Structural | Concrete Repair
Both reinforced and un-reinforced concrete is used in a range of structures from bridges and dams to buildings and water tanks this is because of its enormous strength and capacity to form into any shape or size.
Depending on the type of structure, most concrete architecture is designed to have a life which ranges from twenty-five to one-hundred years but it eventually will begin to deteriorate as a result of a variety of mechanisms.
The mechanisms that can cause the deterioration of concrete include:
- Impact and Mechanical Damage
- Contamination by aggressive chemicals (such as acids or sulphates)
- Frost Attack
Once the deterioration mechanism has been determined, a strategy for repairing the concrete can be outlined. When repairing the concrete, the loose and contaminated concrete is cut away using hydraulic bursting, high pressure water jetting, abrasive blasting and hydro-demolition techniques.
The new concrete patches are applied by hand for small and cosmetic repairs and, if more substantial repair is required, wet and dry spray techniques are used.
There are a huge range of different types of concrete, this is due to the chemical properties which are involved in the original creation of the substance. The oldest discovery of concrete dates back to 1400-1200 BC in Greece and so, over time, methods of creating concrete have been improved and changed over thousands of years; this means that the concrete in one structure may not be the same as the concrete in another. With this in mind, the engineers have to make sure that the chemical properties of the concrete patches match – as closely as possible – to the properties of the existing concrete.