The view of “Touchdown Jesus” from Notre Dame stadium
Hesburgh Library Reinforced with HJ3 Carbon Fiber
Touchdown Jesus Reinforced with HJ3® Carbon Fiber
Notre Dame’s Theodore Hesburgh Library is home to the famous Touchdown Jesus mural, visible from the Notre Dame football stadium. The library originally opened in 1963 and was constructed from concrete block.
In this particular case, the concrete blocks of the library’s air handling system were constructed in columns rather than overlapping joints, reducing its lateral strength. Over time, changes in the air pressure as the fans were engaged exceeded the tensile strength of the concrete causing it to flex. This movement in the concrete created cracks in the mortar joints between the blocks.
The Hesburgh Library had considered the cost to replace and reconstruct the wall. However, the cost for replacement was significant due to the size and location of the walls. The alternative they went with was to use carbon fiber to reinforce the walls and contain the cracks. Rick Keller, P.E. of Keller Engineering recommended creating a strong “shell” inside the air system using carbon fiber. HJ3’s certified installer 3D Structural Solutions performed the installation.
To reduce any inconvenience of the Library being shut down, the installation was scheduled for Notre Dame’s winter break. The concrete was abraded with an abrasive blast to remove any loose concrete, and cracks were injected. The wall was primed and carbon fiber fabric strips were saturated and installed. For the joints outside of the repair area, structural bonding cement was applied. The cured wall was covered with steel webbing to prevent any deflection with future pressure changes.
Upon completion of the installation, the system was tested for any deflection when the air system was turned back on. No deflection occurred. The time-savings for the client were several days compared to traditional steel beam reinforcement and significant cost savings compared with replacement. Touchdown Jesus remains strong.
For more information on this case history, or to learn more about HJ3, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or toll-free at 1-877-303-0453. HJ3 is the leading supplier of carbon fiber and glass fiber composites for commercial applications under the HJ3 Civil™ brand, industrial applications under its CarbonSeal™ brand, and residential applications under its StrongHold™ brand.
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