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Polyurea ‘Loose’ Liners: A Bandaid for Excessively Cracked Concrete
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By Kristin Leonard, Bechtel Corp.

Presented at SSPC 2013; Session: Concrete Protection Solutions; Session chair: Dudley Primeaux

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Ever had to coat a concrete containment area that was so severely cracked it would take months to properly repair? Add in speed bumps such as lack of a vapor barrier and fully installed equipment and you have one major headache! Solution: A polyurea “loose” liner.

Upon installation of a typical thin film coating system, extensive dynamic cracking was discovered in concrete chemical secondary containment structures. After multiple failed attempts to repair cracks using standard coating products, the decision was made to proceed with equipment installation in hopes of maintaining schedule while the coating details could be evaluated. With this additional hurdle, the challenge was made to develop a coating system that delivered chemical resistance while acting as a “bandaid” over the damaged concrete to provide 100% containment. Polyurea/ Geotextile systems are commonly recognized as on grade liners for disposal sites, reservoirs, and tank farms.

After evaluating various options, the polyurea/ geotextile liner was selected on a trial basis due to its system’s flexible and chemical resistant properties as well as the relatively swift installation time. The liners ability to be molded around protrusions and minor surface preparation requirements made this system highly desirable. This paper outlines the trials and challenges of modifying the membrane liner to accommodate stringent chemical resistance criteria, poor concrete conditions, and hundreds of pre-installed obstacles. From detailed design to installation mock-up, the pros, cons and lessons-learned are discussed.


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