Bridge Destruction by Neglect

The importance of pro-active maintenance.

Bridge Destruction by Neglect

Let’s talk about … maintaining concrete bridges.
Stop yawning already. This is an expensive topic.
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The Tension of Costs

If you are involved in a maintenance budget you’ll be keenly aware of the tension of costs – the work that really needs doing isn’t necessarily covered by the budget.
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And of course the older the bridge becomes, the higher the potential maintenance costs.
In fact, the process of ageing is a self-driving cycle of deterioration. It goes something like this:

  • Concrete is somewhat porous, despite everyone’s best efforts. Moisture carries contaminants into and through the concrete.
  • Stresses, ASR and/or corrosion of the steel begin to open fine cracks in the slab. More moisture gets in.
  • The cause of the cracks gets worse. The cracks get wider. Parts of the structure start to fall off. The cycle repeats until the structure is unusable.

This is a very simplistic summary. The ageing of any given structure is typically caused by a combination of factors. But the over-arching theme is, carry out maintenance as early as possible. Have a pro-active maintenance program.
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Concrete structures left without maintenance will self destruct over time
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The Tuutti Model

There’s a very helpful diagram originated by Kyösti Tuutti of Lund University, Sweden, that illustrates the urgency of dealing with deterioration. Here’s a simple version, showing the initiation phase and the ‘propagation’ deterioration phase. Notice that at the final point, the structure has ended its working life.
Tuutti damage model graph
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The Advanced Solution

There is an advanced solution. Aquron penetrating hydrogel treatments are available to arrest the deterioration and extend that service life – if applied early. With this in mind, we’ve modified the graph slightly, to demonstrate that if treatment is applied in the initiation phase – that’s well before the damages are severe or obvious – then the service life can be significantly extended. 
Think about what this means for long-term cost savings!
Modified Tuutti damage model showing influence of early penetrating treatment
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Aquron penetrating hydrogels work by immobilising the moisture within the concrete.

Immobile moisture = no movement of contaminants = no feeding the deterioration.

The treatment is remarkably cost-effective, particularly if the planned service life is considered.
And safe! – with nil VOCs, penetrating hydrogel treatments can be used in the most sensitive environments.
Fast! – minimal downtime for the structure.
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If you can relate to the scenarios discussed in this article – get in touch today! We’re keen to discuss options with you.
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Download free information on Aquron hydrogel treatments for concrete protection

Markham adding life to concrete

Markham adding life to concrete


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