In the search for the perfect epoxy grouting compound to install critically aligned machinery for mining, site engineers often look for these attributes: high compressive strength, high impact strength, resistance to fatigue, ease of mixing and levelling, fast curing, low shrinkage and resistance to weathering and chemicals.
The Epirez® Chockfast® Red and Chockfast® Orange compounds from ITW Polymers and Fluids (ITW P&F) meet all of those requirements, and more.
As Michael Rowe, BSC Product Manager for Adhesives and Sealants explains, the three-component Chockfast Red epoxy has been formulated with low exotherm to allow for large-volume pours of up to 450 millimetres in thickness and 2.2 metres in length without shrinkage or cracking.
“This makes Chockfast Red the ideal product for the final positioning of heavy machinery such as compressors, pumps, bearings blocks, crane rails and other such applications,” he says.
While the Chockfast Red is best suited for large volume-pours, the Epirez Chockfast Orange is best suited for chocking in depths of 12 to 100 millimetres. In Australia, as Michael explains, the Chockfast Orange compound has come to be known mostly for its applications in the marine industry.
“Chockfast Orange is perfectly suited for use under marine main propulsion machinery as it is approved by American Bureau of Shipping, Lloyd’s Register, Bureau Veritas, Det Norske Veritas, Germanischer Lloyd and most other major regulatory agencies worldwide. But additionally, there are multiple industrial environments where the compound can be applied successfully, such as for alignment of soleplates in heavy machinery,” says Michael.
Rick Williamson, Business Development Manager – Infrastructure at ITW P&F says the Chockfast product range is locally manufactured by Epirez (an ITW P&F brand) and is ideally suited to the broad range of Australian conditions. This includes high temperature tolerances where the compounds must remain workable and cure effectively.
This capability in Chockfast Red was demonstrated recently as the compound was used for installing 13 energy system compressors on a coal seam gas plant in Queensland. The installation required pouring between 3.75 to 6 cubic metres of grout for each compressor in difficult-to-access formworks. Daily temperatures on the plant averaged around 36°C, with the highest temperature reached during the pour being 46°C. This meant ground temperature was up to 72°C, as Rick explains.
“In consultation with the ITW P&F technical team, the site managers were able to adjust the mixture temperature by conditioning the resins in a portable cooler before mixing. An infrared thermometer was used to constantly monitor grout and pump temperatures as the grout was pumped under the compressor skids,” he says.
Ultimately, Rick says the 13 compressors were successfully grouted in 32 days, using 60 cubic meters of the Chockfast Red grout.
Safety is another key consideration with the Chockfast product, Rick adds.
“Being a 100% solid material means neither the Chockfast Red nor Chockfast Orange contain any hydrocarbon solvents. This makes them completely safe if they come in contact with hands or eyes. Being solvent-free means Chockfast Red can be easily washed off with soap and water before cure,” says Rick.
In Australia, BSC’s branches and regional managers work closely with ITW P&F account managers to provide their industrial clients with the whole range of ITW P&F adhesives portfolio. This also includes sharing technical expertise around installation best practices, as well as coordinating with ITW P&F for quality assurance.
Rick says one thing that sets the ITW P&F services apart is that the company is actively involved in quality assurance and improvements, as well as in-house testing of grout samples where requested by clients.
“All of our products are manufactured in Australia, which puts us at an advantageous position when it comes to supply, as well as after-sale support for our customers. We regularly test our products to make sure they meet the quality standards and properties set out in the product datasheets,” says Rick.
“Where requested by clients, we can also test grout samples in-house and provide certificates of conformance to customers to follow up our manufacturing with quality assurance.”
Storage for Chockfast Epoxy Grouts:
• All grout materials should be stored in a dry, shaded area in original unopened containers. Recommended storage temperatures are 16°C – 35°C.
• The grouting materials should be pre-conditioned to a minimum of 19°C – 27°C for 24 to 48 hours before mixing and application.
• Construct a shelter over the foundation to protect the work area from the elements particularly during cold, wet or very hot conditions.
• The materials have a shelf life in excess of 12 months.