Preventive maintenance and the timeous repair of infrastructure can save significant costs and extend the life of infrastructure, says specialised construction products supplier a.b.e. Construction Chemicals general construction sales manager Warren Trew.
“Unfortunately, many players in the civil engineering and construction industries do not consider preventive maintenance and take action only when infrastructure show signs of ageing and damage,” he tells Engineering News.
Further, Trew points out that the civil engineering and construction industries often want to sustain the operation of a structure at minimal cost; however, “waiting until it is absolutely necessary to do maintenance and repairs result in significant costs”.
The company supplies specialised coatings that can be used for preventive maintenance and applied to infrastructure during construction. Trew says many people are not aware of this, as the company’s services are often in demand after there has been infrastructural damage.
However, Trew mentions that some large companies, such as State-owned freight logistics group Transnet and the South African National Road Agency Limited, do realise the importance of timeous maintenance and repairs, and maintain a reasonable degree of quality.
Moreover, he points out that concrete repair and maintenance work require specialised skills, and that there are specialist concrete repair companies that focus specifically on the application of specialised coatings. “There are clear and precise steps for application to a.b.e. Construction Chemicals recommendations, but a labourer cannot apply specialised coatings,” Trew explains.
The company has good business relationships with specialist applicator companies that can apply its products. However, a.b.e. can also provide a training programme to show contractors how to apply the products.
Trew advances that the company offers clients a host of preventive maintenance and repair products, such as durasil SH, which is a clear, penetrating, breathable silane-siloxane water repellent that provides a hydrophobic surface for the pore structure.
The duracote WB system is a high-performance flexible aliphatic acrylic polymer coating with high crack bridging properties. The product is particularly suited to reinforced concrete structures that are exposed to aggressive atmospheric conditions and attack by waterborne contaminants such as acid gases, chloride ions and carbonation.
Further, the company will launch a new coating, Rustopak – suitable for steel structures and corrosion control – next year. Trew notes that the company is involved in several projects, including the Transnet Tippler 3 project at the Port of Richards Bay, in KwaZulu-Natal, and the restoration of bridges on the N17 and N14.
“a.b.e Construction Chemicals has the technical expertise and a full range of high technology and high-quality repair systems to provide a solution for the industry,” he concludes.