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Charlie Lerman

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Sealing Gushing Leaks in Precast Manholes with GT380 and Oakum Soakum

Posted by Charlie Lerman on Jul 9, 2020 10:00:00 AM

Banner-GT380 Gushing Leaks in Precast Manholes

Body-GT380 Sealing Gushing Leaks in Precast ManholesMajor water infiltration in precast manholes often occurs at the pipe penetrations. Failure to seal these leaks quickly could lead to the loss of thousands of dollars. It can also suck in soils and fine particlesThis process creates voids outside the manhole. With time, these voids grow larger and become sinkholes.

The typical method of sealing manhole pipe penetrations is using cementitious grout. This method may be effective at first, but you'll eventually notice cracks and infiltration again because it can't withstand the slightest movement of the pipe.

We recommend you use a combination of Spetec PUR GT380 and AP Oakum. The GT380 is a highly flexible polyurethane grout that allows movement between the pipe and manhole. Combine it with the AP Oakum which is an oil-free dry jute rope, and you can take care of large and irregular-shaped defects.

The installation steps are as follows:

  1. Clean the surfaces on which you want to apply the Oakum. Wet them down if necessary, so they can react with the resin.
  2. Cut the oakum into appropriate lengths if necessary.
  3. Place oakum in a clean container (5 gallon/18.9 liter pail or plastic bag) and saturate with resin. Give time for the resin to soak into the oakum.
  4. Using gloved hands, pull a section of oakum through a loose set to squeeze out excess resin.
  5. (Optional Step) Dip the oakum in a pail of water to begin the reaction process of the resin. Soon, the resin will expand.
  6. Pack oakum into leaking defect around the pipe using a screwdriver, wooden dowel, or other mechanical device sized appropriately for the joint, crack, or defect.
  7. After the resin has cured, you may inject additional resin via a grout needle directly through the oakum or by drilling holes through the concrete behind the oakum.
  8. Leave the material to cure overnight before attempting to trim the excess foam.

With the Spetec PUR GT380 and AP Oakum combination, your work will last up to 50 years - way longer than it would if you used hydraulic cement.

Want more info on Spetec PUR GT380?

Download an Info-Packed Shut Off Leaks in Shifting Structures Brochure!

Topics: All Posts, Seal Leaks

Sealing Precast Manhole Joint Infiltration with Spetec PUR GT380

Posted by Charlie Lerman on Jul 7, 2020 10:00:00 AM

Banner - GT380 Sealing Precast Manhole Joint Infiltration

Body - Sealing Precast Manhole Joint Infiltration with GT380What happens when a joint in a precast manhole begins to leak? The answer is it may as well be leaking money.

About $22k could be lost yearly because of any ONE manhole leak at the rate of 10 gallons per minute. In the U.S, there are approximately 20 million manholes, and many of them have OVER 10 gallons of infiltration a minute. You can imagine the potential loss.

Generally, manholes leak because of either movement and settlement after installation or just plain bad installation. A leak can happen at any time. Thankfully, Alchemy-Spetec offers a quick and effective solution to this problem.

You can seal precast manhole joints using Spetec PUR GT380. It is a hydrophilic polyurethane material that cures to form a gel or a foam. Because it's a single-component material, you can install it easily without the need for mixing. It can easily penetrate joints before it eventually cures into place, thanks to its low viscosity.

Installation is simple.  There are only four steps:

  1. Drill holes. Typically, four per barrel joint.
  2. Flush the holes.
  3. Install your injection port.
  4. Inject the resin.

With Spetec PUR GT380, you can have confidence in your work because this is a durable, long term sealing solution that holds up against the harsh sewer environment.  And your clients will be delighted to stop losing money from leaking manhole joints.

Want more info on Spetec PUR GT380?

Download an Info-Packed Shut Off Leaks in Shifting Structures Brochure!

Topics: All Posts, Seal Leaks

Spetec PUR GT380: Shut Off Leaks in Structures Where Movement May Occur

Posted by Charlie Lerman on Jul 2, 2020 10:00:00 AM

Banner - Shut Off Leaks in Structures Where Movement May Occur

Body - Shut Off Leaks in Structures Where Movement May OccurIn this post, we’re profiling Spetec PUR GT380. This hydrophilic polyurethane gel injection resin is your best option for shutting off water leaks in concrete, brickwork, and sewers where movement may occur. You can also use Spetec PUR GT380 for curtain grouting behind tunnels, concrete, and sheet piling. Due to the product’s low viscosity, you can also use it to cut off water leaks in a variety of foundations, including diaphragm walls, piling sheets and secant piles.

Advantages of Spetec PUR GT380

  • Highly flexible and ideally suited for structures with high probability for settlement or movement.
  • One component hydrophilic polyurethane resin, additional mechanical water shut-off through expansion after curing.
  • Versatile form, adjustable with the amount of water added. Can cure to a rubbery foam (200 to 500% water) or a stable polyurethane gel (500 to 700% water).

We advise pairing the resin with the following accessories: a Spetec Pump Cleaner, AP Soak 130, Oakum, mechanical ports, and a single component electric injection pump.

Want more information on Spetec PUR GT380?

Download an Info-Packed Shut Off Leaks in Shifting Structures Brochure!

Topics: All Posts, Seal Leaks

The Design of Coastal Revetments, Seawalls, and Bulkheads

Posted by Charlie Lerman on Jun 11, 2020 9:48:34 AM

Banner-Design of Seawalls

Body-Design of SeawallsChemical grouts have an amazingly diverse range of properties. This makes them incredibly useful for all types of waterproofing, soil modification, and structural repairs. This wide range of characteristics means that there is no one size fits all grout out there. But I get ahead of myself. Before one can select a chemical grout for a repair it is necessary to understand not only the asset to be repaired but also how and why it is failing and/or leaking. There are numerous methodologies that can be utilized to determine what is going on, but before one can start the troubleshooting one needs to understand the structure's design.

This is why I love articles like this one from PileBuck.com. It gives a good overview of seawalls and bulkheads. These structures are often the frontline in our war against erosion and thus require periodic maintenance. We at Alchemy-Spetec are committed to providing cost-effective, high-quality grouts tailored to the precise needs of the project. We know that a quality grout is just the beginning and we follow-through with the most experienced technical support in the industry. Enjoy the article...

Along bluffs and coastal shorelines, various structures are often necessary to protect beaches from wave action, or to retain fill or in situ soil.  There are three primary structure types that can be utilized to accomplish these goals, including protective materials laid on slopes, known as revetments, and vertical structures, which are classified as either seawalls or bulkheads.

Revetments are typically constructed of stone or other durable materials to provide protection for designated slopes.  They are built with an armor layer, a filter layer or layers, and toe protection.  The armor layer can consist of interlocking structural elements designed to form a geometric pattern, or a random mass or stone or concrete rubble.  Next, a filter layer will ensure drainage and protection of the underlying soil.  Finally, toe protection will offer stability against undermining at the base of the revetment.

While bulkheads and seawalls are both types of vertical structures used to protect coasts, they have different purposes.  Bulkheads are used to retain or prevent the sliding of land, with protection of the upland area from wave action as a secondary consideration.  In contrast, the primary purpose of seawalls is to intercept waves.  Bulkheads can be cantilevered, anchored, or gravity structures, with their use limited to areas where wave action can be resisted by the types of materials used in these respective designs (such as sheet piling or rock-filled timber cribs).  For areas where intense wave action exists, massive concrete seawalls are the more appropriate choice, with either a vertical, concave, or stepped seaward face.

Read the rest at PileBuck.com...

Want more info Alchemy-Spetec products?

Download the Info-Packed Leak Seal Product Catalog!

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Topics: Repair Seawalls, Seal Leaks

Sealing Gushing Leaks with Oakum Soakum

Posted by Charlie Lerman on May 26, 2020 1:30:00 PM

Banner-Sealing Gushing Leaks with Oakum Soakum

Body-Sealing Gushing Leaks with Oakum Soakum

AP Oakum is an oil-free dry jute rope which can be used dry or soaked with Spetec PUR GT500, Spetec PUR F400 or any other Spetec water-reactive resin to seal leaks in concrete structures. It works well dry to drive into cracks as a temporary seal to allow injected resin time to cure without washing out. Here’s an overview of the installation process:

Preliminary Analysis

Determine if the large crack or joint is structural or cosmetic. If deemed structural, consult an appropriate engineer. Oakum is typically utilized in conjunction with water-reactive chemical grouts in leak-sealing applications. Void filling of these spaces can also be achieved through similar application techniques and appropriate product selection.

Preparation of Substrate

Remove all existing sealant, debris, or contamination of any kind. In large openings, inspect for loose concrete or anything that would prevent insertion of Oakum into the desired depth and location.

Preparation of Product

Firstly, cut oakum into desired lengths and segments. Pre-mix hydrophobic or hydrophilic chemical grouts per manufacturer recommendation in a separate container taking note of working times and reaction times. Once the material is mixed, quickly, and fully soak the Oakum in the mixed chemical grout. Place the saturated Oakum to the desired location.

Preparation of Personal Protection Equipment

Oakum is typically manually installed. Be sure to wear full hands, arm, face, and eye covering at
all times. Chemical grout can drip/spill cover anything with which it comes in contact.

Application

  1. Clean the surfaces to which the oakum will be applied. Wet the surfaces down if necessary, to react with the resin.
  2. If necessary, cut the oakum into appropriate lengths.
  3. Place oakum in a clean container (5 gallon/18.9 liter pail or plastic bag) and saturate with resin. Allow time for the resin to soak into the oakum.
  4. Using gloved hands, pull a section of oakum through a loose set to wring excess resin from the oakum.
  5. Optional Step: Dip the oakum into a pail of water to begin the reaction process. This will begin the reaction process of the resin. This step causes the resin to begin to expand.
  6. Pack oakum into the joint, crack, or other defect using a screwdriver, wooden dowel, or other mechanical device sized appropriately for the joint, crack or defect.
  7. After the resin has cured you may inject additional resin through a grout needle directly through the oakum or by drilling holes through the concrete behind the oakum.
  8. Allow the material to cure overnight before attempting to trim the excess foam.

Brief Video Clip

Here's a brief video, taken from my trusty Grout Geek Helmet Cam, of me packing oakum into a gushing leak.

Want more information on Leak Seal® products?

Download the Info-Packed Leak Seal Product Catalog!

Topics: All Posts, Seal Leaks

How Soil Destroys Buildings - A Video from Grady Hillhouse

Posted by Charlie Lerman on May 12, 2020 10:00:00 AM

Banner-How Soil Destroys Buildings

Body-How Soil Destroys BuildingsWe all know the destructive power of earthquakes, hurricanes, and other forces of nature and while I was aware of expansive soils, I had no idea the amount of damage they cause. We at Alchemy-Spetec focus on industry education, so I am pleased to share this video about expansive soils from Grady Hillhouse at Practical Engineering.

Here's a text excerpt to whet your appetite...

"When most people think property damage, they think about natural disasters. But what if I told you there’s a slow-moving, geologic phenomenon that causes more damage in the United States than earthquakes, floods, hurricanes, and tornadoes combined?

Hey, I’m Grady and this is Practical Engineering. Today we’re talking about expansive soils.

Certain types of clay soils change their volume depending on moisture content. They swell when they get wet and shrink as they dry.  This is a microscopic mechanism where the shape and arrangement of the molecules actually change according to the amount of water mixed in. And large portions of the U.S. Gulf Coast and Great Plains have these kinds of soils. If you’re starting a foundation repair or road paving business, this is an important map for one very good reason – expansive soils break stuff."

Click the video below for more...

Want some information on soil stabilization?

Download an Info-Packed Soil Stabilization Brochure!

Topics: All Posts, Stabilize Soil

Polyurethane Crack and Curtain Grouting Demo

Posted by Charlie Lerman on May 5, 2020 10:00:00 AM

Banner-Crack and Curtain Demo

Body-Crack and Curtain DemoEmbedded below is a crack and curtain grouting video demo I recently recorded.  For those not familiar with me, my name is Charlie Lerman. I'm the Director of Technical Services for the Leak Seal Division at Alchemy-Spetec (and I'm also known as the Grout Geek). I have been involved in a wide variety of grouting jobs from dams to tunneling, municipal to sewer system work, residential, commercial, and industrial.

Prior to joining the Alchemy-Spetec team, I was with the Navy in the submarine and recruiting services. I have 20 years of construction experience – I was with a restoration contractor for five of those twenty years and earned a bachelor degree in Business Management during that time. I have been providing technical support and training for polyurethane grouts for over fifteen years and have been involved with the International Concrete Repair Institute (ICRI) for a decade.

Social distancing does not have to mean downtime. This is an excellent time to learn about polyurethane chemical grouting. From my home "studio" I bring to your home office demonstrations on crack injection, curtain grouting, and pump operation/maintenance.


Want more info on Leak Seal products?

Download the Info-Packed Leak Seal Product Catalog!

Topics: Equipment & Accessories, All Posts, Seal Leaks

Case Study - Sealing Hairline Concrete Cracks with Acrylic Injection Resin

Posted by Charlie Lerman on Apr 7, 2020 10:00:00 AM

Banner Case Study - Sealing Hairline Concrete Cracks with Acrylic Injection Resin

Body Case Study - Sealing Hairline Concrete Cracks with Acrylic Injection ResinI'd like to share a case study from a job that I recently consulted on with one of our contractor customers.

A concrete tank west of Rollinsville, Colorado began showing numerous, hairline cracks during construction. Previous attempts to seal the cracks using urethane grouts were unsuccessful due to the sheer tightness of the cracks and high amount of reinforcing steel. The tank was critical for a state infrastructure project, so Restruction Corporation was called in to get the job done.

Powerful Polymer

After a phone consultation, we determined the best course of action would be to use Spetec AG200, a super-thin acrylate grout that could penetrate the hairline cracks and even the ones previously injected with a urethane grout. This water-swelling hydrogel is based on low-viscous acrylic that cures into an elastic product with 500% elongation.

Painless Procedure

I trained a knowledgeable polyurethane grout crew how to handle Spetec AG200 and an acrylic pump. No other chemical grout manufacturer was willing to come out and provide field service for this application.

Rapid Result

After the grout was injected, the cracks sealed quickly. Both the customer and contractor were extremely happy with the results. Yet another successful job for one of our customers!

Want more information on Alchemy-Spetec leak seal solutions?

Download an Info-Packed Leak Seal Methodology Brochure!

Topics: All Posts, Seal Leaks

Watch Educational Leak Seal Presentations at World of Concrete 2020

Posted by Charlie Lerman on Jan 10, 2020 2:17:52 PM

Watch Educational Leak Seal Presentations at World of Concrete 2020

Watch Educational Leak Seal Presentations at World of Concrete 2020

World of Concrete 2020 is scheduled for February 4th - 7th, 2020 in Las Vegas, NV.  Alchemy-Spetec will feature the Leak Seal Division & Product Line in the South Hall at location S11307 and the Geotech Division & Product Line in the Silver Lots at location O40551.

Leak Seal Division Booth - South Hall

The Leak Seal booth features a presentation/demo stage with comfortable chairs for audience members and a separate meeting area for in-depth discussions with knowledgeable experts.  Look for the following educational activities:

  • Polyurethane Leak Seal Overview Presentation
  • Crack Injection Demos
  • Crack Injection Presentations
  • Curtain Grouting Demos
  • Curtain Grouting Presentations
  • Polyurethane Product Mixing Demos
  • Acrylic Grout Presentation & Demo
  • Leak Seal QA/QC System

Want more information on Alchemy-Spetec Leak Seal products?

Download the Info-Packed Leak Seal Product Catalog!

Topics: All Posts, Seal Leaks

Repairing Dams with Polyurethane

Posted by Charlie Lerman on Nov 14, 2019 11:06:41 AM

Repairing Dams with Polyurethane

Repairing Dams with PolyurethaneDams Across the U.S. in Dire Need of Repair

On a cold morning last March, Kenny Angel got a frantic knock on his door. Two workers from a utility company in northern Nebraska had come with a stark warning: Get out of your house.

Just a little over a quarter-mile upstream, the 92-year-old Spencer Dam was straining to contain the swollen, ice-covered Niobrara River after an unusually intense snow and rainstorm. The workers had tried but failed to force open the dam's frozen wooden spillway gates. So, fearing the worst, they fled in their truck, stopping to warn Angel before driving away without him.

Minutes later, the dam came crashing down, unleashing a wave of water carrying ice chunks the size of cars. Angel's home was wiped away; his body was never found.

"He had about a 5-minute notice, with no prior warning the day before," Scott Angel, one of Kenny's brothers, said.

State inspectors had given the dam a "fair" rating less than a year earlier. Until it failed, it looked little different from thousands of others across the U.S. — and that could portend a problem.

A more than two-year investigation by The Associated Press has found scores of dams nationwide in even worse condition, and in equally dangerous locations. They loom over homes, businesses, highways or entire communities that could face life-threatening floods if the dams don't hold.

Excerpted from AP: At least 1,680 dams across the US pose potential risk
By David A. Lieb, Michael Casey And Michelle Minkoff

Specialty Grouting of Dams with Polyurethane

The recently released news story excerpted above is bringing major attention to the widespread problem of deteriorating dam infrastructure. In most cases, cementitious grout is used to repair dams at risk. But there are certain types of geologies that cementitious grout cannot penetrate or gets washed out of. This is where specialty grouting with polyurethane (and microfine cement) comes in. The following products can be used alongside cementitious grout for optimal results:

Spetec PUR F400
This is a is a solvent and phthalate free, water reactive, hydrophobic, closed cell, low viscosity, shrink-free, flexible, one-component polyurethane injection resin.  It can be used to seal fine cracks in dams that cementitious grout cannot reach.

Spetec AG200
This is a is a three-component, water-swelling hydrogel based on acrylic that hardens into an elastic product.  It can be used to stablize loose soil around dams.

AP Microfine 10
This is a microfine cement that penetrates very small openings such as soil pores and microscopic rock fissures in order to improve strength and reduce permeability.  It can be used in conjunction with Spetec AG200 to add strength to soil stabilization repairs around dams.

While cemententious grouting is the most common grouting method used to stop water flows and strengthen soils for dams, specialty grouting with polyurethane and/or microfine cements can be used to supplement or even replace standard centmentious grouting in areas it has troubles in.

Want more info on Alchemy-Spetec products?

Download the Info-Packed Leak Seal Product Catalog!

Download the Info-Packed Geotech Product Catalog!

Topics: All Posts, Seal Leaks, Stabilize Soil