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The beams and ceiling slabs at this mine were severely degraded.
The beams and ceiling slabs at this mine were severely degraded.

Carbon Fiber Beam and Slab Repair

Problem
Copper mining facilities often degrade faster than other facilities due to their constant exposure to vibrations, moisture, and chemicals. The concrete beams and ceiling slabs at the concentrator building in this century-old copper plant were severely degraded as a result of these vibrations and exposure to chemicals. The area, located beneath the concentrator building’s 3rd floor, was plagued with severe corrosion, de-lamination, and concrete spalling, and required structural reinforcement to maintain safe operations.
 

Dangerous through-holes had developed in the ceiling slabs between the 3rd and 4th floors.
Dangerous through-holes had developed in the ceiling slabs between the 3rd and 4th floors.

Design Scope
The concrete had de-laminated, exposing inner steel rebar to the mine's corrosive atmosphere.
The concrete had de-laminated, exposing inner steel rebar to the mine’s corrosive atmosphere.

The repair area consisted of 2 beams and 3 ceiling slabs, requiring 960 total square feet of carbon fiber. The damage occurred across the entire length and width of the beams and slabs, and large through-holes in the ceiling slabs had developed as a result of the extreme corrosion.
Installation
Before the CarbonSeal™ carbon fiber system could be installed, all de-laminated concrete was removed via pressure washer and hand tools. Exposed rebar was cleaned to near white, and missing concrete was patched. After the surface was fully prepared, HJ3’s patented CarbonSeal™ bi-directional carbon fiber fabric was applied to the beams and slabs, and uni-directional carbon fiber followed on the bottoms of each beam. The CarbonSeal™ system was then layered with a protective urethane topcoat to prevent future corrosion, and weep holes were drilled into the beams after the system had fully cured.
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HJ3’s CarbonSeal fabric is applied to the ceiling slabs.

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HJ3 applies CarbonSeal carbon fiber to one of the beams.

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The finished CarbonSeal-wrapped beam is stronger than ever before.

 
HJ3's protective urethane topcoat prevents future corrosion.
HJ3’s protective urethane topcoat prevents future corrosion.

Conclusion
All beams and slabs were successfully reinforced in a matter of 10 days. By repairing their slabs and beams with carbon fiber, as opposed to replacing them completely, the mine saved almost $150,000 while simultaneously preventing more than 1,000 lbs of steel and concrete from potentially going to landfills. Furthermore, the beam and slab repair prevented almost a ton of carbon dioxide emissions from polluting the atmosphere and more than 30,000 gallons of water from going to waste, as manufacturing replacement steel and concrete wasn’t necessary.
If you work in a mine that needs structural reinforcement, or would like more information about HJ3’s carbon fiber solutions, write us today at info@hj3.com or call us at 1-877-303-0453.