Timpte Manufacturing Plant, David City, Nebraska
It wasn’t long after Shawn MacDonald heard about a promising new concrete floor restoration system that he encountered a project that figured to be a good candidate for putting the system to the test.
MacDonald, of R.N.D. Concrete Coatings Inc. in Valley, Nebraska, was faced with a major concrete restoration project at a Timpte truck-trailer manufacturing facility in the Omaha area. To put it bluntly, the facility’s concrete floor was a mess.
“There was some bare concrete — areas where coatings were coming up,” he says, and others filled with gouges, holes and cracks. Ground-in dirt and oils added to the toxic mix.
In addition to the challenge of cleaning and preparing the surfaces, there was the matter of planning the work flow around the plant’s ongoing production process. But the most daunting challenge, MacDonald says, was deciding on a restoration approach that would work on this aged and abused industrial floor in such a heavy-use environment.
After a grind and clean-up on a sampling area on the floor, he applied a densifier and sealer. This, however, resulted in a highly irregular appearance, due to the condition of the existing concrete surface. Owners decided they didn’t want to see the actual concrete anymore.
Also given a try was a polyaspartic coating system. But the coating surface, though quite solid, couldn’t hold up to this industrial environment’s toughest abuse — like the gouging effects of bolts and rivets falling onto the floor and being caught under the wheels of heavy industrial casters. These kinds of effects were duplicated on the sample area during testing, MacDonald says.
Then he recalled attending a demonstration at Logan Contractor Supply in Omaha, where Endurable Concrete Products’ Polymer Pavement System was used. The resurfacing system — a proprietary, two-component waterborne material — incorporates sand, decorative flakes, colored quartz or other materials to produce a wide range of decorative effects. Additionally, Endurable Concrete Stain, offered in 21 different colors, may be used to color the Polymer Pavement system.
After checking with Endurable’s Global Operations Director Brian Hudgens, MacDonald says the Bend, Oregon-based company’s Polymer Pavement System looked to be a good match for the Timpte plant’s floor. The Endurable System was installed in a test portion of the floor and used for a week or two. A verdict to go with it followed.
“They tried to make it fail,” MacDonald says of the initial trial of the test area. They even placed metal screws on the floor and dragged industrial carts’ casters across the screws to catch and scrape across the surface.
Plotting and executing the logistics
Without the luxury of shutting down the trailer plant’s operation, R.N.D. Coatings first needed to come up with a plan to work around the facility’s production schedule. The solution was to “flip” the process, with the production line beginning at the opposite end from the normal starting point. This opened up a sizeable section of the plant floor — an area with some of the worst conditions — for the restoration program.
The work was scheduled to start after plant production ended on a Thursday afternoon. It would continue while the plant was down from Friday through Sunday. Preparation got underway with diamond grinding of the floor to produce a relatively uniform surface, followed by a considerable amount of patching defects and damage.
Following the Thursday-Sunday timetable, R.N.D. Coatings completed sections of about 2,500 and 6,600 square feet in early December 2016, then another 13,000 square feet was completed the last two weeks of the year. Additional sections, adding up to 40,000 more square feet, are in the plans, with R.N.D. currently putting a bid together.
The typical marching orders are repair and preparation over a few weeknights — following end of the production day — and applying the Endurable system’s multiple-step process late Thursday night and early Friday, MacDonald says. That allowed for a complete cure by Monday morning.
Delivering a new pavement
Endurable Polymer Pavement’s installation involves several steps and materials:
- Spray applying concrete hardener, which reacts with the existing concrete to fill voids and strengthen the substrate. A short dry time of 40 minutes to an hour follows before work continues.
- Installing the Polymer Pavement material, mixed and rolled onto the surface.
- Broadcasting silica sand into the still-wet polymer material. This is to help hide the existing concrete surface, enhance traction and boost durability.
- After a drying period, removing excess sand from the surface and reclaiming it.
- Applying Inceptive Coating to encapsulate the sand and Polymer Pavement and adding Endurable Concrete Stain for color.
- Applying two coats of Endurable Matte sealer, a two-component clear sealer, to provide stain and chemical resistance.
MacDonald says the trailer-plant floor may not win any beauty prizes with a showroom-quality appearance, but for projects such as this one, the objective is “beastly strength with a decorative touch.”
Endurable Polymer Pavement — the key component in the resurfacing system — is a two-component resurfacing material with a pot life of two to four hours. Described as an “alternative to epoxy and polyaspartic coatings” for interior and exterior projects, the material can be installed over smooth, troweled concrete surfaces as well as roughened existing surfaces.
“This is a response to industry demand for a material that can be installed on smooth concrete to facilitate installation without grinding or scarifying or otherwise roughening the surface,” says Endurable’s Hudgens.
According to Hudgens, Endurable Polymer Pavement delivers a bonding strength on power-troweled concrete of 531 psi and allows a high degree of moisture transmission. It also has low VOCs and is easy to work with for both first-time users and experienced contractors.
As with other resurfacing technologies, moisture issues in the substrate should be dealt with prior to installation, he says. Also important for successful installation and performance is complying with film-thickness guidelines, as a too-heavy application will dry and cure slowly and offer reduced strength.
Hudgens says the vast existing-concrete market is viewed as offering significant potential for the pavement system, with considerable interest among owners of substantial facilities where sprawling, aged concrete surfaces are common.