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September 30, 2022

A standards-certified and compliant solution for waterproofing and rehabilitating bridge decks

Bridge decks are continuously exposed to a number of elements that can cause deterioration, creating safety risks for road users, putting the structure’s durability at risk, and reducing its service life. Selecting a proven, standards-certified and locally compliant waterproof bridge deck membrane, such as the Matacryl WPM system, can help protect and repair the structure, while also providing assurance that the product is safe, extensively tested and fit for purpose.

Bridges are continuously exposed to severe stresses and construction-related factors that affect their longevity, including inadequate protection specified at the design phase, quality and handling of concrete and/or steel, physical and chemical exposure, climatic conditions, traffic types, and frequency, regularity and quality of maintenance. 

A particular challenge in Australia is that bridges are exposed to unique weather and climate conditions, which means that very stringent attention has to be paid to ensure that they perform as designated for their intended lifespan. 

In order to mitigate these factors and ensure the bridge’s longevity, a bridge deck waterproofing system can be used to prevent degradation of concrete and steel on both new bridges and restoration projects.

To deal with the harsh Australian conditions, the selection of a bridge deck waterproofing system needs  total compliance with tight specifications, and needs to be installed by nominated partner applicators with the relevant training and experience.

A proven solution

Matacryl’s WPM system is an ideal bridge deck waterproofing system as it bonds with the substrate and asphalt overlay to enhance and extend bridge service life. It can be used on new bridge constructions, routine maintenance or bridge rehabilitation where uneven or irregular surface profiles exist.

The Matacryl WPM system has been tested and certified in accordance with internationally accepted standards, including some of the most stringent such as BBA HAPAS, ASTM and KIWA. Furthermore, it has undergone local testing to ensure it can withstand the Australian climate, and is compliant with the Victorian Department of Transport (Section 691) and Transport for New South Wales B343.

This proven solution has been used on some of Australia’s most iconic bridges and biggest bridge projects including the West Gate Bridge, Princes Bridge, and on 47 bridges for the Pacific Complete W2B (Woolgoolga to Ballina) project in New South Wales.

Matacryl in action

The West Gate Bridge is a ten-lane dual-carriageway freeway bridge, carrying five lanes of motor vehicle traffic in each direction. According to VicRoads, the freeway corridor (including the bridge itself) carries a total of between 180,000-200,000 cars, trucks, and motorcycles every day. This makes the West Gate Bridge and West Gate Freeway one of the busiest road corridors in Australia.

The Department of Transport Victoria has been undertaking a resurfacing project on the bridge and needed a solution to waterproof it and inhibit corrosion. The selected solution was required to be Section 691 compliant and BBA certified – a combination that very few products on the Australian market can offer.

Hychem’s Matacryl WPM system was selected to waterproof the bridge deck and provide effective corrosion inhibition prior to the asphalt wearing layers being installed. The project is being completed over a number of years, with the first section completed seven years ago and still performed excellently today: 2015 – 2,200m³, 2019 – 1,200m³, 2020 – 3,500m³ and 2021 – 3,500m³, with another section expected to be completed in 2022-23.

To complete the sections, Matacryl Primer CM was applied to the substrate, followed by one layer of Matacryl Membrane, and Matacryl STC Tack Coat and Aggregate before being SAMI approved and the Asphalt Wearing Course installed.

As the Matacryl WPM system is fast curing, it is ideal for the project due to the amount of traffic on the bridge. It is weather-resistant and ready for use 60 minutes after application including rainfall. The rapid set time reduces ‘possession’ and enables fast installation, lower labour costs and far quicker handover times to subsequent construction phases.

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