Underwater Cure Polymeric Repairs to Seal Seepage Cracks

Project ID: 2398
Principal Investigator: Veronica Madera
Research Topic: Repair and Maintenance
Funded Fiscal Years: 2015
Keywords: underwater repair, concrete repair, polyurethane grout, hydrophilic, test procedure, injection

Research Question

Can hydrophilic chemical grouts be used to seal seepage cracks underwater?

Need and Benefit

There is a great need in Reclamation for repairing and maintaining its many concrete structures. However, many of the structures are too important or critical for water delivery to be able to take them out of service during the repairs. The need for repairs that can be performed while the structure is in use is critical to the mission of Reclamation. In addition, these repair materials need to address the compatibility with the base material, in this case concrete, in order to help mitigate additional damage or deterioration.

Polyurethane grouts have great promise in addressing these needs by their ability to cure underwater, with the water, to provide a waterproof seal in the concrete. In addition, the grout remains flexible, which can prevent further damage to the concrete in conditions where the concrete foundation is moving.

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.

Underwater Cure Polymeric Repairs to Seal Seepage Cracks (final, PDF, 3.9MB)
By Veronica Madera
Publication completed on September 30, 2015

Cracks in the concrete linings of canals allow water to leak. This paper presents laboratory research on polyurethane grouts used to seal cracks in concrete specimens underwater. A total of four grouts were tested in a custom designed test tank to simulate field conditions.

Underwater Cure Polymeric Repairs to Seal Seepage Cracks (final, PDF, 9.9MB)
By Matthew Klein
Publication completed on September 30, 2016

The Concrete, Geotechnical and Structural Laboratory conducted an underwater field demonstration of injected polymeric grouts in a nominal 1 inch crack on a canal in the Central Arizona Project following successful lab testing. Two different types of grout was injected underwater with the support of commercial divers. The grout was premixed at the injection nozzle with varying temperatures of mix water to optimize curing time for successful sealing of the cracks. The results showed that one grout performed better than the other and that an optimal mix water temperature can be used.

The following documents were not reviewed. Statements made in these documents are those of the authors. The findings have not been verified.

Using Polyurethane Grouts to Seal Seepage Cracks Underwater (final, PDF, 1.4MB)
By Veronica Madera
Publication completed on September 30, 2016

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

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Last Updated: 6/22/20