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The practice of lining concrete substrates has increased exponentially over the past thirty (30) years, most notably in the wastewater treatment industry. Environmental regulations, coupled with changes to treatment processes, have combined to generate harsh exposures in which concrete / historically successful linings will corrode or fail. In many regards, the surface preparation and subsequent application of high performance linings is a relatively adolescent industry.
Tools, equipment, methods, and practices are continually being developed to increase the efficiency and productivity of surface preparation. Restoration materials, resurfacers, and chemical resistance linings require specialized skills and application equipment, which must adhere to stringent guidelines. Quality assurance processes and quality control measures must be developed and implemented in greater detail as compared to other substrates.
Finally, as is often stated, a comprehensive specification which delineates appropriate materials, proper surface preparation, precise application requirements, and quality control practices is required. The industry, including; Engineers, Consultants, Specifiers, Trade Associations, Equipment Manufactures, Coating Manufacturers, Contractors, and Applicators, has collectively worked towards refining the “art” of preparing and lining steel substrates. Evidence of this mutual effort can be found by reviewing the plethora of training courses and industry standards that have been developed, and are widely available, for preparing and lining steel substrates, and, arguably the lesser degree of lining failures. The intent of this paper is to demonstrate (to non-believers), that concrete substrates present many unique challenges, arguably more so than steel that must be properly addressed.