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Concrete Casting News from the Hill and Griffith Company

NPCA Precast Learning Lab Video: Form Oil Application

Posted by Hill and Griffith Company on Apr 2, 2020 11:34:13 AM

This NPCA video demonstrates the proper techniques and tips to apply concrete release agents to forms.

This instructive NPCA video gives some basic guidelines on how to apply concrete form release agents to avoid common problems of bug holes and staining.
 
Main take aways from this video include:
1. Avoid overapplication
2. Ensure the form is clean and form release agent does not make contact with reinforcement
3. Use appropriate sprayer nozzle and pressure
 
 NPCA Form Oil Application Tips

Application of Form Oil

 

Application methods

  • Make sure you start with a clean form before applying release agent
  • Thinner application is better
  • Use a mop or microfiber cloth to wipe away excess concrete form release agent
  • Adjust your spray nozzle depending on the temperature

Learn More


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.

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Bulletins and Technical Papers for Concrete Casting Products

 

Tags: Concrete Form Release Agents, Biodegradable Concrete Form Release, Concrete Release Agents, Concrete Forms, Concrete Form Seasoning, Concrete Casting Supplies, Concrete Pipe, Concrete Form Release, NPCA, NPCA Video

Concrete Form Release Agents

Posted by Hill and Griffith Company on Mar 26, 2020 11:10:32 AM

When you’ve chosen the form, you’ve narrowed the choice of release agent

Excerpt from the article in Concrete Construction by Sidney Freedman

A form release agent must do several jobs:
• permit clean release of formwork from the hardened concrete during stripping
• protect the form work for long life and extensive reuse
• help produce a hard, non-powdery, stain-free concrete surface with a minimum number of defects
• prevent corrosion of steel forms and consequent staining of the concrete surface
 
Form release agents fall into a number of categories, each of which has a distinctive influence on the concrete surface. These are described in detail in the next article in this series. The principles by which they are chosen and the kinds used in various applications will be described later in this article, but first, their handling and application will be discussed.

Site storage

Release agents should have a reasonably long and stable storage life and should not be susceptible to damage from extreme temperature changes or from rough or repeated handling. Care should be taken to ensure that release agents are stored in accordance with the manufacturer’s recommendations, particularly with regard to temperature extremes. Before use, the release agents should be checked for sediment. To ensure uniformity, it may be necessary to stir them adequately. Care must also be taken to ensure that they do not become contaminated. Release agents containing volatile solvents must be stored in airtight containers to prevent a change in concentration. Release agents should not be diluted at the job site unless specifically permitted by the manufacturer. Some oils have a critical emulsifier content and dilution makes the emulsion unstable and causes poor performance.
 
Concrete Form Release Agents Help Form Removal

Application

The manufacturer’s recommendations on the rate of spread and the method of application should be sought and followed. The optimum rate of spread will depend on both the type of release agent and the surface condition of the formwork.
 
Form surfaces should be thoroughly cleaned, preferably before erection; forms that are continually reused are generally treated with the form release agent just after stripping and cleaning. Also, whenever possible, the application of the release agent should be so timed that it can dry or be absorbed into the formwork before the reinforcement is installed. This procedure prevents loose rust or dirt from the reinforcement from subsequently showing up as marks on the concrete surface. The release agent should be applied carefully to avoid contacting reinforcement or adjacent construction joints. A few release agents may have their chemical characteristics changed to some extent if directly exposed to strong sunlight for a few hours, and their application may have to be timed accordingly.
 

Application methods

Any of various application methods can be used, depending on the type of agent. Spray or rolling methods are most commonly used because they are inexpensive and they produce uniform films. When spraying, a low-pressure, fine fog fanning out from the nozzle is most desirable.
 
Agents can also be applied by brushing, mopping, wiping or dipping, but the first three methods do not produce a sufficiently uniform film. Great care should be taken to see that the wide brushes or soft brooms used for applying the release agent are clean. It is best not to use cleaning solvent on any tools used for applying release agents, but if a solvent is used, care must be taken to ensure that it is completely removed before the tools are reused.
 
Usually, the dip method of applying release agents is not practical for use on the job site. Therefore, when dipped coatings are required for lumber or plywood, pre-dipping at the mill is the most practical solution. Where a heavy application of an inexpensive coating is allowed, such as where the appearance of the concrete surface is not critical, the roller, mop or broom methods are all applicable. The wiping method is typically used only when very light film applications are required on hard surface form materials or when excess release agents previously applied by other methods must be removed.

Read More


More information from Concrete Construction:

ICRI Guide to How to Repair Concrete Structures

Building Post-Tensioned Podiums

Recylced Concrete Combined With Wood Creates New Material


Hill and Griffith Customer Service

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Bulletins and Technical Papers for Concrete Casting Products

 

Tags: Concrete Form Release Agents, Biodegradable Concrete Form Release, Concrete Release Agents, Concrete Forms, Concrete Form Seasoning, Concrete Casting Supplies, Concrete Pipe, Concrete Form Release, Concrete Construction Magazine

GMI: Concrete Surface Treatment Chemicals Market Size Worth $15 Billion by 2025

Posted by Hill and Griffith Company on Mar 20, 2020 11:48:57 AM

Excerpt from the May 2019 issue of Concrete Construction by Ted Worthington

The concrete surface treatment chemicals market size will likely surpass USD $15 billion by 2025, according to a new research report by Global Market Insights, Inc.
 
Escalating growth in the global population is likely to be a key growth driver in the concrete surface treatment chemicals market. Asia Pacific region is the major reason behind the increased rate of population growth.
 
The global population has risen from 6.1 billion in 2000 to 7.6 billion in 2018. Out of this, China holds an 18.4 percent share, followed by India accounting for 17.7 percent. Increasing population and rising urbanization are some factors driving the construction industry in the emerging nations. This, in turn, would boost the demand for various concrete surface treatment chemicals over the study period.
 
concrete-surface-treatment-chemicals-market-pressrelease
The global population has risen from 6.1 billion in 2000 to 7.6 billion in 2018. Out of this, China holds an 18.4 percent share, followed by India accounting for 17.7 percent. Increasing population and rising urbanization are some factors driving the construction industry in the emerging nations. This, in turn, would boost the demand for various concrete surface treatment chemicals over the study period.
 
Another growth enabler of concrete surface treatment chemicals market is the rising demand for construction chemicals. Construction chemicals help in improving the performance of the structures, are more economical, ease the installation procedures, augment the chemical and physical characteristics of the structures and make the structures more resistant to adverse weather conditions. These benefits will propel the market, especially in the developing regions.
 
Curing compounds in the concrete surface treatment chemicals market are likely to gain at a growth rate of over 6.5 percent in the study period. The product is used for providing optimal curing when protection from the solar heat is desired. It is majorly used for applications on horizontal surfaces such as streets, highways, curb paving, airports, runways, etc. It is mostly applied through spraying procedure. After spraying, it forms a thin layer on the surface to block water loss and results in accurate curing of the surface.
 
 The industrial sector is an important end-user segment in the concrete surface treatment chemicals market which will hold a share of more than 25 percent of the total industry by the end of the study period. The products are used both during new construction and repair activities, and the product demand from this sector would substantially increase in the future. Industrial development in emerging markets is one of the major reasons behind the growth of this sector in the study period.
 
Europe is one of the significant regions contributing to the growth of the concrete surface treatment chemicals market. Population in Europe has been increasing in recent years and has reached 742 million in 2018 from 727 million in 2000. Increasing immigrants, urbanization and improved living standards of people will increase the product demand in the construction market. Rising infrastructural projects and construction activities in this region will, in turn, boost the market. The construction industry of the region employs more than 18 million people and contributes approximately nine percent to the regional GDP. Hence, developments in this sector would positively impact the market in the forecast period.

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Hill and Griffith Customer Service

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Bulletins and Technical Papers for Concrete Casting Products

 

Tags: Concrete Form Release Agents, Biodegradable Concrete Form Release, Concrete Release Agents, Concrete Forms, Concrete Form Seasoning, Concrete Casting Supplies, Concrete Pipe, Concrete Form Release

A Short History of Concrete Pipe by the PCA

Posted by Hill and Griffith Company on Mar 12, 2020 9:30:40 AM

Concrete pipe has a well established history and reputation for being a long lasting, serviceable material.

Concrete-Form-Release-Agent-1.jpgThe Cloacae Maxima, built in about 180 B.C. as part of Rome's main sewer system, was constructed mainly of stone masonry and natural cement concrete. More than 2,000 years later, portions of the concrete sewer are still in use.

Modern day concrete sewer systems emerged during the mid-19th century when the public became conscious of the need for sanitation to control the spread of disease. The earliest recorded use of concrete pipe in the United States is a sewer installation built in 1842 at Mohawk, N.Y. Other New England cities followed suit and installed concrete pipelines in the second half of the nineteenth century. Many of these concrete pipelines are still in use today.

Milestones in development include the production of the first reinforced pipe in 1905, the invention of prestressed pipe in the 1930s, and the manufacture of the first steel-cylinder prestressed pipe in 1942. 

Sizes can range from four inches up to 17 feet in diameter. Although pipe can be manufactured in a variety of shapes, there are five standard shapes: circular, horizontal elliptical, vertical elliptical, arch, and rectangular. The pipe shape selected for a project depends on the topography of the site, importance of hydraulic and structural efficiency, erosion and deposition in the stream channel, and cost. Most often, the preferred pipe shape is the one that will alter the natural drainage flow the least.

Concrete-Form-Release-Agent-2.jpgFive Methods of Producing Pipe Made of Concrete

As with all concrete products, the basic materials are portland cement, aggregate, and water. There are five basic methods of producing pipe. Four methods -- centrifugal/spinning, dry cast, packerhead, and tamp-entail using a dry concrete mix. The fifth method, wet casting, uses a high-slump concrete mix. Wet-cast concrete mix usually has a slump less than four inches and is most frequently used for manufacturing large diameter pipe.

These types of pipe serve as a conduit material for irrigation, water supply lines, sanitary sewers, culverts, and storm drains. Culverts, usually made with arch-shaped concrete, are used to carry water under highways in non-urban areas. Storm drain systems for cities and towns are becoming more important as communities become larger and more densely populated. Recent major floods and the resulting damage only emphasize the need for efficient drainage systems.

Subsurface drainage carries away water below the surface of the pavement. This water reduces flow support capacity of the base and subgrade material causing potential damage to roads, airport runways, and building foundations. Many farm fields depend on proper underground drainage for their cultivation. Thousands of square miles of otherwise arid land rely on concrete irrigation pipe to supply water for farmland. Additionally, most of the large cities in the United States a pipe system made of concrete to transport their water supply.

(From the Portland Cement Association's web site.The PCA is a powerful and vocal advocate for sustainability, jobs creation, economic growth, infrastructure investment, and overall innovation and excellence in construction throughout the U.S.)

More information at the American Concrete Pipe Association web site.


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.

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Bulletins and Technical Papers for Concrete Casting Products

 

Tags: Concrete Form Release Agents, Biodegradable Concrete Form Release, Concrete Release Agents, Concrete Forms, Concrete Form Seasoning, Concrete Casting Supplies, Concrete Pipe, Concrete Form Release, Portland Cement Assoc

Stop by Booth 1427 at the 2020 Precast Show in Ft. Worth thru Saturday

Posted by Hill and Griffith Company on Mar 6, 2020 11:38:40 AM

HG 2020 Precast ShowIMG_2592 560

Left to right: Bob Waterloo, Tom Dempsey, Mike Lawry, Angela Cox and Barry Morgan will help you with your precasting needs.

The Precast Show is the largest precast-specific trade show in North America and the one place where you can find the industry’s most important suppliers and foremost equipment experts under one roof. We are looking forward to seeing you March 5-7, 2020, in Fort Worth, Texas.

The Precast Show is sponsored by the National Precast Concrete Association and the Precast Prestressed Concrete Institute with additional collaboration from the Canadian Precast Prestressed Concrete Institute and the Cast Stone Institute.

HG Concrete ad

Grifcote® and Cast-O-Magic Concrete Form Release Agents

VOC Compliant, NSF Certified and Biodegradable Release Agents for all Concrete Applications

THE PERFECT RELEASE

Industry Leading Performance and Quality
Trained technicians are available to visit your site, determine your needs and design the right product for you.

• Gricote FR-50 & PR-5S voe - Workhorse Release
• Grifcote LV-50 Plus - NSF Certified for Potable Water - Release
• Grifcote Bio-Gold - Environmentally Friendly Release
• Grifcote CC-1S0 VOC - Premium Seasoning Agent
• Cast-O-Magic, Con-Solver and Liquid Chisel
• Corrosion Inhibitor for Steel Forms

https://precast.org/theprecastshow/


More News from the Precast Show


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.

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 Bulletins and Technical Papers for Concrete Casting Products

Tags: Concrete, Casting Solutions, Concrete Casting Products, Concrete Casting Supplies, Concrete Casting, Precast Concrete, Precast Show, Concrete Form Release Agent, National Precast Concrete Association

Producers' Guide: Form Release Agents

Posted by M.K. Hurd on Mar 5, 2020 8:00:00 AM

Excerpt from the February 2000 Concrete Construction Article by M.K. Hurd

Concrete form-release agents represent only a small fraction of the cost of a manufactured concrete item, but they have a big influence on the quality and success of the concrete surface.

Though no American Concrete Institute or ASTM standards define these products, common usage suggests that form release agents are materials containing proprietary reactive ingredients specifically formulated for use on concrete forms. ACI 301-96, “Standard Specification for Structural Concrete,” does, however, give performance-based requirements for release agents. Section 2.2.1.30 says to use “commercially manufactured form-release agents that will prevent formwork absorption of moisture, prevent bond with concrete, and not stain concrete surfaces.”

Concrete Form Release Application photo

Today, precasters can choose from among hundreds of form-release products, and new ones are still being developed. Many changes have been introduced as manufacturers scramble to meet federal and state environmental regulations, particularly with respect to volatile organic compounds (VOCs).

With the myriad form-release products available, how do you select the best one for a particular application? Here are a few of the fundamental questions you should ask:

  • On what form surfaces can it be used?
  • Will it provide clean, easy release without damage to either the concrete or the form?
  • Will it produce a stain- and blemish-free concrete surface?
  • Is it compatible with admixtures in the fresh concrete and with surface coatings that may be applied later to the hardened concrete?
  • Is it ready for use without site mixing, and is it appropriate for anticipated casting and curing temperatures?
  • Is it user-friendly and compliant with environmental regulations?

The table on pages 61-68 answers some of these questions and summarizes manufacturers’ recommendations for many currently available form release products. How release agents work Release agents are classified by how they work rather than what they contain. Two basic categories are barrier agents and chemically active agents (also referred to as reactive agents). Some release agents are a combination of the two types. Barrier-type release agents create a barrier between the form surface and the fresh concrete, preventing the concrete from sticking to the form

Read More

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.

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 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, Concrete Construction Magazine

Composition of Concrete Release Agents

Posted by Jonathan Meier on Feb 28, 2020 2:14:18 PM

Content from Civil Engineering

The quality of the concrete finish is affected by many factors. These include the concrete mix design and  its constituents, the formwork, the compaction, the temperature and the curing process and also the mold or formwork release agent used. The influence of the release agent is described below and advice is given on how to select and use concrete release agents correctly.

Composition of Release Agents

Release agents can be formulated from up to three different types of ingredients.

  • Release Film Formers
  • Additives
  • Thinners

Spraying Concrete Release Agent

Release Film Formers

These include the base materials, which are largely responsible for the release effect (usually various oils).
Used or waste oil was once the main concrete release substance, but these should not be used nowadays due to their quality fluctuations and also for environmental reasons. In addition to mineral oil distillates and simple raffinates (with a variable hydrocarbon content), there are now high-grade mineral oil products on the market (such as technical white oils and paraffin oils) and it is possible to obtain low-aromatic or practically aromatic free oils – depending on the refining process and conditions (e.g. medical white oil). The lower the aromatics content, the more environmentally friendly and easy to use this product is. Special synthetic oils can also be obtained from paraffin wax by the hydrocracking process. Some products which are used as release agents are rapidly biodegradable, such as vegetable oils, but these are extremely sensitive to temperature, unlike the synthetic oils, which can safely be used over a broader temperature range.

Additives

These are materials used to achieve additional or intensified effects and to improve product stability. They include release boosters (usually fatty acids or their derivatives), wetting agents, rust inhibitors, preservatives and surfactants required for emulsions. Most of the release agents in use today contain additives which react chemically with the concrete (to disrupt the setting process). It is then much easier to separate concrete from formwork and a more general-purpose product can be produced. This effect occurs because these fatty acids, or their derivatives, react with alkaline hydroxides in the cement to form calcium soaps and water.

Thinners

These products act as viscosity reducers for the release-film formers and additives described above. Their purpose is to adjust the workability, layer or coating thickness and the drying time before concreting can take place. Thinners are generally organic solvents (usually aliphatic hydrocarbons) or water in the case of water-based emulsion products.

Read More

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.

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 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, Civil Engineer Magazine

The Importance of Precast Concrete Cistern pH

Posted by Jonathan Meier on Feb 21, 2020 2:34:44 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


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.

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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, Precast Concrete, Concrete Form Release Agent, NSF/ANSI 61 Potable Water, Precast Concrete Drinking Water Tanks

Coating Tilt Up Concrete Walls

Posted by Hill and Griffith Company on Oct 24, 2019 3:55:17 PM

Originally published in the March 2011 issue of Concrete Construction

Q: The painted surfaces of some of the tilt-up concrete walls on our projects seem to develop blisters, peeling, or flaking shortly after application. Sometimes this occurs after it rains. Is there anything different about tilt-up walls that makes this happen?

A: As with any paint or coating project, the key to good results is paying attention to the three Ps: Prep, Prime, and Paint. Procedures for painting and coating concrete surfaces are different from other surfaces, and tilt-up concrete surfaces do require special preparation.

Causes of Defects on Tilt Up Concrete Walls

Surface Preparation: The most likely reason for blistering and peeling in a tilt-up wall, especially if it occurs shortly after it rains, is failure to remove the mold release agents and bond breakers used for casting the concrete component.

This is the big difference between tilt-up concrete and other forms: It is cast on the jobsite in concrete forms. After the concrete wall or column has cured, a mobile crane tilts the piece up and moves it into place, where it is braced into position and secured. Painting contractors may not always be fully aware of this because they arrive on the jobsite after the walls are in place.

To prevent the concrete from adhering to the molds, contractors apply release agents, or bond breakers, to the mold before the concrete is poured. These release agents can be solvent-based, water-based, oil-based, silicone-based, silicone-free, silicone water-based and many other proprietary combinations. But they all perform the same function—they create lower surface energy between the concrete form and the concrete to mitigate adhesion. The objective is to be able to lift the cured concrete from the casting mold smoothly and cleanly.

Unfortunately, release agent residue also can inhibit adhesion of coatings and paint to the concrete surface. Most painting contractors are aware of this, and paint companies do a good job of educating painters about the need to remove release agent residue before painting or coating tilt-up concrete surfaces. Power washing at the specified pressure using the specified cleaning solvent should do the trick, but there are two cautions.

One, be methodical and thorough when power washing. Two, there is a trend toward making release agents and paints/coatings more compatible, but it is always prudent to power wash the surface first. Even with “compatible” release agents, if too much was applied to one area, it could swamp the system and adversely affect coating adhesion.

All concrete surfaces must be washed before coating to remove dirt, dust, and excess sand anyway, so always take the extra step of power washing tilt-up concrete to remove any release agent residue, whether they are compatible or not.

Read More


Additional news from Concrete Construction

Repairing Bugholes

Concrete Form Maintenance


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.

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 Bulletins and Technical Papers for Concrete Casting Products

Tags: Concrete Form Release Agents, Concrete Casting Products, Concrete Casting Supplies, Concrete Pipe, Concrete Safety, Precast Concrete, Grifcote FR 50 Concrete Form Release, Bio Gold Concrete Form Release, Grifcote, Concrete Construction Magazine

5 Options for Dry-Cast Concrete Pipe Dip Tank Maintenance

Posted by Hill and Griffith Company on Oct 10, 2019 2:24:06 PM

Originally published in the May-June issue of 2015 PRECAST INC, by Bob Waterloo

Maintaining the optimum reactive level of form release agents in pipe production dip tanks ensures performance and quality. 

Dip tanks play a critical role in the dry-cast pipe production process for many manufacturers. The reactive properties of the fatty acids in the form release agent enable the pipe to release from the pallet/header smoothly. Here’s the problem. The cement/concrete residue left behind when headers are dipped starts to negate the reactive properties of the fatty acids.

Left unchecked, the form release agent eventually begins to lose its effectiveness, pipes will not pull easily from the headers and quality could suffer. The solution: implement a regular program of monitoring and maintenance that keeps the form release at the optimum reactive release level and reduces replacement and disposal costs.

Precast Pipe Dip Tank Maintenance

Benefits of a dip tank
Reactive form release agents are the accepted standard in today’s precast and pipe-forming operations. Fatty acids, which are found in an infinite number of blends, are the most commonly used reactive material. Fatty acids have the unique ability to react with the free lime on the surface of the concrete, which results in a nonviolent chemical reaction. This neutralization (or saponification) forms a metallic soap, allowing the product to release easily.

There are several benefits to using a dip tank to apply form release during pipe-forming operations, including complete coverage, proper release and reduced chance of operator error. However, a common occurrence when using this method of manufacturing is increasing difficulty with “pulls” or “tip-outs” during stripping over a period of production time. This is generally the result of decreased reactive material in the dip tank as contaminants enter the system and negate some of the reactive material.

Maintaining the dip tank
Two areas must be addressed in the preventive maintenance program for this type of equipment:

  1. Regular maintenance to remove sludge that accumulates in the bottom of the dip tank
  2. Regular maintenance of the release agent’s reactive levels for effective release

The sludge generated in the dip tank includes contaminants from previously dipped headers/joint rings. These contaminants negate the reactive portion of the form release. As the reactive portion of the release agent gradually decreases, the possibility of concrete sticking to the headers increases, causing a more difficult release. The rate of decrease is gradual and depends on many factors, including rate of production and amount of contaminants allowed to enter the dip tank.

Ring-Oiling

Removing contaminants
Rather than disposing of the entire tank of form release, transfer it to a holding tank and shovel out the sludge. Because the sludge typically contains petroleum hydrocarbons, disposal should be in compliance with local regulations. Then, transfer the recovered form release agent back into the dip tank and top it off with fresh release agent.

Remember that by adding fresh release agent to the recovered material, rather than using all new release agent, reactive levels will be reduced and release problems will occur sooner unless the reactive portion is tested and brought back to a normal level. The discoloration of the recovered material from the dip tank is not relevant to the release characteristics, or levels of reactive material.

Maintaining reactive release levels
Maintaining the correct level of reactive agent in the form release is quite simple. Test the recovered material and bring the reactive portion back to optimum levels.

Test a sample from the dip tank (less than one ounce is sufficient) for the reactive level through either titration or infrared analysis. Your release agent supplier should be able to tell you the optimum level of reactive material required and may be able to run the analysis for you. Once you determine the level of fatty acids, a number of simple calculations determine the amount of pure reactive agent to be added to the dip tank to bring it back to the optimum reactive level.

After adding the recommended amount of reactive material to the dip tank, use an air lance for mixing for a minimum of two minutes, making sure to cover the entire area of the dip tank. Then top off the dip tank with fresh release agent and air lance again for good distribution.

Depending on the amount of contaminants and reduced reactive material, the timeframe between tests will vary. One way to determine the frequency between tests is to establish a baseline. Begin with tests every 30 days, which should be recorded, until a history can be compiled to determine the needed frequency. The normal frequency of adding more reactive ingredients is typically five gallons for every six weeks of regular production.

In many cases, production workers can see the reduced effectiveness of release agents. It’s important to train them to notify management to add additional reactive material to the dip tank. As usual, science is best, but practical application and analysis are also important.

Total replacement of form release
While removing sludge and maintaining dip tanks by adding new release as needed make sense from an environmental and cost perspective, on occasion, you may feel it necessary to clean the entire dip tank to remove all residual sludge and refill the cleaned dip tank with fresh release agent.

Cost-effectiveness
Dip tank maintenance comes down to five options. Option 1 is the least cost-effective, while Option 5 is the most cost-effective.

Option 1: Drain the dip tank, dispose of the sludge and old release material, then refill only with fresh form release agent.
Option 2: Remove the form release from the dip tank, dispose of the sludge, refill the dip tank with fresh form release, then use the recovered form release to replenish the dip tank as necessary.
Option 3: Remove the form release from the dip tank, dispose of the sludge, refill the tank with recovered form release, then top off with fresh form release.
Option 4: Remove the form release from dip tank, dispose of the sludge, test the recovered form release, add reactive ingredient to bring it back to an optimum level, then top off with fresh form release.
Option 5: If there is not enough sludge to remove but the release is not as good as it should be, test for the reactive level of the release agent in the tank, then add reactive material to return it to an optimum level.

In the long run, a little care and attention to the reactive content level in the dip tank will help to reduce labor costs and maintain or improve casting appearance.


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