Concrete Fabric for Concrete Canal Lining Repairs

Project ID: 19277
Principal Investigator: Shannon Harrel
Research Topic: Repair and Maintenance
Funded Fiscal Years: 2019
Keywords: None

Research Question

Can concrete cloth be used on Reclamation canals as a repair product for small spot repairs or as a lining for small canals to reduce outage time and reduce construction costs?

Need and Benefit

Need: Rapid repair methods for our large inventory of deteriorating canals have been needed for some time. Concrete
cloth has the potential to be a rapid repair product. The product is rolled out and cut to the right size, fastened, and
hydrated (sprayed with a hose) for a relatively fast repair compared to the surface preparation, placement, and curing
requirements of a traditional concrete repair. This will cut down on outage time for water districts.
Concrete cloth can be used in many different applications including: ditch lining, erosion control & slope protection,
and culvert lining to name a few. In addition to placing concrete cloth directly on the earth subgrade, concrete cloth
has been used as a repair product to patch corrosion of corrugated metal pipe.
Benefit:Some facilities may be able to install this product with little to no help from a contractor. This would allow the
facility to perform the repairs quickly. In addition, this product can be used underwater which could limit the amount of
unwatering required to perform repairs. Some manufacturers have man portable rolls that allow the material to be
handled more easily without the support of heavy equipment.
The team sees this product as a potential solution to performing small repairs for small concrete lined canals. More
research may show that it can be used in larger applications as well.
Urgency: Reclamation construction/field offices and water districts are in need of a rapid repair method for canals that
can be performed underwater and installed in a short period of time. If shown to meet design requirements and
durability criteria, this product has the potential for repair small concrete lined canals and also to potentially perform as
rapid temporary emergency repairs to canal structures until a permanent fix can be installed.
Reclamation's current repair strategy for damaged concrete in lined canals is to perform repairs with a cementitious
material which requires surface preparation and installation to be performed by skilled labor in dry conditions. Other
repair options for cracked concrete include epoxy or chemical grouts for leaking cracks and joints. This also requires
skilled labor and usually dry conditions. In some cases, full replacement of damaged concrete panels is required due
to the extensive amount of damage to the concrete.

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.

Concrete Fabric for Concrete Canal Lining Repairs (final, PDF, 3.1MB)
By Shannon Harrell
Research Product completed on September 30, 2019

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

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Last Updated: 6/22/20