F-Files: Mechanisms of Failure
The contractor who almost got floored

From JPCL, May 2013

by Raymond S. Tombaugh, PCS, KTA-Tator, Inc. and Richard A. Burgess, PCS, Series Editor

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Tagged categories: Case History; Coating Application; Coating failure; Concrete; Concrete defects; Concrete floor coatings; Failure analysis; Floor coatings; Floors

Comment from Jorge Servin, (6/3/2013, 5:07 PM)

Thank you for sharing with us your experiences. I found your article very interesting but it left me with some doubts. 1.- If the blistering problem was caused by the ASR of the aggregate ,how can we be sure that it will not happen again since the moisture will continue to be present in the slab? 2.- What was the previous clear coating condition? Does it show the same blistering problem? if not, it may be because it was very thin or permeable and allowed the moisture to flow to the exterior of the slab. 3.- If the presence and/or flow of water moisture created or contributed to the ASR , wouldn't it be a good choice to change the approach to the use of permeable or semi-permeable coatings systems, or to a polished concrete flooring system? Thank you.


Comment from Michael Quaranta, (6/3/2013, 6:30 PM)

I have a lot of respect for the JPCL publication and the standard technical approach of the articles. I caught this article in the latest issue with some questions regarding the analysis. I reviewed an epoxy blistering project in El Centro, California that was interesting. The one aspect that was similar was the blistering shown in this article. To me that only proves that the epoxy has good elongation and that a suitable MVE coating was not applied and that leads to still another technical specification condition. Who specified the CSP (ICRI-Concrete Surfaces Profile) and was the proper equipment used to achieve the profile. I'd sure like to know the location of this F-Files Floor and an opportunity to propose a warranted fix for that problem without using those "empty the bucket" Hi-VOC coating products. This concrete coating has all of the required ASTM Test results, millons of square feet installed, including a Certified Permeance Test Report for WVT and for a pure quality of product proof an installed concrete coating in a shellfarm facility on the beach in Hawaii (7- years and still no sign of any claim or failure).


Comment from brian ofarrell, (6/4/2013, 7:36 AM)

Why is it that we wait for a failure to call in an inspector for concrete coatings. On steel the inspectors are in the contractors face. Not saying that an inspector would have prevented this problem but the article leaves questions of the validity of the MVT tests done.


Comment from Bonny Njimogu, (8/3/2013, 6:39 AM)

Thanks to JPCL and team of Raymond and Richard.The case od the wharehouse floor blisters and defects was embarassing both to fhe parties involved and the readership in general.However,the laboratory findings as reported have averted buck passing.A critical path to watchout for have been unveiled.MVT and ASR orAAR (Alkkhali Aggregate Reaction might be contributory to the tthe coating failure.I share the same view.From experience,wherever reactive aggregates are encountered whether indoor or exposed structures reacts with the atmosphere and moisture causing popouts,surface stains and unsightly blemishes. On indoor floor substrates where vapour barrier is used to prevent moisture transmission,reactive aggregates tend to shrink in the absence of moisture thereby resulting to difrential shrinkage/movement in the substrate.Simple tests like chloride/silt could be carried out on suspected aggregates to detect reactive impurities/clayey content befote large quantity is approved for flooring and other works. From Bonny Njimogu. I


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