Posted by Reinhard Stoeriko-Pasker - 20 December, 2018
Most construction materials are incompatible with low temperatures, especially if temperatures drop below zero. Thus, technical data sheets for construction products typically specify an application temperature over +5 °C. So, what to do, if for instance urgent road repairs in winter are required?
Whether a road sign has to be fixed, a concrete road or bridge repaired, a cold snap threatens in the midst of a longer-term project, or, in any particular region, warm weather is the exception rather than the rule – sometimes, there simply is no choice: Repairs must be carried out despite unfavorable temperatures. And in the case of road maintenance, there are additional challenges to be considered. Safety, for instance: In roads with one or several lanes closed off, the risk of accidents increases – for all drivers as well as for all workers carrying out the repairs. This makes it so important to reopen the road as quickly as possible.
Cement and cold temperatures don't go well together
Usually for traffic repair cementitious mortars are used. As environmental temperatures decrease, however, the properties of such materials are adversely affected: curing of conventional products is optimized for a temperature range of about 20 to 25 °C; at 10 °C, the curing takes significantly longer, with sometimes questionable results; and temperatures below 5 °C such products do not really harden anymore at all. Off course, there are also fast-curing products that might have shorter curing times but always temperatures over 0 °C are required. Additionally, these formulations usually exhibit stronger shrinkage, that may lead to crack formation and impeding long-term durability. How does this fit in with the general requirements on repair solutions in road construction? Not very well, obviously –particularly if low temperature curing is required.
The innovation for accelerated repairs even at low temperatures
To overcome these problems the experts from Master Builders Solutions have developed a number of solutions for the repair of traffic surfaces that cure quickly and without any negative effects on quality even at low temperatures: The MasterEmaco T 1000 range of repair mortars effectively lowers minimum application temperature by ten degrees Celsius. These mortars can be applied at temperatures as low as -5 °C still curing quickly and without any notable shrinkage.
Fast, safe and durable
In this way, the repair mortars of the MasterEmaco T 1000 range are a substantial relief in any project carried out at sub-optimal temperatures. Even when temperatures get dangerously close to typical minimum application temperatures, or when even lower temperatures are expected overnight, a substantial margin of safety remains: Application will be successful whether the thermometer indicates 7 °C, 5 °C or 1°C. Any concerns about working at the outer limits of the product’s capabilities simply do not apply anymore – and likewise gone are worries about detrimental effects on the robustness of the material and lingering expectations of premature maintenance work. But the MasterEmaco T 1000 range not only yields reliable results, application is quick and straightforward as well and curing is significantly faster across the entire temperature range of -5 °C to 30 °C compared to traditional solutions.
A combination for special binders
The repair mortars of the MasterEmaco T 1000 range are based on the Master Builders Solutions “Fast” Technology – a unique, specially developed combination of several mineral binders that provides two crucial properties: The mortars cure quickly even in low temperatures – the water/binder reaction sets in promptly and forms stable hydrates while in conventional products the water may freeze and cause substantial damage – and, irrespective of temperature, they exhibit only very low shrinkage.
The solutions of the MasterEmaco T 1000 range
Particularly suited to road construction projects that have to factor in speed-of-application and possible single-digit or below-zero temperatures, Master Builders Solutions offers three high-strength repair mortars in its MasterEmaco T 1000 range specially developed for such requirements: MasterEmaco T 1100 TIX – a one-component, non-sag, thixotropic repair mortar that can be applied in layer thicknesses of 10 to 150 millimeters – is suitable for application on horizontal and inclined traffic surfaces, for the setting of manhole frames, and for the fixing of pavement and curb stones. MasterEmaco T 1200 PG, the fluid variant, is particularly suitable for use on larger horizontal surfaces; with its compressive strength of 45 MPa after only 24 hours and a final strength of around 80 MPa, the product is the perfect match for high-use traffic surfaces. With its incorporated non-corroding alloy fibers, MasterEmaco T 1400 FR is a pourable repair mortar that provides increased flexural strength and is thus particularly suitable for any kind of heavy traffic as well as for large manhole frames and also withstands the constant vibration of, for instance, expansion joints on bridges.