Versatile waterproofing for bridge protection
Asset owners have long been aware that deterioration of bitumen on bridges, if left unchecked, can lead to numerous safety issues and expose the structure to costly corrosion and reduced service life. Waterproof membranes are a well-known solution for protecting bridges, but they have not previously had the versatility to address these issues. However, a new product in the Australian market changes that.
Traffic, age, weather, movement and drainage are all elements that contribute to the deterioration of bitumen on bridges. Deterioration causes safety issues for drivers, particularly in wet weather, and moisture and chemicals such as oil and petrol are able to pass through cracks, which leads to corrosion if ignored.
According to Chris Bauer from Hychem, it is important to take action early to fix any damage to the bitumen and, when possible, use a protective coating to prevent future damage.
“The problem with many products on the market is that they do not have the versatility to both repair and protect bitumen surfaces on bridges,” Mr Bauer said.
“For instance, waterproof membranes are ideal for protecting bridge decks but while they might suit pedestrian areas, most are unable to be driven on, which is where damage – due to heavy traffic – is more likely to occur.”
Repair and protect
Hychem recommends its Polyac BDM to asset owners wanting an innovative solution to repair and protect bitumen surfaces.
It is a liquid-applied elastomeric membrane – based on methylmethacrylate (MMA) – which is applied to protect surfaces against chemical influence, and water infiltration. System build-up can be adapted to include a puncture resistant or trafficable wear layer to protect the waterproofing membrane.
Mr Bauer said the Polyac BDM system had all the benefits of a waterproof membrane, and could also be built up and adapted to suit a number of conditions and project needs.
“Like waterproof membranes, Polyac BDM has the benefit of being strong enough to protect bridges from the harshest weather conditions as well as being flexible so it won’t crack when they move.
“Polyac BDM has the added benefit of being able to be built up to include additional features including trafficable wear or puncture resistant layers.”
Polyac BDM M can be broadcasted with bauxite or quartz to create a trafficable wear layer that can be used on areas where vehicles will be driving. It has anti-skid properties, eliminating the need for other products, such as mastic asphalt, which builds up the road.
“Furthermore, Polyac BDM M or BDM HD can be layered to create a puncture resistant layer to prevent damage from occurring on the road from external forces.”
It is able to be used for other applications, such as road surface repairs.
Cracks, potholes and other damage to the surface of the bitumen can be repaired with Polyac BDM by mixing it with a tarmac or concrete substrate. It is a rapid set formula with the road cleared for traffic one hour after application.
“The Polyac BDM system is a versatile system that can deliver a number of benefits to asset owners, and can also be used on concrete and steel surfaces for other applications,” Mr Bauer said.