Scarification at the Philadelphia Parking Authority

How do you remove 1/4 inch of tuff Epoxy/elastomeric Urethane from 350,000 square feet of parking deck on 5 different levels in a timely manner?

Case Study:   Elastomeric Urethane membrane removal at the Philadelphia Parking Authority facility next to the Philadelphia Convention Center, 350,000 square feet

This was a very sensitive project in that the deck needed major restoration and concrete replacement and scheduling was very critical due to the fact that the Philadelphia Convention Center relied on this structure for most of its parking.

During the scarification process the membrane is chipped away using carbide cutters, leaving the concrete with a profile of CSP 6-9, this profile is too rough for some material manufactures so we can diamond-grind the surface to reduce the profile to the material manufacturers requirements. Next, we shot blast the surface to remove any laitance and  micro fracturing caused by the scarification process.  The deck is now ready for material applications.

Check out our pictures of the removal process:

Concrete Preparation 101: Membrane Removal, Grind & Shot Blast

Philadelphia parking garages see heavy traffic, so maintaining proper maintenance is necessary. The main purpose of parking deck membranes is to protect the concrete deck from water and salt intrusion, which can eat away at rebar and the supporting structure.  When the deck is prepared properly and a high performance membrane system applied, it can last from 10 to 20 years.

The General contractor for this project was Melrose Construction, Inc. of North Wales, PA. When Bob DiFerdinando, Project Manager for Melrose, decided on who was going to do the surface preparation, he chose Shot Blast Inc. because of our preparation and membrane removal capabilities.  No other preparation contractor had the necessary equipment and expertise to do this type of work in the time frame allotted. This project turned out to be a major success for Melrose Construction and the Philadelphia Parking Authority.

Be sure to check out our Parking Deck Membrane Removal page for more examples!

UNL Professor Creates De-Icing Concrete

de-icing concrete

Photo courtesy of UNL.

A professor at the University of Nebraska at Lincoln has created a concrete that could make snow shoveling a thing of the past. Since 1997, Dr. Chris Tuan has been developing a special mix of concrete that, when powered,  can safely melt ice.

The mixture is about 80% concrete and 20% steel fibers and carbon particles. A 200 square foot slab of concrete only needs as little power as what is produced by a wall outlet and the electricity is safe to touch. The mixture is being tested by the FAA and could potentially be used for the tarmac at a major airport.

How is it used?

You can see a time lapse video of the concrete being tested here. As you’ll see, the snow piles up outside of the test concrete but the concrete itself remains clear. Although it’s not likely that this cement could be applied to highways, it could be useful in intersections and exit ramps.

Dr. Tuan hopes that one day this technology will be available to the public. He says that one day, this new type of cement could eliminate personal injuries from slipping and falling on a slippery sidewalk. In addition, it could mean that your shoveling days are over.

Read the full story from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln here.


How to Prep and Install a High Performance Flooring System

This project took place at Audi of West Chester. The Audi project was 24,000 square feet of 5,000 psi concrete. Watch the timelapse video of the project below & learn more about the project.

Here’s the process we followed for this job:

  1. We routed and cleaned all control joints and coated with the vapor block then filled with a grey two-component polyurea.
  2. Then we shotblasted the concrete to a CSP 3-4. All holes and cracks were filled afterwards.
  3. Moisture tests were done, both a calcium chloride and Wagner insitu test, which showed moisture content up around 95%. Tests were installed per ASTM F2170 by W.T. Rupnicki Certified concrete slab moisture testing ID 01303981 ICRI.
  4. We decided to install a moisture vapor barrier supplied by CFI. This was applied at a rate of 12 mils dft. This was applied to minimize any vapor transmission through the concrete.
  5. After this cured, we applied the first lift of Grey 440 epoxy and broadcasted a small grain sand until rejection.
  6. After curing we cleaned up all excess sand and vacuumed the floor surface. Then we ran a buffer with 80grit sandpaper over the entire floor to remove any high spots.
  7. We then applied the second lift of grey 440 epoxy and broadcasted until rejection.
  8. After curing we cleaned up all excess sand and vacuumed the floor surface; then we ran a buffer with 80grit sandpaper over the entire floor to remove any high spots.
  9. We then applied CFI’s Wearcoat 100 as a grout and top coat to the open sand texture.
  10. The last task was filling expansion joints with a flexible two-component Urethane.

The project turned out beautiful and the owner is very happy with the results.

What is Polished Concrete?

Concrete polishing is the process of grinding, hardening, and honing concrete using specialized diamond abrasives and planetary grinders. Shot Blast Inc. specializes in the process, and the result is a beautiful, low-maintenance flooring finish.

See for yourself in our latest video:

Learn more about polished concrete.

What’s the Difference Between Shot Blasting and Sand Blasting?

Sand Blasting a poolWhile both shot blasting and sand blasting are a mechanical surface cleaning process, the application of each is different. In shot blasting, a throwing wheel is used, and in sand blasting, compressed air is used.

Shot Blasting: In shot blasting, the throwing wheel turns rapidly, which causes the steel shots to accelerate towards the surface. Compared with sand blasting, shot blasting does not generate silicon dusts and causes less of a problem with environmental pollution. Learn more.

Sand Blasting: Sand blasting takes compressed air as its source of power and shoots a high speed abrasive sand stream towards the surface. The cutting effect of the sand helps to completely clean the surface and improve the mechanical profile, which is often helpful before painting or coating.


5 Surprising Uses for Concrete

IMG_9393Concrete isn’t just for floors anymore. Lately, the sturdy material has been used to create some surprising everyday items. To top it off, these items are completely functional and feature some pretty cool designs. Below is our list of the top 5 surprising uses for concrete:

1. Espresso Machine

You read that correctly — someone managed to make a concrete espresso machine. Israeli designer Shmuel Linski was inspired to bring concrete designs into the kitchen. His design works by loading coffee beans into the top, and water into the back.

2. Speakers

Again, Linski has baffled us with his exposed concrete speakers. He even used a special horn speaker technology to ensure that the concrete didn’t affect the sound quality. Check out his page to see images of this beautiful and functional work of concrete.

3. Pool Tables

Have you dreamed about an outdoor pool table that could survive the elements? It’s here. The concrete pool table features a beautiful, sturdy concrete base with leather pockets and felt that won’t be ruined by the outdoors. Additionally, you won’t have to worry about smacking into walls with the back-end of your cue stick.

4. Desks

According to Apartment Therapy, cement desks are a new DIY trend. Simply pour and construct your own custom desk. You can even leave holes for electrical wiring or add desktop fixtures.

5. Houses

In other countries, this probably isn’t so surprising. However, the cement home architecture isn’t nearly as common in the U.S. This type of construction is cheap and sturdy. It also allows builders to change their minds about design without wasting resources. They simply fill in the window hole or chisel out a new one.

And remember, concrete polishing will help maintain the surface. Be sure to contact us if you’re taking on any of these surprising concrete projects!