Precast concrete has gained widespread use in the construction industry due to its durability, strength, and versatility. However, it is susceptible to degradation from weathering, water penetration, and other external influences, like with all concrete constructions. As a result, it is essential to utilize proper sealing products and techniques to protect and prolong the service life of precast concrete structures.
Since 2004, SealGuard has specialized in producing polyurethane grouting solutions for water management, sealing, and adhesion of precast concrete sections! We offer an array of products, including SealGuard II, HyperFlex, and X-Seal — all of which are recognized for their superior quality and exceptional performance.
What Is Precast Concrete?
Precast concrete is a construction material made by pouring concrete into a form or mold at a place other than the construction site. When the concrete has been poured, it can cure or solidify before it is delivered to the installation site. This construction technique is commonly employed for various applications, including wall surfaces, bridges, and slope protection.
Several benefits of the precast technique make it the preferred solution for building projects. It allows greater control over the quality and consistency of the mix. It also permits accurate measurements, ensuring that each component is made with the same degree of precision and quality. This consistency produces a final product that is stronger and more durable than standard concrete poured on-site.
Additionally, precast components are manufactured off-site in a controlled factory environment, minimizing disruption to the construction site during installation. This reduces on-site construction time, leading to significant time savings. Furthermore, it lessens the project’s environmental impact, including reduced noise pollution and on-site waste.
Components of the Precast Concrete Sealing Process
Sealing precast concrete requires various components to work together to provide a watertight barrier that protects the construction from external forces. Below are three primary components:
Joint sealant is typically used to fill the gaps or joints between precast concrete elements and ensure that harmful contaminants cannot penetrate the structure. They are also designed to be flexible and withstand the structure’s movements and stresses without losing effectiveness. Without proper joint sealing, moisture can penetrate the other components and cause internal damage.
The following are additional advantages of joint sealants:
- Capacity to move with the concrete joint, ultimately extending the lifespan of the seal
- Ability to attach to precast concrete to ensure that the joint remains permanently sealed
- Capability to improve the visual appeal of concrete joints
- Rapid and economical application
- Mechanical strength, chemical resistance, and durability of the highest caliber
- Easy to utilize, requiring neither specific equipment nor training
Polyurethane grout is a polymer-based material often composed of polyols and isocyanates. It is applied to the surfaces of precast concrete components after joint sealant has been installed to fill any voids or gaps. This creates a waterproof barrier that prevents water intrusion and other environmental factors from damaging the structure.
Proper joint design is essential to ensure that the joint sealant and polyurethane grout can be applied effectively. Therefore, it should consider the anticipated movement and loading of the structure and the environmental conditions to which the installation will be exposed. This includes temperature changes, moisture, and exposure to chemicals or other substances.
Common Precast Concrete Structures
Precast concrete structures are utilized in various applications, ranging from minor residential projects to vast commercial and industrial constructions. Here are some of the most typical installations:
Manholes enable access to underground utility lines, including sewage, water, and gas. They are constructed to handle enormous weights and provide a durable, long-lasting alternative for obtaining entry and sustaining underground infrastructure. In addition, they are frequently precast to assure uniform quality and facilitate construction.
Catch basins are installed beneath pavement surfaces to collect stormwater runoff and prevent flooding. They also contain debris and sediment from entering the municipal drainage system and generating clogs. Moreover, they can be customized with various accessories — such as grates and hoods — to improve their operation and efficacy.
Sumps are designed to collect and contain liquids, such as wastewater or stormwater. They are commonly used in industrial and commercial applications, including wastewater treatment facilities, oil refineries, and chemical plants. They can also be utilized for residential purposes, such as basement waterproofing, or as part of a property’s drainage system.
Culverts permit water to pass beneath roads, railroads, and other transportation networks. Precast concrete culverts are a common choice for their cost-effectiveness, durability, and strength. They can also be created in various sizes and forms and placed rapidly and easily.
Trenches are long, narrow excavations made in the ground for multiple purposes, including installing utilities like water, gas, or electrical lines. They are frequently precast for improved durability, less on-site labor and construction time, and enhanced installation safety. In addition, they can be combined with various features, such as pipe penetrations and catch basins.
Pits are commonly used in various industries and applications, such as oil and gas, mining, water treatment, and wastewater management. They are typically used to store or treat materials and substances, including liquids, gases, or solids. One common type is the settling pit, which is utilized in water treatment and waste management to settle the solid particles into the pit’s bottom.
Pump stations play a crucial role in numerous water management systems, facilitating the transfer of fluids from one area to another. They serve various purposes, such as sewage treatment plants, stormwater management, and drainage systems.
Sealing Products From SealGuard
SealGuard offers highly versatile products distributed to end users in multiple industries, including the wastewater, mining, civil, and construction sectors. SealGuard II, Hyperflex, and X-Seal are all applied in their raw form, similar to oil. Then, they react with either a catalyst (SealGuard II) or water (HyperFlex and X-Seal).
When the precast concrete segments are joined, the grout will expand into a foam, creating a watertight seal. This eliminates the risk of the tar strip moving or deteriorating and ensures long-lasting, effective concrete sealing.
Here is an overview of our three sealing products:
SealGuard II is a two-part polyurethane with a rapid reaction time of one to three seconds. It is specially formulated to prevent fast water flows from infiltrating concrete or other underground structures, even at rates exceeding 50 gallons per minute. Our patented check-valve in the static mixer also allows partially used tube sets to reuse.
HyperFlex is a versatile hydrophobic polyurethane grout that comes pre-catalyzed, eliminating the need for a field mixing catalyst and reducing costs. The reaction time of the grout can be adjusted simply by varying the temperature of the HyperFlex container. Additionally, it is NSF-ANSI-CAN 61 approved for use in contact with potable water, making it suitable for a wide range of applications.
X-Seal is an effective hydrophobic polyurethane sealant and adhesive, ideal for creating a strong and durable bond between porous surfaces like concrete, brick, and wood. Its primary use is as an adhesive and sealant in the joints of precast concrete sections and riser rings in maintenance hole applications. Moreover, it can be used in general construction applications, joining virtually any porous surface to provide a watertight and hermetic seal.
Choose SealGuard for High-Quality Sealing Solutions
At SealGuard, our experts can help you choose the right product for your application. We also provide guidance on using it effectively and leverage our products’ unmatched quality and effectiveness! With our high-quality solution, we guarantee that your surfaces will be protected from damage.
Moreover, we pride ourselves on our responsive and helpful customer service. Whether you have a question about our products, need technical support, or want to place an order, our team is here to help! Contact us today for more information.