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  Polymer Flooring System Solution for Building Safety and Durability

In today’s society, building safety and security are of the utmost importance, requiring designers to integrate cost-effective solutions to the design and retrofit of structures. Combine this need with the effects of heavier material handling equipment and loads for which structures were not designed and the result is taxing floors beyond their capacity. One growing solution though is the application of Hardwire® reinforcement used within a polymer surface coating.

Hardwire is a cost-effective system that offers solutions to upgrade problems that could previously not be addressed. Its ability to be integrated with multiple polymer and cementitious materials allows for fast and affordable solutions to challenging infrastructure repairs, chemical-resistant Hardwire-fortified liners, and structural and blast upgrades – while using time tested materials such as polymers, mortars and steel.Developed by Hardwire, LLC, the proprietary technology is a family of reinforcements made from ultra-high strength twisted steel wire cords, organized into reinforcement tapes and sheets. The product can be molded into or on virtually any structure or part and provides high strength (up to 8,000-pounds/inch) and high modulus in a very thin, ductile envelope. Based on the steel-belted technology commonly found in tires, Hardwire® has already been successfully implemented as a solution for structures and other infrastructure components seeking blast-resistance and blast-mitigation retrofit. And, because of the global economies of scale afforded from mass production of steel belted tires, Hardwire is produced at a small fraction of the cost of typical aramid and carbon reinforcements. Although Hardwire does not replace today’s polymer flooring systems, the addition of Hardwire dramatically strengthens today’s retrofit flooring design capabilities.

For example, Hardwire was recently used to repair a heavily trafficked elevated slab in a multi-story warehouse/distribution facility for a large automotive parts distributor in Illinois. The long-term dynamic loading of fork trucks, as well as the increase in size of such trucks since initial design of the facility, had resulted in a myriad of distress scenarios in the concrete. The flexing in the concrete floor had resulted in numerous cracks and repairs would last for a mere few weeks at best. A flooring solution was needed that not only would serve as a thin resurfacing system but would also add considerable structural capacity to the more than 10,000 square feet of truck aisles.

The Hardwire material, providing 1,400-pounds/inch in both directions, and a gray polymer base coat were applied and allowed to cure, followed by a clear topcoat that was applied and rapidly cured using an innovative polymer technology that almost instantaneously cures when a high intensity UV light unit is rolled over it. This topcoat allowed immediate foot traffic and heavy wheel traffic within a few hours compared to the 24-hour cure time of most topcoat systems.The solution involved the application of Hardwire with a polymer flooring system cast on top of it. To minimize downtime, the project was broken down into multiple phases and all work was completed on a weekend schedule. Badly deteriorated sections of the concrete floor were completely removed and recast with high strength, rapid setting concrete. The Hardwire material, providing 1,400- pounds/inch in both directions, and a gray polymer base coat were then applied and allowed to cure, followed by a clear topcoat that was applied and rapidly cured using an innovative polymer technology that almost instantaneously cures when a high intensity UV light unit is rolled over it. This topcoat allowed immediate foot traffic and heavy wheel traffic within a few hours compared to the 24-hour cure time of most topcoat systems. The completed system was ready for traffic with little disruption to plant operations and the process was repeated the following weekend.

Shown above is a recent application of Hardwire with a polymer flooring system cast on top of it. To minimize downtime, the project was broken down into multiple phases and all work was completed on a weekend schedule. Badly deteriorated sections of the concrete floor were completely removed and recast with high strength, rapid setting concrete.Skip Ebaugh, Vice President of Hardwire, LLC, said that Hardwire is a cost-effective system that offers solutions to upgrade problems that could previously not be addressed. Its ability to be integrated with multiple polymer and cementitious materials allows for fast and affordable solutions to challenging infrastructure repairs, chemical-resistant Hardwire-fortified liners, and structural and blast upgrades – while using time tested materials such as polymers, mortars and steel.

“Hardwire is an enabling technology,” said Ebaugh. “The combination of polymer flooring fortified with these thin steel reinforcement sheets creates a system with the ability to increase structural capacity, blast resistance and general toughness of the concrete.”



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