Structural damage is a serious concern for homeowners. It can lead to structural movement and cause issues like cracks in walls, heave or uplift of walls and foundation, and even ground subsidence.

The repair of these issues requires advanced methods that balance structural requirements with non-structural concerns. This includes minimizing costs, maintaining access and safety, and conducting the repairs within a tight time frame.

Carbon Fiber Composites

Carbon Fiber composites offer a great way to restore structural integrity and add strength to old structures. This material is light and strong, and it can also resist corrosion and abrasion. It is ideal for use in buildings and other infrastructure applications that require a high level of performance.

Carbon fiber is made of thin, crystalline filaments that are stronger than steel but less stiff and brittle than graphite. These filaments are twisted together like yarn or woven into cloth, and they can be reinforced in a variety of ways. Depending on the glass type, filament diameter, coating chemistry and fiber form, carbon fibers can have different properties and performance levels.

The basic starting materials for carbon fiber are polyacrylonitrile (PAN) or rayon. Both are non-graphitizing, meaning they do not turn into graphite when heat treated to high temperatures. To produce truly graphitic carbon fibers, scientists used a process developed at Union Carbide’s Parma Technical Center. Roger Bacon discovered this process, and it led to the growth of carbon fiber technology.

These strong, lightweight materials are the backbone of a number of industries. Aerospace, automotive and sports equipment manufacturers use them for their strength and durability. The Boeing 787 Dreamliner, for example, uses a large percentage of carbon fiber composites. Carbon fiber also has a cachet that makes consumers willing to pay more for products with this material. Tennis rackets, golf clubs and hockey sticks are just a few examples of recreational products manufactured using carbon fiber.

This material can also help save energy. By replacing metal parts with carbon fiber composites, manufacturers can cut weight and reduce fuel consumption. Additionally, carbon fiber can withstand a much higher level of fatigue than other materials. This is important for a structural element that may be subject to cyclic loads.

When paired with the right epoxy system, carbon fiber can be an effective solution for strengthening and repairing concrete and other structures. It offers superior tensile strength and low weight and can also withstand abrasion, chemicals and corrosion. Avient has a portfolio of CFRP products in its Glasforms and Gordon Composites product lines that are perfect for a wide range of commercial and industrial applications.

Epoxy Injection

Epoxy injection is an effective and affordable solution for repairing non-moving cracks that have developed in concrete slabs, walls, columns, piers, and equipment foundations. This repair method can restore the structural integrity of concrete structures and prevent cracking from reoccurring. However, before utilizing this remediation method, it’s important to determine the cause of the cracking and correct the problem to prevent it from happening again in the future.

The first step in this process involves cleaning the surface to be injected. It is important to remove any dirt, debris or standing water from the cracks in order to allow the epoxy to bond properly with the sound concrete. The surface must also be free of oil and grease, which can inhibit adhesion between the epoxy and the concrete. Cleaning the crack surface can be achieved through wire brushing, vacuuming, or pressure washing.

It is then necessary to fill the cracks with an appropriate amount of course, dry sand to help seal the cracks. Once this is done, it’s time to begin injecting the epoxy. Injection should be continuous until the cracks are fully filled and the sand has a solid barrier to prevent the epoxy from running out of the crack when it cures.

Depending on the width of the crack and the degree to which it is contained, specific epoxy viscosities should be used. Wider cracks require a high-viscosity, paste-type epoxy, while narrower cracks can be sealed with low-viscosity epoxy injection resins.

After the cracks are injected, it’s important to perform routine inspections to ensure that they are properly bonded and that the epoxy is curing properly. Once this is complete, the structural repairs can be completed.

Epoxy injection can be performed in a variety of ways, from hand-held air guns to hand- or spring-actuated delivery systems. For large projects, it’s recommended to use dual-component injection electric or air pumps that are capable of metering and mixing the epoxy materials at the proper ratio before entering the cracked substrate. It’s also crucial to perform the injection work in ideal conditions. Extreme temperatures can cause the epoxy injection resin to gel prematurely and jell up before it has an opportunity to completely penetrate a crack’s inner surfaces.

Urethane Sealant

Urethane sealants are a common choice in many different applications and industries. They are commonly used in commercial construction to seal gaps and seams that could otherwise leak water or air into a building. They also are often used in industrial settings to bond various materials together.

These durable and versatile products are designed to withstand the elements such as extreme temperatures and harsh chemicals. They are also known to have exceptional stress recovery and adherence to almost any surface. They are also paintable, allowing you to color match them to your environment or project needs.

When it comes to crack repair, urethane is often preferred by experts over epoxy. This is because urethane can be applied directly to the surface of a cracked wall and then expanded to fill the crack. This allows the urethane to repair the crack and prevent any future movement of the foundation without the need for expensive bracing or piers.

While epoxy is often a popular choice for basement waterproofing, urethane crack injections provide a more cost effective solution. This is because urethane does not require any additional structural support while epoxy will typically require the addition of pricey bracing or piers.

If you are looking to hire a professional foundation repair company, ask them what type of sealant they use in their projects. This will help you to determine whether they are using the most innovative ways to do structural repair or if they are just relying on traditional methods.

Both urethane and silicone sealants are used for sealing, filling gaps and insulating. They are both highly tenacious and flexible, able to withstand up to 25% movement of the surface. They are also highly resistant to water, ultra-violet radiation and many common household chemicals.

When choosing a sealant for your project, it is important to weigh the pros and cons of each. Silicone is more likely to be paintable, but it may also interfere with the adhesion of some materials. Polyurethane is more tenacious and flexible, but it may not be as paintable. Ultimately, the decision will come down to the type of project that you are working on and what your budget is.

Column Restoration

Columns are an important part of the architecture of many buildings. They add a sense of elegance and class to any structure. They also provide a sense of security and permanence to any building. However, columns can become damaged due to weather and aging. Fortunately, there are several ways to repair and restore these columns.

One way to repair and strengthen a column is to use concrete jacketing. This method is effective in reducing the flexural stiffness of the column and in enhancing its ductility. In addition, it also redistributes the load in a more uniform pattern which can help to prevent the collapse of a column in a seismic event. However, this technique can be expensive and time-consuming.

Another innovative way to do structural repair is by using carbon fiber composites. This material is an excellent choice for repairs and reinforcement of columns because it offers high strength, ductility, low weight, and corrosion resistance. In addition, it can be shaped to fit any column or pier. It is also an excellent material for upgrading bridge columns, retrofitting existing columns, and strengthening walls and piers.

In some cases, a column may be too damaged to be repaired. In this case, it is necessary to replace the column. However, it is important to keep in mind that columns can be saved by following preventive maintenance procedures. These include caulking, painting and venting the interior of the column.

Besides preventing further concrete deterioration, these maintenance procedures can also save energy. This is because the columns are less likely to be overloaded. A structural engineer can evaluate the condition of the column by examining the concrete for cracks, pitting and delamination. It is also important to check for the presence of corroded reinforcing steel.

If a column is severely deteriorated, a structural engineer can make repairs to the column by shoring it and replacing the concrete, adding supplemental bars, or wrapping it with carbon or glass-reinforced plastic. In some cases, a structural engineer can even rehabilitate a damaged RC column by replacing the concrete in the plastic hinge region with high-strength micro-concrete. This approach is relatively inexpensive and requires little or no excavation.