Concrete Casting News from the Hill and Griffith Company

Why Precast Concrete Cistern pH is Important

Posted by Jonathan Meier on Jul 12, 2018 5:58:17 PM

Why you should only use a concrete tank to store drinking water

Jonathan Meier with Rain Brothers LLC covers the basics.

Concrete cisterns are, in our experience, the best type of tank to use for underground drinking water systems. Rainwater tends to have a lower pH (acidic), while concrete has a higher pH (alkaline). As rainwater fills a concrete tank, the concrete then actually helps neutralize the water and balance the pH, if not slightly alkalinize it, which is why, after the cistern has gone through a few empty-full cycles, a litmus test of your cistern water would reveal a pH of between 6-8 – the optimal range for a good drinking water system.

Precast Concrete Cistern for Drinking Water

While concrete cisterns help neutralize acidic rainwater, initially, the residual concrete dust from the manufacturing/casting of the tanks will elevate the water's pH to high alkaline levels (10-11). This is completely normal, though for new concrete cisterns, precautions should be taken to get water down to 7-9 range. There are two approaches to managing this initial alkalinity:

1) Flush the tank. For this method, we recommend hauling in a load of water from a local water hauler (in Ohio, a list of water haulers can be obtained through your County's Department of Health or from the Ohio Department of Health Office of Environmental Health). You can then use the hauled water to rinse the walls of the tank to remove as much concrete dust residue as possible. Do not drink this water, but instead either pump it out after a few days or use it for non-potable applications (flushing toilets, showering, irrigation, etc.). Occasionally, it may take two and sometimes three full empty-fill cycles before the water inside the tank reaches a safe pH level of 9.

2) Pressure wash/scrub. For this method, once the tank has initially been installed, use a pressure washer with a 55-gallon drum of clean water and a cup of unscented chlorine bleach to pressure wash the walls of the tank. You may also use a scrub brush with a bucket of water/chlorine mix and hand scrub the walls. Doing so will remove the majority of concrete dust from the side walls. Then, when possible, pump out the water from the bottom of the tank (note: you may have to put more water into the tank to be able to pump the "dirty water" out). If it is not possible to pump out the bottom of the tank after pressure washing/scrubbing, then get a load of hauled water into the tank but do not drink water from this load. Again, use that first load for non-potable uses only.

(Washing the tank will also remove the NSF approved concrete form release. Forty-eight U.S. states have legislation, regulations or policies requiring drinking water system components to comply with, or be certified to, NSF/ANSI 61.)

These precautions may sound intimidating, but the reality is that the work on the front end is minimal compared to the lifetime of fresh, clean water you will receive from a concrete cistern. 

As always, thanks for reading.

(Thanks to Rain Brothers LLC for this article and video below.)


For additional information on the proper concrete release agent to use for concrete drinking water tanks, read these articles published in Precast Inc. by the Hill and Griffith Company:

Precast Concrete in Google News and NPCA, National Precast Concrete Association

• Is a Rainwater Cistern Right for You?

Second U.S. "Living Building Challenge" Home Certified

• How I Ended Up Living Off the Grid in New Mexico


Hill and Griffith Customer Service

We're known for our hands on approach. Let us visit your plant and recommend concrete release agents, packerhead concrete form releases, concrete form seasoning, potable water concrete form release, non-petroleum concrete form release, biodegradable concrete form release, rust inhibitors and concrete dissolver products that suit your needs.

Hill and Griffith Samples

Product Samples

We are pleased to provide samples in quantities large enough to allow you to "try before you buy."
Contact Us »

 

Hill and Griffith Customer Service

Technical Services & Support

On-site casting defect investigations, product testing, machine start-ups and much more. Also, lab facilities are available to provide testing upon request.
Contact Us »

 

 Bulletins and Technical Papers for Concrete Casting Products

Tags: Concrete, Casting Solutions, Concrete Casting Products, concrete casting supplies, concrete casting, precast concrete, concrete-form-release-agent-quality-control, NSF/ANSI 61 Potable Water, Precast Concrete Drinking Water Tanks

Why Precast Concrete Drinking Water Tanks Are The Best

Posted by Hill and Griffith Company on Jul 5, 2018 8:27:33 AM

Why you should only use a concrete tank to store drinking water

Any water that is stationary will eventually become stagnant and undrinkable. How water is stored and its temperature will determine how long the water stays healthy and drinkable. Spring water is often considered as the best water you can drink, store your water in an underground concrete tank and you are producing your own spring water.

Precast Concrete Potable Water Tanks

Why tank water is so acidic

Underground concrete tanks is normally roof harvested rain water, which is naturally acidic. The acidity of normal rain is attributed mainly to carbon dioxide in the atmosphere which gets absorbed as water condenses from a gas to a liquid and it is these liquid droplets that forms clouds and eventually rain. Even in areas that are minimally affected by human pollution, the pH of rain water can range from 4.5 to 5.0 which is fairly acidic.

In built-up areas around cities, above normal acid rain is generally caused by human pollution and in highly polluted cities rain water can become as acidic as lemon juice which causes lots of problems for old historic buildings.

This acidity forms part of the natural process that allows rain water, with the help of microbes found in the soil, to dissolve minerals from the soil into a colloidal form that now makes the water neutral and full of minerals which can then be taken up by plants. Acidic water is however not choosy and will happily do the same thing in the human body. Resulting in the stealing of alkalizing minerals and therefore a net loss of these vital minerals from the body as the water attempts to achieve a more neutral pH balance.

Why is concrete the best material to store water in

The very nature of water itself is that it wants to balance out to a neutral pH. and a concrete tank is the only man made storage system that will allow this to happen. To neutralize itself, water will absorb some of the minerals out of the concrete and will generally settle in a slightly alkaline state.

An in-ground concrete water tank will keep the water at the temperature that it fell out of the sky at and if you are in an area that gets mostly winter rain, that cold water will remain cold all summer.

Even above ground, light cannot penetrate through the concrete walls of a concrete and into the water.

All of this become very important, because roof harvested rain water picks up all sorts of dust, bacteria, and bugs and even after being pre-filtered some always gets through.

Water that is alkaline, cold and removed from light will not support the growth of any bacteria that makes its way into your tank, thus allowing this water to stay clean and drinkable for years.

If you cannot put your tank underground, paint it white; or allow ivy to cover it to keep the sun off it and the water will stay very cold.

Yes in time, this leaching of minerals will compromise the integrity of a concrete tank, but a well-made tank is good for a hundred odd years.

(Thanks to Versatile Tanks for this article)


If you manufacture, sell or distribute water treatment or distribution products in North America, your products are required to comply with NSF/ANSI 61: Drinking Water System Components – Health Effects by most governmental agencies that regulate drinking water supplies.

NSFANSI 61 and Your Concrete Release Agent Selection

The NSF mark, well respected by public health officials and drinking water utilities, is recognized as a symbol of product quality and integrity. Our responsive, personalized service quickly guides your products through the certification process, ensuring that they get to market on time and on budget. We offer product bracketing services wherever possible to help keep costs down, and we provide pricing up front so there are no hidden surprises down the road.

NSF is accredited by the Standards Council of Canada (SCC) and NSF listings satisfy the requirements of the Canadian National Plumbing Code, U.S. Model Codes and the Uniform Plumbing Code (UPC).

U.S. and Canadian Approvals

Drinking water system components that are used in centralized water treatment plants and water distribution systems up through the water meter are typically regulated by state or provincial drinking water agencies.

Forty-eight U.S. states have legislation, regulations or policies requiring drinking water system components to comply with, or be certified to, NSF/ANSI 61.

Eleven Canadian provinces/territories require drinking water system components to comply with the requirements of NSF/ANSI 61.

Get more information and see a comprehensive map of the U.S. states and Canadian provinces/territories that require NSF/ANSI 61.


For additional information on the proper concrete release agent to use for concrete drinking water tanks, read these articles published in Precast Inc. by the Hill and Griffith Company:

Precast Concrete in Google News and NPCA, National Precast Concrete Association

• Water Tank Market: Emerging Trends, Highlights and Challenges Forecast 2023

• Water Storage Systems Market: Evolving Technology, Trends and Industry Analysis & Forecast to 2022

Global Water Storage Tanks Market Outlook 2018- ZCL Composites, Synalloy Corporation, AG Growth International


Hill and Griffith Customer Service

We're known for our hands on approach. Let us visit your plant and recommend concrete release agents, packerhead concrete form releases, concrete form seasoning, potable water concrete form release, non-petroleum concrete form release, biodegradable concrete form release, rust inhibitors and concrete dissolver products that suit your needs.

Hill and Griffith Samples

Product Samples

We are pleased to provide samples in quantities large enough to allow you to "try before you buy."
Contact Us »

 

Hill and Griffith Customer Service

Technical Services & Support

On-site casting defect investigations, product testing, machine start-ups and much more. Also, lab facilities are available to provide testing upon request.
Contact Us »

 

 Bulletins and Technical Papers for Concrete Casting Products

Tags: Concrete, Casting Solutions, Concrete Casting Products, concrete casting supplies, concrete casting, precast concrete, concrete-form-release-agent-quality-control, American Concrete Institute, NSF/ANSI 61 Potable Water, Precast Concrete Drinking Water Tanks

NSF/ANSI 61 Potable Water Concrete Release Agent Selection

Posted by Hill and Griffith Company on Jun 28, 2018 10:41:03 AM

If you manufacture, sell or distribute water treatment or distribution products in North America, your products are required to comply with NSF/ANSI 61: Drinking Water System Components – Health Effects by most governmental agencies that regulate drinking water supplies.

NSFANSI 61 and Your Concrete Release Agent Selection

Developed by a team of scientists, industry experts and key industry stakeholders, NSF/ANSI 61 sets health effects criteria for many water system components including:

  • Protective barrier materials (cements, paints, coatings)
  • Joining and sealing materials (gaskets, adhesives, lubricants)
  • Mechanical devices (water meters, valves, filters)
  • Pipes and related products (pipe, hose, fittings)
  • Plumbing devices (faucets, drinking fountains)
  • Process media (filter media, ion exchange resins)
  • Non-metallic potable water materials

(From the NSF (National Sanitation Foundation) site.

Benefits of Certification

Certification to NSF/ANSI 61 ensures that your product meets the regulatory requirements for the U.S. and Canada, and it can often meet or fulfill the testing requirements for many other countries as well. Market leaders strive to attain NSF certification as a mark of distinction that provides their customers with assurance that their product is safe for use in drinking water.

NSF/ANSI 61 testing covers all products with drinking water contact from source to tap, and determines what contaminants may migrate or leach from your product into drinking water. It also confirms if they are below the maximum levels allowed to be considered safe.

Certification also allows your company to:

  • List your product in our online directory of certified drinking water system components
  • Use the NSF certification mark on your products and in your promotional materials

Why Work With NSF?

The NSF mark, well respected by public health officials and drinking water utilities, is recognized as a symbol of product quality and integrity. Our responsive, personalized service quickly guides your products through the certification process, ensuring that they get to market on time and on budget. We offer product bracketing services wherever possible to help keep costs down, and we provide pricing up front so there are no hidden surprises down the road.

NSF is accredited by the Standards Council of Canada (SCC) and NSF listings satisfy the requirements of the Canadian National Plumbing Code, U.S. Model Codes and the Uniform Plumbing Code (UPC).

Certification Process

We distinguish ourselves due to our thorough product evaluation, but our certification process is simple and efficient. We assign you a dedicated NSF project manager as a single point of contact to guide you through the certification process and oversee your certification project every step of the way.

Seven Simple Steps to Certification:

  1. Your company submits an application.
  2. You provide product formulation, toxicology and product use information.
  3. Our toxicology department reviews formulations.
  4. We perform a plant audit and sample collection.
  5. Our laboratory conducts testing.
  6. We complete a final toxicology evaluation.
  7. We grant NSF certification for compliant products and you can use the NSF mark on products, packaging and marketing materials.

Our experts can help you reduce overall costs and expedite your time to market by bundling services and reducing the number of contracted service providers and facility audits.

U.S. and Canadian Approvals

Drinking water system components that are used in centralized water treatment plants and water distribution systems up through the water meter are typically regulated by state or provincial drinking water agencies.

Forty-eight U.S. states have legislation, regulations or policies requiring drinking water system components to comply with, or be certified to, NSF/ANSI 61.

Eleven Canadian provinces/territories require drinking water system components to comply with the requirements of NSF/ANSI 61.

Get more information and see a comprehensive map of the U.S. states and Canadian provinces/territories that require NSF/ANSI 61.


For additional information, read these articles published in Precast Inc. by the Hill and Griffith Company:
  • "Biodegradability Redefined and Volatile Organic Compounds Update" by Bob Waterloo, Precast Inc.,
    January/February 2010
    Download Article »

  • Biodegradable, NSF Concrete Form Release Agents Offer a Range of Options for Concrete Applications
    Read More »

Precast Concrete in Google News and NPCA, National Precast Concrete Association

Precast Concrete Market Size, Share & Trends Analysis Report By Product Type (Structural, Architectural, Transportation, Water & Waste Handling), By End Use, By Region, And Segment Forecasts, 2018 - 2025

Historic Louisville architecture gets a sleek new look by de Leon & Primmer

Register for NPCA 53rd Annual Convention


Hill and Griffith Customer Service

We're known for our hands on approach. Let us visit your plant and recommend concrete release agents, packerhead concrete form releases, concrete form seasoning, potable water concrete form release, non-petroleum concrete form release, biodegradable concrete form release, rust inhibitors and concrete dissolver products that suit your needs.

Hill and Griffith Samples

Product Samples

We are pleased to provide samples in quantities large enough to allow you to "try before you buy."
Contact Us »

 

Hill and Griffith Customer Service

Technical Services & Support

On-site casting defect investigations, product testing, machine start-ups and much more. Also, lab facilities are available to provide testing upon request.
Contact Us »

 

 Bulletins and Technical Papers for Concrete Casting Products

Tags: Concrete, Casting Solutions, Concrete Casting Products, concrete casting supplies, concrete casting, precast concrete, concrete-form-release-agent-quality-control, American Concrete Institute, NSF/ANSI 61 Potable Water

Precast Concrete Company Spotlight - Dura Art Stone

Posted by Hill and Griffith Company on Jun 21, 2018 3:55:38 PM

When we learn about a precast concrete company; whose work just blows us away, we like to share it.

Dura Art Stone's About Us page, Enjoy.

A Pioneering History

Dura Art Stone traces its history to 1935 when Bruno Mariani, an accomplished Italian model maker and craftsman, quickly established himself as a leading source of Ornamental Cast Plaster and Cast Stone in San Francisco, CA. One of Bruno’s early works at the Pulgas Water Temple in Redwood City, CA, completed in 1941, remains beautiful and functional to this day. From the start, we have pioneered new uses of materials as outlined below.

1935
COMPANY FOUNDED

 

1941-1

1941
PULGAS WATER TEMPLE

1968-1

1968
SOCIAL SECURITY ADMINISTRATION BUILDING
FIRST BRICK CLAD PRECAST CONCRETE PANELS IN CALIFORNIA

1970-1

1970
ROSICRUCIAN MUSEUM
FIRST USE OF RESIN BASED POLYMER CONCRETE MATCHING PRECAST CONCRETE

1972-1

1972
TRANSAMERICA PYRAMID
FIRST LARGE SCALE ARCHITECTURAL PRECAST PANELS WITH QUARTZ AGGREGATE AND ETCHED FINISH

1978-1-1

1978
WELLS FARGO DATA CENTER
FIRST GLASS FIBER REINFORCED CONCRETE PANELS IN CALIFORNIA

24-1

1980
LEVI’S PLAZA
FIRST BRICK CLAD PRECAST CONCRETE PANELS UTILIZING RADIUS CUT BRICKS

38-1

1980
SAKS FIFTH AVE
FIRST USE OF GLASS FIBER REINFORCED CONCRETE PANELS WITH INTEGRALLY COLOR COURSE AGGREGATE FACE MIX

1984-1-1

1984
CHEVRON CORPORATE HEADQUARTERS
FIRST LARGE SCALE (300,000 SF) CERAMIC TILE CLAD PRECAST PANELS IN CALIFORNIA

90

1990
SEVEN DWARFS
DISNEY CORPORATE HEADQUARTERS
FIRST LARGE SCALE USE OF GFRC FOR 18′ HIGH SCULPTURES IN CALIFORNIA

2004-1-1

2004
SAN MATEO HIGH SCHOOL
FIRST BRICK CLAD PRECAST CONCRETE PANELS IN THE US UTILIZING DRUNKEN SAILOR BOND BRICK PATTERNS

56-1

2017

THE VILLAGE
UNIVERSITY OF SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA 
FIRST LARGE SCALE (500,000 SF) USE OF ARCHITECTURAL PANELS AND TRIM DOWELLED INTO BRICK CLAD PANELS WITH SHEAR KEYS AND WATER STOPS, IN CONJUNCTION WITH CORESLAB STRUCTURES, LA.


Hill and Griffith Customer Service

We're known for our hands on approach. Let us visit your plant and recommend concrete release agents, packerhead concrete form releases, concrete form seasoning, potable water concrete form release, non-petroleum concrete form release, biodegradable concrete form release, rust inhibitors and concrete dissolver products that suit your needs.

Hill and Griffith Samples

Product Samples

We are pleased to provide samples in quantities large enough to allow you to "try before you buy."
Contact Us »

 

Hill and Griffith Customer Service

Technical Services & Support

On-site casting defect investigations, product testing, machine start-ups and much more. Also, lab facilities are available to provide testing upon request.
Contact Us »

 

 Bulletins and Technical Papers for Concrete Casting Products

Tags: Concrete, Casting Solutions, Concrete Casting Products, concrete casting supplies, concrete casting, precast concrete, concrete-form-release-agent-quality-control, American Concrete Institute

Why Get American Concrete Institute Certified?

Posted by Hill and Griffith Company on Jun 14, 2018 3:50:29 PM

ACI recently asked ACI certified individuals, "How has being ACI certified helped you on the job site?"

"Having ACI field testing technician and PCI level 2 certifications qualified me for my current position."
Zackery S.

"By knowing ACI standards, I can tell if a contractor is obeying correct concrete testing procedures. Without ACI certification, I am unable to work; it is required."
Angela P.

American Concrete Institute Certifaction



"The training has helped in progressing my career as a tester and as an aid in troubleshooting possible problems."
Wyatt N.

"Everyone knows I am ACI certified and never questions my results."
Allen M.


"Sampling concrete is something I do each week. This certificate helped get me into the inspections industry and led the way for my ICC reinforced and post-tensioning certifications."
Aaron B.


"ACI is one of the only organizations I know of that can certify personnel in specific test methods. This is very valuable in maintaining nationally-recognized accreditations that are required to work on various projects, especially public works projects. If we did not have ACI certifications, it would be much more difficult to maintain these accreditations..."

Jessica H.


 

Craftsmen, Technicians & Inspectors

ACI's certification programs provide you with the credentials to build the best concrete structures in the world.

 

Specifiers & Owners

Many local, national, and international building codes require ACI Certified personnel on the jobsite.  When you specify ACI Certification on your jobs, you know the job will get done right and up to the highest standards.

 

Employers

Ensuring your team members are certified gives you a leading edge against the competition as your team is qualified for more jobs, and you produce the best work again and again, earning a solid reputation.

 

From the video,

  • Becoming ACI certified is an investment in your profession, your education, and your success. Since many local, national, and international building codes require ACI certified personnel on the job site, your value increases.
  • It'll be good for me to know all the ins and outs of how the specimens are taken out in the field. It shows everybody across the board that we know what we're doing.
  • I think it gets you to get in-depth with the codes and the standards so that you really know what's going on.
  • I think it puts a little more weight on your position because then you're, in some capacity, trusted to be verifying that the materials are correct and that people are doing their job at some point.
  • Knowing what to expect, what the contractor's looking for, able to inform the contractor, able to do quality control on my technicians making sure that they're doing what they're supposed to be doing.
  • I decided to get ACI certified for my job as a dispatcher, and my quality control manager wanted me to learn more about concrete and how it worked.
  • It just shows that you're more knowledgeable in what you're doing so if you happen to get into an argument with someone you can start naming off your requirements, your codes, all the parameters that you're learning with the ACI classes to pretty much show them how things are supposed to be done, that there's a reason why we do things the way we do.
  • I think it will help me get better career prospects and just kind of understand what I'm doing more and go further.
  • With an ACI certification you can prove your ability to work with concrete, demonstrate your skills in testing, construction, or inspection, and earn more opportunities for jobs.
  • Throughout my career, both on the contracting side and on the engineering side, I have found a lot of benefits to being ACI certified and working with other ACI certified professionals.
  • It's very important. It's like accuracy of every test. You follow steps. I think so, and I know so, from like my previous experience.
  • I definitely would recommend certification to my coworkers or colleagues. There's a big benefit to being certified with regards to employment, with regards to promotions. You're just a more valuable employee with certifications.
  • Concrete testing was a requirement of my position, and the anchor adhesive installation was a choice of mine.
  • I started out when I was younger doing concrete testing, and I wanted to make sure that I was doing the test correctly, so I actually took it upon myself to go get certified with field testing, level one.
  • For like the strength testing technician it helps, because I run the laboratory for our office so when we do our inspections for CCRL I can show them that yes, I'm qualified to be in the lab and do what I'm doing.
  • When you're ready to get certified follow these four simple steps. Find a full list of certification programs on ACI's website. Find one of more than 100 testing locations convenient for you. Prepare with ACI workbooks, ACI online training, and help from a local testing center. Finally, take your exam.
Learn more at whyACIcertification.org, or call (248) 848-3700. Prove your knowledge, demonstrate your skill, and earn one of the concrete industries most popular certifications.


ABOUT ACI

  • The American Concrete Institute (ACI) is a leading authority and resource worldwide for the development, distribution and adoption of consensus-based standards, technical resources, educational programs, and proven expertise for individuals and organizations involved in concrete design, construction, and materials, who share a commitment to pursuing the best use of concrete.


Hill and Griffith Customer Service

We're known for our hands on approach. Let us visit your plant and recommend concrete release agents, packerhead concrete form releases, concrete form seasoning, potable water concrete form release, non-petroleum concrete form release, biodegradable concrete form release, rust inhibitors and concrete dissolver products that suit your needs.

Hill and Griffith Samples

Product Samples

We are pleased to provide samples in quantities large enough to allow you to "try before you buy."
Contact Us »

 

Hill and Griffith Customer Service

Technical Services & Support

On-site casting defect investigations, product testing, machine start-ups and much more. Also, lab facilities are available to provide testing upon request.
Contact Us »

 

 Bulletins and Technical Papers for Concrete Casting Products

Tags: Concrete, Casting Solutions, Concrete Casting Products, concrete casting supplies, concrete casting, precast concrete, concrete-form-release-agent-quality-control, American Concrete Institute

American Concrete Institute's Frequently Asked Questions - "Form Release Agents"

Posted by Hill and Griffith Company on Jun 7, 2018 3:46:19 PM

Form release agents

Review of an article published by the American Concrete Institute's "Frequently Asked Questions" section of their website.

Form Release Agent

Q. I need to select a form release agent for a new project requiring an architectural finish. Can you provide information on different types of form release agents and recommendations for using them? Does ACI have a publication on form release agents I could use as a reference?

A. Form release agents ease formwork removal, extending the useful life of a form and improving the smoothness and texture of concrete surfaces. Two main types are available: barrier and chemically active.

Barrier-type agents (examples include diesel oil, wax, and silicone) create a barrier between the form and the concrete. These are not recommended for architectural concrete, because they can cause stains, surface air voids, and problems with form removal in very cold or very hot weather; they also may prevent subsequent adhesion of coatings to the hardened concrete. While diesel oil was once commonly used, it’s now prohibited because the associated volatile organic content (VOC) emissions contribute to smog. (Note: In the United States, form release agents have to meet federal VOC limits of 450 g/L [3.8 lb/gal.] and may have to meet more restrictive limits of 250 g/L [2.2 lb/gal.] in some states.)

Chemically active form release agents (certain types of fatty acids) react with calcium ions in the cement paste to produce a soap that prevents concrete from bonding to the formwork. Based on the reactivity, they are divided into buffered (partially) reactive and fully reactive. Buffered agents produce an improved soap film that helps remove entrapped air and may promote better flow of a thin skin of cement paste at the surface of the form. Fully reactive agents can provide a good basic soap film that, depending on the brand, works well in most cases. Because chemically active form release agents produce fewer bugholes, stains, and surface irregularities than barrier type of form release agents, they are commonly used for architectural concrete.

For more information on this topic refer to ACI 347R “Guide to Formwork for Concrete”, ACI 303R “303R-12 Guide to Cast-in-Place Architectural Concrete Practice”, and ACI 533R “Guide for Precast Concrete Wall Panels”. 

References: ACI 347R-14; ACI 303R-12; ACI 533R-11

ABOUT ACI

  • The American Concrete Institute (ACI) is a leading authority and resource worldwide for the development, distribution and adoption of consensus-based standards, technical resources, educational programs, and proven expertise for individuals and organizations involved in concrete design, construction, and materials, who share a commitment to pursuing the best use of concrete.


Hill and Griffith Customer Service

We're known for our hands on approach. Let us visit your plant and recommend concrete release agents, packerhead concrete form releases, concrete form seasoning, potable water concrete form release, non-petroleum concrete form release, biodegradable concrete form release, rust inhibitors and concrete dissolver products that suit your needs.

Hill and Griffith Samples

Product Samples

We are pleased to provide samples in quantities large enough to allow you to "try before you buy."
Contact Us »

 

Hill and Griffith Customer Service

Technical Services & Support

On-site casting defect investigations, product testing, machine start-ups and much more. Also, lab facilities are available to provide testing upon request.
Contact Us »

 

 Bulletins and Technical Papers for Concrete Casting Products

Tags: Concrete, Casting Solutions, Concrete Casting Products, concrete casting supplies, concrete casting, concrete safety, precast concrete, Concree form release, Bio Gold Concrete Form Release, Gricote, concrete-form-release-agent-quality-control, Form Release Agents

Review of Precast Concrete Form Maintenance Article in PRECAST INC Magazine

Posted by Hill and Griffith Company on Jun 1, 2018 12:57:27 PM

Besides Bob Waterloo's Featured article, "How To Lose a Customer in 10+ Easy Ways," the recent issue of PRECAST INC has some great tips from industry professionals about precast concrete form maintenance. Here are some highlights from the artcle.

Form manufacturers and precasters were asked several questions related to form maintenance and form safety. Below are the questions and answers from the responders. 

precast-concrete-form-maintenance-1

What steps should precasters be taking to keep their formwork in good working condition? 

"Using a quality form release and cleaning forms with every use will keep the
face of the forms clean for many years. The other best practice to increase the life of your equipment is to avoid hammering on them as much as possible - abstinence is the best policy here!" - Jim Aylward, Western Forms

"Keep forms clean, since build up can change the center of gravity on pieces and parts. Keep forms oiled for easier stripping." - Blythe Coons, Spillman Company

precast-concrete-form-maintenance-2

Any tips or best practices you would like to share with precasters to help increase the lifespan of their formwork and to ensure safety? 

"Biggest tips on increasing the life of aluminum formwork: 
1. Invest in quality.
2. Use quality form release
(reactive release designed for aluminum forms) to keep the forms clean.
3. Train employees to treat the equipment with care.
4. Use proper tools associated with the formwork.
5. Reach out to manufacturers for questions and concerns."
- Jim Aylward, Western Forms

"Don't try to save money on form oil. Figure out what works best for you and keep it. Don't allow employees to use hammers to clean forms. Grease all grease fittings regularly. Take time to clean the inside of the forms." - Mike Vergona, Garden State Precast

To read the entire article go here. "Be Formal About Your Form Safety."


Hill and Griffith Customer Service

We're known for our hands on approach. Let us visit your plant and recommend concrete release agents, packerhead concrete form releases, concrete form seasoning, potable water concrete form release, non-petroleum concrete form release, biodegradable concrete form release, rust inhibitors and concrete dissolver products that suit your needs.

Hill and Griffith Samples

Product Samples

We are pleased to provide samples in quantities large enough to allow you to "try before you buy."
Contact Us »

 

Hill and Griffith Customer Service

Technical Services & Support

On-site casting defect investigations, product testing, machine start-ups and much more. Also, lab facilities are available to provide testing upon request.
Contact Us »

 

 Bulletins and Technical Papers for Concrete Casting Products

Tags: Concrete, Casting Solutions, Concrete Casting Products, concrete casting supplies, concrete casting, concrete safety, precast concrete, Concree form release, Bio Gold Concrete Form Release, Gricote, concrete-form-release-agent-quality-control

Guide for Surface Finish of Formed Concrete

Posted by Hill and Griffith Company on May 26, 2018 11:03:53 PM

(This week's post is a review of the American Society of Concrete Construction's "Guide for Surface Finish of Formed Concrete." You can read it at Google Books here.)

Amazon Book's summary (April 1, 1999), "Exactly what is a smooth-form finish? What is a rough-form finish? To what extent are bugholes, voids and fins acceptable in each type? This easy-to-use guide explains and illustrates the answers to these questions and, even more importantly, serves as the standard for the differences between as-cast structural concrete finishes. The succinct, yet thorough, text includes a glossary and a handy table on as-cast finishes. But the guide's Presentation Photos are what make it truly unique. Three sets of 6 different, full-scale photographs depict various as-cast finishes, with bugholes and voids ranging from 1/16" or less to 2" across. Attach a Presentation Photo to a bid or specification to show what surface finish is to be expected."

Surface Finish of Formed Concrete.jpg 

 

(Jan 1, 2005 edition from Google Books)

Form Release Agents

Release agents are differentiated from form coatings or sealers that are usually applied in liquid form to contact surfaces either during manufacture or in the field. Coatings and sealers serve one or more of the following purposes:

  • Alter the texture of the contact surface 
  • Improve the durability of the contact surface
  • protect the contact surface from moisture

Release agents, on the other hand, are applied to the contact surface of the forms to prevent bond to the concrete and thus facilitate stripping. They can be applied to form materials during manufacture or applied to the form before each use. Manufacturers' recommendations should be followed in the use of coatings, sealers, and release agents (Reference 10-11), but ACI 347 recommends independent investigation of performance before using a new product.

There is no ACI standard to define these products, but the term form oil is frequently applied to petroleum compounds originally intended for other applications such as diesel fuel or heating oil, while release agent more often refers to products containing proprietary reactive ingredients specifically formulated for use on concrete forms. Release agents are commonly classified on the basis of how they act instead of what is in them. The two basic categories are barrier agents and chemically active agents, sometimes called reactive agents. Some release agents are a combination of the two types.

Barrier type releases agents create a physical barrier between the form surface and the fresh concrete, preventing the concrete from sticking to the form. Familiar examples are home heating oil, diesel oil, and used motor oil. U.S. environmental regulations prohibit the sale of these commodities as release agents, but they have been widely used because they are inexpensive and readily available. They are applied in relatively thick films, covering 200 to 600 sq ft per gallon, and such heavy applications can increase surface staining and bugholes on the concrete surface. If coated forms are left for several days before concrete is placed, barrier oils may evaporate, possibly leading to some sticking of the concrete to the form.

Chemically active or reactive agents contain an active ingredient that may be dissolver in an oil-based carrier or emulsified in a water-based carrier. The active ingredient is typically some type of fatty acid derived from plant or animal sources, and it combines chemically with calcium ions in the fresh concrete. The reaction product is a thin layer of what chemists refer to as a grease or metallic soap or salt; non-water-soluble, it permits the form to release readily from the hardened concrete.

The reactive fatty acid components are generally considered biodegradable and have found favor in the past decade because of increasingly stringent environmental regulations. For similar reasons, manufacturers have also been turning to water-based carriers, which will probably be subject to freezing.

 


Hill and Griffith Customer Service

We're known for our hands on approach. Let us visit your plant and recommend concrete release agents, packerhead concrete form releases, concrete form seasoning, potable water concrete form release, non-petroleum concrete form release, biodegradable concrete form release, rust inhibitors and concrete dissolver products that suit your needs.

Hill and Griffith Samples

Product Samples

We are pleased to provide samples in quantities large enough to allow you to "try before you buy."
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 Bulletins and Technical Papers for Concrete Casting Products

Tags: Concrete, Casting Solutions, Concrete Casting Products, concrete casting supplies, concrete casting, concrete safety, precast concrete, Concree form release, Bio Gold Concrete Form Release, Gricote, concrete-form-release-agent-quality-control

How To Lose A Customer in 10+ Easy Ways, by Bob Waterloo

Posted by Hill and Griffith Company on May 14, 2018 11:30:51 AM

We have all been there. We work our tails off to develop a new account, get the trial order, run the test and finally get the first real order. That, believe it or not, was the easy part.

Now, we have to keep the customer coming back! These tips apply to anybody who sells something, whether you are a manufacturer or a supplier in the precast concrete industry or any other industry. Many of these points can also apply to your everyday life with your family and friends.

Industrial-Customer-Service

1. Ignore them.
You’ve won their business and now have more important things to do – namely get more business. Unfortunately, your competitor who just lost the account is now thinking of ways to get it back. Large or small, you need to maintain contact with your customers to ensure they are satisfied. Let them know that you are always looking for new ways to help.

2. Make stringent credit policies.
“Our terms are net 30 days, and if you can’t live with that, go somewhere else.” No, we are not our customers’ banker, nor should we be responsible for banking their operation. On the other hand, you should know what your competitors are doing, know the industry standards and understand what you can live with. In the construction industry, it’s not uncommon for payments from some customers to lag 120 days. Those aren’t likely your terms, but if it’s a good customer, can you live with that? Your terms can be seen more as a guideline than an ironclad rule. In checking, you will probably find that receivables average about 43 days. Keep in mind that includes those accounts that pay in 30 days or less, along with those that stretch into 120 days. And yes, there is a line drawn in the sand as to how long you allow them to pay.

3. Don’t follow-up on requests or questions.
A customer calls you and asks for some information. It’s not in your area of expertise or responsibility, so you pass it on to the responsible person. A week later, the customer calls again. A week later the customer calls for the third time. If you are passing the baton, confirm it in writing and make sure your co-worker closes the loop with you. Yes, the customer belongs to all of us, but as the salesperson, you’re on the front line.

4. Fail to notify them of a change in policy or pricing.
Nobody likes price increases, but they are a fact of life in business, and when there is a price hike, it is your responsibility to notify the customer. A phone call puts you on offense rather than defense, and it is a lot easier to be proactive than to defend yourself when a customer is feeling blindsided by a larger-than-expected bill.

5. Micromanage them.
You have responsibilities. So do others. When it comes to the important things, be sure to follow-up but don’t think you need to cover every little detail. On one hand, it is your responsibility to make sure your customers are always well informed. On the other hand, you don’t want to be overbearing.

6. Prejudge them.
A customer comes to you, and it’s a small operation. You write it off. Then, later, you find that the company expanded the operation or purchased a competitor and is now a player in the market. When you are in the field, it is your responsibility to follow-up on all leads, even if it’s just a phone call to qualify the account.

7. Fail to stay in touch.
Sometimes a customer is in a remote area or just doesn’t fit into your travel plans as frequently as you would like. In that case, call them on the phone and say: “I was just thinking about you and decided to call to see how things are going.” That makes the customer feel wanted, which is how you always want your customer to feel.

8. Be sure to point out when they are wrong and you are right.
There is more than one way to point out when a customer is wrong. You need to be careful that you don’t end up arguing with the customer or play, “I told you so.” Present the facts and/or historical data. Being diplomatic is not easy, especially when dealing with a difficult person. Take your time, keep your cool, let things settle down and think about the right approach. Don’t show anger. You might win the battle with a direct confrontation, but you will surely lose the war.

9. Don’t ensure the question is answered.
You provided the requested information, but did you then ask, “Does this answer your question?” This follows the concept of the “Johari Window.” Read this carefully and think about it: “What I said is not necessarily what you heard, and what I wanted to say is not necessarily what you wanted to hear.” Put yourself in your customers’ shoes and try to feel as they do when you are dealing with them. ‘Nuf said.

10. Stop trying to help your customers improve their business.
This applies to the materials you are supplying, but also to other business practices. Your first responsibility is to your own company and products, of course, but if you can share your expertise in other areas to advise a customer, it makes you an invaluable resource rather than just a salesperson.

(I should stop at 10, but …)
11. Stop trying to win business back.
The customer moved on, so there’s no reason to follow-up again, right? Well, guess what? Things change. And if you’re not in regular or semi-regular contact you might just miss a nice opportunity to win a former customer back.

12. Stop asking questions.
You can’t read the customer’s mind, but you can often see things that might prompt you to offer suggestions for improvement. Offer your comments, but don’t be obnoxious about it. Sometimes asking questions opens the door for you to share possible improvements.

13. Be a know-it-all.
It’s never a good idea to let customers know up front that you know more about their operation than they do and that you are smarter. Not a good idea … ever!

14. Be Inflexible.
When a customer is looking for a break or wants you to make an exception, your first response might be, “I’d like to help you, but rules are rules and my hands are tied.” Instead of just prejudging a request and dismissing it, delve a little deeper. Maybe you can bend the rules, maybe not. But being willing to listen and go to bat for a customer shows you care and your customer will remember that.

There are other ways to lose a customer, but this is a start. It never hurts to review your selling practices and to be responsible to yourself, your company and your customer. In all cases, be sure that you are giving them your full effort for the best industrial customer service.

Bob Waterloo is a technical sales manager, concrete release agents, for The Hill and Griffith Company, based in Indianapolis.


Hill and Griffith Customer Service

We're known for our hands-on approach. Let us visit your plant and recommend concrete release agents, packerhead concrete form releases, concrete form seasoning, potable water and non-petroleum concrete form release, biodegradable releases, rust inhibitors and concrete dissolver products that suit your needs.

Hill and Griffith Samples

Product Samples

We are pleased to provide samples in quantities large enough to allow you to "try before you buy."
Contact Us »

 

Hill and Griffith Customer Service

Technical Services & Support

On-site casting defect investigations, product testing, machine start-ups and much more. Also, lab facilities are available to provide testing upon request.
Contact Us »

 

Bulletins and Technical Papers for Concrete Casting Products 

Tags: concrete casting supplies, How To Lose A Customer

Proper Use of Concrete Form Release Can Save Your Forms

Posted by Hill and Griffith Company on May 10, 2018 2:37:49 PM

Concrete formwork is a major investment for a precast or prestress plant. Taking care of the forms extends form life and protects a valuable investment and contributes to a healthy bottom line.

Concrete-Form-Release-Agent-Application-1.jpg

Care of concrete forms needs to be considered every time they are used. Steel form damage can occur with lack of cleaning or with too much use of wire brushes and sandblasting. Vibrators can damage form surfaces.

Proper selection and application of release agents is necessary for lower cost, producing the best product possible and for minimizing form clean up.

Grifcote-Concrete-Form-Release-Agent-Sizes.jpg

There are two types of release agents but they can also be combined for some applications.

The first is the barrier type. They provide a barrier between the concrete and the form. Originally form oils were barrier types of diesel fuel, greases, used motor oil, etc. These produced a good release but lowered product quality by causing bug holes, and staining, resulting in poor product appearance. They hard to apply due to their high viscosity.

The second type of release agent is chemically active and react with lime in the concrete to produce a soap-like film on the form. This type of release agent is the most widely used. Because they are easily applied in a very stable thin film by spraying, wiping, or brushing, you can produce stain-free, void-free concrete surfaces even after the form has been exposed for a day or two. Reactive type release agents applied in a thin film allow the form to strip cleaner which saves on labor costs related to form cleaning and extends the life of the form.

Concrete-Form-Rust-Preventative.jpg

In September of 1999 release agent manufactures and concrete producers were required by the EPA to make and use limited VOC products. Some companies, including Hill and Griffith, saw this coming years in advance and were already producing VOC compliant products. Some states, such as California have stricter rules than that passed nationally.

There are four main application methods-spraying, wiping, mopping or brushing and dipping. Spraying is the most common method of application. Avoid over application to reduce your cost. An extremely thin film of release agent is all that is needed, "The thinner the better." Pump unit sprayers or centralized systems with air pressure regulators give a good consistent pressure and work well. Spray pressures of 35 to 50 psi are best. Higher pressures put more airborne particles in the air throughout the plant and can be harmful to personnel in the plant. Lower pressures cause puddling in the form, and wasted release agent. A flat fan spray nozzle of .1 or .2 gpm will spray a good thin release agent. Many of these thin, chemically active release agents are more expensive per gallon. But with coverage rates at 2000-2500 sq. ft. per gallon the cost is much less than a cheaper barrier release agent. A second type of application is wiping on the release agent. Architectural precasters like wiping the release agent on the form because over application is eliminated. Burial vault manufactures use a sponge for application because they clean the form each time as well. A third type of application is with mop or brush with which over application can be a problem. The mop or brush must be wrung out in order to achieve the desired results. Wipe up puddles. Dipping systems are fast, labor efficient, and assure total coverage of the form. And they collect the excess release agent that drains off the form.

The investment in forms needs to be protected from rust and corrosion, use grease, diesel fuel, or release agent. A better choice is a good rust preventative that offers quality protection, long life, ease of application, and easy removal.

Taking care of forms each time they are used can save thousands of dollars and make a concrete business more profitable.


Hill and Griffith Customer Service

We're known for our hands on approach. Let us visit your plant and recommend concrete release agents, packerhead concrete form releases, concrete form seasoning, potable water concrete form release, non-petroleum concrete form release, biodegradable concrete form release, rust inhibitors and concrete dissolver products that suit your needs.

Hill and Griffith Samples

Product Samples

We are pleased to provide samples in quantities large enough to allow you to "try before you buy."
Contact Us »

 

Hill and Griffith Customer Service

Technical Services & Support

On-site casting defect investigations, product testing, machine start-ups and much more. Also, lab facilities are available to provide testing upon request.
Contact Us »

 

 Bulletins and Technical Papers for Concrete Casting Products

Tags: Concrete, Casting Solutions, Concrete Casting Products, concrete casting supplies, precast concrete, Gricote, concrete form release

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