InTrans / Feb 11, 2020

BEC project, video demonstrate value of epoxy injection process

Dewight Jones, Iowa DOT District 5 Bridge Maintenance Specialist, drills holes for the epoxy injection

An estimated 120 to 150 Iowa Department of Transportation (DOT) structures need an epoxy injection treatment to boost their service life, and that doesn’t include all the local-owned bridges in need of repair. However, until recently, there’s been little guidance on performing the process despite its use for decades.

New research conducted by ISU’s Bridge Engineering Center (BEC) and a video produced with Iowa DOT staff offers specifications for and a demonstration of the epoxy injection process, respectively.

“This is a repair technique that I believe can be very beneficial in extending the life of the local agency bridges, and today, the local agencies don’t have the funding to replace bridges every year. Therefore, to maintain our structures, we need to adopt a preservation mind set, and this is one of the bridge preservation techniques I wanted to introduce to the local agencies,” explained Iowa DOT Bridges and Structures Bureau Field Engineer Eric Souhrada.

The video takes viewers through the entire process of completing an epoxy injection from the traffic control setup to the post-procedure cleanup.

Though the video demonstrates the procedure on a pre-stressed beam bridge that had a polymer concrete (PC) overlay, Souhrada stresses that there are multiple uses for epoxy injection beyond the demonstrations, which also includes an epoxy injection after crack chasing.

“There’s a multitude of uses for epoxy injection on bridges, which I always want to stress, because if you’re going to invest the money in the epoxy injection equipment, you want to use it for multipurpose and not just a singular use,” said Souhrada.

Aside from PC overlays, Souhrada said epoxy injection can be used on continuous concrete deck slabs, hit prestressed concrete beams, concrete curb repairs, and deck joint repairs.

The bridges that make the best candidates for epoxy injection have between 10 and 50 percent delamination, and the procedure can extend the service life of a bridge for at least 4 years and typically between 5 and 10 years.

The video, which features Souhrada and Iowa DOT District 5 Bridge Maintenance Specialist Dewight Jones, is available here. The BEC’s research is available here.

People with questions or interested in an-person demonstration can contact Souhrada at (515) 290-2841.