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Leaks of this kind can be promptly

stopped. The material and method

described here can be used to seal
leaking joints without removing the
existing waterstops, even if the water
is leaking at the time of the repair and
even if the joints contain failed

presence of flowing water

• Have approval of the En v i ro n-
mental Protection Agency (EPA) if
to be used in contact with potable
• Have withstood the test of time
The specially formulated grout
described below has these proper-
An effective repair for Hydrophilic polyurethane foam
leaking waterstops This grout is a liquid resin of rela-
tively low viscosity (300 to 600 cen-
tipoise) at ambient conditions. After
it is injected into a joint containing
BY BARRY W. KOSTYK grout with proven effectiveness water, the resin reacts with the wa-
3M ADHESIVES, makes repair fast and easy.
COATINGS AND SEALERS DIVISION ter, begins to foam and expands in
Joints that contain waterstops are place. A tight, impermeable, elas-
JAMES E. PARNELL frequently subject to movement and tomeric seal forms, which immedi-
BARTON SOUTHERN CORPORATION this movement may crack repair ately and effectively cuts off the flow
materials that are rigid. Also, flowing of water through or around a leak-
water may be present and the con- ing waterstop. This closed-cell foam
crete is likely to be moist in the area
W aterstops in joints in concrete
structures perform important
functions in protecting the struc-
being repaired. When the difficulty
of application is considered along
can even serve as a new waterstop
in joints where waterstops have
been omitted.
ture, its contents and its environ- with the performance that a repair The repair material is stable over
ment from various aggressive ef- must achieve, the repair material a wide temperature range. The lim-
fects of water—corrosion of steel, should: iting lower temperature for injection
mildewing or rotting of organic ma- • Be tough yet flexible is just above the freezing point of
terials, or eroding the surrounding • Be hydrophilic or readily wet by water. It reacts more slowly with wa-
soil. In water-containing structures water rather than being repelled ter at lower temperatures, but a cat-
they protect against loss of water. by water alyst can be used to accelerate the
But if for any reason they do not cure. Cure times of five to six min-
function properly or if they fail, they • Bond well to damp concrete with- utes are typical at 40° F.
are usually difficult to repair effec- out priming or other special sur- The grout works in three ways to
t i ve l y. Now an injection method face preparation seal a leaking joint. First, because it
that uses a specially formulated • React with water and cure in the is hydrophilic, the liquid resin mixes
readily with water and penetrates
into the pores or fissures of the con-
crete surface. After subsequent cur-
ing, the foam forms a mechanical
anchor within the concrete. Second,
it bonds chemically to the wet and
unprimed concrete surface of the
joint. In addition, it aggre s s i ve l y
bonds to various metals or
polyvinylchloride used for most wa-
terstops. Third, through the expan-
sion of the foam grout, a tough, yet
flexible, compression seal is formed
in the joint. The diagram illustrates
correction of leakage problems
around waterstops.
The foam is well suited to stop-
ping the flow of water through joints
or cracks in concrete that are sub-
ject to movement because of ther-
Technique for solving two leakage problems. Two kinds of leakage problems that mal expansion and contraction,
can occur with waterstops are both solved by using a hydrophilic polyurethane varying loads or shifting soil condi-
foam grout. tions. It is not designed for structur-


In 1982 the Metropolitan At- and chose to use a hyd ro p h i l i c joints, they performed offset
lanta Rapid Transit Au t h o ri t y polyurethane foam grout which drilling and other preparation and
(MARTA) decided to re- then pumped the grout
solve the problem of into the leaking areas
moderate water leak- through high pressure,
age in its system. Leak- mechanical injectors us-
age in subway lines ing a variable pressure
would have eventually injection unit. There
corroded the anchors was no need to remove
that hold the track in any of the water already
place, and leakage in present in the joints and
stations was a safety cracks before pumping
hazard for patrons. in the hydrophilic grout.
When bids were Water flow stopped im-
sought, specifications mediately. After
called for stopping the overnight curing, injec-
leaks and providing a tors were removed,
warranty that the re- Leaky joints in the MARTA system were successfully holes were patched and
paired joints and cracks repaired. The contractor selected the hydrophilic a flexible surface seal
would remain water- polyurethane foam grout to repair 3000 lineal feet because of was applied.
tight for three years. the rapidity and effectiveness of the method. The contractor is con-
The methods and ma- fident that less than one
terials to be used were percent of more than
left up to the contractor. Ba rt o n had proved to be fast and effective 3000 lineal feet of repaired cracks
Southern Corporation of Atlanta, on previous jobs. and joints will require reinjection
Georgia, was awarded the contract After identifying the cracks and during the warranty period.
al restoration. This grout cures to an
extremely flexible foam with an
elongation—as tested by ASTM D
1564—of 700 to 800 percent. There-
fore, significant joint movement can
occur while an effective seal is
maintained. (Note: Elongations
measured by ASTM D 1564 are for
purposes of evaluation, not for pre-
dicting actual elongation under spe-
cific service conditions.) The foam
has excellent durability during
f re eze-thaw and wet-dry cycling.
This repair material also has long-
term resistance to various chemical
and bioactive agents, and has Envi-
ronmental Protection Agency ap-
proval for contact with potable wa-

Leaking waterstops in expansion,
construction or other joints are typ-
ically repaired by injecting the liquid
grout resin into the joint. The exact
technique depends on the nature of
each specific job but it usually in-
• Drilling and diverting the flow of
water at the joint
• Injecting the liquid resin grout in-
to the joint until the water flow
has stopped
• Final cleaning of the joint; this
may include grinding the cured
foam from the joint surface and
applying an additional surface
seal for aesthetic or architectural

This specially formulated hy-
drophilic polyurethane foam grout
has been used to repair leaking wa-
terstops or cracks in various below-
grade building foundations and
parking decks, dams, tunnels,
drinking water reservoirs, water or
wastewater tanks and pipes, eleva-
tor shafts and other structures.

Copyright © 1984, The Aberdeen Group
All rights reserved