February 12, 2022

Concrete Cracking at Allen High School's Stadium

Reinforce cracked concrete columns and walls with HJ3's carbon fiber systems, and save thousands of dollars and the environment vs. concrete replacement

Understanding Concrete Cracking: Types, Causes, and Solutions

Concrete, while boasting impressive compression strength, faces a significant challenge with its low tensile strength. Cracking is an inherent issue that can stem from various factors, including shrinkage, temperature fluctuations, subgrade settling, and external stress. These cracks come in different forms, with the most common being shrinkage and temperature-related cracks. Typically, these run vertically or diagonally and pose little concern unless they leak. However, horizontal cracks may signal applied loads, while larger vertical cracks at the top or bottom could point to heaving or settlement, indicating more substantial issues related to drainage or overloading. Preventative measures, such as using appropriate concrete mix designs, minimizing water content, and ensuring the right cement amount, can help minimize cracks. Additionally, the strategic use of control joints is an effective way to prevent cracking. Cracks that should raise alarm typically exceed ¼" in width, exhibit lateral displacement, leak water, or have extensive horizontal dimensions.

Case Study: The Challenge of Concrete Cracking at Allen High School Stadium

In Allen, Texas, a local high school's recently constructed $60 million football stadium faced an unexpected issue. Just 18 months after its grand opening, the stadium had to be temporarily closed due to concrete cracking in the concourse area. These cracks, ranging from ¼" to ¾" in width, have prompted concerns about the stadium's structural integrity. Temporary measures have been taken to prevent rainwater seepage, but the stadium's closure is expected to last beyond June, affecting the entire 2014 football season. Investigations are underway to pinpoint the exact cause of the concrete cracking. The stadium's architects, PBK Architects, believe that the issue may not be design-related. The contractor, Pogue Construction, is actively collaborating with the school district to identify the root cause and implement a solution. While it's unclear what preventative measures were in place for concrete cracking, additional structural support may be the key to resolving this issue effectively.

HJ3's Carbon Fiber Reinforcement System: A Sustainable Solution

The problem of concrete cracking is not unique to this stadium. Cracking occurs in various types of structures, affecting walls, floors, and columns. HJ3's Civil and Commercial reinforcement system offers an innovative and sustainable solution that outperforms alternative repair methods or complete replacements. In a similar scenario, a commercial building owner was able to achieve over 50% cost savings by opting for HJ3's CarbonSeal reinforcement systems. The building's shear walls and concrete columns displayed cracking, prompting a reinforcement solution instead of replacement.

Success Story: Reinforcing Commercial Structures with Carbon Fiber

The commercial building required seismic reinforcement for its reinforced concrete columns and shear walls. Columns, measuring 12' and 9.1', needed additional reinforcement to withstand shear forces in the North-South direction. The process involved preparing the concrete substrates through abrasive blasting, drilling holes into the columns, and applying primer. Carbon fiber dowels were inserted through each hole, smoothed on both sides, and enveloped by a carbon fiber-saturated layer. Shear walls were reinforced horizontally with fiberglass and vertically with carbon fiber to enhance strength. The installation was executed efficiently while the building remained occupied, with HJ3 covering 12,000 square feet of concrete. This approach not only saved 23,500 tons of concrete but also conserved 422,000 gallons of water, reduced CO2 emissions by 47,000 tons, and saved 6,500,000 kWh compared to a full replacement of reinforced concrete columns and walls.

Concrete Cracking Solutions with HJ3's CarbonSeal

By using HJ3's Civil and Commercial carbon fiber reinforcement system, Allen High School's stadium can address its current concrete cracking while preventing future damage. CarbonSeal offers a cost-effective and sustainable solution that provides superior reinforcement compared to steel. Moreover, installation minimizes downtime, ensuring a smooth process. On average, customers who choose the CarbonSeal carbon fiber system save more than 50% compared to alternative repair methods. If you have concerns about concrete structures and are interested in HJ3's carbon fiber reinforcement systems, reach out to our project managers at info@hj3.com.

Cracking in the concourse of the Allen HS football stadium.
Photo Credit: NBC Washington

Cracking had occurred in the shear walls and columns of this commercial building.

Cracking had occurred in the shear walls and columns of this commercial building.
HJ3's Civil and Commercial Repair System was used to reinforce this commercial office building's shear walls while the building was occupied.


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