Penetron Technology Helps Rejuvenate an Architectural Jewel in Brasilia

Honestino Guimarães Bridge

September 2023 marked the completion of the US$ 65 million repair and renovation of the Honestino Guimarães Bridge (ex-Costa e Silva Bridge) in Brasilia, Brazil. The Penetron System of crystalline concrete waterproofing products was specified to restore and waterproof the bridge’s damaged concrete elements.

The Honestino Guimarães Bridge (ex-Costa e Silva Bridge) was designed by Oscar Niemeyer, a famous Brazilian architect best known for his designs of numerous civic buildings in Brasília, a planned city that became Brazil’s capital in 1960. In 2015, the Câmara Legislativa of Brasília changed the name of the bridge from “Costa e Silva” (ex-president) to “Honestino Guimarães” (student activist).

The bridge spans Lake Paranoá in Brasília to connect Asa Sul, a central district in Brasília, with the affluent neighborhood of Lago Sul. With a total length of 400 meters (1,320 feet), it has two sections built with reinforced and prestressed concrete and a central span made with a steel structure.

“This bridge has a graceful appearance,” adds Cláudio Neves Ourives, CEO and Managing Partner of Penetron Brazil. “Niemeyer, the architect, remarked that the bridge should touch the lake surface in a way that no foundation would be seen. This decision gives the Honestino Guimarães Bridge a remarkable structural lightness.”

However notable the architectural design, after almost 50 years of service, the Honestino Guimarães Bridge had developed numerous problems: cracks, leaks, and voids in the walls of the concrete structures, deterioration caused by carbonation, and worn steel cables. NOVACAP, the engineering consultant responsible for the renovation work, asked Penetron Brazil for a durable concrete repair solution.

Penetron Integral in Repairs

The crew used Penecrete Mortar, a crystalline waterproofing repair grout, to repair the cracks and fill the voids in the concrete elements. They also applied Penetron, a topical crystalline waterproofing material, over the prepared surfaces of the concrete caissons to reduce permeability and increase protection, completing the waterproofing system.

Once applied to the surface of the concrete structure, the active ingredients in Penetron penetrate deep into the concrete matrix to generate a non-soluble crystalline formation throughout the pores and capillary tracts of the concrete. This crystal formation permanently seals microcracks, pores and capillaries against the penetration of either water or liquids from any direction.

“The Penetron System provides concrete with long-term protection from deterioration caused by carbonation, ultimately preventing corrosion of the embedded reinforcing steel, even under the environmental conditions of Lake Paranoá in Brasília,” concludes Cláudio Neves Ourives. “In addition, the continuous self-healing capabilities of the Penetron technology ensures that any hairline cracks in the concrete will seal automatically. It will not require further waterproofing-related maintenance or treatment.”

About The Penetron Group

The Penetron Group is a leading manufacturer of specialty construction products for concrete waterproofing, concrete repairs, and also floor preparation systems. The Group operates through a global network, offering support to the design and construction community through its regional offices, representatives, and also distribution channels.

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