Alchemy-Spetec Blog

Kreg Thornley

Recent Posts

Filling Voids Under a Driveway with AP Lift 430

Posted by Kreg Thornley on Nov 3, 2022 10:00:00 AM

Banner - Filling Voids Under a Driveway

Body - Filling Voids Under a Driveway

The ideal polyurethane foam for filling voids under a driveway, AP Lift 430 works in a variety of wet, dry, or harsh conditions, can support up to 7,200 lbs per square foot, and will cure to 90% full strength in 15 minutes. This two-component, high-strength, high-density, hydro-insensitive structural polymer weighs 2.75 – 3.25 pounds per cubic foot. When injected, polyurethane will conform to the shape of the void more accurately than other materials such as cement grout. And, unlike cement, it won't sink over time.

Watch the video below for a real-time example of polyurethane void fill with AP Lift 430. The structural stability of this driveway is under threat due to a very wide void ranging from one to two feet deep. Since the supporting soil on one side of the slab has entirely eroded away, it was possible to capture this process very clearly on video.

Watch the process closely and then call 404-618-0438 to be connected to your technical support representative for any follow-up questions. Alchemy-Spetec offers the most experienced tech support team in the industry. Contact us today for assistance on your next job!

Want more info on geotech products and equipment?

Download the Info-Packed Geotech Product Catalog!

Topics: All Posts, Lift Slabs, Stabilize Soil

The Deep Lock Process Explained

Posted by Kreg Thornley on Oct 25, 2022 10:00:00 AM

Banner - The Deep Lock Process Explained

Unstable soil deep underneath private commercial property or public infrastructure can settle causing extensive and expensive damage. Poor compaction, water erosion, broken pipes, and organic material in this deep soil can make serious settling more likely.

How can you prevent settling and get long-term protection? Introducing the Deep Lock process. Alchemy-Spetec offers a unique combination of high-quality structural polymers along with the equipment and training needed to address deep soil issues. Now you can achieve soil stabilization and compaction on large projects faster without heavy excavation equipment, extended downtime, and risk of collateral property damage.

For a detailed explanation of the process, watch the animated video below...

Want more information on the Deep Lock process?

Download an Info-Packed Deep Lock Brochure!

Topics: All Posts, Stabilize Soil, Deep Lock

Soil Testing Equipment

Posted by Kreg Thornley on Oct 18, 2022 10:00:00 AM

Banner - Soil Testing Equipment

Body - Soil Testing EquipmentSoil testing equipment is extremely helpful for planning slab lifting and soil stabilization work. Contractors use ground penetrating radar systems and dynamic cone penetrometers to get a sense of soil conditions before they drill their first hole into a slab or push their first injection pipe into the ground.

Deep Look™ Ground Penetrating Radar

The Deep Look™ wireless ground penetrating radar collects data from hundreds of thousands of pulse reflections each second to help contractors identify objects below ground. The triple-frequency antenna design provides higher-resolution imaging than conventional GRP systems.

Dynamic Cone Penetrometer

The Pagini DPM30 dynamic cone penetrometer is ideal for testing soil strength and density at various depths. The fact that it is exceptionally small means it can be used on sites that are inaccessible to normal machines. A hydraulic pump raises and drops a weight onto a measuring rod, pushing it into the ground. To measure soil strength, the operator counts the number of blows it takes to drive the steel rod in 10-centimeter increments. Good soil requires 10+ blows to drive the rod 10 centimeters. Anything less is typically indicative of weak soil conditions.

Want more info on geotech equipment and repair materials?

Download the Info-Packed Geotech Product Catalog!

Topics: Equipment & Accessories, Lift Slabs, Stabilize Soil, Deep Lift, Deep Lock

Residential Leak Seal with Polyurethane Cartridges

Posted by Kreg Thornley on Oct 13, 2022 10:00:00 AM

Banner - Residential Leak Seal

Body - Residential Leak SealAs more property owners convert basements into living spaces, the demand for residential waterproofing increases. Some standard industry practices include using a sump pump to remove leaking water or applying hydraulic cement to the leaking side of the wall (negative side waterproofing). Neither of these is an ideal solution. Hydraulic cement is very rigid once it cures, and it cracks over time due to structural movement caused by freeze/thaw cycles and expansive surrounding soil. A home is often a family’s biggest investment, so most are looking for a cost-effective, durable, long-term repair.

Polyurethane leak seal grouts are injected into or through the wall to stop the leak at the source (positive side waterproofing). These products remain flexible after they cure, so structural shifts due to freeze/thaw cycles and expansive soils do not cause the cured grout to crack and fail. Polyurethane grouts are strong enough for use on large-scale, industrial structures. Alchemy-Spetec’s leak seal solutions are approved by the Army Corps of Engineers for use on U.S. infrastructure. These products contain no volatile organic compounds (harmful fumes) and are NSF/ANSI/CAN 61 approved for contact with drinking water.

Cartridges vs. Pumps

For small-scale residential applications, using cartridges is more cost-effective than using pails of material with a mechanical pump. The process is also less messy, saves a lot of man-hours, and allows for easy mobilization.

Products Available in Cartridges

Want more information on residential leak seal with cartridges?

Download an Info-Packed Residential Leak Seal Brochure!

Topics: All Posts, Seal Leaks

Deep Lock Soil Stabilization

Posted by Kreg Thornley on Oct 4, 2022 10:00:00 AM

Banner - Deep Lock Soil Stabilization

Body - Deep Lock Soil StabilizationCauses of Unstable Soil

Poor compaction, water erosion, broken pipes, and organic material in the soil can all lead to the settling of a foundation or a roadway. Traditional methods of soil stabilization can strengthen the soil directly under concrete and structures, but they do not address instability at deeper levels. Other methods of addressing deep soil issues require heavy equipment, extended downtime, and collateral property damage. These situations create problems for property owners as well as opportunities for the elite contractors that know how to fix them.

Deep Soil Stabilization

Introducing the Deep Lock process! Alchemy-Spetec offers a unique combination of high-quality structural polymers (AP Deep Lift 420, AP Lift 430, AP Lift 440 & AP Lift 475) along with the equipment and training needed to address deep soil issues. Now you can achieve soil stabilization and compaction on large projects with the smallest footprint and least amount of heavy equipment required. The Deep Lock process is powerful, painless, and rapid. Deep Lock gets to the root of the problems in the soil, it stabilizes the soil at all levels and accomplishes this with minimal imposition or downtime to the property owner.

Want more information about the Deep Lock process?

Download an Info-Packed Deep Lock Brochure!

Topics: Stabilize Soil, Deep Lock

Polyurethane Soil Stabilization Case Studies

Posted by Kreg Thornley on Sep 22, 2022 10:00:00 AM

Banner - Soil Stabilization Case Studies

Body - Soil Stabilization - Case StudiesThe Polyurethane Soil Stabilization Process

Weak soil under any structure or slab increases the risk of settling and structural damage. Excavating next to a building can weaken the soil that supports the foundation, potentially causing structural damage. Eroding soil can create sinkholes under roads and damage existing infrastructure. In some cases, this erosion is caused by water leaking into pipes and manholes and carrying soil with it. Regardless of the cause, loose soil will result in structural damage over time.

Contractors use Alchemy-Spetec soil stabilization polymers to fill voids and solidify the soil, thus preventing additional structural damage. These polymers are also used to reinforce excavation areas next to existing buildings. The contractor drives pipes in a grid pattern and injects soil stabilization resins to strengthen the soil and protect nearby structures. 

Polyurethane Soil Stabilization Case Studies

Want more info on polyurethane soil stabilization?

Download an Info-Packed Soil Stabilization Brochure!

Topics: All Posts, Stabilize Soil

Polyurethane Concrete Leveling Case Studies

Posted by Kreg Thornley on Sep 20, 2022 10:00:00 AM

Banner - Concrete Leveling Case Studies

Body - Concrete Leveling - Case StudiesThe Concrete Leveling Process

Surface erosion, water damage, shrinking from heavy loads, or void spaces in the soil can all cause commercial, industrial, and residential slabs to sink or, in worst-case scenarios, collapse completely. Even without catastrophic collapse, slightly uneven concrete can cause expensive damage to property, vehicles, and factory equipment - not to mention personal injury.

Polyurethane concrete leveling is often the most cost-efficient and durable solution to this problem. A technician simply drills 3/8-inch holes through the concrete surface. Then, injects one of the Alchemy-Spetec concrete leveling polymers with the MixMaster Pro slab lifting gun. As the foam expands, pressure on the underside causes the concrete to lift to its original level position. The slab is ready for traffic 15 minutes after installation. The repair is waterproof and strong enough to support virtually any structure.

Concrete Leveling Case Studies

Want more information on polyurethane concrete leveling?

Download an Info-Packed Slab Lift Brochure!

Topics: All Posts, Lift Slabs

Case Study - Specialty Waterproofing at Hydroelectric Dam

Posted by Kreg Thornley on Sep 13, 2022 10:00:00 AM

Banner - Specialty Waterproofing at Hydroelectric Dam

Body - Specialty Waterproofing at Hydroelectric Dam

The John Day Dam is located in the state of Oregon on the Columbia River. In 2020 the Army Corps of Engineers put a repair job out to bid to address a variety of situations, including leaks that were occurring in a number of the galleries (openings or passageways within the dam). The general contractor that won the bid brought Spokane, Washington’s Talisman Construction Services in for the leak seal portion of the job.

Powerful Polymers

The Army Corp of Engineers specified a flexible polyurethane for the specialty waterproofing due to the fact that it would be injected into dynamic joints and cracks (joints and cracks that contract and expand with weather conditions).

The technicians from Talisman Construction Services chose Spetec PUR F400 from Alchemy-Spetec. This product features 100% elongation. If you install a rigid product in a dynamic joint or crack is will fail at the first movement. In addition to its flexible nature, Spetec PUR F400 is also hydrophobic. Hydrophobic polyurethanes have excellent chemical resistance and superior longevity. In addition, Spetec F400 features a field adjustable set time (when you have cold water, with varying volumes, this is essential so you can either penetrate small cracks with a slower set time or shut down gushing leaks with a faster set time).

The Bureau of Reclamation and the Army Corp of Engineers have approved Spetec PUR F400 for use on their structures. This durable repair material has been successfully installed in many of their dams and locks.

Painless Procedures

One of the classic rules of grouting cracks and joints is to pull off the crack or joint half the thickness of the wall and drill at a 45° angle. However, when you get over 3’ thick it is not necessary to pull off the crack or joint more than 1.5’. The crew followed these guidelines when injecting the resin.

On thicker structures leaking cold water at high volumes, it is imperative to be able to adjust the set times in the field. Gen ACC is the accelerator for Spetec PUR F400 and is added at a ratio of 1% all the way up to 10%. The more you add the quicker the product polymerizes. The crew adjusted the set times according to properties of each leak.

They also soaked AP Oakum in Spetec PUR F400, and packed it into the wider cracks and high volume leaks. Depending on the situation, the oakum is sometimes packed in before the injection or packed in simultaneously as a second crew member fills the void with the first crew member is injecting the resin.

Rapid Results

Within a matter of days, the leaks in the galleries were successfully remediated. The general contractor was then able to move on to other parts of their project, on budget and on schedule.

Want more information on Leak Seal products?

Download the Info-Packed Leak Seal Product Catalog!

Topics: All Posts, Seal Leaks

Reminder - Register for Fall Geotech Training

Posted by Kreg Thornley on Sep 8, 2022 10:00:00 AM

Banner - Reminder-Geotech Training Program Fall 2022

Alchemy-Spetec HQ in Tucker, GA


Sign Up to Get Notified for Future Training Events

AS-Training-Program---Fall-2021$745 Registration Fee
$665 for each additional participant from
the same company.

Get ready for a thorough education in Slab Lifting, Soil Stabilization, the Alchemy-Spetec Deep Lift® process, equipment, and applications. You’ll get hands-on training from a technical staff with decades of on-the-job experience.

Tuesday, October 4th

  • Geotech Product Line Overview
  • Geotech Applications & Case Studies
  • MixMaster Pro Slab Lifting Gun
  • Slab Lift Rig Demonstration

Wednesday, October 5th

  • Pump Demos & Training
  • PolyShark® / Soil Stabilization
  • Deep Lift® 
  • Ground Penetrating Radar

Thursday, March 31st

  • PolyBadger® Mobile Slab Lifting System
  • Estimating Material for Jobs


Sign Up to Get Notified for Future Training Events

Topics: Equipment & Accessories, All Posts, Lift Slabs, Stabilize Soil, Business Tips, Deep Lift, Fill Voids

Murray Heywood - Using Leak Seal Grout on Floor Coating Jobs

Posted by Kreg Thornley on Sep 1, 2022 10:00:00 AM

1 1400 х 425

1  800х1200This article is an excerpt from Episode 14 of Alchemy-Spetec's podcast The Injection Connection, featuring veteran coatings expert Murray Heywood. (If you'd rather view or listen, an audio/visual version of this excerpt is posted at the bottom of the article.)

Charlie Lerman: When I’m training people that have never done grouting before, the ones that I find that are the easiest, honestly, are people who do coatings. The reason is that they're already handling paint equipment and chemicals. When you talk to some contractors they say, "Oh, my God, I got to buy an airless paint sprayer? Can't I just use a caulk gun or something?" And when you're starting off at that level, you could use cartridges and a caulk gun, but it's like showing up to do brain surgery and you've got a drill, a hammer, and a kitchen knife. It's not the right way to start off.

We did a webinar with about 50 Sherwin-Williams people. We got a number of good opportunities out of that, but one of the best ones was a flooring guy who just happened to be on there. One of your flooring guys. He got one of his coating guys involved, and he is now a regular grout user. And they don't go chasing the jobs, they just do it all internally when they run into situations. They now say, "This is going to be a problem for our coating. We know it, we're going to go ahead and grout that ourselves beforehand." And that to me is wonderful.

Murray Heywood: One of the biggest problems with flooring - flooring's a nightmare. There are a lot of coating failures on floors and a lot of it has to do with moisture. Because where is that moisture traveling from underneath the slab? It's coming through, it's chasing the heat. It's coming up through, and anything you put over the top without addressing that - it's blistering and causing issues. That's one of the things that was top of mind for me. It wasn't my division, it wasn't my responsibility, but I always thought the flooring people needed to know about this. Because water is a big problem for them.

View the video version of this excerpt...

Want some information on Alchemy-Spetec products?

Download the Info-Packed Leak Seal Product Catalog!

Download the Info-Packed Geotech Product Catalog!

Topics: All Posts, Seal Leaks