Concrete solutions for manufacturing downtime

The concrete used in industrial plants is often exposed to harsh environments and heavy loads from the machinery. Concrete floors are susceptible to degradation from wear and chemical wash downs, while the concrete foundations and pedestals can develop cracks as a result of heavy vibratory loads.

According to Michael Rowe, BSC’s Product Manager for Adhesives and Sealants, the concrete health is particularly important when it comes to manufacturing plants as faulty concrete can seriously affect the flow of operations.

“If there are potholes on the plant floor, they make it difficult for the forklift driver to balance the load properly. Driving on damaged concrete floors also wears down the forklift tyres a lot faster, resulting in unnecessary repair work” he explains.

Another situation where concrete is particularly susceptible to degradation is where moisture or extreme temperature changes are involved.

“The moisture can over time penetrate the concrete and attack the steel reinforcing. In external applications, even small fissures in the concrete can allow moisture to get in and freeze overnight. The freeze and thawing cycles cause serious damage to the concrete,” Michael explains.

BSC has a long-standing partnership with Henkel, with the company distributing Henkel’s LOCTITE product range in Australia for the past 40 years. Through their partnership, the BSC and Henkel engineering teams have helped hundreds of customers in Australia with repair and maintenance of their industrial plants.

“Be it to treat and repair a worn-out concrete driveway or to seal unwanted gaps in the concrete structure, Henkel’s LOCTITE range of products have shown amazing results,” says Michael.

One LOCTITE product that stands out, particularly when rapid curing and high temperature resistance is essential, is LOCTITE PC 9410 Concrete Repair, formerly known as Fixmaster Magna-Crete.

LOCTITE PC 9410 is a two-component repair and grouting system that can reach the same strength as that of concrete within just a few hours. This feature makes the product a perfect fit when rapid repair and maintenance is a priority to reduce downtimes.

What enables the compound to cure rapidly is that unlike conventional cement, latex and acrylic-modified quick-set mixes, LOCTITE PC 9410 does not use water. This feature makes it possible to apply the repair compound in below zero temperatures without worrying about freezing. LOCTITE PC 9410 can be mixed and applied in temperatures from -26 to +46C and once cured, it is resistant to +1093C heat.

“LOCTITE PC 9410 can set within just a few hours, as opposed to some water-based repair grouts that can take days to cure. This enables the repair work to be finished quickly and resume operations. Because LOCTITE PC 9410 has higher compressive strength than concrete, you can start walking or driving vehicles on the repaired surface within just two hours of application. In some cases, the time can be even shorter,” Michael explains.

Henkel Technical Service Engineer, Graeme Mcdonald, is a mechanical engineer with many years’ experience in offering maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) consultancy to customers in the manufacturing sector.

To illustrate some applications of LOCTITE PC 9410 for manufacturing plants, Graeme referenced some case studies.

“One of our clients, a major manufacturing facility, was experiencing degradation of the concrete floors from a combination of forklift traffic and daily chemical wash downs. Earlier attempts to repair the concrete with epoxy and water-based products had failed time and again and the customer was bearing the cost of the repeated repairs,” says Graeme.

“The Henkel and BSC teams were called in and after studying the situation, recommended LOCTITE PC 9410 for repair. The repairs were done quickly, and forklifts started moving on the floor within a few hours. This also resolved the client’s issue with forklift repairs as the average time between their repairs was also extended,” he adds.

In another example, Graeme says, the concrete on a driveway curb was damaged due to a vehicle accident. Because the repair was being carried out in below freezing temperatures, LOCTITE PC 9410 was found to be the best solution. As LOCTITE PC 9410 can easily bond with the existing concrete, it was successfully applied to repair the broken concrete curb. Also, because LOCTITE PC 9410 does not shrink and is freeze/thaw resistant, this repair can last for many years.

Graeme says LOCTITE PC 9410 is also a popular product in structural repair projects where the structural element (beam, slab, pedestal, etc.) needs to carry heavy loads within minimum time.

“We have also used the compound successfully in structural repair projects where a hydraulic jack is needed to support the structure temporarily. Because LOCTITE PC 9410 has compressive strength that’s up to four times higher than that of concrete, the repaired beam gained sufficient strength to bear the loads and the supporting jacks could be removed faster,” says Graeme.

“While concrete used in structures often has a compressive strength of 30-40 Megapascals, LOCTITE PC 9410 can reach compressive strengths of approximately 120 megapascals, which is very impressive.”

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