Epoxerite, a leading South African producer of tailor-made chemical solutions, has invested in a new state-of-the-art testing laboratory at its factory in Westonaria, Gauteng.
George Weideman, managing member of Epoxerite, says that the new facility, equipped with the latest testing equipment, has significantly bolstered the company’s already-high internal quality controls.
“We have earned a reputation for the consistent high performance of our solutions, which are being deployed in extremely demanding applications where there is no room for error. This development has reaffirmed our commitment to supplying products of the highest quality to our clients operating in the demanding civil infrastructure and mining industries,” Weideman says.
The new facility has also been very well received by those contractors, suppliers and mining houses for which Epoxerite blends and packages grout products under their own labels. Regular testing ensures that these products consistently comply with exacting standards.
For example, the company blends and packages VSL Grout on behalf of VSL, one of the country’s leading post-tensioning contractors.
VSL Grout protects the company’s bonded PT strands against corrosion to ensure the durability of the PT tendons. This is in addition to serving as a bond between the tendon and the surrounding concrete.
Importantly, it needs to be predictive and consistent in all weather conditions.
Weideman and his team helped design the grout and participated in the testing of the new grout mix at an independent laboratory to ensure that it meets VSL Construction Solutions’ very high performance standards.
The results of the testing revealed extremely good fluidity traits which, importantly, did not deteriorate significantly within 30 minutes from initial mixing. This provides an extended workability window for pumping without affecting compressive strength after 24 hours.
Fluidity testing was mainly undertaken according to T(0) and T(30), and the mix demonstrated sound workability of up to an hour when agitated constantly.
Moreover, the compressive strength far exceeded the acceptance criteria set by COLTO and EN447 within 24 hours in all related tests due to the high quality of VSL CEM1 cement that is
used in the grout mix. This primary ingredient is sourced by Epoxerite from reputable suppliers and tested at its factory as part of the service.
A similar service is also being provided to M and J Mining, a manufacturer of a unique cable-grouting system that is being deployed in some of South Africa’s deepest mines.
The grout needs to reach its compressive strength within four hours so as not to interrupt the blasting teams, while providing a long pot life to allow for the installation of up to 20 pre-stressed cable anchors in a single shift.
Moreover, it must be pumpable to fill the drill holes, which are between three metres (m) and 12 m in length and vary in diameter from 38 millimetres (mm) to 51 mm.
Epoxerite is also blending and packaging grout on behalf of CoreSlab, a designer and installer of prefabricated concrete structures.
Weideman also assisted the company in designing a special grout for its new precast-concrete reservoir-wall system that was recently launched in the country.
The grout reaches a compressive strength of 100 MPa within four days and will further react when the medium comes into contact with water when the reservoir is being filled to avoid leakage between the precast-concrete panels.
Importantly, the grout also has to be extremely flowable so that it can be pumped through all the post-tensioning ducts from a single position using two pumps. Its working time is extended by cooling it down to seven degrees Celsius.
Weideman says that the new testing laboratory also supports the imminent launch of a new grout solution that the company is developing for a leading civil-engineering contractor for the roll-out of information and communications infrastructure. This is in addition to other cutting-edge chemical solutions that are now in the testing phases and due to be launched imminently.