Applications of Concrete Polymer Materials in Hydrotechnical Construction
John M. Scanlon, Jr.
Appears on pages(s):
composite materials; concrete construction; concrete
durability; costs; epoxy resins; erosion; fiber reinforced con-crete;
hydraulic structures; impregnating; maintenance; polymer
concrete; portland cements; precast concrete; repairs; strength.
Concrete polymer materials are a series of composite materials which have strength and durability characteristics far superior to those of portland cement concrete. In the USA, a number of hydrotechnical rehabilitation projects have used polymer impregnated concrete (PIC) in order to repair cavitated or eroded stilling basins. Examples of these projects are Dworshak Dam and Libby Dam. Although both of these projects used polymer-impregnated fiber-reinforced concrete, indi-cations are that the fibers do not increase the resistance of the concrete to normal erosion. It is reasonable to assume that the fibers may help to resist cavitation forces since fibers increase the tensile strength of the PIC. Epoxy resins have been used for many years and if applied correctly, results have been found to be excellent when used in the repair of hydraulic structures. In 1977, the Water and Power Resources Service (formerly the Bureau of Reclamation) used polymer concrete (PC) containing vinyl ester in test repairs on two concrete drop structures on the Madera Canal, Central Arizona Project, in California, where erosion dam-age resulting from abrasive sediments carried by flowing water was evident. In the USSR, much experimental work is being performed on new hydrotechnical structures; precast PC and PIC slabs are being used in high velocity water and sediment passages. With the help of the construction industry, new inexpen-sive techniques could be developed; and concrete polymers could become the construction material of the near future.