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Concrete Casting News from the Hill and Griffith Company

Water & Wastewater Tanks Product-Specific Certification

Posted by Hill and Griffith Company on Apr 9, 2020 4:07:09 PM

The National Precast Concrete Association takes quality control and validation to the next level with a new product-focused certification for water and wastewater tanks.

NPCA Certified Water Tank

Water or wastewater tanks fabricated by Listed Product participants will soon have an additional quality assurance marking to accompany NPCA Certified Plant. Photo and article from Sept. 2018 Concrete Products Magazine.

While its Plant Certification program has traditionally centered on precast concrete production processes candidate operations must abide, the just-launched Optional Product Listing for Water and Wastewater Tanks Program describes specific product models, plus design and performance criteria to obtain certification. Like other association programs, the new offering enlists independent third-party engineering firms accredited to ISO/IEC 17020:2012 for Plant Inspection.

All NPCA Certified Plants can participate in the water and wastewater tank program by completing a detailed submittal package for the model(s) they wish to list. The submittal includes plant information; product description indicating tank capacity and model number; complete set of drawings; plus, reinforcing details and structural calculations. Documents must bear structural or professional engineer stamp. Once the submittal is approved, the plant undergoes an unannounced inspection that includes a watertightness test on a tank chosen at random. The plant will be granted a product listing based on successful test completion. Listed products will appear on the NPCA site, www.precast.org, below the producer name, and with plant product schedule.

Just as Plant Certification enables quality-conscious agencies, engineers and specifiers to identify and select premier precast concrete producers, NPCA notes, the Product Listing Program takes certification one step farther to include specific water or wastewater tank models. Plants displaying the NPCA Certified Plant and NPCA Listed Product markings on their tanks underscore processes complying with industry, design and performance standards. The certification and listing programs reflect NPCA’s commitment to assisting members with maintaining excellence in precast production and operations. By setting one standard of quality, they level the playing field for all producers pursuing market segments or individual contracts.

Additional information on Plant Certification and Listed Products can be obtained from NPCA Director of Certification and Regulator Services Richard Kolewski, 800/366-7731. 


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Tags: Concrete Casting Supplies, Concrete Form Release Agent, Precast Concrete Drinking Water Tanks, Potable Water Tanks, NPCA Convention, Concrete Products Magazine

Understanding Biodegradable Concrete Form Release Agents

Posted by Hill and Griffith Company on Dec 19, 2019 11:59:10 AM

Excerpt from the May 2018 issue of Concrete Products

As consumers become more eco-conscious and more informed about how the materials they buy affect the environment, the desire for environmentally friendly products is on the rise. This holds for concrete producers and contractors as well. Whether it’s to meet specific federal and state requirements on biodegradability, volatile organic compound (VOC) exposure limits, or because customers are requesting “green” materials, owners, contractors and architects want products on their job sites that are less harmful to the environment.

There are multiple ways to measure a product’s environmental impact. These include carbon offsets, whether or not the ingredients are compostable, non-toxic, ozone-safe, recyclable, refillable, and the percentage of recycled content in the product. When it comes to chemicals used in concrete production and construction, biodegradability is a primary measurement of eco-friendliness.

WHAT QUALIFIES AS BIODEGRADABLE?

A product is classified as biodegradable when it is capable of returning to its natural, raw material state quickly through biological means. A truly biodegradable material will break down into carbon dioxide, water, biomass and other natural minerals that don’t adversely affect the ecosystem.

The Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) Green Guides, last updated in 2012, states that for marketers to make an unqualified claim on degradability, they must prove that the “entire product or package will completely break down and return to nature within one year after customary disposal.” This issue of “customary disposal” is key because the characteristics of the environment in which the material is disposed can greatly affect its ability to break down. 

READILY VS. INHERENTLY VS. ULTIMATELY BIODEGRADABLE

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the FTC recognize biodegradability by two classes, readily and inherently. (A third class, ultimately biodegradable, covers both readily and inherently biodegradable and more.) Readily and Inherently biodegradable products have the natural ability to biodegrade to their natural state when subjected to sunlight, water and microbial activity. The difference lies in how quickly they achieve complete biodegradation. To measure the speed of biodegradability, EPA recognizes a 28-day half-life. Half-life is the time required for one-half of a given component to decay.

Readily biodegradable: Product is capable of biodegrading from 60-100 percent in 28 days or less. In other words, these materials achieve complete biodegradation at a quick rate.

Inherently biodegradable: The product is capable of biodegrading from as low as 20 percent to less than 60 percent in 28 days. Such products will achieve less biodegradation than readily biodegradable products in the same time span, but eventually, they all get to the same place.

Concrete Form Release Agents Help Form Removal

BIODEGRADABLE RELEASE AGENTS

As with any industry, concrete interests have set federal guidelines for classifying products as eco-friendly. Just as federal VOC regulations are put in place to protect the ozone, biodegradability standards are in place to protect land and water from contamination. Keep in mind, states can apply more stringent requirements.

Water-based release agents are suitable for most concrete form surfaces to include steel, plastic, fiberglass and bare or overlaid plywood. They can be used on many rubber and closed-cell foam forms and are safe for use in enclosed building sites. Water-based formulations are free of conventional form oil, diesel oil and kerosene. Because they are water-based, these release agents are susceptible to freezing, usually require mixing before use, and can have a shorter shelf life due to emulsion. While water-based release agents are typically inherently biodegradable, they are not always readily biodegradable. Even a water-based formulation must meet the EPA requirements of the 28-day half-life of 60 percent or more to be considered readily biodegradable.

When temperatures allow, an environmentally responsible, water-based release agent can produce smooth, uniform concrete surfaces without staining and with minimal surface voids while providing a crisp, positive release. With proper research and due diligence, concrete producers and contractors can find an environmentally responsible option that yields quality results in a readily or inherently biodegradable formulation.

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Hill and Griffith Customer Service

We're known for our hands on approach. Let us visit your plant and recommend 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 »

Tags: Concrete, Concrete Form Release Agents, Biodegradable Concrete Form Release, Concrete Casting Products, Concrete Release Agents, Concrete Products Magazine

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