The Constructor

Methods and Procedure for Repair of Underwater Concrete Structures

Reading time: 1 minute

Several methods are used for the repair of underwater concrete structures. These methods with procedures for the repair of underwater concrete structures are discussed.

Repair of Underwater Concrete Structures - Methods and Procedure

Following are the different methods to repair underwater concrete structures:

Surface Spalling Repair of Underwater Concrete Structures

Cover of underwater structural elements can spall off due to accidental damages. The damaged concrete cover must be replaced and repaired to prevent reinforcement corrosion in the future. Slightly deteriorated regions will turn to more severe and dangerous damages in a short time, especially in splash zones. The deteriorated area of the underwater structure should be cleared from both marine growth and loose concrete before repairing procedures are begun. After that, based on the number of damages, the boundary of the spalled area should be saw-cut to a depth of 1.2-2 cm. In splash zones, cementitious mortar can be used for the damaged region and water-tolerant epoxy mortar may be employed in the case of the small damaged areas. For large repaired areas, formworks might be used to hold the repairing material at its position. This could postpone enhancement work and prevent epoxy coat utilization because if it hardens it would produce a smooth surface and consequently the bond will be weak. Figure-1 and Figure-2 illustrate two different types of surface repairing formwork

The procedure of Surface Spalling Repair of Underwater Concrete

The basic procedures of surface spalling repair technique might include:

Fig.1: Formwork for Placement by Pumping

Fig.2: Bird's-Mouth Type Formwork for Surface Spalling Repair

Large Scale Repair of Underwater Concrete Structures

This technique is a suitable option when damages caused by structural overloading, fire, ship impact, or reinforcement corrosion, especially in the splash zone. In the case where large areas are required to be restored, repair method and material selection is considerably important if shrinkage or bleeding lead to leakage path at the top of parent concrete and repair material interface. When repairing materials that have a great thickness, thermal cracking may develop due to the rise of temperature even though surrounding water declines the temperature rise. Furthermore, repair of reinforcement is frequently needed because of distortion and considerable corrosion of reinforcement.

Procedure of Large Scale Repair of Underwater Concrete

The large-scale repair procedure is usually as follows:

Preplaced Aggregate Concrete

After installing the formwork at the area intended to be repaired, a well-graded aggregate is placed and compacted in the formwork. It is recommended that freshwater is employed to clean the aggregate prior to grout placement. Then, appropriate grout is injected into the base of the well-compacted aggregate in the formwork. In this process, water and voids are expelled out of the aggregate by the grout. It is essential that the formwork is grout-proof in order to prevent leaking from the formwork, in addition, to provide proper venting at the top to permit escaping voids and air. It is substantially significant to sufficiently fill the formwork to the top of the damage region with aggregate because when the grout is placed and aggregate is not present, gout will shrink and cracks will develop. It is advised that vibration is not applied during injection to avoid washing out of grout.

Injection Technique for Restoring Underwater Concrete Structures

Similar to the steps used for repairing dry structures, injection of cementitious grout or resin can be employed to repair cracks and or voids in the concrete structure underwater. Not only does the material selection is substantially based on void or crack size but also on the possibility of anticipated movement of the member in the future. Epoxy resin is appropriate for a crack width of 0.1 mm whereas cement grout is suitable for a crack width of greater than few millimeters and when crack width is smaller than 0.1 mm, injection is not required. The applied pressure and the time for which the pressure is kept prior to solidifying repair material. There are two methods of injection that include pressure injection and gravity feed. It is necessary to break the concrete to reinforcement if corrosion evidence can be seen and complete repairing should be suggested instead of the injection method.

The procedures for injection techniques are

Guniting or Shotcrete Method to Repair Underwater Concrete Structures

This technique is the best option when the large surface area or columns or beams are encased and usually the dry process is used. In the dry method, dry mix is transferred by a hose, and water is added to the dry mix at the nozzle. Despite the fact that the Guniting method is not suitable for underwater repairing but it can be employed in splash or tidal zones if seriously rapid setting additives are introduced. The success of this technique depends on nozzle-man skill and experience in adjusting water addition, pressure, and thickness uniformity. The maximum thickness of shotcrete should be restricted to fifty millimeters even though a second layer can be employed if the thicker layer is required.

Steel Sleeve Repairing Technique of Underwater Concrete

In this method, a steel sleeve is used around a pile or column after that the space between the sleeve and pile or column is filled with mortar or concrete. The sleeve could be designed to make room for further reinforcement corrosion. The sleeve needs to exceed the top and bottom of the damaged length of the pile and withstand the force of the pile in the case that the bars are ineffective due to corrosion. A typical arrangement of steel sleeves is shown in Figure 3.

Fig.3: Arrangement of Steel Sleeve Repair

A steel sleeve repair technique procedure is as follows

Read More: Underwater Concreting Methods- Tremie Method Process and other Techniques Inspection of Underwater Concrete Structures -Methods, Types and Purpose Visual Inspection of Underwater RCC Structures -Tools and Limitations Corrosion Protection Methods for Underwater Piles  
Exit mobile version