Concrete is a heavy material and so are the vehicles, machinery and structures that concrete slabs and footings are expected to support. Sometimes, the combined weight of concrete and what it supports causes concrete settlement to occur.
The soil beneath the concrete compresses, and can cause major problems. For example concrete roadways can become dangerous or unusable.
This often results in sections of runways and parking lots being closed down. In the example of trains, train service can be interrupted because of erosion and settlement beneath the track bed.
In the past, contractors often raised settled concrete by pumping a liquid mortar beneath the settled section. But this pumping process is hard to control, and the added mass of the mortar puts even more weight on the soil. Fortunately, foundation and masonry repair specialists now have a new technique that's more effective at raising settled concrete. Polymer injection harnesses the expansive force of a structural grade geopolymer to raise settled concrete, fill voids in soil and strengthen soil that has poor load-bearing qualities.
The polymer consists of two separate liquids that are combined right at the injection nozzle to trigger a chemical reaction that turns the blended ingredients into expanding, high-density foam. The foam flows into voids and between loose soil particles, expanding to about 15 times its initial volume. This expansive action effectively lifts settled concrete. An experienced technician can control the application to create just the right amount of raising pressure.
The polymer begins to harden quickly after doing its raising work. Within just 30 minutes, it reaches 90% of its final strength, enabling damaged concrete roads and slabs to be put back into service right away. The speed of polymer injection repairs is another huge advantage over mortar pumping.
In addition to lifting and realigning settled and/or shifted concrete, polymer injection can be done prior to construction to improve soil stability and strength. Injections as deep as 20ft.-30ft. are possible.
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