Geotechnical polymers have begun to revolutionize infrastructure repair and engineers are finding more and more ways to utilize the incredible power of polymers. For example;
Culvert and ditch repair; By under sealing ditches and sealing erosion at joints and inlets, ditches, dam spillways and roads are preserved. High water flows often create alternate paths for water. Given enough time or flow and failure of the culvert or ditch is assured. Injecting hydrophobic polyurethane into these voids seals out water and stabilizes the structure.
Concrete road stabilization and leveling; Commonly done at the bridge deck junction or above utility trenches to raise settled concrete roads built above, high density polymer foam is injected Under the slab to gently raise the roadway back to proper elevation. This process typically takes as few as a couple of days verses weeks for replacement.
Railroad crossings; These are prone to settling which creates a very uncomfortable transition for both train and automobile traffic. High density polymer foam is injected underneath the rail bed, incredibly the polymer supports far in excess the weight of fully loaded trains. Often this can be completed around already scheduled traffic.
Heavy weight bearing slabs often large warehouses which house heavy machinery such as milling equipment and the like. Geotechnical scans are often performed to determine if the slab will carry the weight of the additional machinery and if not a plan to stabilize the sub grade decided upon. The least invasive by far is geotechnical foam. Through a series of injection points, liquid polymer is pumped under the slab. This expands many times in volume and sets to a ridged, high density structural foam capable of supporting thousands of pounds per square foot.
These are just a few of the many uses of today’s polymers.
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