Lithium silicates combine the properties of their constituents in a very interesting way. For example, they have a higher alkalinity than colloidal silicas but a massively lower alkalinity than sodium and potassium silicates. When reacting with the substrate and the environment, they form salts and silicates that are sparingly soluble or even insoluble in water. Systems bonded or impregnated with lithium silicate show a greatly reduced tendency to absorb moisture and increased surface conductivity. Lithium silicates are often used in the finishing of concrete surfaces and are an important component in the coating of rod electrodes for welding high-quality steels.