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Industrial Chimney Concrete Damage – Causes & Solutions

Industrial Chimney Concrete RepairWhen it comes to the construction of industrial chimneys & cooling towers, concrete is the most popular material used to build these structures. As with brick stacks and other masonry materials, concrete industrial chimneys require regular maintenance and observation to ensure structural integrity and trouble-free operation. These concrete industrial structures face unique problems and can be affected by a number of external influences, all of which can lead to deterioration, erosion, or degradation of your system.

External Threats

Although the internal surfaces of an industrial chimney are normally lined with a protective liner system, the external surface is exposed to a number of aggressive influences, many of which are detrimental to concrete over long exposure. Some of the issues that leave concrete stacks & cooling towers vulnerable include:

  • Freeze-Thaw Cycles
  • Frequent Wetting & Drying
  • Harsh Weather Conditions
  • Atmospheric Carbonation
  • Chlorides (found in marine atmospheres, even miles inland from the sea)
  • Exhaust Gases
  • Acid Attacks
  • Emissions from Neighboring Chimneys

Exhaust gases that contain acidic sulfurous, nitrous, and other vitriolic chemicals are the greatest overall threat to concrete industrial chimneys. Even with strict quality control and desulfurization equipment, it is likely that your concrete stack will experience vulnerabilities over time which will need to be addressed immediately to avoid a dangerous safety situation or outages.

Internal Threats

Concrete structure repair - industrial repairsOther common issues that can affect concrete chimneys include hairline cracks from wind loading & movement and shrinkage cracks from that develop as the concrete dries during the construction process. During the construction process and concrete placement, it’s common for elements to move out of place, forming voids. Concrete can be difficult to cure correctly on these large structures, which can lead to problems later on down the line. The rigging and lifting process during assembly can also create physical damage to the concrete components if not performed properly.

If your facility requires maintenance or refurbishment of a concrete chimney, trust in the pros at Industrial Access. We will take a thorough assessment of the structure, identify the degree & causes of damage, determine the necessary repairs & objectives, and then create & execute a successful repair, protection, and refurbishment plan. With our innovative rope access techniques, we can replace & restore damage concrete, recast areas of the structure that need the most attention, apply remedial treatment solutions for cracks & joints, then add a protective coating for the external surface of the structure to prevent further damage. Contact us today to find out how we can help get your concrete industrial chimney or cooling tower up to par quickly, affordably, and with as little down time as possible.

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