Wolter Reinold de Sitter, part-time Professor in design of structures in concrete at Eindhoven University of Technology, proposed a Law of Fives for structural concrete maintenance. There are various English versions extant, but fundamentally the Law reads as follows:
The life of a concrete structure, with respect to durability, can be divided into four phases:
Phase A: Design, construction and concrete curing
Phase B: Corrosion initiation processes are under way, but propogation of damage has not yet begun
Phase C: Propogating deterioration has just begun
Phase D: Propogation of corrosion is advanced, with extensive damage manifesting
$1 extra spent at Phase A is equivalent to saving $5 at Phase B, $25 at Phase C, or $125 at Phase D.
Now think about that – a little extra investment at the design, construction and curing phase will reduce long-term expenses. There’s a catch here: are all the parties involved in Phase A genuinely interested in the structure’s survival at Phase D? If short-term cost-saving or time-saving is a primary motivation when the structure is being built, long-term durability will inevitably suffer.
So – is there some small investment we can make at the construction Phase which will greatly benefit the long-term durability?
There’s one key thing that Markham can assist with, and that’s the curing process. Improved curing quality will drive improved strength, impermeability and long-term durability. To achieve this economically and effectively, we use penetrating hydrogel treatment. This can be used as an admixture, or spray-applied, and permanently immobilises the moisture in the porosity of the concrete.
- Improve hydration
- Reduce shrinkage cracking
- Improve impermeability
- Permanently seal against contamination
Curing by spray-applied penetrating hydrogel is equal in quality to water curing – and much simpler and faster to implement.
Hydrogels can be used both with in-situ and precast elements, and is extremely friendly to the environment.
We’re keen to talk to you about your concrete projects – why not get in touch?