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Sprayroq, manufacturer and developer of spray-applied polymers for structural rehabilitation, corrosion protection and asset life extension for wastewater, stormwater and industrial infrastructure.

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Our Thanks Is Always For You.

In this season, when we pause in our hustle and bustle to reflect on all our blessings, it’s no stretch to say that here at Sprayroq, we give deep and heartfelt thanks for you, the people who make our company possible.

  • * Our customers, who give us a reason to exist
  • * Our vendors, who help us give them the best products on the market
  • * Our Sprayroq Certified Partners, who deliver those products with such skill and lasting value
  • * Our Sprayroq team members, who work hard every day to produce and promote products we can be truly proud of
  • * Our colleagues, who consistently support our success with referrals and helpful advice

This year, we can also count among our blessings the successful relocation to our brand new, state-of-the-art blending and training facility, which also serves as our world headquarters. We’re so happy too, to be sharing it with our sister Signet company, Creative Polymer Solutions, who formulates and manufactures our poly lining material that has brought us so much positive recognition in our industry.

We cannot overlook the significant contribution Irondale, Alabama made to making this move possible, and the critical factor our local employees have become in our continuing success.

And last, but certainly not least, we thank our families, whose willingness to sometimes miss us at dinner or on weekends allows us to continue giving our customers the high level of service and satisfaction that has built Sprayroq into the company we’re so proud of today.

We hope you all have a similarly successful year to look back upon, and wish for you even more prosperity to be thankful for in the future. Happy Thanksgiving.

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Mentoring: A Gift For Both Participants

At this time of year, thoughts turn to the recognition of those important in our lives through gift-giving. In business, there’s the potential to participate in a process that—when correctly done—can be a gift to both participants, and it’s called mentoring.

Here at Sprayroq, we engage in informal mentoring relationships, but many companies decide to formalize this process into a structured program. Whatever works best for your particular organization is how you should set your mentoring up, but one thing’s certain: It’s difficult to imagine a scenario in which someone in the organization can’t benefit from some type of mentoring, and in the end, that benefits the entire group.

So we thought it appropriate to address just what those benefits can be, so you can take advantage of this naturally reflective time of year to consider how a mentoring program might help your company, then work to put one together that you can implement in the New Year.

Mentee Benefits

Generally, most people think first of the benefits derived by the person being mentored, and this often drives the effort in the first place. These benefits may include (but are not necessarily limited to):

  • * Helping the mentee better understand the organization’s culture and unspoken but accepted “rules,” which will be critical for that person’s success there
  • * Improves the mentee’s self-awareness and interpersonal relationship skills
  • * Increases the mentee’s self-confidence
  • * Teaches the mentee how to develop more of a speaking presence and how to command respect from peers and employers
  • * Enables the mentee to understand and accept important feedback in areas such as communication, technical aptitude, change management and leadership
  • * Provides an important networking contact for the mentee

Mentor Benefits

What’s not often considered are the benefits a mentor derives from a mentoring arrangement, but studies have proven that these are very real, and often substantial, including:

  • * Reminding mentor of the importance of active listening
  • * Encourages the mentor to share knowledge, helping that person realize their own self-worth
  • * Strengthens the mentor’s interpersonal skills
  • * May help enlighten the mentor about areas or departments within the organization that s/he would otherwise possibly overlook or just be unfamiliar with
  • * Helps re-energize the mentor’s career and sense of purpose
  • * Allows the mentor to give back to the organization and the field through the mentee
  • * Leads to a different type of sense of accomplishment and more personal satisfaction for the mentor

Organization Benefits

Of course, the two participants in a mentoring relationship benefit, but few people stop to consider that the organization employing these people can also benefit from sponsoring this relationship. A strong and visible formal mentoring program in any organization can:

  • * Convey to all organization members that management respects and is willing to invest in its members
  • * Shows this attitude and commitment to the outside world
  • * Creates a more positive work environment
  • * Fosters the leadership skills of mentors
  • * Creates more loyalty to the organization among its members, which can lead to a stronger sense of job satisfaction and therefore a reduction in turnover rates
  • * Encourages mentee growth from junior level members or employees to future leaders with a solid grounding in the organization’s core values
  • * Promotes a sense of cooperation and harmony within the organization

Resources

If your reflection leads you to conclude that it’s time your organization develops a professional mentoring program, you can get help from a company called Management Mentors [http://www.management-mentors.com/contact-us-form], which offers many related services to help you do just that.

There are also many books on the topic, one of the most popular being The Blackwell Handbook of Mentoring: A Multiple-Perspectives Approach [https://www.amazon.com/Blackwell-Handbook-Mentoring-Multiple-Perspectives/dp/144433543X].

You may also consult colleagues in any professional associations or groups you belong to. You may be surprised at how many of them have at some time engaged in mentoring themselves, and at the good advice they can give you from a “been there, done that” perspective.

However you decide to approach it, consider implementing a mentoring program in your organization in the New Year, maybe even beginning with yourself. Who knows what you’ll start? In a very real way, mentoring is a gift that keeps on giving.

 

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We defined the following glossary terms in earlier posts a few years ago. These follow-up posts expand on how each of these factors is tested, and ratings determined for its intended application.

In this second and final post of this series, we address testing and/or ratings for

  • Manning’s N-Factor
  • Build Capability
  • Creep Factor
  • Moisture Sensitivity

Manning’s N-Factor

Manning’s “n” is a dimensionless coefficient (numerical value) used in conjunction with the Manning formula for the calculation of a cross-sectional, average velocity flow in an open channel. 

Many materials and conditions are studied to calculate the relative loss of energy (velocity) they cause due to their surface roughness and imperfect profiles causing friction on the flow and slowing it down. An example would be corrugated metal pipe (CMP) and PVC.  CMP (depending on its corrugation profile) would disrupt the flow velocity more than PVC pipe would, due to PVC’s relative smoothness. 

The Manning’s formula gives engineers the ability to calculate how much energy will be dissipated over a given surface and/or profile. Relative to the example, PVC has a posted Manning’s “n” coefficient (or factor) of .009, while CMP can be .022 or greater. 

Sprayroq’s resin chemistries, including SprayWall™, have a Third Party Certified Manning’s “n” value of .009, comparable to PVC. This is what makes it an attractive choice for rehabilitation projects in which structural strength is needed but added roughness is undesirable.

Build Capability

The term Build Capability is simply defined as the maximum amount of material that can be applied in one application without detrimental side effects. Generally, build capability is defined by the number of mils (1/1000 inch) of thickness that can be applied without the negative side effects.

These side effects may include sloughing (pronounced “sluffing”), which is when applied material slides or drops vertically down a vertical surface application, therefore not achieving the designed thickness.

Also, if too much material is applied at once (especially in thermosetting resin applications), an adverse amount of exotherm—when the compound gives off heat during its formation and absorbs heat during decomposition—might occur. This would induce thermal stresses in the applied resin, causing the possibility of the material cracking as it cools.

Creep Factor

Creep is defined as long-term reduction in strength, over time, of a material under constant stress. All thermoplastic materials are affected by creep; in other words, plastic materials lose strength over time when exposed to stress.

ASTM D2990 was published as a guideline into the protocol for determining a thermosetting plastic’s creep factor. A creep curve is generated in the ASTM protocol to give the percentage of reduction in strength (flexural, tensile or compression, including moduluses) at a given point in time.

This Creep Reduction Factor is incorporated into the proper physical factors needed to calculate the design thickness of a structural application of the chosen surface rehabilitation material. This engineering formula essentially uses the strength the material will have in, say, 50 years (the most commonly used timeline), and applies that to the proper design calculation.

Moisture Sensitivity

Moisture Sensitivity is an important issue when it comes to resin-applied rehabilitation technologies. While there are resins that perform well in wet environments, they are expensive and, based on their viscosities, they are generally trowel- or hand-applied.  Most, if not all, spray-applied resins have a degree of reactivity to moisture. 

It is important to have a clean, dry substrate or surface for the proper application of the common resins used in the rehabilitation industry. The phrase “moisture tolerant” is too ambiguous to be acceptable in these applications, from an engineering standpoint.

Side effects of improper moisture mitigation include

  • Pinholes
  • Delamination
  • Blistering
  • Other visually observable defects 

All of these defects will lead to a coating or lining failure, performance-wise. The good news is that all of this is avoidable through proper substrate preparation and a thorough pre-installation inspection by a qualified third-party inspector.

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We defined the following glossary terms in earlier posts a few years ago. These follow-up posts expand on how each of these factors is tested, and ratings determined for its intended application.

In this first post of the series, we’ll address testing for

  • Compressive and Tensile Strength
  • Flexural Modulus
  • Tensile Modulus

Compressive and Tensile Strength

Both compressive and tensile strengths are linear measurements of how a given material behaves in the pulling (tensile) and crushing (compression) along the axial center of that material. The ASTM standards utilized in the determination of these values are ASTM D638 (Tensile) and ASTM D695 (Compression).

Both tests take the material to failure to determine the respective values. In the U.S., these values are generally measured in pounds per square inch (psi.).

In most applications of material behavior, compression and tensile values are used in conjunction with each other to calculate the flexural strength of a material as it receives loads, because flexural strength more accurately models what is actually occurring in the material’s behavior under a given load scenario.

An example would be an I-Beam pinned at both ends, with a load being generated at the center part of the span. As the load is applied, the top of the beam is in compression, while the bottom of the beam is under a tensile force. As the load is applied, the force needed to bring that I-Beam to failure is called Flexural Strength (watch video). Though this is a simple example, it illustrates how tensile and compressive linear forces are utilized in a three-dimensional world. 

Another example would be the use of steel rebar in a concrete structure. Concrete is strong in compression but is relatively weak in tension (tensile strength). This is why steel reinforcing bar (rebar) is added to concrete, to reinforce its ability to distribute or bear tensile loads.

Flexural Modulus

The flexural (or bending) modulus (or value) of a given material is defined as the area under the linear portion of the stress/strain curve when the material bears a load. This is determined as flexural deformation as described in ASTM D790

Flexural Modulus is a key material behavior characteristic considered by design engineers when calculating required material thicknesses in buried structures. Flexural Modulus is a more accurate measurement than any other test of what is actually happening in a buried structure.

As discussed in the previous section, flexural strength is a measurement of the interaction of the compressive and tensile forces being applied to the structure. All materials react differently in the ASTM D790 testing protocol, with the greatest variance being in plastic materials.

More rigid plastics generally have a higher flexural modulus, and therefore can be employed in the structural rehabilitation of a structure. More elastic polymers exhibit elongation under load, and are therefore unable to create a linear portion of the stress/strain curve. This characteristic prevents the material from offering load-bearing capacity, so they can’t be used as structural rehabilitation materials.

Tensile Modulus

Tensile Modulus is derived in the same manner as Flexural Modulus, in that it is the area beneath the linear portion of the stress/strain curve generated when the material is tested in tension (tensile) per ASTM D638. This factor is applied when evaluating a material’s property where internal or external circumference or hoop stresses may apply. 

Hoop stress is the stress around the outside of a pipe wall, acting perpendicular to the long axis of the pipe, and produced by the pressure of the flow in the pipe. This would occur in pressure pipe from the internal or external pressure that may be applied in an out-of-round condition created by external buckling forces. In other words, if excessive hydraulic pressure from a high water table, or crushing pressure from traffic loads above begin to “squash” the pipe, this out-of-round condition is generally termed “ovality,” because it turns a previously round pipe shape into an oval one.

In our next post, we’ll address testing and/or ratings for

  • Manning’s N-Factor
  • Build Capability
  • Creep Factor
  • Moisture Sensitivity
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Due diligence made easy:
A checklist for pre-RFP potential product review and analysis

Last post, our colleague Lynn Osborn of St. Louis’s LEO Consulting, LLC provided some important points of consideration for preparing RFPs for infrastructure development or maintenance projects. This post, we provide a handy checklist to keep track of your due diligence efforts.

Simply Download RFP Due Diligence Checklst and re-use as needed for future projects. We think it’ll provide the peace of mind we all crave, by helping you monitor your activities on paper or screen, so you can open up mind space for everyday problem solving.

Let us know how it works for you either in the Comments section below, or through our Contact page, so we can continue to develop this resource.

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Due Diligence: Prepare Thoroughly To Write A Successful RFP

Writing the kind of infrastructure project Request for Proposal is about more than being budget-conscious and aware of the latest technologies available to get the job done. Of course, those things are critical, but sometimes the devil really is in the details.

Take, for instance, the importance of being your own healthily skeptical advocate when considering some of those technologies. If you walk into a situation blind and uninformed, you’re setting yourself up for short-term failure and possibly long-term disaster. You need to take a stance of self-protection in advocating for your company, agency or municipal department. And the most effective way to do that is to be assertively curious.

This means digging deeper than what might at first seem obvious: Is that technology you’ve heard so much about really the right one for your project? Will the claims made by its manufacturer hold up under scrutiny and prove out in its application? How can you actually know? After all, your name is going to be the one on the paperwork. How can you make sure you’re attaching it to as sure an outcome as possible?

Lynn Osborn, owner and lead engineer at LEO Consulting, LLC in the St. Louis area, says there are lots of ways you can protect your reputation and the interests of your employer when writing your RFP. They all have to do with thorough preparation, which means asking all the right questions when doing your due diligence before you ever put fingers to keyboard in writing your bid request.

Products
Usually, the biggest risk you’ll be taking is in specifying products to be used in your infrastructure project. You may have lots of experience with some of them, but as wonderful as new technology can be, the really new stuff brings with it the uncertainty of having no experience with it to rely on. Osborn says civil engineers and project designers need to ask the following questions about any products under consideration:

1. Does this product fit the specific needs of the project? Ask what you really need it to do, and how many of those bases are actually covered by the product you’re considering.

2. Does the product have a history of successful, high-quality installation and service? Of all other measuring sticks, this one is the highest. It either works or it doesn’t.

3. Is the product cost-effective? Sure it may meet all your needs, but can it do so without breaking the bank?

4. Does the product have verifiable third-party testing? Objective third-party is the operable phrase here, and verifiable is the next most important. You want an honest evaluation by someone without a vested interest in the outcome of any product testing.

5. Will the product have a 50-year design and service life? Again, it may perform well when it’s first installed, but how about decades down the line? Longevity can override high initial cost, because you can reliably amortize the investment over a longer service life. And when it comes to infrastructure that is expensive, you don’t want to have to service it more than twice a century. The service life of any asset should extend beyond nearly anyone’s career, so they should only have to make this decision once for any particular structure.

6. Is the product safe to install and use? Safety becomes more of a workplace factor every day, and when you’re talking about a public project – particularly on assets that will touch potable water – this becomes a long-term consideration.

Sources
Who should you ask these pertinent questions of? Generally, says Osborn, if the company representing the product has an engineering department, or consulting engineers, approach them first. Absent an engineering division, other authorized representatives of the company are your next best bet.

The Internet remains an excellent source of reference, but you do need to be careful that your material is coming from a qualified source. It’s best to consult several relevant sources on any given topic, and cross-reference to be sure you’re getting an average point of view.

Last but certainly not least are customers who have experience using the product. Certainly don’t be afraid to reach out and really check provided references. This is another way you can leverage the Internet in service of creating an accurate picture of what you need to know. Do a search on the product’s name with the word “complaints” after it. You may be amazed at what comes up.

You may end up getting a lot of feedback from quite a few people in that last step, and this can get overwhelming. When deciding whose opinions carry the most weight in these decisions, what factors should you take into account?

“Obviously, you put the most stock in opinions from those who are non-biased or do not have a financial interest in the company or the product,” counsels Osborn.

Likely the most candid responses will come from customers who have used the product. They will generally be willing to share both good and bad experiences.

Next, most trustworthy are the opinions of those who have performed independent, third-party testing on the product. Again, you want to stay away from testing agencies who aren’t really performing their research without undue influence of those with vested interests in the outcome of their tests.

And of course, consulting engineers who have specified the product have little reason not to be up front with you about the product’s track record in their projects.

Standards
Nearly every product made is now monitored and regulated in some way by a set of professional trade standards for safety and performance. For instance, any type of building product is governed by benchmarks established by the American Society of Testing and Materials. ASTM standards exist for spray-applied protective and structural coatings, such as Sprayroq products.

Your contacts at Sprayroq can list these ASTMs, which are important because they are “the gold standard” in performance and safety measurement. Each standard is vetted through the rigorous ASTM process, and must pass the scrutiny of engineers, customers and competitors. ASTM standards are highly regarded and internationally recognized due to the quality of the ASTM process for producing standards.

Claims Scrutiny
So, knowing the rigor of the ASTM process, how can those responsible for specifying products in an RFP validate manufacturer claims of performance against these standards?

Osborn says your best bet is to check with customer references, especially those not given to you by the product’s manufacturer. Instead, get a truly impartial picture of realistic expectations by reviewing third-party test reports on the product. And again, check with engineers who have specified the product.

 Their reputations are on the line just as yours is, every time they spec a product, because that translates as a tacit endorsement of the item.

In short, check, check, then check more references. Yes, it’s a time-consuming process. But every time you end up with a successful project because you didn’t skimp on the research is one more reason to keep it up. A successful RFP is all about doing your homework. Consider it reputation insurance.

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To grout or not to grout? There is no doubt.

One of the most common issues we hear about is the confusion among contractors about when and where grout should be used in underground infrastructure rehabilitation surface preparation. From our point of view as a materials supplier, the answer is an unequivocal “always.” Why? Because grout is typically required to address leakage and infiltration, and there is hardly ever a project that doesn’t have some amount of both.

Here are a few of the most common scenarios in which grouting is called for:

When a structure is experiencing water infiltration – This moisture will hinder the application of a coating or other repair materials, so the leaks must be identified and plugged with grout.

When voids have been detected behind the structure, where infiltration or excessive groundwater has washed away the surrounding soils – injected grout can stabilize the soil and protect from further groundwater erosion.

When excavation is not possible to simply remove deteriorated structures, they must be saved – grout can be pumped in to essentially restore structural integrity.

We tend to use chemical, as opposed to cement-based grouts for these purposes. While both are suspended solids formulas, chemical grouts use far smaller particulates, which allows them to flow better and to permeate soils more completely. As Ed Paradis, our Southeastern and Central Regional Manager likes to say: “When in doubt, pump more chemical grout,” so that’s the type we’ll discuss here.

Selecting the right product

There are many issues that can be addressed with grout, which primarily acts as a sealant. As described above, chemical grouts are used widely for shutting down active water leaks, stabilizing soils and filling voids in various types of structures. When choosing the correct resin base for a project’s grouting, it’s best to gather as much information as possible about the specifics of the job.

Considerations include:

  • Type of structure
  • Volume of leak
  • Size of crack
  • Potable or non-potable system
  • Jobsite conditions (man access vs. probe- or packer-applied installation),
  • Structural movement

Several types of grout are available for this purpose:

Acrylic Resins:

All of these formulas are based on the acrylic monomer resin molecule. Set times can be controlled by varying the triethanolamine catalyst-to-resin ratio, and on the water side using salt (sodium or ammonium persulfate). A reinforcing agent can be added to decrease shrinkage and increase the durability of the cured material.

Acrylic –Because the behavior of the materials can be closely controlled under leak flow conditions, acrylic gels are typically used for sealing leaks and crack injection in mainlines, manholes or other below-grade structures.

Acrylate – These have been introduced as sewer sealants over the past quarter-century. They are widely used in mainline and lateral sewer grouting, ground stabilization and leak control in various structures. Because of their ultra-thin viscosities and adjustable set times, these will permeate, saturate and stabilize soils. Installers don’t need to wear protective suits to apply.

Acrylamide – With similar water-to-resin ratios, acrylamide grout will cure to a slightly firmer gel than acrylate.

Methacrylic – This formula has the highest elongation and best bond of any of the acrylic resins. Widely used for crack injection and preventing leaks in above- and below-grade structures.

Polyurethane Resins:

Hydrophobic – For our purposes, these types of grouts tend to repel water, reacting to it by curing rapidly into rigid but flexible foam. They consist of a resin plus accelerant and form a strong bond with the substrate. The foam exhibits low shrinkage and high expansion, and offers adjustable set times.

Hydrophilic – These types of grouts tend to attract or work more in concert with water, and when exposed to it, will cure into soft foam or gel. The result is a more flexible type of foam best for applications where the grout will need to be able to expand and contract, such as in filling cracks on surfaces that move (say, a culvert under a busy road, or a pipe that has constantly changing hydraulic loading from a high groundwater table). This grout consists solely of resin, forms a strong adhesive bond, and typically exhibits moderate levels of shrinkage and expansion. It absorbs and retains water after curing, so if it is mixed with a high ratio of water, may shrink if constantly exposed to wet-dry cycles. However, it must be thinned significantly for low-temperature use or injection into narrow cracks.

Plural-Component – These resin-plus-catalyst formulas form rigid yet flexible foam with a high expansion quality. They have a rapid set time and the cured product typically exhibits high density with high compressive strength.

Epoxy Resins

Epoxy resin-based injection fillers are plural-component adhesives. They are commonly used as a saturant for cured-in-place-pipe (CIPP) materials. Other applications include structural crack injection, coatings on manholes, and creating epoxy-based mortars. They have low viscosity and low surface tension, allowing them to be injected into tight cracks. Another good use for them is the filling of really wide cracks and voids, since the cured product lends structural stability. They do not exhibit the flexibility of polyurethane or acrylic resins, but do offer a high degree of chemical corrosion resistance, making them a strong choice even without a CIPP liner. Some epoxy grout formulas can also be used in wet conditions, even underwater.

Substrate Application

Chemical grout installation is commonly performed using air or electric pumps, depending on application. When dealing with higher volume leaks, it’s best to attack the leak with higher volume of material, versus increased pump pressure.

Proper equipment is also key part of a successful application. Cartridge-grade material can be used in small applications, but most of the time, are not as cost-effective on larger projects. With proper training of pump operators, use of injection pumps is much more effective and the results are more professional-looking.

Chemical grouts can be used as a standalone repair when deterioration isn’t highly advanced and structural integrity remains sound. Stopping the infiltration alone will prolong the life of the structure. Application requires highly skilled technicians to implement effectively.

CHEMICAL GROUT APPLICATION COMPARISON

 

Acrylic Resin

Polyurethane Resin

Epoxy

 

Acrylic

Acrylate

Acrylamide

Methacrylic

Hydrophobic

Hydrophilic

Plural-Component

Plural-Component

Crack Sealing, Non-Moving

YES

YES

YES

YES

YES

YES

NO

YES

Crack Sealing, Moving

NO

NO

YES

YES

YES

YES

NO

NO

Sealing Expansion Joints

YES

NO

NO

YES

YES

YES

NO

NO

High-Flow Water Leaks

NO

YES

NO

YES

YES

YES

YES

NO

Soil Stabilization

YES

YES

YES

YES

YES

YES

YES

NO

Slab Stabilization

NO

NO

NO

NO

YES

YES

YES

NO

Permeation Grouting

YES

YES

YES

YES

YES

YES

NO

NO

Rock Stabilization

YES

YES

YES

YES

YES

YES

YES

YES

Void Filling

YES

YES

YES

YES

YES

YES

YES

NO

Anchoring

NO

NO

NO

NO

YES

YES

YES

YES

Rail Ballast Stabilization

NO

NO

NO

NO

YES

NO

YES

NO

Pipe/Culvert Grouting

YES

YES

YES

YES

YES

YES

YES

NO

Manhole Sealing

YES

YES

YES

YES

YES

YES

YES

NO

Curtainwall Grouting

YES

YES

YES

YES

YES

YES

NO

NO

Slab Undersealing

YES

YES

YES

YES

YES

YES

YES

NO

Sheetpile Joint Sealing

YES

YES

YES

YES

YES

YES

YES

NO

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Polymeric Coatings Glossary

As with any industry specialty, the polymeric resin coatings field has its own language. We offer this glossary of terms to help you write and understand product and project specifications.

Abrading – The act of roughening a substrate’s surface to provide texture that the final lining material can key into to form a permanent bond

ASTM –The published standards of the American Society for Testing and Materials, located in West Conshohocken, PA. The acknowledged basis of all U.S. claims for performance and safety of industrial materials.

Bond – The ability of a coating or lining to permanently cling onto or key into the substrate; measured in pounds per square inch or PSI

Buckling – Failure of structural integrity under loads

Bugholes – Tiny voids in a concrete substrate that may have been created by the trapping of bugs in the wet mixture and the deterioration of the bodies after they died. Also, holes of similar size.

Compression – The ability of a coating or lining layer to shrink in width under weight or other pressure without losing structural integrity

Creep – A time-dependent deformation of a material while under an applied load that is below its yield strength. It is most often occurs at elevated temperature, but some materials creep at room temperature.

Creep or Stress Rupture – The sudden and complete failure of a material held under a definite constant load for a given period of time at a specific temperature.

Density – The relationship between the mass of a substance and how much space it takes up (volume)

Efflorescence – Powdery substance, usually white, that forms on the surface of concrete and other cementitious products as the result of excessive amounts of moisture in the masonry mixing with soluble compounds within the masonry or in surrounding soil. The powder is on the masonry surface is actually salt deposits that formed when the water dries out.

Flexural – The ability to twist and bend without losing structural integrity

High-Build – A thick application

High Voltage Spark Test – A critical test applied with high-voltage holiday (unacceptable discontinuities such as pinholes and voids) detection equipment to corrosion protection applications —coatings less than 250 mils—after the protective coating has set hard to the touch.

Hydraulic Load – The amount of liquid going into a system

Laitance – A weak layer of cement and aggregate fines on a concrete surface, usually caused by an overwet mixture, overworking the mixture, improper or excessive finishing, or combination thereof. This layer between a topical coating and the underlying substrate prevents a bond forming between the topical coating and substrate, eventually causing delamination and failure of the topical coating.

Material Safety Data Sheet – A document containing information on the potential hazards (health, fire, reactivity and environmental) and how to work safely with a chemical product; an essential starting point for the development of a complete health and safety program.

Modulus of Elasticity (also known as the elastic modulus, the tensile modulus, or Young's modulus) – A number that measures an object’s or substance's resistance to being deformed elastically (i.e., non-permanently) when a force is applied to it. The elastic modulus of an object is defined as the slope of its stress–strain curve in the elastic deformation region:

Monolithic – One continuous surface with no seams, breaks or voids

NACE - The published standards of National Association of Corrosion Engineers (NACE International), located in Houston, TX. . The acknowledged basis of all U.S. claims for performance and safety of anti-corrosion coatings and products.

Pinholes – Tiny holes or pockets in a substrate or surface

Plural component – A formula that contains the resin body and a curing agent that causes the mixture to harden at a determined rate under certain conditions

Porosity – The level of void space in any given material; i.e., the negative spaces in a lining layer surrounded by actual material

Pull-Off Test – A near-to-surface method to test the adhesive connection between a surface (substrate) and a lining or coating

Recoat Window – The period of time following the initial application of a layer of lining during which subsequent layers may be applied over the top and still adhere properly to the bottom coat without requiring additional surface prep

SSPC - The published standards of the Society of Protective Coatings, located in Pittsburgh, PA. The acknowledged basis of all U.S. claims for performance and safety of protective coating materials.

Soil Cover – The depth of soil over the top of the structure, expressed in inches or feet.

Soil Load – The number of pounds of pressure per cubic foot created by the soil and other overburden on any given structure.

Soil Modulus – Expressed in pounds per square inch or PSI

Substrate – The surface on which a lining is to be applied; the support for a coating

Tensile – The ability to stretch or elongate without breaking, and while maintaining specified strength

Topcoat, Topcoating – The application of a finishing layer over one or more initial layers of a spray- or trowel-applied lining; topcoat may or may not be the same material as sublayers

Traffic Load – Total vehicular traffic carried by a road during a specified time interval

Voids – Larger holes or pockets in a substrate or surface

Volatility – The tendency to ignite or explode under certain conditions

Water Table – The level below which the ground is saturated with water, expressed in inches or feet.

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In this second post in our Surface Technologies series, we’re taking a look at surface preparation for polymeric coatings.

Considerations

When using polymeric coatings, you must consider how surface preparation differs between coating products and surfaces. For example, what differences are there between the surface preparation of concrete versus steel, and will there need to be any difference if you plan to use epoxies versus polyurethanes and polyureas?

Typically, with “high-build” or thick coatings, you need a rougher surface profile, because the heavier coating will need a stronger texture to key into and hold fast.
Coating selection usually helps drive the extent of surface prep needed. While surface condition also plays a part in that process, usually the type and condition of the surface influences to what extent the surface must be prepped.

For example, if you’re rehabilitating a previously painted surface, you will have to do a lot more prep—including complete removal of the paint layer and possible retexturing of the substrate—than you would have to do for a direct application of a protective or structural coating, which requires simple cleaning and debris removal.

Another consideration is what type of environment the coating be exposed to. This has a lot of bearing on specifically what do you want the coating to do.

Many mistakes are made in coating selection as pertains to this question. We have seen countless scenarios where an asset owner selects a coating based solely on price, without considering the limitations of the coating’s performance rating. They inevitably end up having a failure, because they expected the coating to perform at a level it could not achieve, because that performance level was beyond the bounds of its design.

Which leads to a couple other considerations:

  • Do you want a short-term or long-term solution?
  • Do you have a structural or corrosion issue?

If you want your coating to live up to your expectations, the answers to these questions are critical, and should drive your coating choice, which will in turn drive your surface preparation method.

Must-haves

  • Quick turnaround – Almost without exception, a fast return to service is a must for asset owners. After all, the reason an asset is in need of rehab in the first place is because it is heavily used. So you want to choose a product with a short setup or curing time.
  • Cost/Benefit Analysis of coating options – It’s very important when evaluating coating options to perform this function to determine return-on-investment (ROI), as funds for projects continue to dwindle. It’s imperative to choose a solution that, although it may not be the cheapest option, provides the best long-term value per dollar spent.
  • Confidence in contractors – If call-backs are not acceptable (and when are they?), the choice of a manufacturer-certified applicator is a must for asset owners. Nobody enjoys having to do a project twice or spend twice the amount of money to complete a project correctly. Choose trained and approved professionals you know will get it done right the first time.

If you keep these points in mind concerning surface preparation and related coating choice, you’re on your way to a successful rehabilitation project using polymeric coatings.

 

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How New Technologies Get Developed

This post is the first in our new Surface Technologies Series. We thought it might be helpful to explore the hows and whys of the development of new surface rehabilitation technologies.

There will always be new challenges for industry manufacturers to address. As manufacturers of surface lining technologies, we’re of course interested in ways to discover new challenges and to address them with new solutions. The best way for us to understand contractors’ needs is for contractors to provide thorough, detailed information about difficult situations you’ve encountered.

Our Sprayroq Certified Partner contractors (SCPs) are out there in the field every day, and they ask us about certain scenarios in which they might be able to apply Sprayroq products. If we’re not sure, we do an applicable pilot project.

For example, we don’t generally apply our urethane products in environments that get above 140° F, so to accommodate contractors who need a lining material that will perform adequately in such environments, we’re looking into epoxies that can handle 250°-300° F.

We’re always working with our chemists to develop new products. It’s always about knowing your market and being proactive about seeking input from those working in the trenches.

In the 1970s and ’80s, many large municipalities installed reinforced concrete pipe (RCP) to create their pressurized, closed sewer systems (force mains). Now, these pipes are beginning to fail because the dynamics of a pressurized system are stressing them beyond their capacity.

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