Modern Methods and Materials to Seal Small Leaks and Cracks in Concrete

Project ID: 1067
Principal Investigator: Kurt Von Fay
Research Topic: Repair and Maintenance
Funded Fiscal Years: 2004, 2005 and 2006
Keywords: None

Research Question

* Can we develop or prove effective methods to seal cracked concrete and prevent water induced deterioration?

Need and Benefit

This program will examine materials and technology designed to seal small, leaking cracks in concrete. Several materials and application or injection techniques will be evaluated. We plan to study some experimental materials and methods and compare those to traditional methods.

Water leaks through small cracks in several mechanical rooms in Pueblo Dam. The water is alkaline and fairly corrosive and is damaging equipment and fixtures in those rooms. We plan to apply or inject several materials into the cracks to test the effectiveness of various materials to seal water leaks. We will prepare a report documenting results.

Repairs need to be made in the Fish Hatchery Outlet Works Gate Chambers, small cracks in the galleries in buttresses 8, 9, 11, and 13, buttress 17 Entry Audit, the buttress 10, 15, and 17 inspection and equipment galleries, and buttress 16 equipment gallery.

Currently, we envision testing:

* Polyurethane resin

* Epoxy resin

* Polyurea resin

* Ultrafine cement grout

More than one material from each class may be tested. We will also test the various materials using different application or injection techniques.

The program will be a combined effort of staff and funds from Pueblo Dam, staff from the Materials Engineering and Research Laboratory, and funds from the Science and Technology program. By combining work efforts and funding, we have an excellent opportunity to compare new technologies to existing technologies.

Contributing Partners

Contact the Principal Investigator for information about partners.

Research Products

Bureau of Reclamation Review

The following documents were reviewed by experts in fields relating to this project's study and findings. The results were determined to be achieved using valid means.

Leaking Crack Repair Using Chemical Grouts (final, PDF, 1.1MB)
By Kurt Von Fay
Report completed on June 28, 2006

The intent of this program was to evaluate several types of grouts to seal small leaking cracks in a real-world setting. We selected several areas of leaking cracks in gate chambers and galleries of Pueblo Dam. Water from the leaking cracks was dripping onto equipment and conduits in several locations throughout the dam. Because of the alkaline nature of the water, it is very corrosive and was damaging equipment and conduits.

Hydrophilic Polyurethane Impregnated Rubber for Sealing Water Leaks (final, PDF, 50KB)
By Kurt Von Fay
Publication completed on September 30, 2006

This bulletin summarizes the research results and potential application to Reclamation's mission.

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Last Updated: 6/22/20