Concrete Rail Infrastructure Needs Protection!

Protection against environmental and operational challenges

Concrete Rail Infrastructure Needs Protection!
12 October 2020 Posted in , ,

Rail transport remains a crucial part of freight and resource logistics, and for public transport. And rail infrastructure includes an impressive amount of concrete.
To ensure this rail infrastructure will last its intended service life, at minimum maintenance cost, then there are some important factors to consider for the concrete.


Concrete Contamination

Rail infrastructure is subjected to some serious contamination from the very machines it supports. Rail traffic will bring water, oil and street grime onto the concrete sleepers, culverts, bridges, and particularly the maintenance facilities. Water carries contamination deep into the concrete, setting up the factors for corrosion of the steel.

Surface sealer coatings are not sufficient to protect the concrete. They are topical only, readily subject to abrasion and wear. Surface sealers are in fact supposed to be re-applied periodically even when they aren’t under traffic. It’s doubtful how often that happens in accordance with the datasheet.
We’d like to introduce AQURON 2000 – multi-benefit concrete treatment.

AQURON 2000 penetrates deep into the concrete (around 150mm) and seals the porosity with anti-dust hardening.
No surface sealer to wear away! No need to re-apply – ever! The concrete is hardened and durable for the full intended service life of the structure.
Better still, if AQURON 2000 is applied at curing stage, there’s no need for a separate curing compound or time-consuming water curing. AQURON 2000 enhances concrete curing, equal or superior to 14 days’ water curing.

Rail maintenance facility includes Aquron 2000 for waterproofing the service pit


Any concrete structure exposed to the weather, should have waterproofing treatment incorporated into its design.
Did you know that moisture-borne contamination is the number one driver for premature concrete deterioration?
Long story short, exposed concrete such as bridges or roof decks absolutely must be protected against the weather.

Rainwater and wind combine to wear away exposed structures at the best of times. Add in that oil and grime we mentioned, and you’ve got a serious recipe for premature concrete decay.
Steel corrosion and internal concrete reactants cause cracking. Little cracks become big cracks, and big cracks kill concrete.

Friarton Bridge of Perth UK under maintenance treatment including Aquron concrete hydrogels


Here’s where the AQURON waterproofing system comes into play.

This three-part system completely removes the need for a membrane and consists of

  • AQURON 300 waterproofing admixture
  • AQURON 2000 spray-applied penetrating treatment
  • CONQOR 47B delayed swell water stop for joints and penetrations

A complete waterproofing system, ideal for other exposed concrete structural elements.

Frequently asked questions

▸ Is concrete hydrogel treatment compatible with paint or coatings? YES.
Concrete hydrogels do not introduce any element not already present in the concrete. Any coating designed for bare concrete will work as normal on hydrogel-treated concrete.
▸ Can hydrogel treatments benefit both new and existing structures? YES.
For maximum benefit, we recommend hydrogel treatments be included from day one. BUT you can also arrest an existing deterioration cycle by applying hydrogel treatments. The earlier the better, of course.

So – if you’re involved in the design, construction or maintenance of rail infrastructure, why not get in touch? Let’s see how we can help make your concrete stronger, and last longer. And probably save you some time and money along the way.

Markham - Concrete Solutions - Exposed Surface Treatments

Header photo by all scent on Unsplash


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We understand that choosing the correct solution and type of product is essential for the success of any project. Markham has a technical support team with many years of concrete industry experience and successful project applications and we are ready to help you find the right solution for your application.

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