Wednesday, 13 November 2013

Our Friends in Alabama


Road bridge near the town of Creola, Alabama
COMMERCIAL DIVING SERVICES have been buying and applying Alocit in Alabama and surrounding areas for the past ten years and their CEO, Doug Christopher, knows better than anyone how to exploit the potential of Alocit's surface tolerance and ability to be applied in the wet.

During a visit to Alabama in September, I was able to witness CDS in action as they trialled a new application for the Alabama DOT, protecting damaged piles on concrete bridge piles. With heavy rainfall in the area, bridge piles are eroded by fast flowing water and debris - even on small waterways like the one illustrated, where the trial took place. To stop deterioration before the concrete needs extensive repairs, a programme of remedial applications to 'at risk' piles has been proposed.
 
One of the CDS divers enters the water prior to blasting
The trial was witnessed by DOT and industry reps, all of whom were impressed to see underwater painting for the first time. Also attending was the Mayor of Creola who had been of great assistance to CDS in facilitating the event in order to encourage local industry.
 
First the diver blasted the piles clean using a quartz material that matched the natural sands in the area, then two coats of Alocit 28.15 were applied to seal and protect the damaged areas. Despite muddy waters from heavy overnight rain, rising continuously during the application, the diver had no difficulty with the application although the video of the operation was hampered by very limited visibility. A short video of the event has been posted by Doug, follow this link to see it. Once mixed and cured, the Alocit coating is inert and harmless to marine flora and fauna making it safe to use in the most environmentally sensitive areas.
 
Doug and the Alabama DOT will be monitoring the bridge to assess performance over the coming year.
 

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