Alchemy-Spetec Blog

Stephen C. Barton

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Alchemy-Spetec Spring 2022 Training SOLD OUT!

Posted by Stephen C. Barton on Feb 24, 2022 10:00:00 AM

Banner - Alchemy-Spetec Spring 2022 Training Sold Out

Body - Alchemy-Spetec Spring 2022 Training Sold Out

Alchemy-Spetec's Spring 2022 training event is officially SOLD OUT!  If you're still interested in training, we'll be conducting another event in the Fall of 2022.  Click the button below and fill out the form.  We'll keep you updated on the next event and all other training opportunities!

Sign Up to Get Notified for Future Training Events

Alchemy-Spetec two-day geotech training events typically consist of the following...

  • Geotech Product Line Overview
  • Geotech Applications & Case Studies
  • PolyBadger® Demo & Training
  • Estimating & Quoting Jobs
  • PMC Pump Demo & Training
  • Leak Seal Issues on Geotech Jobs
  • Ground Penetrating Radar Demo & Training
  • Slab Lift Rig Demo & Training
  • Competing Geotech Techniques
  • PolyShark® / Soil Stabilization Demo & Training (On-Site)
  • Deep Lift® Demo & Training (On-Site)

Want to be alerted when Fall 2022 training registration is available?

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

Void Fill to Save Retaining Wall at Luxury Residence

Posted by Stephen C. Barton on Feb 10, 2022 10:00:00 AM

Banner - Void Fill to Save Retaining Wall at Luxury Residence

Body - Void Fill to Save Retaining Wall at Luxury ResidenceA retaining wall at a Georgia-based luxury residence was failing due to the pressure of the surrounding soil. A general contractor excavated the site around the wall and planned to install lightweight foam blocks as a replacement for the heavy soil that was removed. After doing a little more research, the contractor discovered that, due to the cost of shipping the blocks, liquid polyurethane foam installation by a local specialized contractor was a lot less expensive. Liquid polyurethane foam takes the shape of the void before curing to form a high-strength solid mass.

Powerful Polymer

The contactor used AP Fill 420 to fill the void. AP Fill 420 is a two-component, high expansion, hydro-insensitive polyurethane foam. It’s the top slab solution for polyurethane void fill. AP Fill 420 weighs 1.8 to 2.2 pounds per cubic foot.

Painless Procedure

The contractor filled the entire void with AP Fill 420 foam. This material was faster to install, less expensive, and provided a more waterproof solution than the foam blocks.

Rapid Result

The entire void was filled with lightweight and extremely durable polyurethane foam. This material placed minimal pressure on the retaining wall, eliminating the danger of future damage. The property owner was extremely pleased with the results.

Want more information on geotech products?

Download the Info-Packed Geotech Product Catalog!

Topics: All Posts, Fill Voids

Division Manager - Geotech Position Created & New Southeast Regional Manager Hired

Posted by Stephen C. Barton on Jan 20, 2022 10:00:00 AM

Banner - Division Manager and SE Regional Manager

Body - Division Manager and SE Regional ManagerAndy Powell Promoted to Division Manager - Geotech

Alchemy-Spetec is pleased to announce the promotion of Andy Powell to the position of Division Manager - Geotech. Andy Powell has been with Alchemy-Spetec since the inception of the company in 2013. His experience includes manufacturing, application, equipment, estimating, field service, and training for the entire product line. While he specialized in geotech products and applications, his experience also includes crack injection and curtain grouting. In his new position, Andy will be responsible for overseeing the entire Geotech Division at the national level. In this capacity, he will still be able to assist customers in the Southeast who know him well.

Steve Taylor is Now Southeast Regional Manager

Alchemy-Spetec is pleased to announce the hiring of Steve Taylor as Southeast Regional Manager. Steve Taylor’s experience includes material installation, equipment operation, estimating, and field service training. Applications include slab lifting, soil stabilization, crack injection, curtain grouting, and seawall repair. Before joining Alchemy-Spetec, Steve was General Manager at the geotech contracting firm Ground Consolidation Services. At GCS he supervised crew members and managed customer relations for all of metro Atlanta. He has worked in the construction industry for many years. Before GCS, Steve was a supervisor for a major home remodeling contractor. Steve is known for his responsive and considerate approach when working with customers. Early in his career, Steve spent time as an audio engineer in the film industry. He’s also a talented drummer. He lives in Marietta, GA with his wife, son, and daughter.

Want more information on Alchemy-Spetec products?

Download the Info-Packed Geotech Product Catalog!

Download the Info-Packed Leak Seal Product Catalog!

Topics: All Posts

How 2021 Empowered Us to Serve You Better in 2022

Posted by Stephen C. Barton on Jan 4, 2022 10:00:00 AM

Banner - How 2021 Empowered Us to Serve You Better in 2022

Body - How 2021 Empowered Us to Serve You Better in 2022New year's message from Alchemy-Spetec Co-Owner and President Stephen C. Barton. (Stephen has been at the forefront of the concrete repair industry for over 30 years. Running leak seal crews in his teens, developing breakthrough polyurethane technology in his twenties, and helping grow the market ever since; Mr. Barton has been a leader in the field for most of his life.)

At the end of every year, I tell my team the same thing. “We have to reinvent ourselves. What got us to this point won’t get us where we want to go.” Every year we do just that. However, 2021 was special. We had to reinvent ourselves just about every month.

I won’t waste your time by repeating the phrase “supply chain issues”. I will say this: our team worked exhaustively to scour the earth for raw materials, reformulate our products, and finally manufacture and test the new formulations. In the end, we did everything in our power to live up to our entire reason for being – to serve our customers.

We learned more in the last year than we have since the inception of the business. We have more raw material options, formulations, and test data than ever before. These lessons learned will help us serve our customers more effectively than ever in 2022.

A lot of people are looking forward to putting 2021 in the rear-view mirror. Personally, I’m going to miss the challenges from last year that forced us to learn and grow. However, I’m sure 2022 will present some of the same issues and some unexpected new ones. I say, “Bring it on!” What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.

Finally, I would like to say “Thank you” to all our customers who patiently waited for material to show up and endured the sticker shock of rapid inflation. Our team will be there for you again this year. Happy New Year! Now, let’s get to work…

Want more information on Alchemy-Spetec products?

Download the Info-Packed Leak Seal Product Catalog!

Download the Info-Packed Geotech Product Catalog!

Topics: All Posts, Business Tips

Winterizing a Slab Lifting Rig

Posted by Stephen C. Barton on Nov 4, 2021 10:00:00 AM

Banner - Winterizing a Slab Lifting Rig

Body - Winterizing a Slab Lifting RigAs the weather gets colder, contractors in some regions will need to prepare their slab lifting rigs for storage during the off-season. We're providing step-by-step instructions for that procedure in this article.

Please Note:

  • You will notice that more care is given to the A-side of the system, this is normal.
  • This procedure assumes you are using a PMC pump.

Prepping a Slab Lifting Rig for Winter Storage

  1. Remove and clean the A and B stick pumps. Clean the exterior of the pumps with brake cleaner to remove as much residual resin and polyol as possible.
  2. Place the A-Side transfer pump into a 5-gallon pail of the AP Flush 121.
  3. Remove the recirculation hose from the A-Side drum and place it in a purge pail.
  4. Open A-Side inlet valve and recirculation valve on your PMC machine.
  5. Slowly open the air valve on the A-Side transfer pump to start introducing the AP Flush 121 through the A-Side of the machine.
  6. You will notice iso material being pushed out of the recirculation line into the purge pail. Continue to pump AP Flush 121 through the system until it comes out of the recirculation line clear, with no added coloring or debris.
  7. Shut the air supply feeding the transfer pump. This will stop all flow of material.
  8. Un-cap the A-Side of the PMC whip hose. Once un-capped, place the hose into the purge pail.
  9. Close the recirculation valve on the A-Side of the PMC machine.
  10. Slowly open the air valve on the A-Side transfer pump to start the flow of AP Flush 121 through the heated hose.
  11. You will notice iso material being pushed out of the whip hose into the purge pail. Continue to pump AP Flush 121 through the system until it comes out of the recirculation line clear, with no added coloring or debris.
  12. Now that this process is complete, the A-Side has been completely cleaned of any iso material.
  13. Remove the A-Side transfer pump from the pail of AP Flush 121 and place it into a 5-gallon pail of AP Lube 190.
  14. Slowly open the air valve on the A-Side transfer pump to start introducing the AP Lube 190 through the A-Side of the machine. Continue to pump the AP Lube 190 until you have pure and clean AP Lube 190 coming out of the end of the whip hose
  15. Place the B-Side stick pump into a separate 5-gallon pail of AP Lube 190.
  16. Slowly open the air valve on the B-Side transfer pump to start introducing the AP Lube 190 through the B-Side of the machine and heated hose. Continue to pump AP Lube 190 through the system until it comes out of the end of the whip hose, with no added coloring or debris.
  17. Once the entire system is full of clean AP Lube 190, slowly start to recirculate the AP Lube 190 through the entire system. When doing this, it is best to let the PMC machine cycle while recirculating the AP lube 190.
  18. Once all these steps are complete, close the air on each transfer pump and re-cap the heated PMC whip hoses.

Want more information on geotech products and equipment?

Download the Info-Packed Geotech Product Catalog!

Topics: Equipment & Accessories, All Posts, Lift Slabs

Stabilizing Soil in Cold Weather

Posted by Stephen C. Barton on Nov 2, 2021 10:00:00 AM

Banner - Stabilizing Soil in Cold Weather 2021

Body - Stabilizing Soil in Cold Weather 2021It's that time of year again. As temperatures drop, take a moment to review this previously posted article packed with cold-weather tips.

In this blog post, we will share some tips for stabilizing soil in cold weather. The two main points to remember are – make sure the ground isn’t frozen and condition your material and equipment properly.

Do Not Attempt Soil Stabilization Work When the Ground is Frozen

If you’re considering soil stabilization in cold weather, the first step is to make sure that the water table isn’t frozen. Iced earth is not permeable enough for proper mixing of resin and soil. If you attempt to proceed with frozen soil, you’ll just be wasting your material. Best to wait it out in that case.

Properly Condition Equipment and Materials

For optimal results, it’s best to store any materials and equipment that are to be used in a heated environment overnight. It’s best to keep your AP Soil 600 above 60 degrees at all times. This is key because cold material reacts slower and gets thicker. The methods you use to condition your material on the job site will depend on the type of vehicle you’re using.

In Slab Lifting in Cold Weather, we described in detail how to condition materials for cold weather if you’re using a rig…

If you have an insulated rig, it should stay around 40 degrees warmer than outside temperatures. Most foam rigs have built-in electric heaters that require an extension cord to a power outlet at the job site or at your facility for overnight storage. Alternately, you could buy an electric radiator heater. Other available heating devices include drum band heaters and heated drum mats (be careful not to scorch the polymers by turning band heaters up too high). For a more DIY approach, you could build a hot box around the material storage area in your rig.

If you’re using pails and a smaller vehicle, we offered tips for that set up in my Polyurethane Leak Seal in Cold Weather article…

Use an enclosed vehicle, like a box truck, enclosed trailer, or pickup truck with a camper top or bed cover. Keep as much material and equipment inside the vehicle as possible when working. Use a portable heater to maintain a warm temperature. You can also use electric pail heaters to keep your resin ready for action.

Using a combination of the methods described above, you should be able to keep your materials warm enough. In extreme cases when the material gets a bit too cold and thick, you may want to use AP Cat 600 to speed up the reaction time.

Conclusion

As long as the ground isn’t frozen, you should be able to stabilize soil in cold weather.  Just make sure your materials and equipment are conditioned properly.  If you have any further questions, please contact us at 404-618-0438.

Want in-depth info on soil stabilization products?

Download an Info-Packed Soil Stabilization Brochure!

Topics: Equipment & Accessories, All Posts, Stabilize Soil, Business Tips

Sealing Leaks in Cold Weather

Posted by Stephen C. Barton on Oct 28, 2021 10:00:00 AM

Banner - Sealing Leaks in Cold Weather 2021

Body - Sealing Leaks in Cold Weather 2021It's that time of year again. As temperatures drop, take a moment to review this previously posted article packed with cold-weather tips.

There are plenty of leak seal jobs that need to be done in the winter. So let's take a look at those cold-weather markets. We'll also review some special considerations for conditioning leak seal material and equipment. Then we’ll leave you with a few cold temperature leak seal application tips.

Cold Weather Markets

You have a variety of options for seeking jobs that are inside, out of the elements, during the winter months.  Hopefully, these ideas will spark more brainstorming on your part. First up we have tunnels, both pedestrian and vehicle. Tunnels often leak, sometimes significantly enough to result in quite a big job. Aquariums are another possibility. As you can imagine, there are infinite potential leak problems in a structure holding that much water. Other possible large jobs could include mines and water treatment plants (which have plenty of interior spaces with potential leak issues). On the smaller side, there are utility vaults, lift stations, manholes, and elevator pits.

If you’re still up for working outside during the winter months, you’re in luck because concrete contracts during colder weather. The contraction makes cracks open wider. Wider cracks make leaks more apparent to the property owner and make them easier to repair.

Conditioning Materials and Equipment

One important point to understand is that cold weather requires you to make an extra effort to keep your materials and equipment warm. Cold material reacts slower and gets thicker. Be sure to store your materials and equipment in a heated room the night before the job. When on the job site, there are many ways to keep everything warm. Use an enclosed vehicle, like a box truck, enclosed trailer, or pickup truck with a camper top or bed cover. Keep as much material and equipment inside the vehicle as possible when working. Use a portable heater to maintain a warm temperature. You can also use electric pail heaters to keep your resin ready for action.

Remember that it won’t do you any good to heat the resin if you’re pumping it through cold equipment. The cold steel inside the pump and the cold hose will literally suck the heat out of the resin before it gets where it needs to be. This will increase the viscosity, making it harder to mix with the water and it will slow down the reaction dramatically. So don’t neglect the equipment side of the equation!

Cold Temperature Application Tips

If you’re using a product with an accelerator, you may need to use a faster accelerator or increase your percentage. Also, bring lots of oakum. You may have to use more if the cold temperature slows down the material or the contracted concrete has made the cracks wider.

If your job requires you to inject into a structure underwater (and the water’s cold), you can use a technique called twin streaming. In this approach, you hook two valves together in a parallel fashion – then inject warm water along with the resin to kick start it reacting before hitting the cold water.

Conclusion

I hope this overview has helped spark some ideas on your part for finding leak seal work during the winter months. Just remember to keep your materials and equipment conditioned and you should be fine. Have more questions about polyurethane leak seal in cold weather? Call us at 404-618-0438.

Want more in-depth info on polyurethane leak sealing?

Download an Info-Packed Leak Seal Brochure!

Topics: Equipment & Accessories, All Posts, Seal Leaks, Business Tips

Announcing AP Lift 435

Posted by Stephen C. Barton on Apr 20, 2021 10:00:00 AM

Banner - Announcing AP Lift 435

Body - Announcing AP Lift 435A New 3.5 lb Concrete Leveling Foam

AP Lift 435 is a two component, high strength, high density, hydro insensitive structural polyurethane foam. Unconfined density is approximately 3.5 lbs/cubic foot (56 kg/cubic meter).  AP Lift 435 is ideal for concrete leveling, soil stabilization, compaction grouting, and similar types of concrete slab foundation repair.

Advantages

  • Traffic ready in 15 minutes.
  • High strength.
  • Works in wet environments - displaces water.
  • Bonds with soil and concrete.
  • Closed cell.

Field of Application

  • Lifting concrete slabs.
  • Stabilizing soil.
  • Fracture grouting.
  • Deep Lift

Packaging

  • 10 Gallon Unit - Item #: 435-10
  • 100 Gallon Unit - Item #: 435-100
  • 500 Gallon Unit - Item #: 435-500

Want more information on Alchemy-Spetec geotech products?

Download the Info-Packed Geotech Product Catalog!

Topics: All Posts, Lift Slabs, Stabilize Soil

Alchemy-Spetec Welcomes New Operations Manager Daryl Miller

Posted by Stephen C. Barton on Apr 13, 2021 10:00:00 AM

Banner - Alchemy-Spetec Welcomes New Operations Manager Daryl Miller

Body - Alchemy-Spetec Welcomes New Operations Manager Daryl MillerAlchemy-Spetec is happy to welcome Daryl Miller as Operations Manager at the Tucker, GA manufacturing facility.

Before joining Alchemy-Spetec, Daryl spent over 25 years in manufacturing leadership roles in the areas of operations, logistics, and EHS management. He led plastic extrusion and injection molding operations as operations manager at Cleveland Tubing, Inc., in Cleveland, TN. Daryl was responsible for planning, logistics, and transportation management at Jindal Films, a plastic film extrusion company in LaGrange, GA. He was the plant superintendent for liquid and powder polyester production at Bayer MaterialScience in Columbus, GA. Daryl was also the warehouse, logistics, quality, and compliance manager for Knauf Insulation in Lanett, AL. He was the EHS manager for Johns Manville’s Industrial Insulation Group in Phenix City, AL, and operations manager for the Hyundai-Glovis vehicle processing facility in West Point, GA. Most recently he served as the logistics manager for RK Mission Critical in Aurora, CO, managing inventory, kitting, assembly, and installation operations of modular data centers for military and IT applications.

Daryl takes a hands-on, systematic approach to leadership, using Six Sigma methodologies to identify opportunities for improvement and Lean methods to optimize operations. Major projects he has led include the construction of and transfer of operations to a 65,000 square foot manufacturing facility, overseeing the implementation of M2M, SAP, and Global Shop ERP systems at three companies, developing OSHA and EPA compliant health, safety, and environmental systems for four operations, and overseeing line and new equipment start-up at multiple companies.

His strengths include developing and training high-performing teams, technical and professional writing, strategic planning, budgeting, production scheduling, warehouse and inventory management, and transportation planning. He received his bachelor’s degree from Northern Kentucky University with technical writing and life sciences as his major fields of study. He has been licensed as an OSHA outreach trainer and HAZMAT technician by the Georgia Tech Professional Education program, and currently holds certifications in the transport of hazardous materials and waste.

Want more information on Alchemy-Spetec products?

Download the Info-Packed Geotech Product Catalog!

Download the Info-Packed Leak Seal Product Catalog!

Topics: All Posts

Sealing Leaks in Cold Weather

Posted by Stephen C. Barton on Oct 8, 2020 10:00:00 AM

Banner - Sealing Leaks in Cold Weather

Body - Sealing Leaks in Cold WeatherAs we stated in a previous blog post, Lifting Slabs in Cold Weather, there are plenty of jobs that need to be done in the winter. This is just as true for sealing leaks as it is for slab lifting. So let's take a look at those cold weather leak seal markets. We'll also review some special considerations for conditioning leak seal material and equipment. Then we’ll leave you with a few cold temperature leak seal application tips.

Cold Weather Markets

You have a variety of options for seeking jobs that are inside, out of the elements, during the winter months.  Hopefully these ideas will spark more brainstorming on your part. First up we have tunnels, both pedestrian and vehicle. Tunnels often leak, sometimes significantly enough to result in quite a big job. Aquariums are another possibility. As you can imagine, there are infinite potential leak problems in a structure holding that much water. Other possible large jobs could include mines and water treatment plants (which have plenty of interior spaces with potential leak issues). On the smaller side, there are utility vaults, lift stations, manholes and elevator pits.

If you’re still up for working outside during the winter months, you’re in luck because concrete contracts during colder weather. The contraction makes cracks open wider. Wider cracks make leaks more apparent to the property owner and make them easier to repair.

Conditioning Materials and Equipment

One important point to understand is that cold weather requires you to make an extra effort to keep your materials and equipment warm. Cold material reacts slower and gets thicker. Be sure to store your materials and equipment in a heated room the night before the job. When on the jobsite, there are many ways to keep everything warm. Use an enclosed vehicle, like a box truck, enclosed trailer or pickup truck with a camper top or bed cover. Keep as much material and equipment inside the vehicle as possible when working. Use a portable heater to maintain a warm temperature. You can also use electric pail heaters to keep your resin ready for action.

Remember that it won’t do you any good to heat the resin if you’re pumping it through cold equipment. The cold steel inside the pump and the cold hose will literally suck the heat out of the resin before it gets where it needs to be. This will increase the viscosity, making it harder to mix with the water and it will slow down the reaction dramatically. So don’t neglect the equipment side of the equation!

Cold Temperature Application Tips

If you’re using a product with an accelerator, you may need to use a faster accelerator or increase your percentage. Also, bring lots of oakum. You may have to use more if the cold temperature slows down the material or the contracted concrete has made the cracks wider.

If your job requires you to inject into a structure underwater (and the water’s cold), you can use a technique called twin streaming. In this approach, you hook two valves together in parallel fashion – then inject warm water along with the resin to kick start it reacting before hitting the cold water.

Conclusion

I hope this overview has helped spark some ideas on your part for finding leak seal work during the winter months. Just remember to keep your materials and equipment conditioned and you should be fine. Have more questions about polyurethane leak seal in cold weather? Call us at 404-618-0438.

Editor's Note: This post was originally published in 2019 as Polyurethane Leak Seal in Cold Weather.

Want more in-depth info on polyurethane Leak Seal®?

Download an Info-Packed Leak Seal Brochure!

Topics: Equipment & Accessories, All Posts, Seal Leaks, Business Tips