskid surface. Holwitz also notes that when applicators are sealing Glo-Kote, glass is often added to the sealer or broadcasted over the finish for additional antiskid benefits.
Its most common uses have been for safety applications such as on stairs or emergency exits. It can also be applied to asphalt, making it ideal for pedestrian and vehicle traffic directional markings.
Only two hours of exposure to sunlight will typically yield eight to 12 hours of glow time. It will also work indoors, although it won’t glow as brightly as it does in exterior applications.
Although glow-in-the-dark paints and tapes have been on the market for years, Glo-Kote already has one key advantage over its competition. “Once you seal it, it’s basically permanent,” Holwitz says.