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Commercial Slab Care Series - 2. The Risk and Dangers of Unstable Slabs

Posted by Drew Robinson on Oct 17, 2023 10:00:00 AM

Banner - Commercial Slab Care Series - 2. The Risk and Dangers of Unstable Slabs

Body - Commercial Slab Care Series - 2. The Risk and Dangers of Unstable SlabsIn the previous post, the basics of slab leveling, and soil stabilization were introduced, along with a discussion on the types of commercial properties commonly affected by these issues. Today's focus will be on delving deeper into the specific risks and dangers that different industries face when it comes to sinking slabs and unstable soil.

Warehouses and Manufacturing Plants


  • Damage to Inventory: Sinking slabs can lead to uneven floors, causing racks to tilt and possibly collapse, damaging the stored goods.
  • Machinery Misalignment: Production lines and heavy machinery require level surfaces for optimal operation. A sinking slab can lead to misalignment, affecting production quality and efficiency.
  • Operational Delays: Uneven surfaces can slow down the movement of goods within the warehouse, leading to delays and increased operational costs.


  • Forklift Accidents: Uneven floors can cause forklifts to tip over, leading to potential injuries and damage to goods.
  • Employee Safety: Trip hazards due to uneven floors can result in falls, leading to injuries and potential workers' compensation claims.

Retail Centers and Public Spaces


  • Damage to Store Fixtures: Sinking slabs can lead to tilted shelves and display units, causing merchandise to fall and get damaged.
  • Reputation: The appearance of cracked or uneven floors can deter customers, affecting foot traffic and sales.
  • Legal Liability: If a customer trips and falls due to an uneven surface, the property owner could be held liable for injuries.


  • Customer Safety: Trip and fall hazards can result in injuries to customers, leading to potential lawsuits and a tarnished reputation.
  • Employee Well-being: Staff members are also at risk of tripping over uneven surfaces, which can lead to injuries and absenteeism.

Healthcare and Educational Institutions


  • Equipment Misalignment: In healthcare settings, specialized medical equipment like MRI machines and surgical tables require level surfaces for accurate operation. Sinking slabs can lead to misalignment, affecting patient care.
  • Facility Damage: Lecture halls, classrooms, and laboratories in educational institutions can suffer from structural damage, affecting the quality of education.
  • Operational Disruption: Both healthcare and educational facilities are places where timely service is crucial. Structural issues can lead to room closures and service interruptions.


  • Patient and Student Safety: Trip hazards can be especially problematic in healthcare settings, where patients may already be in a vulnerable state. In educational institutions, the safety of young students is a primary concern.
  • Emergency Response: In healthcare settings, uneven floors can impede the quick movement of medical staff during emergencies, potentially affecting patient outcomes.

If you recognize your industry in this list and have not yet assessed the state of your property's slabs and soil, it's time to consult with professionals. Specialized contractors can provide industry-specific solutions to mitigate these risks and dangers effectively.

For more information on concrete leveling and soil stabilization...

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Topics: All Posts, Lift Slabs, Stabilize Soil, Commercial Property Manager Resources

Commercial Slab Care Series - 1. Understanding the Basics

Posted by Drew Robinson on Oct 16, 2023 10:00:00 AM

Banner - Commercial Slab Care Series - 1. Understanding the Basics

Body - Commercial Slab Care Series - 1. Understanding the BasicsIf you own or manage a commercial property, you've likely heard the terms "slab leveling" and "soil stabilization." But what do these terms mean, and why should you care? This blog post aims to demystify these critical processes and shed light on their importance for maintaining the structural integrity and safety of your property.

Concrete Leveling and Soil Stabilization

Slab leveling refers to the process of correcting uneven or sinking concrete slabs. Over time, the soil beneath these slabs can shift or settle, causing the concrete to become uneven. Soil stabilization, on the other hand, involves treating the soil to improve its load-bearing capacity, thereby preventing future sinking or shifting of the slab.

Types of Commercial Properties Affected

Almost every type of commercial property has areas with large concrete slabs. Whether you own a warehouse, a retail center, or an office building, chances are you have concrete slabs that could be affected by sinking or shifting soil. Here's a quick list of property types commonly affected:

  • Warehouses and Distribution Centers
  • Manufacturing Plants
  • Retail Centers and Malls
  • Office Buildings
  • Data Centers
  • Airport Terminals and Hangars
  • Parking Garages
  • Hotels and Resorts
  • Hospitals and Medical Centers
  • Educational Institutions
  • Sports Arenas and Stadiums
  • Convention Centers
  • Grocery Stores and Supermarkets
  • Auto Dealerships and Service Centers
  • Public Transit Stations
  • Theaters and Cinemas
  • Fitness Centers and Gyms
  • Restaurants and Cafes
  • Self-Storage Facilities
  • Agricultural Facilities

Why It Matters

Ignoring the signs of sinking slabs and unstable soil can lead to a host of problems, ranging from minor inconveniences to major structural issues. Here are some reasons why you should take these issues seriously:

Safety Risks

Uneven slabs create trip hazards, putting employees, customers, and visitors at risk of injury. In a worst-case scenario, this could lead to lawsuits or regulatory action against your business.

Structural Integrity

Sinking slabs and unstable soil can compromise the structural integrity of your building. Over time, this can lead to more severe problems like cracks in the walls, misaligned doors and windows, and even structural failure in extreme cases.

Operational Efficiency

In industrial settings like warehouses and manufacturing plants, uneven slabs can disrupt the smooth operation of machinery, leading to inefficiencies and increased operational costs.

Aesthetic Appeal

For retail centers and hotels, aesthetic appeal is crucial for attracting customers. Sinking slabs and cracked floors can significantly diminish the appearance of your property, affecting your business's reputation.

Financial Implications

Ignoring the problem today can lead to more expensive repairs down the line. Early intervention is often more cost-effective, saving you money in the long run.

For more information on concrete leveling and soil stabilization...

Download an Info-Packed Slab Lift Brochure!

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Topics: All Posts, Lift Slabs, Stabilize Soil, Commercial Property Manager Resources

Soil Behavior Series - 4. Polyurethane Grouts in Action

Posted by Drew Robinson on Oct 4, 2023 10:00:00 AM

Banner - Polyurethane Grouts in Action

Body - Polyurethane Grouts in ActionThe field of geotechnical engineering is one filled with both uncertainties and innovations. At the intersection of theory and practice, polyurethane grouts have showcased their prowess in not only addressing challenges but also in revolutionizing soil stabilization techniques. Today, let's explore three real-world scenarios where polyurethane grouts stood as the unsung heroes.

1st Case Study - Protecting a Building Foundation Next to an Excavation Site

In the sunny locale of Juno Beach, Florida, at the Loggerhead Marinelife Center, a new sea turtle habitat was in the works. But, as excavations commenced, the general contracting company faced a critical challenge. The foundation of an adjacent building stood precariously close, vulnerable to destabilization.

Scenario: A solution was essential not just for the safety of the building but for the integrity of the marine habitat.

Action: Recognizing the need for a specialized approach, a soil stabilization contractor was deployed. They erected a polyurethane grout wall using AP Soil 600, a top-tier product known for permeation grouting. The emphasis on environmentally safe repair materials was of paramount importance given the marine context. Using a staggered pattern for injection rods ensured the soil was permeated consistently with the grout, stabilizing the ground.

Outcome: A total of 500 gallons of grout was injected, forming a robust grout wall. Completed in a mere two days, the resin cured within 24 hours. By the next working day, excavations resumed without the looming fear of undermining the neighboring foundation.

2nd Case Study - Deep Soil Stabilization at a Shopping Center

City Creek Center, a plush shopping mall in downtown Salt Lake City, offers more than just a shopping experience. Beneath its gleaming facade, it bore the scars of a decade-old construction challenge.

Scenario: A sidewalk, built over a five-foot-wide trench filled with pea gravel, started to show signs of strain when the gravel began to settle. This created havoc with the underground power lines, affecting local businesses.

Action: Engineers, tapping into the potential of polyurethane grouts, envisioned a deep stabilization approach. AP Fill 700 was chosen for its dual ability to permeate soil and fill voids, ensuring both strength and stability. With a meticulously charted injection plan, the geotechnical team started their descent into the ground.

Outcome: Using a methodical approach, the crew injected the grout at depths of up to 30 feet, successfully stabilizing the trench. The swift two-day operation allowed for the general contractor to proceed with their repairs, restoring normalcy to the mall.

3rd Case Study - Stabilizing Soil at a Busy Intersection

At a bustling intersection in Orange County, Florida, traffic was threatened by a lurking danger below. A depression, caused by an improperly sealed underground sewer line, undermined the road's integrity.

Scenario: Water infiltration and soil erosion compounded the problem, creating voids that could lead to a catastrophic collapse.

Action: Instead of opting for a traditional, disruptive repair approach, the Orange County officials sought out Alchatek’s expertise in chemical grouting. AP Fill 700, with its versatility, was employed for both permeation and void filling. With a grid-based injection plan, pipes were driven deep into the affected zone, simultaneously sealing off leaks and stabilizing the soil.

Outcome: Two focused interventions on subsequent Saturdays ensured that the major intersection faced minimal disruption. The voids were addressed, the soil stabilized, and the potential for a disastrous cave-in was averted. A testament to the power and efficiency of polyurethane grouts.

Polyurethane grouts, with their unique properties and versatile applications, are reshaping the geotechnical landscape. These case studies not only underline their effectiveness but also highlight their role in sustainable, efficient, and less invasive solutions.

For more information on soil stabilization with polyurethane...

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Topics: All Posts, Stabilize Soil, Engineer Resources

Soil Behavior Series - 3. The Role of Polyurethane Grout in Ground Predictability

Posted by Drew Robinson on Oct 3, 2023 10:00:00 AM

Banner - The Role of Polyurethane Grout in Ground Predictability

Body - The Role of Polyurethane Grout in Ground PredictabilityIn the complex field of geotechnical engineering, understanding the behavior of the ground is a challenging but essential task. One effective tool for soil stabilization and ground treatment is the use of polyurethane grouts. This article discusses how polyurethane grouts have become a valuable tool for enhancing soil predictability and addressing various geotechnical challenges.

What is Polyurethane Grout?

Before exploring its applications, it's helpful to understand what polyurethane grout is:

  • Composition: Polyurethane grouts are man-made polymers that react with moisture when injected into soil, expanding and hardening into a stable, water-resistant mass.
  • Versatility: Different formulations of these grouts are available, making them adaptable to various soil conditions and stabilization needs. Both hydrophobic and hydrophilic versions exist, providing further flexibility.

Soil Stabilization

One of the main uses of polyurethane grouts is to improve the stability of soil:

  1. Filling Voids: Voids in the ground can lead to structural instability. Polyurethane grouts expand to fill these gaps, aiding in maintaining ground stability.
  2. Compaction Grouting: In areas with loose soils, these grouts can be applied for compaction, resulting in a more stable ground and reducing the likelihood of future settlement.
  3. Improving Cohesion in Sandy Soils: Polyurethane grout is especially effective in sandy terrains, which often lack natural cohesion. The grout helps bind the soil particles together, reducing the risk of shifting.

Water Management and Sealing

Besides stabilization, polyurethane grouts are also useful for water management:

  1. Water Cut-offs: Unplanned water ingress at construction sites can be a concern. These grouts create a water-resistant barrier, effectively cutting off unwanted water pathways.
  2. Sealing Leaks: These grouts are valuable for sealing leaks in underground structures like tunnels and basements, ensuring the structures remain watertight.
  3. Preventing Soil Liquefaction: By reducing soil permeability, polyurethane grouts can lower the risk of soil liquefaction, which is particularly relevant in seismic zones.

Environmental Considerations

Polyurethane grouts offer some environmental advantages:

  1. Reduced Excavation: Traditional stabilization methods often involve extensive digging, which can affect the local ecosystem. Grouting requires less excavation, reducing the environmental impact.
  2. Aquifer Protection: Contaminating groundwater is a serious concern. Polyurethane grouts can assist by sealing off potential sources of contamination.
  3. Site Reclamation: Contaminated or disturbed sites can be rehabilitated more effectively due to the barrier properties of these grouts.

Interactions with Various Soil Types

The performance of polyurethane grouts can vary depending on soil conditions:

  1. Clayey Soils: These grouts can modify the properties of clay soils, making them less susceptible to water absorption and subsequent expansion.
  2. Silty Terrains: In silty conditions, the grouts help in binding the fine soil particles, thus improving overall stability.
  3. Rocky Formations: In rocky terrains, polyurethane grouts can act as sealants for fissures or cracks, enhancing structural safety.

Expanding Applications

The utility of polyurethane grouts extends beyond conventional uses:

  1. Heritage Preservation: Historical structures can benefit from soil stabilization techniques that employ these grouts.
  2. Agricultural Use: These grouts can be beneficial for improving soil stability and water retention in agricultural settings.
  3. Innovative Construction: Whether it's constructing in challenging terrains or developing underground spaces, polyurethane grouts offer several possibilities.

Polyurethane grouts have become a dependable tool in the realm of geotechnical engineering. With their adaptability and effectiveness, they play a positive role in soil stabilization and ground treatment. As construction projects continue to evolve, these grouts will likely be increasingly useful in ensuring the stability and security of our built environment.

For more information on soil stabilization with polyurethane...

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Topics: All Posts, Stabilize Soil, Engineer Resources

Soil Behavior Series - 2. Challenges in Soil Behavior Forecasting

Posted by Drew Robinson on Sep 28, 2023 10:00:00 AM

Banner - Soil Behavior Series - Challenges in Soil Behavior Forecasting

Body - Soil Behavior Series - Challenges in Soil Behavior ForecastingEvery structure, from the smallest building to the grandest bridge, rests upon a complex substrate known as soil. However, the interplay of factors affecting soil behavior has made it a tricky entity to predict. This unpredictability poses significant challenges to engineers, architects, and environmentalists. The current discourse seeks to uncover the intricacies behind the daunting task of soil behavior forecasting, shedding light on the myriad of influences and their profound implications.

Complex Nature of Soil Composition

At the outset, the heterogeneous nature of soil presents the first forecasting challenge:

  1. Variability: Even within a small plot of land, the soil's composition can vary dramatically. This spatial variability, from one location to another, means that predicting soil behavior isn't a one-size-fits-all process.
  2. Temporal Changes: Soil isn't static. Over time, its properties can change due to biological activity, seasonal effects, or human interventions. Such dynamic alterations further complicate prediction efforts.

Moisture Content Variations

Water, as an integral component of soil, wields significant influence:

  1. Influence on Soil Strength: Moisture content directly impacts soil's shear strength. For instance, some soils may lose strength with increased moisture, posing risks to structures.
  2. Fluctuations Due to Climate: Seasonal variations, rainfall events, and droughts can dramatically alter soil's moisture content. In areas prone to heavy rains or flooding, soil liquefaction becomes a critical concern.
  3. Human Activities: Agricultural practices, drainage systems, and construction can either deprive or inundate soils with water, affecting their mechanical properties.

External Pressures and Loads

The forces exerted on the soil play a pivotal role:

  1. Static Loads: Structures exert constant pressures on the soil. Predicting how soil will behave under these continuous loads, especially in the long term, is essential for structural safety.
  2. Dynamic Loads: These are non-constant, changing forces such as vehicular traffic, machinery vibrations, or even seismic activities. Soils' response to dynamic loads, particularly in terms of resilience and damping, poses a forecasting challenge.
  3. Ground Movement: Geological activities, such as tectonic plate movements, can result in ground displacement, impacting the soil's structure and behavior.

Chemical Interactions

Beyond the physical, the chemical realm of soil is rife with complexities:

  1. Soil Contamination: Industrial activities, waste disposal, and chemical spills can introduce contaminants. These chemicals may alter the soil's physical properties, making prediction efforts more complex.
  2. Salinity and Alkalinity: In areas with high salinity or alkalinity, soil behavior becomes erratic due to chemical interactions between salts, minerals, and organic matter.
  3. Biochemical Processes: The decomposition of organic matter, microbial activities, and root penetration can change the soil's chemical makeup, influencing its overall behavior.

Impact of Vegetation and Root Systems

Plants and their root systems offer both stabilization and complications:

  1. Root-Soil Interactions: While roots can bind soil particles, offering stability against erosion, their growth can also create voids and channels, affecting soil density and compaction.
  2. Uptake of Water: Plants continuously draw water from the soil, altering its moisture content. In large, vegetated areas, this can significantly influence soil behavior.
  3. Decomposition: As plants die and decompose, they alter the soil's organic content, impacting its physical and chemical properties.

Temporal and Historical Factors

The history of the soil plays a silent, yet crucial role:

  1. Previous Stress and Strain History: Soils "remember" the loads they've experienced. This memory can affect their future behavior, especially when subjected to similar stresses.
  2. Aging: Over time, soil particles undergo changes due to continuous environmental interactions, impacting their strength and behavior.
  3. Previous Human Interventions: Activities like excavation, filling, compaction, or tunneling can leave lasting impacts on soil behavior.

The unpredictable nature of the soil, stemming from its multifaceted influences, makes forecasting its behavior a monumental task. However, recognizing and understanding these challenges is the first step toward effective prediction.

For information on soil stabilization with polyurethane...

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Topics: All Posts, Stabilize Soil, Engineer Resources

Soil Behavior Series - 1. Laying the Groundwork

Posted by Drew Robinson on Sep 27, 2023 10:00:00 AM

Banner - Soil Behavior Series - Laying the Groundwork

Body - Soil Behavior Series - Laying the GroundworkSoil, in its seemingly simplistic form, conceals a vast universe of complexity beneath its surface. As the very bedrock upon which humanity has built civilizations, its importance cannot be understated. This foundation of every structure holds secrets, each granule and layer telling tales of time, pressure, and the ever-evolving processes of Earth.

The Components of Soil

To begin, one must recognize the ingredients that constitute soil. Soil is not just "dirt." It is a harmonious blend of minerals, organic matter, water, and air. Each component plays a pivotal role in determining the soil's overall behavior.

  • Minerals: These primary solid components, derived from weathered rocks, give soil its texture. Depending on the relative proportions of sand, silt, and clay, soils are classified into various types like sandy, silty, or clayey.
  • Organic Matter: Comprising decomposed plants, animals, and microbial entities, organic matter enriches the soil, enhancing its fertility and water retention capacity.
  • Water: Present in the spaces between soil particles, water plays a significant role in the soil's compaction, strength, and ability to support structures.
  • Air: Just as essential as water, the air in the soil provides the necessary oxygen to plant roots and soil organisms, influencing the soil's overall health.

The Physical Properties of Soil

Once acquainted with the components, a deeper dive into the physical properties of soil is warranted:

  1. Texture: As mentioned, texture stems from the relative percentages of sand, silt, and clay in the soil. This property affects aeration, drainage, and the soil's ability to retain moisture.
  2. Structure: This refers to how soil particles bond and aggregate together. Granular, platy, blocky, and columnar are some structural forms. A soil's structure can influence root penetration, water movement, and aeration.
  3. Porosity: Alluding to the spaces between soil particles, porosity dictates how quickly soil can absorb water and how much it can retain.
  4. Density: Soil density impacts its ability to support structures. Two types are noteworthy: bulk density (the mass of dry soil per unit volume, including air space) and particle density (the mass of particles per unit volume).
  5. Color: While seemingly aesthetic, soil color can indicate its composition and fertility. Darker soils, for instance, tend to be more organic-rich.

Mechanical Behavior and Soil Strength

The mechanical behavior of soil is of prime importance to geotechnical engineers. A soil's response to stress, its ability to compact or shear, and its overall strength, govern the stability of structures built upon it.

  • Shear Strength: This is a measure of soil's ability to resist shearing forces. It is influenced by factors like cohesion (internal molecular attraction) and friction between soil particles.
  • Consistency: Referring to a soil's firmness or plasticity, it's an indicator of its water content. Terms like hard, firm, plastic, or liquid are used to describe the soil's consistency.
  • Compressibility and Consolidation: Under external pressures, soils tend to compress. Compressibility is a measure of this behavior. Over time, water is expelled from the soil, leading to consolidation and further settlement.

Chemical and Biological Properties

Beyond the physical and mechanical aspects, soils are bustling ecosystems. The chemical interactions within soil dictate nutrient availability, pH levels, and more. Microorganisms, fungi, and various fauna contribute to organic matter decomposition, soil aeration, and nutrient cycling.

  • pH Levels: Soils can be acidic, neutral, or alkaline. The pH level influences the solubility of nutrients and affects microbial activity.
  • Cation Exchange Capacity (CEC): An indicator of soil fertility, CEC measures the soil's ability to retain and exchange positively charged ions (cations).
  • Microbial Activity: Soil teems with life. Bacteria, fungi, and other microorganisms play essential roles in breaking down organic matter, fixing nitrogen, and maintaining soil health.

Soil, often taken for granted, is a marvel of nature. Its complexities underpin the very structures humanity erects, the food that is cultivated, and the ecosystems that thrive. By understanding its behavior and properties, we don't just become better builders or farmers, but more informed stewards of the land. As the foundation of life, understanding soil becomes not just a scientific endeavor but a necessary step in ensuring a sustainable future.

For information on soil stabilization with polyurethane...

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Topics: All Posts, Stabilize Soil, Engineer Resources

Polymer Soil Stabilization: Specification Guidance for Geotechnical Engineers

Posted by Colt Hullander on Sep 21, 2023 10:00:00 AM

Banner - Polymer Soil Stabilization – Specification Guidance for Geotechnical Engineers

Body - Polymer Soil Stabilization – Specification Guidance for Geotechnical EngineersUnstable soils present significant challenges in civil engineering projects. Whether caused by erosion, improper compaction, freeze-thaw action, or decay of buried organic matter, loose and shifting soils undermine structural integrity. Together, these mechanisms prevent soil from remaining firmly in place. This necessitates methods to stabilize and strengthen the matrix. Geotechnical engineers must find solutions to reinforce the substrate and restore load-bearing capacity.

Polymer injection grouting offers an innovative approach, transforming loose soil into a strong, consolidated mass. These polymeric resins permeate porous soils and compact denser soils, then expand and cure in place. The resulting soil-polymer matrix has high compressive strength, stopping subsidence, erosion, and migration of fines. Alchatek's standard soil stabilization products and deep soil stabilization products provide specification-grade stabilization.

Polymer Foam Stabilization Mechanisms

  • Permeation of loose sediments, gluing them into a firm matrix
  • Displacement of water from eroded zones, reversing further erosion
  • Filling of void spaces from decayed organics or poor compaction
  • Adhesion to soil particles creates a strong substrate

Additionally, these foams are NSF/ANSI/CAN 61 certified for contact with potable water supplies. This enables environmentally safe use.

Performance Characteristics

Polymeric foams provide exceptional soil stabilization and foundational reinforcement. Key advantages include:

  • Ability to permeate and treat loose or unstable soils in situ without excavation
  • Ability to compact dense soils such as clay
  • High compressive and shear strength, restoring structural load capacity
  • Permanent stabilization without ongoing maintenance requirements
  • Mitigation of subsidence or erosion with bonded soil matrix

When applied correctly, polymeric foams offer lasting soil stabilization and ground improvement. Alchatek case studies document successful performance for applications including commercial, industrial, new construction, and other geotechnical engineering projects.

Additional Guidance for Geotechnical Engineers

Specify these advanced soil grouting products to permanently resolve instability issues. They deliver rapid installation, minimal invasive work, and results that last. Let us provide guidance on product selection, specs, and installation techniques for your next soil stabilization project. Polymer grouting is an innovative, low-impact way to reinforce unstable ground.

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Topics: All Posts, Stabilize Soil, Engineer Resources, Deep Lock

Precision in Polyurethane Grouting: A Look at Modern Injection Equipment

Posted by Jacob Bryant on Sep 14, 2023 10:00:00 AM

Banner - Precision in Grouting A Look at Modern Injection Equipment

Body - Precision in Grouting A Look at Modern Injection EquipmentPolyurethane grouting is an essential process in construction and infrastructure projects with the need to lift structures, fill voids, and stabilize soil. While polyurethane grouting has been utilized for decades, advancements in technology and technique have enabled a new level of precision and control in modern grouting applications. Innovations in polyurethane injection methods and equipment allow design and construction teams to achieve highly accurate, consistent injections for maximum strength and longevity. 

Precision is critical in polyurethane grouting applications. Inadequate filling of voids or inconsistent distribution of grout can lead to structural instability, settlement, and even collapse. Precise injections ensure that soil is saturated, voids are filled, and slabs are leveled accurately. This provides uniform load distribution and protection against shifting, vibration, and erosion. Precision also prevents wasted materials and rework due to incorrect amounts or placement of grout. 

Modern polyurethane grouting equipment and techniques enable accurate monitoring and adjustment of grout injection rates, depths, pressures, and consistency. Some examples of modern technology include: 

  • Hydraulic and Electric Pumps: Modern polyurethane injection equipment includes hydraulic or electric pumps. These pumps provide precise control over pressure and flow, ensuring a more uniform injection of grout material.
  • High-Pressure Injection: Modern equipment can handle high-pressure injection, making it suitable for stabilizing deep structures and addressing challenging soil conditions. High-pressure injection ensures better penetration of the polyurethane grout.
  • Remote Monitoring and Data Logging: Advanced systems come with remote monitoring and data logging capabilities when necessary. Operators can monitor the injection process remotely and collect data on pressure, flow, and other parameters for quality control and documentation.
  • Compact and Portable Systems: Some advanced injection grouting systems are designed to be compact and portable, making them easier to transport to job sites and set up quickly.
  • Safety Features: Modern equipment includes safety features such as shut-off valves and pressure relief mechanisms to protect both operators and the equipment itself.

Modern polyurethane grouting equipment has revolutionized construction and infrastructure project challenges, offering engineers and design teams an array of precision-driven advantages. The evolution of polyurethane injection equipment, including hydraulic pumps, pneumatic pumps, and computerized control systems has empowered design teams and application technicians to achieve precise outcomes.

For more information...

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Topics: Equipment & Accessories, All Posts, Lift Slabs, Stabilize Soil, Fill Voids, Engineer Resources

Hydrophobic vs Hydrophilic Polyurethanes

Posted by Charlie "The Grout Geek" Lerman on Aug 24, 2023 10:00:00 AM

Banner - Hydrophobic vs Hydrophilic Polyurethanes

The terms hydrophobic and hydrophilic may not mean anything to the average person. But, to a contractor, these terms can mean a world of difference. Hydro means water while phobic means “to fear” and philic means “to love”. Alchatek offers both hydrophobic and hydrophilic polyurethanes, so it is important to be aware of the differences between the two types.  

Hydrophobic Polyurethanes

Body - Hydrophobic vs Hydrophilic PolyurethanesHydrophobic polyurethanes naturally repel water (similar to the way oil would repel water and stay separate if you were trying to mix them in a glass). These products push water out of the area in question as they expand. Hydrophobics are used with catalysts which allow you to adjust the set time. They also have zero shrinkage after curing.

Check out these hydrophobic polyurethanes:

Hydrophilic Polyurethanes

Hydrophilic polyurethanes naturally mix with water before curing (similar to the way gin and tonic mix thoroughly in a glass). This characteristic allows for a very strong chemical and mechanical bond, as water helps pull the material into the pores of the concrete. These products do not require a catalyst. You can pump them straight out of the pail.

Check out these hydrophilic polyurethanes:

Don't Oversimplify These Concepts

Don't get caught in the trap of oversimplifying hydrophilic vs. hydrophobic.  There are varying degrees of each (see chart below for more information on how this is measured).  

Hydrophilic vs Hydrophobic.png

Some hydrophilic materials will keep absorbing water (10-15 times their original volume).  Others (such as Spetec PUR GT500) only absorb as much water as is necessary for their reaction and then they reject the rest.  Yes, hydrophilic gels will shrink like crazy in the absence of water, but Spetec PUR GT500 won't.  It is completely safe to use in a dry environment.

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Topics: All Posts, Lift Slabs, Seal Leaks, Stabilize Soil

The Causes of Unstable Soil - Decomposition

Posted by Andy Powell on Aug 17, 2023 10:00:00 AM

Banner - Causes of Unstable Soil - Decomposition

Body - Causes of Unstable Soil - DecompositionWhen the residue of plants or animals is converted into soil, the process is known as decomposition. Bacteria, fungi, and worms break down this residue, taking nutrients from them and leaving the remaining portion. Organic molecules are broken down into simpler inorganic molecules. This biological process changes the makeup of the soil and can therefore lead to soil instability.

What are the causes of decomposition?

When soil has a high concentration of organic materials, the soil will naturally begin to decompose. Throughout this process of decomposition, the mass and form of these organic materials will change. Up to 90 percent of organic material will actually disappear over the course of the decomposition process, which means the mass of the soil will decrease substantially, reducing the quantity of available soil. The causes of decomposition can be broken into two main groups: manmade and natural. Trash pits or buried construction debris can cause manmade decomposition, while tree stumps and peat content can cause natural decomposition. 

What are the signs of decomposition?

Sinkholes, unstable soil, and low spots are all indications of soil decomposition. When soil begins to decompose and shift, it can compromise the integrity of buildings, foundations, and other manmade structures. 

How can decomposition be addressed?

In some cases, it is possible to dig up the cause of decomposition. For example, it might be possible to extricate a trash pit or old construction debris from the soil. However, in other cases, this simply isn’t feasible. You can’t easily extricate a trash pit after you have already built on top of it. If removal isn’t an option, the best solution is to envelop the area with polyurethane soil stabilization material. This process is known as encapsulation, and it essentially works to compact the area and reduce the amount of oxygen and water that can get to it, thereby helping to slow decomposition.

Want in-depth info on soil stabilization procedures and products?

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Topics: All Posts, Stabilize Soil