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WL Port-Land Systems, Inc. Report
March 2018
 
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Some Thoughts On: THE 10 BUSINESS COMMANDMENTS
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Rich Pongratz

Recently I came across a paper that included “The 10 Business Commandments.” I shared it with you a number of years ago, and I will do so again today as I believe it reflects how we conduct ourselves at WL Port-Land Systems.

THE 10 BUSINESS COMMANDMENTS

  1. Each customer is the most important person in any business.
  2. Customers are not dependent on us. We are wholly dependent on them.
  3. Customers are not an interruption of our day. They are the very purpose of it.
  4. Customers do us a favor every time they call. We are not doing them a favor by answering.
  5. Customers should be partners in our business, never outsiders.
  6. A customer is not someone with whom to argue or to match wits.
  7. A customer is someone who brings us their wants. It is our job to fill them to the best of our ability.
  8. Each customer is deserving of respect and the most courteous and attentive treatment we can give.
  9. A customer is the person who makes all salaries and growth possible.
  10. All repeat customers are the vital life blood of every successful business. We must continue to earn that business every day.

Have any of your own you’d like to add? We’d love to hear from you!


Tim Lease
Richard K. Pongratz, Director of Business Development
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Ask the Expert
Concrete Deterioration and Methods of Repair
Send your question to our team of experts.
QWhat are some effective ways to repair damaged concrete?
– J.D.
AThe most common types and causes of concrete deterioration are corrosion of embedded metals, freeze-thaw cycles, and chemical attacks. With many aging facilities in the country, it’s common to encounter concrete structures that have areas of damaged or deteriorated concrete. Sometimes the damaged concrete is not a critical element that supports a structure, and it may be patched for aesthetic reasons. In other situations, the damaged concrete may be part of a critical structural support element. In these cases, the damaged concrete must be repaired to ensure the structure is safe. Identifying the appropriate repair method for each particular instance of damaged concrete is important.
Concrete Deterioration
Recognize the cause to determine the best method to repair the damaged concrete. Otherwise, the concrete deterioration can continue, even after repairs are made. Without identifying the cause, repairs are merely addressing the symptoms.
The most common cause of concrete damage is the corrosion of reinforcement or other types of embedded metals. Corrosion occurs in metal and creates rust. The rust that forms has a larger volume than the metal it was created from. This doesn’t leave any space for the rust, so it cracks the concrete in order to expand. As corrosion continues, the volume of rust becomes greater and greater until it eventually leads to delamination and spalling of the concrete. At this point, the corroded reinforcement is visible, and it is the obvious cause of the damage.

Another common cause of concrete damage is freezing and thawing. When water comes into contact with concrete, it penetrates the surface through small cracks and pores. As temperatures drop, this water expands and causes tensile stress in the concrete. If the added tensile stress exceeds the tensile strength of the concrete, it causes cracking, scaling, and crumbling. This type of deterioration is typically not detrimental to a concrete structure, but it can leave the surface exposed to other forms of damage.

Certain chemicals can contribute to rapid deterioration of concrete. The chemicals that are most harmful to concrete are acids, alkalis, and sulfates. Acids react with the calcium hydroxide in cement and form a water-soluble compound that eventually washes away. Alkalis also cause a chemical reaction in cement that dissolves the calcium hydroxide and breaks down the bonding agent of the concrete. Sulfates create pressure in concrete, which disrupts the cement paste and causes the concrete to lose cohesion.

Other common causes of damage in concrete include erosion, exposure to excessive heat, restraint from changes in volume, loss of support, and overloading.
Damage Prevention
There are actions that can be taken to prevent most types of concrete damage. It is often more cost-efficient to take preventative steps rather than to repair concrete after damage has occurred.
To prevent concrete damage due to reinforcement corrosion, make sure the reinforcement has sufficient cover from the surface of the concrete, and use low permeability concrete. The American Concrete Institute provides recommended concrete cover for reinforcement in ACI 318 based on different exposure category conditions. Another way to prevent reinforcement corrosion is to use epoxy coating to prevent the metal from oxidizing.

Properly air entrain any concrete that may be exposed to weather to prevent damage from freezing and thawing. Air entraining the concrete creates voids that the water can occupy. This extra space allows water to expand when freezing without creating extra pressure in the concrete. You can also use low permeability concrete to prevent freeze thaw damage.

It is difficult to prevent acid and alkali attacks on concrete, as these are chemical reactions within the concrete. Aside from using low permeability concrete, the only effective method of prevention for this damage is to make sure the concrete is not exposed to these conditions. Sulfate damage can be prevented or reduced if you use a concrete mix design with a lower water to cement ratio, and also use other additives such as fly ash.
Concrete Repair
There are many ways to effectively repair damaged concrete. The most effective repair option is based on the specific situation. Some concrete damage may just require a patch, such as in minor freeze thaw damage. Other situations may require more extensive repairs, such as replacing reinforcement and pouring new concrete.
If concrete deterioration is identified in its early stages, there may only be cracks in the surface of the concrete. This situation can be addressed by applying some form of surface coating to fill and seal the cracks. These coatings are typically epoxy based and only require proper surface preparation and curing time. Resin injection can also be used to repair cracked concrete. This method injects epoxy resins or polyurethanes into the cracks and fills the voids to repair the damaged concrete.

Address damage to concrete structures or surfaces that range from approximately ¼” to 2” deep with a “thin” repair methods. This damage is usually the result of freezing and thawing. Patch with Portland cement mortar, dry pack application, epoxy mortar, or chemical repair mortars. There are many products to choose from that are based on different exposure conditions.

Damaged sections of concrete that are greater than 3” deep require what is generally considered “thick” repairs. In these cases, it is very likely the reinforcement is exposed. The most common method of thick repair is using replacement concrete. When replacement concrete is used, it typically does not require the application of a bonding agent, but the damaged concrete surface must be prepared properly. Another thick repair method is to apply shotcrete, also sometimes referred to as gunite. This involves pneumatically projecting concrete or mortar at high speed onto a surface. This method can make repairing large areas of damaged concrete quick and economical, but it must be done by qualified personnel.

When concrete damage is from corrosion of reinforcement, it is often necessary to either clean the corroded reinforcement or remove it and install a new reinforcement with fresh concrete. Corrosion of metals is an electrochemical process, so even if the reinforcement is cleaned or replaced, the corrosion will continue and cause additional concrete deterioration. To slow this process down, install some form of cathodic protection to the reinforcement before pouring new concrete. Cathodic protections work by attaching a metal to the reinforcement that acts as a sacrificial anode and saves the reinforcement.

In all cases, select the right course of action for concrete repair by identifying the cause of the damage, choosing the proper method of repair, and applying preventative measures to ensure the damage does not occur again.

Dustin Krasneski, P.E. Structural Engineer joined WL Port-Land Systems in 2017. He has been involved in structural design and analysis since 2010.

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CONSIDERING A RENOVATION?
Like most businesses, you may not need to construct a new facility but are seeking solutions to make your business run better. You may be considering a renovation to improve utilization of existing assets, lower manufacturing costs, implement a process change, increase capacity, or find an efficient way to adapt to new quality improvement standards.

No matter the reason, a renovation is a big undertaking and nobody can assist you like WL Port-Land Systems with its collaborative approach to your project.

With our expertise spanning the engineering, construction, operations, and maintenance areas, WL Port-Land Systems rises above the competition. We can help you weather the shutdown and minimize the interruption to your operation through methodical project execution. Rooted in engineering since 1975, WL Port-Land Systems offers a diverse expertise to provide solutions for your design/build engineering and renovation projects.

E-mail or call us -- at 412-344-1408 -- to set up an appointment to meet with you to evaluate your renovation needs.

What do you have to lose?
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Did You Know?
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Karl von Terzaghi
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…Karl von Terzaghi, an Austrian-trained engineer and geologist, is known as the Father of Soil Mechanics, having published the first text on soil mechanics in 1925, describing how soil as an engineering material has properties that can be measured in standardized ways.
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Featured Project
Kent Nutrition Group
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Work continues on the expansion project for Kent Nutrition Group’s Sheldon, Iowa feed mill. WL Port-Land is designing and constructing this large expansion project which will include new storage facilities, multiple pelleting and bagging systems, a truck load out system, a large warehouse and all the needed support systems.
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Events Calendar
WL Port-Land Systems will participate in all of these industry events. Click to set up an appointment with a rep.
March 24-27, 2018
GEAPS Exchange
Denver, CO
April 23-25, 2018
Petfood Forum
Kansas City, MO
April 24-26, 2018
International Powder & Bulk Solids
Rosemont, IL
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About WL Port-Land Systems, Inc.
  • Visit our Web site.
  • Contact us via e-mail.
  • Contact Rich Pongratz
  • You can call us at 412-344-1408 or fax us at 412-344-1412.
  • You can "snail mail" us at 305 Mt. Lebanon Blvd., Suite 400, Pittsburgh, PA 15234.
We look forward to hearing from you!
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