The Carbon Fiber Blog

 

MSHA Pushes For Proximity Detection Systems

Posted on by Alyssa Wedler
 MSHA's recent push for the increased use of proximity detection systems should help reduce mine accidents. Photo Credit: WVrecord.com


MSHA’s recent push for the increased use of proximity detection systems should help reduce mine accidents. Photo Credit: WVrecord.com

Mine workers face challenging, and often dangerous, working conditions every day. In surface mines, large equipment with limited visibility make it difficult to see smaller vehicles and pedestrians, increasing the likelihood of collision or injury. In the confined spaces of underground mines, where proximity is a challenge, limited visibility due to dust, poor lighting, and large machinery also poses potential risks. In fact, according to the CDC’s Office of Mine Safety and Health Research, more than 40% of the most serious mining injuries (those involving fatalities or permanent disabilities) between 2000 and 2007 were found to be a result of collisions, pinning, crushing, and striking hazards. In an effort to reduce the number and frequency of mining accidents, the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) has proposed new rules requiring Proximity Detection Systems to be installed on continuous mining machines.

When a miner steps into the yellow "Caution Zone," a warning alarm alerts the mine operator. If a miner crosses into the "Shutdown Zone," the machine shuts down immediately. Photo Credit: magazine.cim.org

When a miner steps into the yellow “Caution Zone,” a warning alarm alerts the mine operator. If a miner crosses into the “Shutdown Zone,” the machine shuts down immediately. Photo Credit: magazine.cim.org

Proximity Detection Systems provide a new, potentially life-saving technology designed to prevent crushing, pinning, and collision accidents. The innovative systems use a number of Proximity Warning tools, including radar, sonar, GPS, and cameras, to alert mine operators when someone or something is in the path of a mining machine, shutting down whatever motion that machine is currently set to perform. Proximity Detection Systems are being installed on mining equipment all over the globe at an increasing rate, and have proven valuable in both surface mines and underground mines. While MSHA has approved a number of commercially-available systems, their approval is based more on the systems’ lack of risk for spark or thermal ignition than they are system performance.

 

This diagram depicts safe zones and potentially hazardous ones, based on the miner's position relative to that of the equipment. Photo Credit: cdc.gov

This diagram depicts safe zones and potentially hazardous ones, based on the miner’s position relative to that of the equipment. Photo Credit: cdc.gov

Mining has long been considered one of the world’s most dangerous jobs. In 1907, regarded as the “deadliest year in US coal mining history”, an estimated 3,242 American miners were killed in mining accidents. And while safety standards, laws, and innovative equipment have helped to drastically reduce the frequency and severity of mining accidents, they unfortunately do still occur.

According to the Office of Mine Safety and Health Research:

  • 3-4 people are still killed every year by collisions and driving over unseen edges at surface mines.
  • Since 1984, 33 miners have been killed from being struck or pinned by a continuous mining machine
    • A proximity detection system disabling the mining machines could have helped avoid 80% of these fatalities
  • MSHA estimates that proximity detection technology can prevent as much as 20% of all mining-related deaths

HJ3 strives to provide the strongest carbon fiber on the market, but the reason that we do so is to create a safer environment for as many people as we can. As technology continues to advance, in safety equipment and reliable structural repair systems, the hopes of eliminating mining accidents come closer and closer to being reality.

EPA’s Clean Power Plan Seeks to Reduce Power Plant Emissions

Posted on by Alyssa Wedler
 Comparison of CO2 emissions caused by power plants vs. those of renewable energy. Photo Credit: Union of Concerned Scientists (ucsusa.org)


Comparison of CO2 emissions caused by power plants vs. those of renewable energy. Photo Credit: Union of Concerned Scientists (ucsusa.org)

In June, 2014, the EPA proposed a plan that hopes to help existing power plants reduce their carbon emissions. Known as the “Clean Power Plan”, the proposal builds on actions that many businesses have already taken to help address the negative consequences of climate change. The overall aim is to provide an affordable, reliable energy system while simultaneously cutting pollution. And since different states provide different sources of energy and therefore have different opportunities to reduce their carbon emissions, the proposed plan will be flexible, allowing states to determine the methods and processes to reduce greenhouse gas emissions that work best for them.

The Clean Power Plan will set state-specific, rate-based goals that are designed to reduce carbon dioxide emissions, especially for existing fossil fuel-driven electric generating plants.

 

 

The proposal, for which progress is already underway, is composed of two elements:

State-specific CO2 goals based on emission rates
Guidelines to develop, submit, and implement state plans

Each state has a specific goal to reduce their carbon dioxide emissions. Photo Credit: National Conference of State Legislatures (ncsl.org)

Each state has a specific goal to reduce their carbon dioxide emissions. Photo Credit: National Conference of State Legislatures (ncsl.org)

State-Specific Goals

The Clean Power Plan helps each state set up individual goals that best reflect their unique conditions. The state-specific goals will seek to:

  • Improve efficiency at carbon-intensive power plants
  • Design programs that enhance the dispatch priority of low-emitting and renewable power sources, while also spurring private investments in these industries
  • Design programs to help homes and businesses use electricity more efficiently

 

Guidelines to Develop, Submit, and Implement Plans

While the Clean Power Plan will provide general guidelines to help states make their goals a reality, it will not do so via cut and dry instructions. Instead, the plan will allow states to take the lead and create plans that work best for them while remaining consistent with EPA guidelines.

  • States will be allowed to work alone or in collaboration with other states, as collaboration may provide additional opportunities for flexibility and savings.
  • The guidelines will also help states set reasonable timelines for accomplishing their goals; a full 2-3 years will be allowed for creating and submitting plans, while an additional 15 years (measured after their proposal is finalized) will be allowed for fully implementing all emission-reducing measures.

 

The Hazlewood power plant is 40 years old and regarded by some as "the industrialized world's most greenhouse-polluting power plant" Photo Credit: Greenpeace.org

The Hazlewood power plant is 40 years old and regarded by some as “the industrialized world’s most greenhouse-polluting power plant” Photo Credit: Greenpeace.org

Dangers of CO2

Carbon dioxide, or CO2, is the primary greenhouse gas pollutant in the world. In fact, CO2 is responsible for nearly 75% of all global greenhouse gas pollutions, and 82% of the U.S. pollution. CO2 is, therefore, the highest-blamed culprit for climate change. Dramatic increases in extreme weather and climate events in recent decades (such as earthquakes, hurricanes, and droughts) have caused great deals of damage, injury, and death, as well as disruption to global infrastructure and agriculture systems. These factors have spurred the design and implementation of the Clean Power Plan.

Click Here for more information about the EPA’s Clean Power Plan.

Carbon Fiber Seismic Upgrade

Posted on by Alyssa Wedler
The Mandatory Soft Story Program has been put into effect to avoid earthquake damage. Photo Credit: San Fransisco Department of Building Inspection (sfdbi.org)

The Mandatory Soft Story Program has been put into effect to avoid earthquake damage to buildings like this. Photo Credit: San Fransisco Department of Building Inspection (sfdbi.org)

Application Details

Due to their ever-active fault lines, many California buildings are undergoing seismic upgrades to prevent potential damage and injury from earthquakes. In fact, the Mandatory Soft Story Retrofit program, which was created in 2013 by the Department of Building, mandates that “all older, wood-framed, multi-family buildings in San Francisco with a soft-story condition” be seismically upgraded.

Many buildings throughout California, especially those built from concrete, aren’t required to upgrade, but in several cases, building owners are having upgrades completed anyway. One such owner recently called upon HJ3 to complete its building’s seismic upgrade; HJ3’s Civil™ system was chosen to complete the upgrade because of its incredible strength. More than 3,900 square feet of HJ3’s carbon fiber, including 1,700 carbon fiber anchor dowels, were installed on several of the building’s concrete walls, successfully increasing the walls’ shear and flexural capacity.

 

 

Installation

HJ3's Carbon Fiber is applied to one of the walls.

HJ3’s Carbon Fiber is applied to one of the walls.

Carbon fiber anchor dowels are installed at 2-square-foot intervals.

Carbon fiber anchor dowels are installed at 2-square-foot intervals.

 

 

Before the HJ3 Civil™ Seismic Upgrade system was installed, all walls were cleaned of dust and debris. Holes for the carbon fiber dowels were drilled at intervals of 2 square feet all along the walls to achieve a homogeneous distribution over the CFRP-wrapped region. After priming, HJ3’s carbon fiber fabric was saturated with resin and applied to the walls, followed by the carbon fiber dowels. A few inches of loose carbon fibers were left to smooth radially against the newly-strengthened walls before HJ3’s ultra-durable topcoat was applied.

 

 

 

 

Conclusion

seismic retrofit system - topcoat

HJ3’s protective topcoat is applied last.

seismic upgrade - dowel topcoat

The HJ3 Civil topcoat protects the carbon fiber dowels.

 

 

The entire seismic upgrade was successfully completed within 7 days. Not only is the building earthquake-resistant, but the carbon fiber upgrade saved a significant amount of money, downtime, and environmental costs compared with steel upgrades. Furthermore, since carbon fiber weighs only four ounces per square foot, upgrading their building with the ultra-light fabric resulted in practically no added weight to the structure; had the client chosen a steel upgrade instead, it would have added a dangerous amount of weight to the already-heavy concrete building.

 

 

 

If you have a building that requires a seismic upgrade or retrofit, and would like additional information about HJ3’s carbon fiber systems, contact us today at info@hj3.com.

 

 

Thank You for a Great 2014!

Posted on by Alyssa Wedler

At HJ3, several principals drive our company culture and pursuit of relentless quality, the most impactful (in my humble opinion) being that of giving back to our community. In fact, HJ3 pledges 1,000 hours of community service as a company every year, and 2014 saw a great success to this endeavor. Thank you for contributing to our success!

The HJ3 team poses after participating in the Great Strides 5k walk to benefit the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.

The HJ3 team poses after participating in the Great Strides 5k walk to benefit the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.

In April, HJ3 assembled the largest team at the Tucson Cystic Fibrosis Great Strides Walk, which took place at the University of Arizona. The event raised more than $120,000 to help in the search for a cure of cystic fibrosis, a disease that affects more than 30,000 children and adults across the United States. It was an honor to be a part of such a worthy cause, and we all thoroughly enjoyed a day in the sunshine!

Throughout 2014, and with continuing efforts into 2015 and beyond, HJ3 also contributed time and marketing help to Tucson Science Works, a non-profit organization that is building a hands-on discovery center for young adults. We are proud to be a part of the Tucson Science Garage, and we’re excited to unveil the Garage’s exciting new exhibits for people of all ages to interact with everyday phenomena as they’ve never seen before!

 

Baby Mason was a smiling, happy baby who loved life.

Baby Mason was a smiling, happy baby who loved life.

Some HJ3 employees with members of the Love Every Day crew.

Some HJ3 employees with members of the Love Every Day crew.

In August, HJ3 was honored to help an organization known locally as “Love Every Day”. We worked in honor of Mason David Sipe, a happy baby boy and nephew to one of HJ3’s employees, who sadly passed away two months before his first birthday. And while the Love Every Day crew thanked us over and over again for our help with setting up a room full of activities for over 100 boys and girls, the real thanks honestly goes to the Love Every Day organization. Its principals are simple: show our children and those around us that we love them, every single day.

 

 

We wrapped up 2014 with our annual Salvation Army Adopt a Family event. HJ3 raised a record $2,200 this year, enabling us to adopt 3 different families in need. After a delicious company breakfast, we set out to deliver hundreds of gifts that were purchased and wrapped with individual families in mind. It was a great way to wrap up a year of prosperity, happiness, and giving back.

family 2

Lino got lots of toys and new clothes!

family 1

Maricela and Celina are each allowed to open 1 gift before Christmas.

 

teams w families

HJ3 teams with 2 of the families we had the opportunity to adopt for the holidays.

Happy Holidays from all of us at HJ3 Composite Technologies. Thank you for being part of our best year yet, and here’s to a prosperous 2015 for all!

Copper Mine Beam and Slab Repair

Posted on by Alyssa Wedler
The beams and ceiling slabs at this mine were severely degraded.

The beams and ceiling slabs at this mine were severely degraded.

Carbon Fiber Beam and Slab Repair

Problem

Copper mining facilities often degrade faster than other facilities due to their constant exposure to vibrations, moisture, and chemicals. The concrete beams and ceiling slabs at the concentrator building in this century-old copper plant were severely degraded as a result of these vibrations and exposure to chemicals. The area, located beneath the concentrator building’s 3rd floor, was plagued with severe corrosion, de-lamination, and concrete spalling, and required structural reinforcement to maintain safe operations.

 

Dangerous through-holes had developed in the ceiling slabs between the 3rd and 4th floors.

Dangerous through-holes had developed in the ceiling slabs between the 3rd and 4th floors.

Design Scope

The concrete had de-laminated, exposing inner steel rebar to the mine's corrosive atmosphere.

The concrete had de-laminated, exposing inner steel rebar to the mine’s corrosive atmosphere.

The repair area consisted of 2 beams and 3 ceiling slabs, requiring 960 total square feet of carbon fiber. The damage occurred across the entire length and width of the beams and slabs, and large through-holes in the ceiling slabs had developed as a result of the extreme corrosion.

Installation

Before the CarbonSeal™ carbon fiber system could be installed, all de-laminated concrete was removed via pressure washer and hand tools. Exposed rebar was cleaned to near white, and missing concrete was patched. After the surface was fully prepared, HJ3’s patented CarbonSeal™ bi-directional carbon fiber fabric was applied to the beams and slabs, and uni-directional carbon fiber followed on the bottoms of each beam. The CarbonSeal™ system was then layered with a protective urethane topcoat to prevent future corrosion, and weep holes were drilled into the beams after the system had fully cured.

IMG_2259-142

HJ3’s CarbonSeal fabric is applied to the ceiling slabs.

IMG_2250-134

HJ3 applies CarbonSeal carbon fiber to one of the beams.

IMG_2253-136

The finished CarbonSeal-wrapped beam is stronger than ever before.

 

HJ3's protective urethane topcoat prevents future corrosion.

HJ3’s protective urethane topcoat prevents future corrosion.

Conclusion

All beams and slabs were successfully reinforced in a matter of 10 days. By repairing their slabs and beams with carbon fiber, as opposed to replacing them completely, the mine saved almost $150,000 while simultaneously preventing more than 1,000 lbs of steel and concrete from potentially going to landfills. Furthermore, the beam and slab repair prevented almost a ton of carbon dioxide emissions from polluting the atmosphere and more than 30,000 gallons of water from going to waste, as manufacturing replacement steel and concrete wasn’t necessary.

If you work in a mine that needs structural reinforcement, or would like more information about HJ3’s carbon fiber solutions, write us today at info@hj3.com or call us at 1-877-303-0453.

 

National Miner’s Day Recognizes One of the World’s Most Dangerous Occupations

Posted on by Alyssa Wedler

Imagine: You’re finally home after a long day at work. After unlocking your front door, you instinctively turn on the lights and fall to your plush, comfy couch with a big sigh. You worked hard today. But now you’re home, and you’re warm and watching TV to relax. And chances are, you haven’t thought, for even a second, about what it took to provide your home with the light, heat, or electricity that you now enjoy with your family. But for approximately 83,000 coal miners in the United States, who risk their lives every day to provide us with the energy that allows us to maintain our comfortable, digital lifestyles, the source of that energy is as precious as life itself. Coal miners face death and injury every single day, and many never return to their own warm homes and comfy, plush couches.

“A miner’s life is like a sailor, aboard a ship to cross the waves;
Every day his life’s in danger, still he ventures, being brave;
Unlike you or me, a miner goes to work every day
Knowing that he is placing his life in grave danger.”
(Verse from an old mining song)

For more than 100 years, coal miners have been the backbone of West Virginia’s economy. And considering that West Virginia is the heart of America’s coal mining industry, it’s safe to say that coal miners have played a huge role in the overall economic success of our beloved country as well. In fact, without the selfless dedication of our miners, American society wouldn’t have flourished as it has, nor would it continue to function as it does. In consideration of the sacrifices that American miners have made for the overall good of the public, National Miner’s Day seeks to “honor each and every miner; past, present, and future.”

miners day banner

December, 1907 is known in the coal fields as “Bloody December.” On December 1st of that year, a gas explosion killed 34 miners in Fayette City, PA. Only five days later, on December 6th, the worst industrial accident in American history killed 361 in the tragic West Virginia Monongah mine disaster. 10 days later, an explosion in Yolande, Alabama killed another 57 miners, and on December 19th, 1907, another 239 lost their lives in a mine explosion in Jacobs Creek, Pennsylvania. National Miner’s Day occurs annually on December 6th, the anniversary of the Monongah disaster, as a remembrance of all lives lost in that fateful month.

A memorial for the 361 miners who died in West Virginia's Monongah mining disaster in 1907. Photo Credit: Associated Press

A memorial for the 361 miners who died in West Virginia’s Monongah mining disaster in 1907. Photo Credit: Associated Press

Coal field fatality rates used to resemble the casualty lists from when America was at war. Thankfully, mining death rates have dropped significantly since Bloody December, due to new laws, safety inspections, and better safety equipment. Unfortunately, even with these safeguards in place, mining accidents still occur, as was a harsh reminder in 2006 when two separate West Virginia mine accidents killed 14 within a month. While National Miner’s Day honors our nation’s miners one day every year, these disasters serve as a daily reminder that no matter what we’re going through, it could be worse.

 

 

At HJ3 Composite Technologies, we work to make mines safer by structurally strengthening weakened components. We recognize the sacrifices that miners make every day, and in turn, try to provide a safer environment for them to earn a living. It’s just a small “thank you”. From all of us at HJ3, Happy National Miner’s Day!

 

MIT’s Carbon Fiber Blocks Could Build Bridges, Rockets, and More!

Posted on by Alyssa Wedler

Carbon fiber has been named the “building material of choice” by several industry experts, and is traditionally produced in large, continuous pieces, requiring big machines and facilities to support them. Smaller carbon fiber pieces have been created by 3D printing, but 3D printing, at this point, is highly impractical for large objects like bridges, rockets, and airplane wings. But what if it were possible to 3D print components of a large structure, and then combine them together to create a complete object? MIT’s Neil Gershenfeld and Kenneth Chueng asked this question, sparking the development of a new carbon fiber building system that could, quite possibly, revolutionize the way we build everything.

 When combined together, carbon fiber "cubocts" can create infinite design possibilities. Photo credit: Extreme Tech


When combined together, carbon fiber “cubocts” can create infinite design possibilities. Photo credit: Extreme Tech

MIT’s revolutionary new design combines three fields of research: fiber composites, cellular materials (those made with porous cells), and additive manufacturing (such as 3D printing, in which objects are built by depositing, rather than removing, material). From the smallest objects to the largest structures, here on Earth and potentially in Space, MIT’s new carbon fiber “cubocts” can be combined to create airplanes, rocket fuselages, bridges, levees, and anything else you can think of. The interlocking carbon fiber blocks, reminiscent of the K’Nex or Legos of our childhood, are 10 times stiffer than comparable lightweight materials, creating very strong building materials with a very low density.

MIT's "cubocts" are flat, X-shaped pieces of carbon fiber that can combine to build huge structures. Photo Credit: Phys.org

MIT’s “cubocts” are flat, X-shaped pieces of carbon fiber that can combine to build huge structures. Photo Credit: Phys.org

The bricks are constructed with carbon fiber that has been impregnated with epoxy resin and then formed into the shape of a flat “X”. Each “X” has a hole in the middle, which the leg of another “X” fits into, resulting in an extremely stiff structure of vertex-connected octahedrons, known by the researchers as “cubocts.” The cubocts can be added, removed, or re-oriented to build different structures with different strengths. For example, one structure could be built for resistance to twisting, while another could be geared more towards impact resistance. When tested for strength, the carbon fiber bricks were able to withstand an impressive 12.3 megapascals of pressure, with a very low density of only 7.2 milligrams per cubic centimeter. But the cubocts’ extreme strength isn’t even their greatest advantage.

The legs of each "X" are fitted into the centers of other X's to create any desired shape. Photo Credit: Extreme Tech

The legs of each “X” are fitted into the centers of other X’s to create any desired shape. Photo Credit: Extreme Tech

Where MIT’s new technology really advances past other building materials is in the cubocts’ flexibility. While the individual X’s are very stiff and physically inflexible, they can be readily assembled, disassembled, re-oriented, and replaced if needed, resulting in a building application with limitless possibilities. Weaving different blocks together also allows for the creation of structures that are strong in multiple directions. Ideally, robots will mass-produce the carbon fiber blocks, and then combine them together to build any structure in mind. And eventually, the goal is to build carbon fiber materials that can reassemble themselves on the fly, depending on the given situation and which forces they need to endure.

In a weight test, the cubocts successfully withstood 12.3 megapascals of pressure. Photo Credit: Extreme Tech

In a weight test, the cubocts successfully withstood 12.3 megapascals of pressure. Photo Credit: Extreme Tech

While carbon fiber is considered to be a supreme building material, it can be expensive to manufacture and difficult to repair if damage occurs. MIT’s cubocts achieve the same lightweight strength that carbon fiber is famous for, without requiring the huge machines and facilities, likely reducing manufacturing costs significantly. And since individual components can be easily replaced if damaged, the cubocts provide even more cost savings and design flexibility. Pound for pound, the new technology requires much less material than traditional concrete and steel to carry a given load, reducing construction and assembly costs. Vehicles built with the new cuboct technology would have significantly reduced weight, resulting in lowered fuel use and operating costs.

The applications are infinite. The only question now is: will it work?

Advantages of Carbon Fiber

Posted on by Alyssa Wedler

Since its introduction to the aerospace industry in the 1950’s, carbon fiber has become a “material of choice” across a wide variety of industries, including automotive, construction, sporting goods, and medical equipment, among many others. Its high versatility and incredible strength provides a solid value in many industrial applications.

Advantages of Carbon Fiber Include:

StrongHold's carbon fiber is the strongest around!

StrongHold’s carbon fiber is the strongest around!

  • Stronger than steel
  • Only 1/16th of an inch thick
  • Lightweight and flexible
  • No downtime
  • 70% lighter weight than steel, and 40% lighter weight than aluminum
  • High strength-to-weight ratio
  • Highly corrosion resistant
  • Application flexibility
  • Low mass
  • No heavy equipment needed
  • No hot-work permits needed
  • No excavating, bolting, or drilling!
  • Abrasion-resistant
  • Temperature-resistant
  • Chemical-resistant, even to acids, alkalis, and solvents
  • Easy to apply – you can even Do it Yourself!

 

Carbon Fiber fabric is extremely thin, lightweight, and flexible

Carbon Fiber fabric is extremely thin, lightweight, and flexible

 

HJ3’s carbon fiber is used for strengthening corroded and degrading infrastructure worldwide.

 

Industrially, our carbon fiber reinforces such structures as bridges, steel tanks, pipelines, commercial buildings, and so much more.

And we bring that same industrial strength carbon fiber to your residential basement, garage, and any other area needing repair, through our StrongHold™ product line.

 

 

Additional Advantages of StrongHold™ Carbon Fiber:

  • Since StrongHold™’s carbon fiber is only 1/16th of an inch thick, and installs directly against the wall, it won’t reduce your room’s square footage, as a steel beam would.
  • StrongHold™ fabric weighs only 4 ounces per square foot, so it also adds practically no weight to your home’s structure.
  • StrongHold™ carbon fiber requires no maintenance after installing, and installation takes less than a day!
  • StrongHold™’s repairs are long-lasting, providing superior strength for 20 years or longer!
  • StrongHold™ carbon fiber is extremely flexible before it cures, so it’s great for corners, columns, and hard-to-reach areas!
  • After installing, StrongHold™ can be painted to minimize the appearance of repair.
  • Saves 60-90% of the costs of wall replacement, and 20-50% of the costs of a steel repair!
  • StrongHold™’s kits come with installation tools, pre-measured epoxy and, in most cases, pre-cut carbon fiber fabric. We’ve done all the thinking and measuring for you!
  • StrongHold™ offers carbon fiber products to repair walls, floors, ceilings, leaky pipes, and more! 
StrongHold's bowed wall repair kit successfully strengthened this basement wall in just one day!

StrongHold’s bowed wall repair kit successfully strengthened this basement wall in just one day!


If you would like additional information about the awesome advantages of carbon fiber, or how it can structurally strengthen your own home, write us today at info@hj3.com

Carbon Fiber Magazine Bunker Repair

Posted on by Alyssa Wedler
A typical Earth Covered Magazine bunker. Photo Credit: US Army Corps of Engineers

A typical Earth Covered Magazine bunker. Photo Credit: US Army Corps of Engineers

Earth Covered Magazine (ECM) structures are built to safely store ammunition and explosives, and are frequently used by the Department of Defense and the US military. While they are not designed to resist the damaging effects from an accidental explosion, a structurally sound ECM can effectively limit these effects in an explosion caused by small amounts of ammunition and explosives. In this case, cracks initiated in the floor of an earth covered magazine bunker as a result of foundation movement and poor sub-grade conditions. Over time, the cracks spread to the bunker’s walls and ceiling, which led to leaks and concrete spalling. The bunker had lost its structural integrity, and considering the highly explosive contents within, required immediate strengthening.

The bunker's extensive cracking threatened its structural integrity.

The bunker’s extensive cracking threatened its structural integrity.

HJ3’s CarbonSeal™ carbon fiber was chosen as the strengthening system of choice for the magazine bunker repair. Prior to installing the carbon fiber, perpendicular saw cuts were made across all cracks in the floor and walls. HJ3’s patented carbon laminate strips were inserted into each saw cut, and the cracks were injected with epoxy to set the laminate in place. The rest of the bunker’s interior was cleaned with an abrasive blast to remove all delaminated concrete and dust. A cementitious grout helped to restore the bunker’s uniform surface, and finally, the CarbonSeal™ carbon fiber was saturated and installed along the cracked walls and ceiling.

The CarbonSeal carbon fiber is applied to the prepared walls.

The CarbonSeal carbon fiber is applied to the prepared walls.

The magazine bunker repair was successfully completed in just one day. By repairing the cracked bunker instead of replacing it and building a new one, the client saved a significant amount of money while simultaneously preventing the waste of several valuable resources by avoiding the manufacture of replacement concrete and steel. The repair prevented more than 4 tons of steel and concrete from potentially going to landfills, almost 250,000 gallons of water and 33,000 kWh of energy from being wasted, and more than 8 tons of carbon dioxide emissions from polluting the atmosphere.

If you’re interested in HJ3’s CarbonSeal system for your own earth covered magazine bunker, or another corroded concrete structure, write us today at info@hj3.com.

 

Cracked Ceiling Repaired with Carbon Fiber

Posted on by Alyssa Wedler

Ceiling cracks aren’t uncommon, especially in older homes with plaster or concrete slab ceilings. Cracked ceilings can be a result of several different factors, including shifting with age, excess moisture from heavy storms, improper roof drainage, and too much weight from the floor above (see my previous blog, Ceiling Cracks: Causes and Remedies for more information). In many cases, cracked ceilings aren’t a reason to worry, but in other cases, they can be an indication of structural instability and will require repair as soon as possible to prevent further damage.

The cracked ceiling, prior to HJ3's StrongHold installation.

The cracked ceiling, prior to HJ3’s StrongHold installation.

The cracks in this ceiling required structural reinforcement, not just crack filler.

The cracks in this ceiling required structural reinforcement, not just crack filler.

 

 

In this case, a home in the southwest US had developed a cracked ceiling as a result of too much weight from the floor above.

 

 

 

 

StrongHold's carbon fiber is the strongest around, and perfect for confining ceiling cracks.

StrongHold’s carbon fiber is the strongest around, and perfect for confining ceiling cracks.

Like this one, many homes in the southwest United States are constructed with concrete slab or plaster ceilings, which are very heavy and susceptible to cracking and sagging over time. The concrete ceiling required crack confinement and structural strengthening to prevent any further problems. After researching her options, the homeowner decided to repair her ceiling with StrongHold™’s carbon fiber kits. StrongHold™’s experienced engineering team determined that applying the carbon fiber strips both laterally and longitudinally, in a checkerboard sort of pattern, would confine her cracks while simultaneously adding superior strength to the ceiling to prevent future cracking.

The paint and plaster are ground off prior to installing StrongHold's carbon fiber.

The paint and plaster are ground off prior to installing StrongHold’s carbon fiber.

 

Before the carbon fiber system could be installed, all paint and plaster was removed from the application areas with a mechanical grinder. A vacuum followed behind the grinder to rid the ceiling of any resulting dust and debris. After priming the ceiling, StrongHold™’s carbon fiber was thoroughly saturated on both sides and installed. Following a short (approximately 1 hour) cure time, the ceiling was ready to be painted to minimize the appearance of repair.

 

 

 

StrongHold's carbon fiber straps are applied to the cracked ceiling.

StrongHold’s carbon fiber straps are applied to the cracked ceiling.

A checkerboard pattern provides superior strength.

A checkerboard pattern provides superior strength.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The homeowner’s cracked ceiling was thoroughly reinforced in just a few hours. By repairing her ceiling with StrongHold™ carbon fiber instead of a steel alternative, the homeowner saved a significant amount of money without adding any additional weight to the already-heavy ceiling. Since the carbon fiber straps are only 1/16th of an inch thick, the repair also didn’t reduce her room’s height, as a steel alternative would have. No excavating, drilling, or bolting was required whatsoever, and the homeowner has a stronger home than she ever did before!

If you’d like more information about StrongHold™’s carbon fiber systems and how they can structurally reinforce your own ceiling, write me today at info@hj3.com.