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Polyurea “Loose” Liners: A Floating Fix for Cracked Concrete Secondary Containment

From JPCL, February 2014

More items for Quality Control

by Kristin Leonard, Bechtel Corp.

This article evaluates the performance of a polyurea “loose” lining system for repairing cracks and protecting concrete surfaces on secondary containment structures. The challenges of modifying it to accommodate stringent chemical-resistance criteria also are described....
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Tagged categories: Bechtel; Chemical resistance; Coating / Film thickness; Concrete; Concrete repair; Containment; Cracks; Linings; Polyurea

Comment from Joe Nichy, (3/27/2014, 1:24 PM)

Very informative article. Curious about the topcoat. Polyurea is not the most chemical resistant material, so I'm curious as to the chemical that was present in this particular project.


Comment from Louis Vincent, (3/31/2014, 10:01 AM)

This article is a very good example of the need to develop a trusting working relationship with the coatings manufacturer. Polyureas are very complex coatings that can be modified to obtain some unique strengths. This is not a cookbook recipe, it requires extensive formulation knowledge and experience on the part of the coatings manufacturer.


Comment from Benny Abbott, (3/31/2014, 10:06 AM)

Joe, You have to remember that polyurea is not actually a given coating material, but a technology of a coating. So there are many, many different formulations of polyurea coating technologies and just like epoxies, you have some that are not so chemical resistant and then others that are. I have used and consulted on several tank lining projects with polyurea systems and these are holding up very well in services from diesel fuel all the way up to ethanol service. So to say that all polyuria's are not chemical resistant, is not a true statement. Polyurea technologies are advancing more and more every day. Sure there are places where they should not be used, but you have to remember, polyurea is just a word that describes a coating technology and is not a actual coating/lining in itself. This is what we teach in the PDA Applicator Training Courses. This is why we would not take a material that is suited for say a truck bed liner and use it in a gasoline storage tank, as it would probably fail. But we would choose one that has been formulated to resist immersion service in gasoline instead.


Comment from Brian E Bennett, (2/27/2018, 7:42 PM)

Great article! It's amazing this technology can be used widely as a great coating you just have to understand the substrate you are dealing with and go from there. I think that is the start of using any coating understanding its functionality.


Comment from Warren Brand, (3/2/2018, 10:12 AM)

Hey Benny! Nice seeing you on here. Great point about polyurea. We tell our clients all the time when they say they want a coating system, I explain that's like saying you need a means of transportation. Are you looking for a bicycle or sailboat. This technology and strategy is many decades old for both concrete and earthen berms. We lined a gigantic earthen secondary containment are back in the 80s with the same concept using an aliphatic urethane as the elastomeric topcoat.


Comment from Warren Brand, (3/2/2018, 10:20 AM)

And, BTW - there are very serious risks associated with this type of system in this type of application. One pinhole, crack or flaw which can go virtually undetected can compromise the entire system. Water can get under the system, undetected, which is not a big deal, however, if you have a spill, and you have one small breach anywhere in the system, it may get under the liner and travel.


Comment from JUAN JOSE GARZA, (3/2/2018, 2:00 PM)

This should be considered as a resource and not as something common, because the risk is very high because the dam is out in the open and subject to movement then any crack can lead to a major disaster. I agree with the comments of Warren Brand. I think you should correct the concrete slab with cracks and not accept this type of "concrete" to make a good and correct antiacid coating.


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