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Application of epoxy based materials in repairs

Er. Parbhakar Dwivedi
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Anti-corrosive and water proofing protective coatings:

A major use of epoxies is heavy duty protective coatings. High initial cost of epoxy based coating is more than offset by the greatly reduced frequency of maintenance. Epoxy coatings and paints can withstand highly aggressive environment due to their outstanding chemical resistance and physical properties and therefore are often used to reduce later maintenance and repair to the minimum. Epoxy formulations are used in new construction in chemically resistant mortars, floor toppings, industrial, flooring, foundation, grouting, and anti- skid surfacing for roads. Addition of sand helps in reducing shrinkage, improving abrasion and thermal resistance and lowering thermal coefficient of expansion, making it nearer to concrete. Epoxy coatings in conjunction with epoxy grouting have been used to render leaking roofs, toilets, bath rooms as impervious. However, their use in exposed locations directly exposed to sunlight is to be avoided.

Fusion Bonded Epoxy Powder Coatings (FBEC) as well as IPN (Interpenetrating Polymer Network) Coatings are being used for protecting to reinforcing bars against corrosion in RCC structures located in highly aggressive environment. FBEC process provides a tough film, which can withstand bar bending without cracking, whereas IPN coatings are used for new constructions for in situ coatings to steel reinforcement.

2. Bond Coats and Grouts:

Epoxies are used as bond coats and grouts due to their excellent adhesive qualities on cementitious as well as metallic surface.

3. Structural repairs to concrete:

Due to excellent Mechanical properties and bond characterstics with most of the materials, epoxy mortars/concrete are used to make up the damaged or lost cover concrete etc. These mortars attain strength in few hours and have very high strength and are abrasion resistant, water resistant and can be used in few mm thickness overlays.

These mortars consist of resin, hardener and silica sand and are preferably applied over an epoxy bonding coat in epoxy mortar, clean, dried specially graded silica sand is used as filler with a resin-hardener mixture the optimum resin: sand ratio for maximum strength is reported to be 1.7. Epoxy mortars/concretes are used as adhesives for honeycomb structures and concrete topping compounds for strengthening and patch repairs. The impact strength of a thin layer of cement topping on an old concrete base is usually very bad, but it can be improved by using an epoxy adhesive.

Epoxy mortars / concrete are economically used where repair areas are small (less than 0.1m2) and few in number and depth of repair is than 40mm and where rapid curing with hardener is a requirement. The rate of curing of epoxy mortar is directly dependent on the ambient temperature in cold weather, small patches of mortar can be easily heated artificially to provide rapid cure.

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