One of the problems with existing structural support components such as columns, piles, poles, and pipes sheet piles is that they are subject to corrosion that weakens these structures. Since these support structures may be submerged in water or be buried in soil, it is more cost-effective effective and thus preferred to repair them without using expensive diving gear and complex underwater procedure or digging them out of the ground. Often, these support components are subjected to traffic, wind, and hydrostatic loads.
The SPiRe® technology reduces corrosion to virtually zero because both oxygen and water are prevented from reaching components of the structure that may corrode.
The Sheet Pile Repair (SPiRe®) system is a stay-in-place formwork that can be used to repair corroded seawalls, sheet piles, etc. The product is manufactured by sandwiching a honeycomb or a 3D fabric between layers of resin-saturated glass or carbon fabric. The result is a very lightweight nonmetallic product. SPiRe® panels can be custom-made to fit a structure of virtually any shape or size. The easy construction technique allows onsite manufacturing of SPiRe® using wooden molds that are the same shape and size as the structure being repaired.
Steel sheet piles, for example, are often made of Z-shaped panels that are interlocked along the edges. SPiRe® panels can be manufactured onsite (or in advance) in sections that are several feet tall and long. The height of the SPiRe® panels is selected to cover the splash zone height (low and high tide elevations) plus 1-2 feet below and above these elevations. This ensures that the entire splash zone is covered with SPiRe®. The length of the panels can be selected based on practical considerations to keep the weight of each panel to a manageable level for ease of handling. For a 4-ft tall panel, a width of 15-20 feet that covers many Z sections may be suitable.
Application of SPiRe® requires positioning of the panel in front of the corroded sheet pile and securing it with bolts or adhesive along the edges to the sheet pile. This step results in a nonmetallic panel attached to the host pile; the edges of the panel will be sealed and the annular space between the sheet pile and SPiRe® will be filled with grout or resin. The impervious lightweight SPiRe® panels will prevent intrusion of oxygen and moisture to the sheet pile. It is well known that oxygen and moisture are the fuel to the corrosion process and by protecting the steel sheet pile from these elements, the corrosion process will come to a near halt. Read more about Spire from an article published by Marine News here.
An application is shown here. The submerged pilaster or column in this wall is damaged by corrosion and requires repair. A segment of SPiRe® is manufactured that is slightly larger than the original column size. This section is bolted or epoxy-bonded to the wall. The edges of the SPiRe® are sealed to prevent any leakage and a grout is placed in the annular space between the stay-in-place form and the column.
The use of SPiRe® significantly reduces construction time and cost. This is particularly true for underwater applications as the product eliminates the need for erecting coffer dams. Contact a PileMedic engineer today to find out more at (520) 791-7000.
SPiRE® uses the same technology as award winning StifPipe® by QuakeWrap® Inc. Stifpipe® has been awarded by the ASCE the Innovation Award for the World's First Green Pipe.