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Repair Material Compatibility Requirements for Long Term Concrete Repairs

Project ID: 385
Principal Investigator: Kurt Von Fay
Research Topic: Repair and Maintenance
Funded Fiscal Years: 2014
Keywords: concrete repair, material compatibility, long lasting repair

Research Question

What are the required compatibility properties of concrete repair materials for long lasting concrete repairs?

Compatibility of concrete repair materials and the parent concrete is a poorly understood concept. What compatibility really means is not understood. Currently, the issue is simplified to just replace "like with like". However, that is impossible - many times we are repairing very old, damaged concrete made with old technology concrete materials with new concrete containing modern materials. In addition, there is very little data to back up the "like with like" assertion. In some cases, it may make sense to go with materials that might be classified as incompatible.

Determining which compatibility properties and their necessary values are the most important for a successful repair will allow for much more durable, long lasting repairs.

Need and Benefit

The success of concrete repairs and overlays is lower than desired and hard to predict. Many times they fail prematurely, reducing the service life of the repair, and requiring expensive repairs much sooner than originally planned. Recent surveys of O&M water management training participants showed that about 30% of the attendees performed some level of work on concrete repairs, most of the repairs were small, and most only lasted about 2 years.

This lab has been working for a number of years in this area, along with partners from other government agencies, universities, material suppliers, and concrete repair specialists. This problem with repairs and overlays is not unique to Reclamation, but is reflected in the repair industry as a whole. The problem is more significant to Reclamation because of the age and quality of much of our older concrete structures, making repairs even more difficult.

Contributing Partners


Research Products

Fully developed research proposal to determine repair material compatibility requirements for long lasting concrete repairs

This information was last updated on November 23, 2014
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