Frozen Ground and the Frost Line: How and Why it Freezes

How Deep Does the Ground Freeze in Winter?

Ground frost occurs when the ground contains water, and the temperature of the ground goes below 0° C (32° F). More than half of all the land in the Northern Hemisphere freezes and thaws every year, and is called seasonally frozen ground. One-fourth of the land in the Northern Hemisphere has an underground layer that stays frozen all year long. If the ground remains frozen for at least 2 years in a row it is called permafrost

What causes ground frost?

When ground is frozen solid, the water between the rocks, soil, and pebbles, and even inside the rocks, has frozen and becomes pore ice. So officially, the ground freezes when the water in the ground becomes ice.

Frost Depth

Frost Depth (or the frost line) is the deepest point to which ground water will freeze. Frost depths vary depending upon the frost line in each location and can have a great impact on many construction practices. For example, any crews digging to access utility lines or preparing ground for a concrete pour will need to be aware of their local frost depth.

When ground water freezes its volume expands by 9%. For this reason, pressure sensitive structures, such as water and sewer lines, need to be buried below the frost depth to avoid ruptures. When water turns into ice, it can expand with great force and cause the ground to swell. In areas with a cold winter season ground frost can damage roads. For example, water turning to ice under roads sometime creates frost heave. The expanding ice pushes up the road and creates a hump, which later, after a thaw, will create potholes  and sunken sections in a roadway.

The frost line varies depending on the length of time the air is cold. The longer the cold period, the deeper the ground will freeze. But the depth of frozen ground is limited, because Earth is warm deep inside.

What Affects the Frost Line?

Most of Earth’s heat comes from the Sun (Figure 1). The ground stores a lot of the Sun’s heat and reflects the rest into the air. Snow and ice are light colored and reflect more heat away. Ocean water and bare ground reflect less heat, instead absorbing it. This transfer of heat between the ground and the air is called the surface energy flux.

energy balance diagram

Figure 1. This diagram shows how the Earth’s atmosphere and the ground reflects and absorbs the Sun’s energy.

Credit: NASA Atmospheric Science Data Center

Heat is also coming from the inside of the Earth. The Earth’s core is very hot, and its heat moves towards the surface. Heat from volcanoes, rivers, lakes, and other sources can also spread through the ground. This heat keeps some areas unfrozen, even though surface temperatures are low.

In general, deeper permafrost is very old. One researcher found that the deepest part of the permafrost underneath Prudhoe Bay, Alaska, is more than 500,000 years old.

The Temperature Gradient

When the temperature of the ground drops below 0° C (32° F), it freezes; however, the ground temperature can be different from the temperature of the air above it. This temperature gradient means that layers deep within the ground may be colder or warmer than layers near the surface.

The top layer of ground may respond to conditions on the surface, but the layers below may not change as quickly. On a warm summer day, the surface of the ground absorbs heat and becomes hotter than the air. But the temperature a few feet underground may be much lower than the air. It is the opposite in the winter; the surface of the ground cools, but the layer deep underground may stay warmer than the surface. The upper layer of ground stops heat from moving between the cold air and the deeper layers of the ground, insulating itself.

How does the local landscape affect ground frost?

Ground frost is affected by more than just temperature swings, seasonal changes, and location. Snow, soil, plants, and other aspects of the local landscape also affect frozen ground.

Snow

A thick layer of snow acts like a blanket so that heat does not leave the ground. Only a thin layer of ground will freeze under a thick layer of snow.

Soil type

Some soils freeze more easily than others. Light-colored soils freeze sooner and stay frozen longer than dark soils. Light-colored soils and rocks reflect sunlight, keeping the ground cooler. Loose soils like sand have more space for water and ice forms more easily. Dense soils with small particles do not have as much space for water. Clay, for example, does not freeze as easily as sand.

Peat

Peat forms when dead plants do not fully decompose. The ground under peat is usually colder than ground not covered by a peat layer.  In the winter, peat freezes and allows heat to leave the ground. Because the heat escapes, more frozen ground and permafrost form.

Plants

In the summer, plants keep the soil underneath them cooler because they block some sunlight from reaching the ground. Evergreen trees especially keep the ground cooler. Evergreen trees do not lose their leaves in the winter. This means that the trees block sunlight from warming the ground. Plus, their branches block snow from reaching the ground underneath. The bare ground loses heat more easily. Permafrost often forms under evergreen trees.

Slopes

Hillsides and mountain slopes can affect frozen ground and permafrost. If a slope gets more sunlight because of the way it faces, the ground will be warmer and will be less likely to freeze. In the Northern Hemisphere, slopes that face south, towards the Sun, get more sunlight than shady slopes that face north. The opposite is true in the Southern Hemisphere.

Steep slopes are likely to contain frozen ground. The steepness of the slope affects how much sunlight it gets. Steep slopes do not get as much direct sunlight, so they are colder. Steep slopes do not hold snow cover very well, so the bare ground loses more heat. Wind direction also affects whether frozen ground forms. If a slope faces into the wind, the ground will lose more heat. Plus, the wind will blow snow away making the ground even colder.

Lakes and rivers

Lakes and rivers are sources of heat in cold places. The water is warmer than the surrounding air and can keep the ground beneath it warmer in the winter. Lakes and rivers might not have frozen ground under them. Or, they might have a thicker active layer compared to nearby land.

Powerblanket Ground Frost Solutions

“Your blankets are absolutely excellent. Thanks to the Powerblankets, we were able to quickly thaw the ground and complete our job. In fact, we estimate a savings of 10 hours per site equaling a savings of $5,000 already. Calculating this to our thousands of sites, the savings is huge! We are excited about the time and money Powerblanket has saved us and look forward to future savings.”

— Kim Herman OSP/COEI Operations Manager Precision Utilities Group

The frost line is a reality many industrial companies must face.  The high watt density in Powerblanket ground thawing products helps tackle the difficulty of thawing ground in harsh climates.  Use a Powerblanket ground heater to save time, money, and stress.  

frozen ground being thawed

 

History Of Roofing

A Brief History of Roofing

The Greeks and Romans were the first to experiment with different roofing styles. When they began to conquer parts of Britain, they utilized slating and tiling to endure the rainy climate. It is indisputable that a roof is an essential component of any dwelling. Innovation has conquered many roofing issues and led to many different roofing styles. Most of the changes in roofing materials have developed in the last 200 years.

Although people generally still use the most available materials to make roof tiles in their region. Wood and metal are used in the southern part of North America, slate in the northeast, wood in the Midwest and tile in the southwestern part of North America. Now we are seeing technological advances in glass, polymer and smog absorbing tiles.

Timeline of Modern Roofing Materials and Systems

1896

Barrett Manufacturing Co. developed the alternating application of layers to produce an impenetrable foundation that we know today. This changed the shape of buildings, allowing for roofs to take on both a flat and pitched appearance.

1910

It is difficult to put a finger on who really created the black asphalt shingle. The H.M. Reynolds Company of Grand Rapids, MI, claimed to have invented the product, but it’s hard to prove. However, asphalt shingles enter the story in the early 1900’s–making it possible to roll and stretch the compound into a material that could be cut into shingles. Since their conception, asphalt shingles quickly replaced wood shingles because of their endurance.

1925

Clay tiling is one of the oldest forms of roofing materials and predates asphalt shingles. Over the years it has been improved in both style and shape. By 1925, the product was re-branded as an “ancient” material and catalogs from that time give evidence of their popularity in residential architecture.

1930

Slate roofing was used in northeastern U.S. and parts of Canada where it’s readily available. Contractors encourage the use not just because it was available but it was impervious to the harsh weather conditions. It’s a weighted material that does well with steep pitches. The trend of slate took off in the 30’s and could be seen on many residential and commercial properties across the U.S.

1936

A manufacturing company from Nevada changed roofing materials for the better. Homeowners wanted the look of clay tiles but not the weight or the cost. W.F. Norman Manufacturing Co. utilized the flexibility of metal’s design to construct stamped sheet metal roof tiles. It was the bridge between functionality and design.

1939

Republic Steel Co. decided that small individual metal panels added unnecessary weight. So, they formed large corrugations that spanned a longer distance. It reduced the volume of metal needed to provide the superior protection they are known for delivering.

1957

Red Cedar Shingle Bureau.  Cedar shingles commonly topped residential structures through the 19th century but were supplanted in popularity in the 20th century by asphalt. The shingle typology has been revived in the 21st century for roofing and siding applications, typically in higher-end projects.

Roofing Today:  Modern Roofing Issues

Training and Workers in Roofing

There is some really good training that happens in the roofing industry today — and there is some really poor training, too. The NRCA offers several training options that can be completed online or in person and hands-on.  There is training for roofing technology, roofing safety and professional development. The resources appear to be available; however, contractors need to buy in to the importance of introductory and ongoing professional training.  It would also be highly beneficial if the industry had a training standard. This shift in attitude is what the roofing industry needs to recruit the kind of people needed in the industry.

One of the biggest challenge roofers face is finding workers at all levels. The United states is getting older as a county and roofing is not post-retirement work. The field workforce today is almost 60 percent Latino, and the current immigration climate is affecting roofers’ ability to employ workers. Without a recognized and standard training program, roofing fails to create a foundation and tell the story of how rewarding it can be.

Major Changes in Industry

There are two. One is referred to as the “green building” movement.  Thirty years ago, roofing technology was primarily concerned with keeping water out of buildings. Today, roofers must understand long-term thermal properties, reflectivity, vegetative roof systems and the integration of photovoltaics into roof systems. That’s a big change.  Along with understanding, roofers need to be aware of tax credits and different programs available in their areas that encourage more efficient and sustainable roofing systems.

The second major change is the natural vertical integration of the industry. Years ago, it was not uncommon for contractors, distributors and manufacturers to fight with one another. Happily, the industry is moving much closer to alignment in all sectors.

Pricing

Roofers need to find the balance in pricing to offer a fair price to customers while maintaining value in the business. A top quality roof along with a great experience for customers should not also be the lowest price.  The saying, “you get what you pay for,” is a truth in contracting and construction. Many roofing companies do not have big enough margins to even keep their company running for more than a few years, so it is important to establish a dependable and admirable reputation in order to have staying power.  

Safety

OSHA continues to pass more strict safety laws. It’s important to be looking ahead and plan for the future. Roofers do not always agree with everything that OSHA passes, but unfortunately that doesn’t change the fact that they are the ones who have the authority to enforce the laws.

Roofers must be educated about the latest safety requirements and implement them as necessary to keep your employees safe and your company safe from violations and fines.

Winter Roofing Issues

According to Mitch Dickinson, a roofing contractor, “A roof will look the best in the conditions it was installed.”  There are few professional roofers, if any, that would dispute that claim. A winter installation will always look the best in the winter.  A summer install is the same. Temperature has such a great impact on the materials, unless you live in a climate with little to no temperature fluctuation, your roof will experience changes.  Cold temperatures change the roofing game completely. There are multiple things to consider and plan for when the mercury drops and people are in need of roof repair or installation.

Frost Dangers

Frost on Rooftops can set back start time, progress, and hamper safety of crew.  Most of the time crews tarp a roof, or roof section, one-two days prior to beginning a job to prevent frost.

When the shingle company delivers materials, they typically leave the shingles on the roof–ready for install.  If there is even a little frost, they will not deliver to the roof. This adds more time for the crew to move shingle boxes from the ground to the roof for install.

Protect Your Equipment

There are multiple pieces of roofing equipment that freeze up or quit completely under cold conditions:  compressors, nail guns, etc. Often a crew will take 10+ nail guns on a job because they freeze up and quit so frequently, and they don’t want the job to be stalled.  A new nail gun in the winter will sometimes only make it one job. Whereas, that same gun would have lasted all spring and summer and probably into the fall.

Plan For Snow Removal

Being employed during the winter months is frustrating because crews will sometimes spend 2 hours shoveling snow off of a roof to only have four hours of good daylight to actually work. Lengthy snow shoveling in sub-freezing temperatures can cause hypothermia and exhaustion. January and February are not profitable months for roofers.

Watch Expansion and Contraction

The expansion and contraction of materials is a big concern.  Vinyl siding, shingles, rain gutter, and metal roofing all expand or contract based on temperature.  Materials installed in the winter can/do buckle, curl, warp, and ripple in the heat of the summer. It is difficult to install materials in cold temperatures and account for the way they will grow in the heat.  Many winter jobs will inevitably require summer repairs/maintenance.

Know Your Warranties

Most roofing warranties protect materials if installed when above 40°F.  When it’s cold, roofers cannot guarantee the viability of the product or install.

Avoid Improper Storage

When the roof is cold and the ambient temperature is cold, adhesives are not only thick and hard to apply, they also won’t adhere to the roofing surface at all.  It’s almost like they lose their stickiness. If a dump trailer that is full of materials is exposed to moisture, rain, snow, it often freezes and then it cannot be dumped until the whole trailer thaws.  

Makeshift Winter Roofing Solutions

Many roofing companies have come up with their own creative methods for working in winter weather conditions.

Enclosures

To keep materials such as shingles and adhesives warm, some roofers will build a makeshift box that can house a heater in order to keep materials at a workable and warranted temperature.  This box may be a place to keep equipment warm as well.

Another solution for warming materials is to have a large enclosed trailer that has a heater. In this case, it is imperative to have proper ventilation if using a gas powered heater.

A frozen dump trailer, if warmed overnight in a heated shop, will enable dumping the next day.  You will have a giant puddle in your garage, but you will also have use of the trailer.

Tarping

Tarping a roof a few days prior to starting a job will ensure easier snow removal and safety for employees when the job is started. Using a tarp may speed up snow removal but it will not provide adequate insulation to keep roofing materials warm enough to work with.

Powerblanket Winter Roofing Solutions

Bulk Material Warmers

Storing shingles, adhesives, sealants and other roofing materials within proper temperatures greatly increases their usability and durability. Industrial Hot Boxes from Powerblanket protect temperature-sensitive materials during storage, transportation, and on the job site.

Our Hot Boxes provide uniform heat to all materials stored inside. This reduces the chance of having any hot and cold spots. Powerblanket specializes in winter construction solutions. Protect your roofing project from anything mother nature throws at you and keep jobs on schedule all year long. Contact us today to find the roofing solutions for your needs at 844.280.1276 or [email protected]

 

Keep Stucco Warm

Keep Stucco Warm

Stucco is one of the oldest exterior coverings for a home or dwelling. Comprised of lime, cement and sand, stucco was used in different forms by the natives in American southwest, the Moors in North Africa, and the ancient Mediterranean dynasties. It worked well because it sealed over stone, brick and wood, protecting structures from the elements. Today it is a primary exterior choice for homes in desert climates.   Traditionally, stucco was composed of lime, sand and water. In modern times, portland cement is added. Adding lime allows the stucco to be flexible when applying and is a sealer against water. Other additives like glass fibers and acrylic strands strengthen mix and prevent it from cracking.  For best application/install it is important to be aware of required stucco temperatures and to keep stucco warm.

Best Temperatures for Stucco

Standard recommendations for stucco application temperatures range from 40° F on the cool side to 90° F on the hot side. For best performance, the temperature of newly applied stucco should stay at a minimum of 40°F.  Too cold and the water in fresh plaster will freeze and create cracks. Too hot and it could dry too quickly, negatively affecting the hydration process and reducing optimal cure strength.

Cold Weather

The International Building Code for cement plastering requires that “plaster coats shall be protected from freezing for a period of not less than 24 hours after initial set has occurred. Plaster shall be applied when the ambient temperature is higher than 40 degrees Fahrenheit (4.4 degrees Celsius) unless provisions are made to keep cement plaster work above 40 degrees Fahrenheit (4.4 degrees Celsius) during application and 48 hours thereafter.”

Similarly, ACI 24, Guide to Cement Plastering, requires that “plaster installed when ambient temperatures are below 40 degrees Fahrenheit (4.4 degrees Celsius) must be maintained in a sheltered and heated environment with continued curing to assure cement hydration.”

At 32°F (0°C) and below, plaster/stucco will freeze on the wall and cause weakening of the plaster. Damage to the plaster can be so severe that you can rub it off the wall by using your hand.

Important to Know

In colder temperatures:

  • Hydration (an important part of the curing process) of cement-based materials is slower at cooler temperature.
  • Strength development of the material can be reduced.
  • Thermal fluctuations will cause movement in the substrate which can result in cracking.
  • Any crack in the substrate, including joints between substrate components, is subject to movement. Cracks that appear narrow in the warmth of the afternoon, widen significantly during the night when the temperature falls. This movement can cause surface cracks that will need repairs.

Some Helpful Stucco Installation Tips:

  • Do not apply plaster/stucco to frozen surfaces.
  • Know the extended weather forecast in order to plan for the install.
  • Keep stucco warm
    at 45 °F (7.2°C) or higher if possible.
  • Plan tenting/enclosures for proper application under cold conditions to avoid freezing –make sure your enclosure will withstand wind and rain.
  • Adequate ventilation should be engineered into the enclosure for safety and to provide
  • or proper air movement for curing. Avoid using gas, kerosene or other fossil fuel heaters because they can cause rapid carbonation of cement-based material during initial set and cure.
  • Ensure that the heat source can run long enough before and after the application for proper conditioning and cure times.
  • Use a pre-blended plaster/stucco to eliminate the need to heat the sand and frozen sand piles.
  • Water can be heated to accelerate the set and provide added protection of the cement paste. Do not heat the plaster/stucco mixture to more than 120°F.
  • Reduce the amount of mixing water to the practical minimum to minimize shrinkage cracking.

How to Keep Stucco Warm

Pre-Application

If you mix your own stucco, consider using a drum or bucket that you can warm with a blanket.  This will keep your materials at appropriate temperatures during the entire install.

Post-Application

Get a salamander and a license for operation.  A salamander heater is any of a variety of portable forced air or convection heaters.  They can be electric, or gas powered and work well within an enclosure to help maintain temperatures after application.

If your enclosure heater operates with a propane tank, consider a gas cylinder wrap or propane blanket that will help maintain pressure and optimize the performance of your tank.  

 

Roofing in Winter

Off Season Roofing

Late spring, summer, and early fall are the common seasons for roof construction and repairs. However some clients choose to take advantage of lower prices and embark on roofing projects during the winter. Winter roofing requires extra planning, precautions, and preventative measures to make sure the build is successful.

Roof with ice and gutter

Pros of Winter Roofing

Stop Heat Leaks

For anyone who has ever opened a shockingly huge heating bill, you know how costly heat leaks can be. Heat rises and will escape through any cracks or gaps in your roofing. Repairing these leaks will not only protect you from water damage, but also save you money during the winter.

Less Expensive

Most roofing crews assume that work will slow or stop completely during the winter. As a result, some roofers offer off season prices to keep their crews working during the winter. They also tend to have more open schedules than they do during the warm season, so booking jobs can be more straightforward.

Winter Roofing Precautions

Larger Crews

Timing construction projects during the winter can be tricky. Roofing crews need to work fast to make the most of shorter daylight hours and take advantage of any dry weather spells. Typically, this requires more hands on deck in order to churn out tasks in a matter of hours instead of days.

Ice and Snow Removal

Removing snow and ice from a roof can be a very dangerous endeavor. However sometimes emergency repairs cannot be postponed until spring time. Before any roof inspections can be conducted prior to a roofing job, snow and ice must be removed. Use a professional roof clearing service to ensure it is removed safely. Some ice melt chemicals damage roofing materials, so be sure to use ice removal products that are designed for roofs.

Warm Your Adhesives

Most roofing materials require adhesives that need warm weather (or an artificial heat source) to cure and fasten. During the warmer months, radiation from the sun would soften the adhesive, allowing it to seal the shingles together properly. Colder than 70° F and the glue stays too viscous, leading to weathering and erosion. Installing a roof in the winter, without the proper precautions, will lead it to fail quickly, if not immediately.

When solar radiation is weak, like during winter months, alternative heating sources are needed to keep adhesives warm and workable. Bulk material warmers, bucket warmers, and barrel heating jackets can be applied to adhesive containers to keep their viscosity low and your productivity high.

Powerblanket diagram showing the affect of temperature on fluid viscosity

Bundle Your Shingles

Keeping your shingles bundled and warm protects them up until they are ready to install. Under extreme cold, most materials become brittle and harder to work with. Make sure to follow the manufacturers stacking instructions so they are stored properly to avoid breakage.

Protect Your Tools

As temperatures drop, pressure controlled tools lose functionality.  Nail guns and air compressors cannot achieve the pressure needed to reach velocity.  Storing your hoses and compressors in a warm environment will increase their usability and help you work faster during dry periods. Warm storage also prevents ice from building up inside your hose lines. Switching to a lighter winter grade oil during will also help your compression tools work more efficiently during cold weather.

Watch Your Nails

Under driving nails during the winter can be a real problem. Ice buildup and frozen adhesives can impede proper nail driving. Under-performing compressors also cannot generate the force necessary for nails to penetrate. Warming your tools, shingles, and adhesives will help ensure your nails are properly driven and that the roof is secure.

Be Aware of Warranties

Some roofing materials, have strict temperature requirements when used under cold weather conditions. For example, most asphalt shingle manufacturers require that a specialized adhesive be  applied by hand to each shingle for temperatures below 40° Fahrenheit (4° Celsius). The manufacturer will void any warranty if the specialized adhesive is not used during shingle applications below 40° F. Cold climates not only effect the adhesive, but also cause the actual shingles to become less flexible and are more likely to break if dropped.winter roofing temperature guide any weather roofing

EPDM (rubber) membrane roofing is even more sensitive to its environment than asphalt shingles. Like a composition roof, EPDM requires warm temperatures to soften the adhesive needed for curing. Even at high temperatures EPDM can be difficult to work with because it is so thick. As a result, manufacturers recommend it be higher than 45° Fahrenheit (7° Celsius) to install EPDM. When external temperatures fall below this mark, warm storage areas are necessary in order to keep the adhesive pliable until it is used.

THINK INSIDE THE BOX 

Roofing materials come in a wide variety of container shapes and sizes. How do you keep stacks of shingles, and drums, or barrels of adhesive warm all at the same time? Electric pallet warmers can be a very versatile warming option for materials of all shapes and sizes.

Bulk material warmer from Powerblanket

Powerblanket Winter Roofing Solutions

Pallet Warmers

Powerblanket has a solution for your winter roofing needs. The Powerblanket Hot Box will maintain the desired temperature of your shingles and/or adhesive on site, making the winter install much easier. While roofing in winter isn’t ideal, Powerblanket makes it much easier than it has been in the past.

Powerblanket Hot Boxes save you money by keeping your products from freezing without the risk of overheating. Hot boxes are ideal for cold weather storage, freeze protection, transporting, job site heating, remote location use, and winter roofing. Standard Hot Boxes hold product between 100°F and 120°F (38°C and 49°C) and optional adjustable thermostatic controllers allow temperatures to be precisely controlled. The Hot Box pallet warmer can be easily assembled, taken apart, and reassembled. This is useful for contractors that need to easily move the box to different job sites.

  • Preserve temperature sensitive material.
  • Assemble quickly and easily.
  • Heat materials and palletized products: adhesives, shingles, paint, caulk, resins and epoxies, etc.
  • Access doors on two sides..
  • Certified to UL and CSA standards.

Bucket and Drum Heaters

For smaller jobs, specially designed bucket and drum heaters can keep individual containers of adhesives warm. They are portable, easy to install and remove and provide direct even heating that eliminates hot and cold spots.

Powerblanket can help you with cold weather construction solutions, and keep your crews on schedule. Contact Powerblanket to find the perfect solution for your winter roofing needs 888.316.6324 or [email protected]

May 2018 Power Manufacturer: Black Rifle Coffee Company

Black Rifle Coffee Company, from the heart of Salt Lake City, UT,  is May’s Powerblanket Power Manufacturer. We have featured companies in the past who manufacture taffy, rustic doors that double as art, composites and custom bikes. Now the spotlight shines on a company creating the bitter brilliance that most people rely on to get them out of bed every morning. Coffee.

HOW IT ALL STARTED

Black Rifle Coffee Company is a veteran-owned coffee company that produces some of the highest quality coffee ever made. CEO and founder, Evan Hafer, started BRCC in order to provide a high-quality roast to the pro-2A and veteran communities. He worked between deployments to create the perfect roast and also improve his firearm skills. After over a decade of researching, refining and drinking coffee, he decided to combine his two passions. Thus, Black Rifle Coffee Company was born and coffee has never been the same.  “I take pride in the coffee we roast, the veterans we employ, and the causes we support,” said Evan Hafer, CEO.

Black Rifle Coffe Co. Company photo

STANDING OUT

Over the past three years, Black Rifle Coffee has grown from a basement-run business to a 30 million dollar company. How? BRCC not only takes special interest in the quality of the coffee they roast, but also to their customer base. They have expanded their roasting and distribution operations in order to be closer to the customers. This way they ensure high quality, roasted-to-order coffee that is delivered as quickly as possible. BRCC customers enjoy the freshest brew possible. BRCC has every kind of roast, from light roast to extra dark and even cold brews.

MORE THAN A GOOD CUP OF COFFEE

Coffee is not this company’s only priority. At Black Rifle, they strongly focus on supporting veteran employment and helping veteran entrepreneurs succeed. Mohammad Wali Tasleem and Evan (CEO) met years ago in Afghanistan where they worked together for over a decade. When Wali moved to the United States, he went from being a dedicated Commando to a gas station cashier working very hard to support his family of seven. Not long after, Evan heard about Wali’s situation and that Wali was coming to Salt Lake City for a tour. Evan knew before Wali got there that he was going to offer him a job.  THey welcomed Wali with a steady income and a fully furnished house.

GEAR AND APPAREL

From shirts, hats, and hoodies to mugs, tumblers, and top-notch coffee makers, Black Rifle Coffee Company is going above and beyond to guarantee their customers have everything they need to enjoy the perfect brew. All of their shirts are printed in-house to maintain quality product outcome.

COFFEE OR DIE MAGAZINE

BRCC produces a publication called Coffee or Die Magazine where they post articles that are “rich with content”.  Marty Skuvland Jr., executive editor of Coffee or Die Magazine, guarantees that the stories in this magazine are “original, compelling and well-written”. When reading Black Rifle’s online magazine, the reader will enjoy interesting and honest stories.

ADVICE FROM BRCC

BRCC is all about teamwork. When it comes to building a strong and driven environment, Black Rifle suggests, “Build a team of leaders in their specific expertise, and find mentors who are willing to help you succeed and charge forward without fear.”. So far, that seems to be working very well for them as they continue to grow as more than just a coffee roasting company. Not only does Black Rifle earn this award because of their manufacturing abilities, but also because of the amazing culture they have and continue to create.  

Process Heating Engineering: Vanilla Beans

Process Heating Engineering Vanilla Bean Case StudyProcess Heating Engineering:  Vanilla Beans

Often, when your industry is unique, there is not a ready-to-ship solution for your specific process heating needs.  Powerblanket’s process heating engineering uses ingenuity and Powerblanket technology to solve the temperature needs of many different companies throughout many different industries.

Powerblanket recently worked with Tahitian Gold, vanilla producer of choice for master chefs and culinary institutions, gourmet cooks and food connoisseurs, to find the best process heating engineering solution for their vanilla beans.

The Heating Problem

Tahitian Gold vanilla beans require heating before processing, and Tahitian Gold did not have an effective means of consistent, safe heating. They tested various Powerblanket products for buckets, barrels, totes and even a flat blanket to determine which process heating solution would be most effective for their current temperature needs.

While this is not an overly complicated process heating dilemma, the mass of the beans and uncontrolled air gaps, along with awkward sizes and complex temperature and wattage requirements caused problems with consistent heating.  Hence, the reason for testing multiple Powerblanket options to ensure optimal results.

After experimenting, Tahitian Gold and Powerblanket’s engineers teamed up to create custom tank heaters.  These tank heaters applied evenly distributed heat that consistently warms all of the beans regardless of air gaps and awkward sizes.  In addition to the custom tank heaters, Tahitian Gold also uses Powerblanket 55 Pro Drum heaters and select bucket heaters for specific heating during their processes.  Tahitian Gold was thankful for the opportunity Powerblanket gave them to experiment, and for the Powerblanket engineers who helped point them in the right direction.

Each Powerblanket option provides concentrated heat to help consistently heat the beans throughout each container.

Powerblanket will approach your process heating needs with creativity built around your heating requirements.  To learn more about custom heating solutions and what Powerblanket can do for you, click here.

 

April 2018 Power Manufacturer:  Fezzari

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Fezzari saw that buying a good bike at a good value was an ordeal. Chris Washburn, Fezzari founder, repeatedly saw that people were improperly fit for their bike, or simply riding a bike that was the wrong size altogether for years without even knowing it. The industry was in desperate need of change.
In April, Jordan Washburn, Fezzari Sales/Marketing
Experience Engineer, shared some insight into how Fezzari addressed this issue within the bicycle industry and what qualities make this Utah bike manufacturer a power manufacturer.

Who is Fezzari?

Active, passionate people excited to help others experience and love cycling make up the Fezzari team. Based in the heart of some of the best biking in the world, from the Utah slickrock trails in Moab to the  pine-filled peaks in the Wasatch Mountains, the team actively rides the trails and roads. Fezzari supports biking, adventures, the outdoors, and healthy lifestyles. Making the world a healthier place through fitness, fun, socialization, healthy living, and getting back to nature is a major focus. They support individuals and people who push their limits and overcome obstacles to achieve their goals, and are an active supporter of grassroots biking clubs, like high school biking leagues.

How It Started

Fezzari wasn’t founded by a Tour de France champion or a massive company. Chris Washburn was a successful attorney and businessman, but was traveling non-stop. He missed his kids’ soccer games and family time. One day he said, “There’s got to be more to life than this.” He stopped everything and changed course, going back to one of his passions and with the desire to have a positive impact on the world. He started Fezzari in his garage with the vision that quality and experience come first. It has quietly grown to become one of the largest rider-direct bicycle brands.  

Fezzari Changed the Bike

Fezzari  made it personal. The rider comes first. With the Fezzari experience, every bike is custom built and personally fit to each rider’s body measurements and riding style. Fezzari also decided to sell rider-direct (consumer-direct) to ensure the best service, quality, and attention to detail, and then passing the savings on to the rider. two people riding bikes

A Better Biking Experience

“Once you own a Fezzari, you are part of the family.”  From choosing the right bike with the support of their expert team, to custom building the bike to each rider’s measurements, Fezzari makes satisfaction a number one priority.  They also provide post-sale support with the No Risk Just Ride Guarantee and Lifetime Warranty. 

Every Step Counts

Fezzari is proud of their engineering, design work and actual bike building. Every step, from birth to real riding, takes place within Fezzari:  

  • Bike idea
  • Rough sketches
  • Nailing the geometry numbers so that the bike rides well
  • 3D drawings
  • Alloy prototypes and 3D plastic printed frames
  • Real working prototypes,
  • Production and building and shipping

 

Fezzari is excited about wo new carbon bikes that will launch within the next couple of months that went through this exact process over the course of the last two years!

mountain biking in the woods

 

“With each new design and concept we don’t want to make it best bike we’ve ever made, but we shoot for building the best bikes in the industry.  We are proud of that and also the fact that we started selling bikes out of our garage, and now ship thousands of bikes around the world each year.  Ironically 68% of our business is repeat and referral business, which in this industry is insane. We focus on making amazing product and providing amazing service so that the customers are just as proud of Fezzari as we are and naturally spread the word.”

Staying Relevant

The key to maintaining and evolving in the industry is to make sure Fezzari products are always evolving. Luckily, Fezzari was ahead of the curve when it comes to selling consumer-direct, because many have followed their lead. But in an age where other companies are now jumping on board, they distinguish themselves by offering a complete experience that no other company can touch through programs such as:  best-in-class bikes, customer service, Love it or Return it Guarantee, and Lifetime Warranty on all frames. . Fezzari strives to make the buying experience as seamless as possible and provides bikes that riders will enjoy for life.

High Praise

Fezzari has received praise and great reviews from industry experts over the years, which has only fueled their growth and popularity. More importantly however, they pride themselves on the great reviews they get from customers, that’s what drives and motivates Fezzari.

 

Power Manufacturer AwardFezzari Bicycles is our fourth winner of the Power Manufacturer of the Month Award. Check out some of our other winners for great examples of the manufacturing culture and diversity we have here in the State of Utah. Have a small manufacturing company in mind that you think would qualify as a Power Manufacturer? Let us know in the comments!

 

March 2018 Power Manufacturer: Rock West Composites

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Power Manufacturer AwardMarch 2018 Power Manufacturer: Rock West Composites

From taffy to custom barn doors, we now move on to the world of composites.  Manufacturing is a broad and diverse industry, and through the Power Manufacturing Award, we hope to represent the many different industries that demonstrate manufacturing excellence.

Rock West Composites

Rock West Composites, our Power Manufacturer of the Month for March,  operates from a 66,000 sq. ft. office/manufacturing facility located in West Jordan, Utah. Rock West fabricates stock and custom composite tubes, plates, rods, angles, shapes, and connectors in addition to offering a variety of complementary products. They are a full-service supplier for composite products. Rock West offers services from initial engineering and product development to prototyping to low and high volume production.

Rock West manufactures products made from advanced composite materials such as carbon fiber, fiberglass, and aramids and have expertise in every imaginable composite fabrication process, including but not limited to roll wrapping, filament winding, bladder molding, silicone expansion molding, and vacuum bagging. composite material laminates

Employee Owned

Their highly experienced and entrepreneurial team is growing fast, and yet is still small enough to be nimble and maintain streamlined cost structures. Rock West’s motto is “Aerospace expertise. Commercial pricing.” They are proud to deliver daily on that motto.

Rock West is employee-owned, is self-funded, and has been growing at over a 20% year-over-year compounded growth rate. They re-invest in the business each year by expanding, purchasing new equipment, and hiring new talent to make sure they stay on the growth curve.

Industry Leader

Rock West is an industry leader because of their custom work, and they also have a thriving Ecommerce business selling manufactured product and other complementary merchandise: tubes, plates, panels, materials and manufacturing supplies. Industries such as aerospace and defense, industrial, scientific, oil and gas, consumer products and sporting goods all benefit from Rock West products.  They are proud to be AS9100D / ISO 9001:2015 certified. manufacturing equipment in warehouse

Advice from Rock West

Rock West CEO, Jim Gormican said, “Make sure you have a product that is differentiated in the marketplace. Hire great people and reward them for their performance. Monitor orders, sales and profit monthly and adjust as needed. Focus on innovation and solving your customers’ problems.”  This is great advice for anyone looking to find success–products and people are what make manufacturing happen and solving problems makes customers happy.

In addition to Rock West Composites in Utah, they have a composites manufacturing facility in San Diego. Rock West Solutions in Santa Barbara, CA, develops high-fidelity sensor systems.

 

February 2018 Power Manufacturer:  Rustica Hardware

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Power Manufacturer Awardwooden doors for rustica hardware in a living roomRustica Hardware, of Springville, UT–the Art City, is our featured Power Manufacturer for February. Rustica is the second manufacturer to win the Power Manufacturer of the Month Award by Powerblanket. Although they seem to have little in common with our first winner, Taffy Town, Rustica Hardware shows that manufacturing is not a stereotypical industry. We started this campaign to spread the word about the manufacturing industry and the businesses who are making an impact in it, regardless of the specific industry or business model. Rustica Hardware is definitely making an impact, and are doing some very exciting things to set them apart as a Power Manufacturer. 

Like many companies, Rustica Hardware began with a wish and a dream.  The founders, Kate and Paul Alan, loved cabins and rustic furniture and decor.  As they created and explored their options, they found that beautiful doors and hardware were the niche that fueled their fire.  Eleven years from it’s conception, Rustica Hardware is a thriving manufacturing business with a very bright future.  Ben Lewis, Chief Marketing Officer, spent some time helping us to become more familiar with Rustica Hardware and their specific vision.

It’s Not Just a Door

If you were to walk into any mill or metal shop typically they will tell you, “We make doors, cabinets, hardware, etc.”  That is the product base at Rustica; however, if you were to ask what they do, they would say, “We make functional art that brings soul to people’s living spaces.” This one-liner puts into perspective how they are different and reminds them why they are successful. They envision, create, and manufacture functional art, not doors. So if the product prepared for shipping isn’t inspiring, it doesn’t ship. Rustica Hardware promises quality, speed, and an artistic aesthetic with every single product–that’s what makes them different. 

handsome brown haired engineer drawing at table in warehouse

Mass Customization 

An idea that they have built their facility around is “mass customization.” Because they offer so many different options and to ensure the product will bring soul to the intended living space, they had to create a machine unlike any other in the market to accommodate totally custom requests with short lead times. “We will proudly turn around a totally custom door in two-three weeks, and a totally custom hardware set in just three-five business days,” said Lewis.  The facility’s layout accommodates huge quantities of this speedy customization every single day, which is something they are very proud of.

What Keeps Rustica Hardware on Top

Their approach to business, creation, and manufacturing really hasn’t changed much since they began. Their primary focus has always been to create products that move and inspire people.  The only difference now is that they have expanded to meet the huge demand for their products. Moreover, they value their people and have scaled up with the most talented people in the industry to ensure they can create products quickly and of the highest quality imaginable.

Award Winner

Rustica Hardware has received numerous trade/home show awards.  They are a Utah “Best in State” company for the door and hardware industry. They have been honored as as Best of Houzz and many others. On top of that, their products have appeared on many home improvement shows featured on HGTV, DIY network, and FYI. Their products have also made the big screen as parts of sets for major motion pictures.

Rustica Hardware Headquarters in front of mountain

Advice from Rustica Hardware

Lewis said, “Find a lane and stick to it. There is always the temptation to try to be something to everyone, but when you do that you risk being nothing to no one. Avoid the call to offer your products below their value. It will be a longer road to success by maintaining your standards, but it will build your company on a firmer foundation to cultivate customers who are actual fans of your brand.”

In the Future

In fact, Rustica Hardware has recently been filmed to potentially get their own renovation TV show on the A&E network. According to Lewis, “Nothing is set in stone yet, but it’s looking very possible that millions of viewers, from all over the US, could be tuning into the Utah manufacturing scene weekly.”

 

Taffy Town, January Power Manufacturer

Power Manufacturing Award
Introducing the first ever Power Manufacturing Award from Powerblanket. Here at Powerblanket, we are passionate about a lot of things, but the one thing we are most passionate about is manufacturing. We love it. And, it just so happens that we are very good at it. After years of hard work, failure, success, and industry recognition, we have learned just how important the manufacturing industry is to not only the economy at all levels, but the quality of everyday life.

With that, we believe that it is important to spread the word about the power of small business, manufacturing, and the dedication that drives this industry that makes the world go ’round. So each month, we will be spotlighting a manufacturer who is mastering the principles and processes that makes manufacturing so great. We encourage everyone to support these businesses that help create jobs, make everyday life just a little better, and inspire future generations to carry on the mantle small business and manufacturing. So for the inaugural Power Manufacturing Award, we’d like to introduce you to Taffy Town.

From Mining to Manufacturing

Taffy Town storefront

Taffy Town, formerly Glade Candy Company, started as a means to raise supplemental funds following the birth of  founder James Vernon Glade’s second child.  Just a few months from those first candies, James left mining and began delivering candy by bike to several accounts.  Little did he know, the pocket change used to buy the ingredients for some peppermint chews would blossom into a company that is now over 100 years old.

Four generations, two names, and many candies later, Taffy Town has established itself as a premier purveyor of taffy, offering over 70+ different flavors.  

In 2016 Taffy Town was awarded UMA’s Manufacturer of the Year award. In this same year the company moved into its new 43,000 square foot facility in West Jordan, UT.  There the company manages around 50 employees and produces over 20,000 pounds of taffy a day. Taffy Town distributes in all 50 states and internationally.  

Traditionally Un-traditional

Taffy Town candy storyTaffy Town does not use the traditional taffy-pulling process that some may remember seeing in store windows.  Instead, they use a whipping process and 24 hour-long batch conditioning process to produce a soft texture taffy that melts in your mouth. Their products contain no peanuts and no tree nuts, and they are gluten free and kosher dairy.

Powerblanket is excited to honor Taffy Town as the January 2018 Power Manufacturer.  They are a fantastic example of manufacturing excellence demonstrated throughout their four generations of ownership.

 

Cold Weather Construction Safety

Cold Weather Safety for Construction

The construction industry is a high risk industry, regardless of the time of year. But when cold temperatures, snow, ice, and wind are added to the mix, precautions must be in place to protect your workforce, equipment, materials, and the job.

Preparing and educating your employees on cold weather winter safety best practices can reduce the rate of illness, injury, and dangerous accidents. Always emphasize “safety first.”

Winter Construction Safety Tips

For trade specific guidelines on how to keep your crew and job site safe visit OSHA to start winter off on the right foot.

Know the forecast

Pay attention to changing weather conditions. Today we enjoy the benefit of real time updates on our phones and computers. Sign up for weather alert notifications so you can stay updated out in the field. When the weather outside is unsuitable for outside work, reschedule.  

Limit exposure to the elements

Wind chill can take an existing temperature from workable to downright miserable.  And when wind and low temperatures are combined, it can be hard to reduce exposure for workers. Your employees were not made to be outdoors in these elements for long periods of time. Shorten the duration of outside work and break up larger projects into smaller tasks. Educate yourself on early and late symptoms of hypothermia so you can keep a watchful eye on your crew. Keep a lookout for excessive shivering, fatigue, coordination loss, and disorientation. Have a plan in place to quickly warm and dry anyone exhibiting these symptoms. 

Establish a warm break area

Outside work is absolutely unavoidable for the construction industry, but workers need a place away from the elements to take a break. A heated trailer or a tent with portable heaters and appropriate ventilation works great. Educate supervisors and workers on proper safety procedures with heating devices.

Emphasize proper hydration

We forget that our bodies sweat, even when it is cold outside, and especially when we are wearing extra layers of clothing. Keep plenty of water on hand.  While many workers think caffeinated drinks will get them through their day, water is what the body really needs.

Require clothing that will keep workers warm and dry

Boots with non-slip soles, heavy coats, gloves, and hats are all essential for protecting the body from severe cold weather. Proper clothing is the first step in preventing hypothermia and frostbite and for cold weather protection.

Know the signs of frostbite and hypothermia

Even when employers do everything they can to protect workers, issues can still arise. Supervisors and workers need to know the symptoms of hypothermia and frostbite so that if anyone shows these signs, they can receive immediate medical attention.

Remove Snow and Ice

Check the job site early each day, before the work begins, for snow and ice accumulation and for any additional hazards. Be prepared with salt or sand and remove large patches of snow and ice. Snow and ice removal, if left to the crew, will slow down the job and deplete their energy.

Winterize and prepare vehicles

Before heading into the cold season, inspected all vehicles and equipment to determine if they are prepared for cold weather construction. Top off fluids, check tire tread and air pressure, and change filters. Equip all vehicles with winter kits that contain an ice scraper, snow brush, shovel, tow chain, flashlight with extra batteries, emergency flares, a blanket, snacks and water. Also, educate workers on what to do and who to call if they are stranded in a vehicle.

Prepare and protect equipment

In addition to preparing vehicles for winter safety, smaller construction equipment also needs attention. Air compressors work best in well-ventilated areas with an ambient temperature in the compressor system’s optimal range, typically 40-95°F. If the temperature around your compressor becomes too hot or too cold, the compressor may not start or may exhibit performance issues. Moisture control also becomes a factor.  Moisture that becomes ice can accumulate and affect the way the system runs, blocking drainage and preventing efficient compression.

Protect Critical Materials

Adhesives, concrete, shingles, paint, caulk, resins, epoxies, and other construction materials need additional protection during cold weather construction. Winter safety also includes keeping these materials at proper temperatures for application. Failing to protect critical materials could result in shoddy work that affects the overall finished product.  

protect critical construction materials

Powerblanket Winter Construction Solutions

We know that shutting down for the “off season” is a financially risky proposition. With Powerblanket, there is no off season. We specialize in providing winter construction crews with the tools they need to get back to work.

bulk material warmers

Hot boxes are ideal for cold weather construction safety, freeze protection, transporting, job site heating, remote location use, and winter roofing. Standard Hot Boxes hold product between 100°F and 120°F (38°C and 49°C) –optional adjustable thermostatic controllers allow precise temperature control. They are quick and easy to assemble and transport from job site to job site. Heat and protect a wide variety of container shapes and sizes. Access doors on 2 sides provide you with easy access to your materials whenever you need them. 

Powerblanket enables construction crews to take back control during the winter and get back on schedule. Protect expensive equipment, reduce wintertime waste, keep your workers safe, and keep operations running with Powerblanket. We also specialize in custom requests and quickly assess your needs and find the perfect temperature control products for you. Contact us to find winter construction solutions for your needs 855.385.8516 or [email protected]

 

How to Lower Viscosity and Flow Control in Colder Temperatures

oil viscosityReducing viscosity is a challenge during cold winter months. Temperatures that dip below optimum working levels can cause materials that are normally fluid to freeze up into solids or thicken. When this happens, projects are delayed, potentially leading to missing deadlines and loss of profit. What can be done to protect fluid materials from becoming too viscous? 

Though viscosity is a complicated and sometimes confusing topic, it only takes a minute to learn a few of the ground rules to viscosity. Through these viscosity basics, you can improve flow control of fluid materials and prevent them from being damaged by cold temperatures. 

VISCOSITY REDUCTION BASICS

A fluid that is viscous will be thick, sticky, and semifluid in consistency. Viscosity can be affected by friction and/or temperature.

concrete viscosity

Friction

For example, consider what happens when you need some ketchup on your burger. If you simply invert the bottle and expect the ketchup to flow freely, you are a rookie in the sport of burger-eating. Any professional ketchup shaker knows to shake the bottle and then to proceed with caution, because once you have decreased viscosity, due to the shaking, the ketchup can flow quite rapidly. In other words, keeping the ketchup in motion prevents it from increasing in viscosity. 

Mixing concrete is a similar experience. Though not exactly a liquid, wet concrete must be stirred for it to retain its low viscosity. When allowed to stand still or set, concrete’s viscosity increases up to the point of solidifying. Concrete must be continually churned in order to maintain its fluidity.

Temperature

Temperature is also a factor in decreasing viscosity. Think about honey, certainly a substance that is thick, sticky and semifluid. Simply shaking a jar of honey will not guarantee any flow. Honey cooled in a refrigerator will have little to no flow because it has been cooled, but when warmed appropriately*, there is a viscosity reduction and honey will flow smoothly.honey viscosity

Along with the shear rate, temperature really is the dominating influence. The higher the temperature is, the lower a substance’s viscosity is. The relationship between temperature and viscosity is inversely proportional for all liquids. A change in temperature always affects the viscosity – it depends on the substance just how much it is influenced by a temperature change. For some fluids, even a decrease of 1° C (1.8° F) causes a 10 % increase in viscosity.

FLUIDS REQUIRING LOWER VISCOSITY

Though not a comprehensive list of all materials that are impacted by cold temperatures, the following items offer a quick look at how many fluids must maintain low viscosity to be effective:

  • Acetone
  • Automatic Transmission Fluid, Antifreeze, and Brake Fluid
  • Aviation Fuels
  • Benzene
  • Bunker Oil, Marine Fuel Oil
  • Chloroform
  • Crude Oil
  • Diesel Fuel
  • Ethanol
  • Gear Oil
  • Grease
  • Heavy Fuel Oil
  • Honey
  • Hydrofluoric Acid
  • Ink
  • Mercury
  • Methanol
  • Mollasses
  • Citric Acid
  • Paraffin Wax
  • Pentane
  • Sulfuric Acid
  • Tetrahydrofuran
  • Toluene

How to Decrease Viscosity

As mentioned above, viscosity in fluid materials will decrease if one of two measures are taken. Causing friction, such as stirring, mixing or shaking, will keep the material fluid enough to flow correctly. Applying heat to the material will also increase fluidity and protect it from damages that occur when settling.

If it’s supposed to flow but you can’t take it out of its container, ensure low viscosity by using a heating wrap or heated box cover. Evenly distributed heat can be used to warm up material and keep it stable at a specified temperature.

Powerblanket Viscosity Control Solutions

drum barrel heater

Powerblanket makes it easy to lower viscosity of fluids. Powerblanket offers various ready-to-ship viscosity products, from bucket and drum heaters to IBC tote heaters. Each Powerblanket product guarantees the following: 

  • Deliver safe, uniform heat to expensive materials without overheating or burning while lowering viscosity.
  • Full wrap-around design provides complete insulation and ensures equal heat distribution.
  • Increase the performance and efficiency of your processes—decrease viscosity.
  • Safety certified to UL and CSA Standards. Class1 Div2 hazardous location products also available.
  • Energy-efficient technology lowers energy-related expenses and overall project and equipment costs.
  • Decrease and prevent product waste among temperature sensitive materials by maintaining consistent storage temperatures without significant fluctuations.

Powerblanket also produces custom solutions for most applications. If you need help with viscosity reduction, Powerblanket has you covered.

Learn More Here

 

*Do not heat honey much above 100° F (38° C) to avoid nutritional loss.

Source

“Viscosity Tables and Viscosity Charts.” Viscopedia. 30 December 2016. http://www.viscopedia.com/viscosity-tables/

 

Powerblanket Receives the AME Award

Powerblanket Receives The Association for Manufacturing Excellence Award

The Association for Manufacturing Excellence (AME) today announced four recipients of the AME 2017 Excellence Award. The AME Excellence Award primarily recognizes North American manufacturing plants that have demonstrated excellence in manufacturing and business. The award acknowledges continuous improvement, best practices, creativity and innovation. Recognized among those four recipients is Powerblanket, the smallest company ever to receive this award.

Powerblanket – Salt Lake City, Utah

The leader in total temperature control, Powerblanket designs and manufactures high technology smart controls and monitoring devices, heating blankets, and chilling products that solve a wide range of temperature problems in industries such as oil and gas, construction, industrial, mining, and railroad. The AME assessment team highlighted Powerblanket’s great culture throughout the company. The team also commended Powerblanket’s improvements and impressive turnaround, especially for only being three years into its lean journey. The award presentation will take place on Oct. 25, 2017.

Powerblanket ground thawing blanket

How It All Started

Powerblanket is a great example of problem solving and innovation in industry. A concrete worker in Salt Lake City, UT wanted to work more efficiently year-round. He worked with an engineering professor at the University of Utah to create an efficient heating technology that would cure concrete quickly and with maximum strength. They developed an innovative concrete heating product and founded Powerblanket, which soon became a leading manufacturer in the concrete industry.  This technology proved to solve many temperature problems for applications across many different industries, and they began wrapping barrels, buckets, pipes, and tanks. From there they developed an expertise in temperature control, built a world-class custom design team, created control devices, and entered the industrial cooling industry with a new line of chillers and cooling blankets.

What started as a solution to a common construction problem, has turned into an industry-leading company that engineers and manufactures temperature control solutions for many different industries all over the world.

More About the AME Award

The AME Excellence Award has a rigorous selection process that begins when a company submits an extensive achievement report based on the AME Excellence Award evaluation criteria. Achievement reports are evaluated by the AME award assessment team. For companies that score high enough in this achievement report review, an intensive site visit is completed, during which a volunteer team of manufacturing practitioners validates the submitted achievement report. Recipients of the Excellence Award are selected based on the combined results of the achievement report review and site visit feedback.

The AME Excellence Award is not something that can be achieved by one person or one company leader. It takes all team members working together to achieve the level of enterprise excellence that the AME Excellence Award recognizes. With that in mind, AME representatives will visit award recipients’ facilities to present awards in person so that everyone working in these facilities can participate in the celebration.

Recipients will also be honored at the AME 2017 International Conference, taking place Oct. 9-13 in Boston, Mass. Recipients will share their best practices with other lean and continuous improvement practitioners in attendance.  

To learn more about the Excellence Award and the 2017 recipients, visit www.ame.org/excellence-awards.

The Art of the Slip and Fall

The Art of the Slip and Fall

When it comes to winter time, many people think of the holidays and the magical atmosphere that accompanies snow. For others, it is an inconvenience that needs to cease as quickly as possible. One thing that we can all agree on is that slipping and falling is no fun, at least for you. Now watching others do it is another story. As long as no one gets seriously injured we can all sit back, enjoy the show, and thank the gods of winter for video cameras.

Basketfall

via GIPHY

Ladies and gentlemen, the next Steph Curry.

Crossing Guard

via GIPHY

Can we get a guard for the crossing guard?

I Like Turtles

via GIPHY

Such a great ‘turtle on its back impression’. Get that man a prize!

Sidewalk or Slidewalk

via GIPHY

Ouch! Breaking face! I mean news…

9/10

via GIPHY

This one is actually a bit graceful, and I hope the gentlemen behind her rushed to her aid.

Great Flail

via GIPHY

Sometimes you just gotta take a moment.

Couples Therapy

via GIPHY

Misery loves company, right?

Snow Shoveling Fun

via GIPHY

Points for shovel throw and distance.

It’s Still Funny in Black and White

via GIPHY

Losing groceries on top of humiliation makes for a bad day.

 

We’ve all had one of those cringe-worthy moments where you hope no one was around to see it, much less record it.  Navigate the slippery slope with safety.  We wish you the best as temperature drops.

IBC Tank Sizes and IBC Dimensions

IBC Tank Sizes

An ideal storage container, there are a variety of IBC tank sizes for your industrial needs. Intermediate bulk containers (IBCs), totes and tanks are ideal for storing industrial products in large quantities

What Do You Put in Your IBC?

 

Which IBC Tank Size Do You Need?

IBC tote tanks are an essential container for many industrial operations.  Hazardous materials, chemicals, and dangerous goods are stored in IBCs.  The food industry stores liquid, granulated, and powdered food ingredients, along with syrups, corn syrup, and molasses within IBC tote tanks.  They are ideal for solvents, detergents, or adhesives.  IBC tote tanks are even used for rooftop rainwater collection.

Such a versatile storage tool, IBCs are manufactured in plastic, carbon steel, or stainless steel and IBC sizes range from 180 to 550 gallons.

IBC tote and tank sizes

IBC tank dimensions vary; however, Powerblanket manufactures heaters for IBCs.

Powerblanket IBC Tank Heater Dimensions:

250 Gallon / 950 Liter 48’L x 42”W x 35”H

122cmL x 107cmW x 89cmH

275 Gallon / 1040 Liter 48”L x 40”W x 46”H

122cmL x 106cmW x 117cmH

330 Gallon / 1250 Liter 48”L x 40”W x 53”H

122cmL x 107cmW x 89cmH

350 Gallon / 1325 Liter 48”L x 42”W x 47”H

122cmL x 107cmW x 120cmH

450 Gallon / 1703 Liter 48”L x 42”W x 59”H

122cmL x 107cmW x 150cmH

550 Gallon / 2082 Liter 48”L x 42”W x 71”H

122cmL x 107cmW x 180cmH

 

How do you keep a barrel or IBC tank that is full of product at an optimal temperature? Powerblanket has the solution. Powerblanket heaters emit safe, consistent heat to ensure your IBC tanks are stored at optimal temperatures. Our standard IBC heaters fit 250 gallon, 275 gallon, 330 gallon, 350 gallon, 450 gallon and 550 gallon IBC tanks. Through our custom process we can manufacture heaters to fit any IBC. Easy to install, Powerblanket IBC heaters will save you time, money, and preserve your sensitive products, whether in storage or in transit.

Learn more about IBC tank heaters

Industrial Internet of Things

Industrial Internet of Things

In the world of growing technologies, the phrase “Internet of Things” has garnered quite the buzz. Put simply, the Internet of Things, or “IoT”, is the use of the internet to connect objects and enable them to send and receive data. IoT has the potential to connect anything with an on switch to the internet (toasters, large-scale production machinery, automotives, etc.) as well as specific parts of machines such as airplane engines or oil rig drills. The Internet of Things allows these objects or components to share data which is sent to a storage cloud and shared with users via smartphone, tablet, or computer.  The application of IoT is nearly endless.  Smart homes, smart cities, and self-driving cars are just a few of the developing IoT technologies expected to revolutionize our day-to-day tasks.

When it comes to industrial business, Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) is one of the most notable disruptive trends. According to McKensy, Industrial Internet of Things will have an economic impact of up to $6.2 trillion by the year 2025 and has the potential to drive operating costs across several industries.  Industrial IoT applications include machine to machine (M2M) communications for machine auto-diagnosis, indoor air quality control at chemical plants, and the temperature monitoring of storage containers containing sensitive materials, just to name a few.

The Benefits

The benefits of the utilization of Industrial IoT are compelling and countless. Internet of Things technology allows users to integrate and utilize data from different sources (humans, machines, parts). This data can provide valuable new insights to drive smarter, faster business decisions. For example, real-time production data may reveal additional capacity for increased production. Data collected for Industrial IoT can significantly increase efficiency and productivity, decrease production costs, and improve safety by providing data relevant to predictive maintenance. Additionally, Industrial IoT simplifies day-to-day operations by putting access to any and all industry machines and technologies at a user’s fingertips.

Have You Met Beacon?

The Beacon Wifi Temperature Monitor is an example of an Industrial IoT device that simplifies day-to-day tasks and provides valuable data gathered from multiple temperature-control products, all at your fingertips. The Beacon Wifi Temperature Monitor allows users to monitor and control Powerblanket products (or any other device that would benefit from temperature control) from a smartphone or computer. More importantly, it allows users to receive text, email or push notifications when the temperature goes outside the specified limits, so users can set the temperature and walk away with complete peace of mind. If you are interested in integrating IoT technology into your industrial business, The Beacon Wifi Temperature Monitor is an excellent place to start.

 

 

How Cold is Too Cold to Pour Concrete?

 Ground heating electrical blanket for curing concrete
Experts agree that the best temperature to pour concrete is between 50-60 °F. The necessary chemical reactions that set and strengthen concrete slow significantly below 50 °F and are almost non-existent below 40 °F. Even when daytime temperatures are within the satisfactory range, winter concrete setting creates risks that could result in weak, inadequate concrete. If nighttime temperatures are below freezing, the water in the concrete will freeze and expand, causing cracks. Additionally, if temperatures reach below 40 °F (but not freezing) during set time, concrete will take much longer to reach required strength. However, if the correct measures are taken, concrete can still be successfully placed during even the coldest months of the year.

Things to Consider with Cold Weather Concreting

Before embarking on a cold weather concrete project, it’s important to determine any special strength requirements or considerations. This will help as you schedule your pouring and determine which strategies you will use to keep your surroundings and materials warm. The predominant challenge you will face during a winter concrete project is ensuring that the concrete sets before it is exposed to freezing temperatures. You might take the following suggestions into consideration as you plan your upcoming project:

  • Use heaters to thaw frozen ground, snow or ice.
  • Use hot water to mix cement.
  • Keep dry materials in a dry, warm location.
  • Use products designed to set quickly. During cold weather, these products will not set as quickly as the instructions may indicate, but will set faster than conventional materials.
  • Use additives that accelerate set time. Use caution; if additives contain calcium chloride, any rebar or metal wire mesh in concrete will rust and cause concrete to crack.
  • Use extra cement (typically 100 lb/ cubic yard) to make the reaction hotter and cause concrete to hydrate more rapidly.
  • Remember that you still need to wait for bleed water to evaporate. Incorporating the water into the surface during finishing will weaken the surface. Bleeding starts later and takes longer during cold weather; you can use squeegees or a vacuum to remove water quickly.
  • Wait until concrete has reached desired strength to remove any framework. If the framework is removed too early, the concrete will be damaged and the surface could collapse.

Maintaining Ideal Temperature

After implementing the above suggestions, It’s important to consider how you will keep concrete at the correct temperature during the curing process. Concrete must maintain a temperature above 50 °F for approximately 48 hours for the correct chemical reactions to take place. Two popular options used during cold weather concrete curing are heated enclosures and insulated blankets. If using an enclosure, ensure that the structure is both wind and waterproof. Additionally, ensure that there is proper ventilation for the space heater. Heaters cause an increase in carbon dioxide that could cause carbonation in the surface of the concrete.

Powerblanket Concrete Blankets

Powerblanket® concrete blankets are an extremely effective option for attaining and maintaining the correct temperatures for concrete pouring and setting. Powerblanket concrete blankets can be used to thaw ground before pouring concrete and again after finishing to keep concrete from freezing. Utilizing Powerblanket concrete blankets will ensure that concrete is kept at the correct temperature for the necessary reactions to happen quickly and the desired strength to be reached.

 

Commercial Snow Removal

Commercial Snow and Ice RemovalShoveling Snow

When it comes to commercial snow removal, proactive, preventative planning is the best way to go. In the words of Benjamin Franklin, “ An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”. Last-minute scrambling to remove snow and ice is chaotic and can be unnecessarily time-consuming and expensive. Additionally, a reactive approach to snow removal leads to excessive use of snow and ice melting agents including rock salt and other chemicals that are harmful to concrete, roadways, and the environment. Preventative snow and ice control will also significantly reduce the risk of personal injury and damage to property. This includes damage to property caused by icy driveways, personal injury from slip and fall accidents, accidents that occur from snow or ice falling off rooftops, and damage or injury resulting from falling tree branches.

Know the Rules

Before establishing a snow and ice removal plan for your commercial property, it’s important to familiarize yourself with the snow and ice removal laws for your municipality and city. Laws vary from state to state and your snow and ice control plan will need to address these laws. Additionally, you will want to ensure you are insured in case a litigation does arise.

Some commercial property owners or managers may wish to partner with professional snow and ice removal services. If this is the route you choose to go, begin looking for a contractor as early as possible, near the end of summer or beginning of fall. Make certain that your chosen contractor has the necessary tools, staff, insurance, and availability to meet your needs.

Make a Plan

When constructing a commercial snow removal plan, it’s suggested that a detailed, step-by-step guide is written out and followed unfailingly. Moreover, you may want to consider documenting adherence to your plan; this will prove beneficial should a legal accusation arise.

Some elements you may want to contemplate incorporating into your commercial snow and ice control plan include:

  • Purchase all necessary equipment and supplies and service any snow blowers before winter.
  • Clearly define responsibility regarding snow removal in any leases involved with your commercial property.
  • Keep an eye on weather predictions.
  • Pre-treat surfaces when snow or ice is expected.
  • Check for any leaks in gutters and downspouts that could result in dangerous ice patches.
  • Remove ice and snow from all sidewalks and driveways surrounding your property.
  • Do not let snow accumulate to more than 3 inches.
  • Confirm that your facility has proper lighting.
  • Make routine inspections of your property throughout the day.

Try Summerstep

An efficient and convenient way to prevent ice and snow accumulation during winter weather is Summerstep Snow Melting Mats. Summerstep Snow Melting Mats can reduce the need for time and labor intensive snow removal and the use of harsh chemicals. Summerstep Snow Melting Mats are designed to be outside throughout the winter and can be custom designed to fit any location. With Summerstep Snow Melting Mats, you can keep your property accessible and running smoothly during even the harshest winter months.

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Wifi Temperature Sensors

Wifi Temperature Sensors

Isn’t it amazing what technology allows us to do? New developments elevate and simplify daily tasks and open doors to new possibilities. Today, WiFi technology allows us to connect with essentially any device or appliance that turns on and off and control and monitor it remotely. A popular example of this application is wifi temperature monitoring. In a personal setting, we can control and monitor our home thermostat from our smart phones. This remote, direct control over home temperatures allows for increased efficiency and reduced cost in home power. Beacon smart controller

Save Time and Money

In an industrial setting, WiFi temperature transmitters (also called WiFi temperature sensors, monitors or loggers) save time and prevent down time and money loss by simplifying temperature control and preventing damage caused by extreme temperature fluctuations. The Smart Temperature Controller from Powerblanket connects with temperature control devices and allows users to monitor and control temperature settings from a smartphone or tablet. Users receive notifications when temperatures rise or fall outside of specified limits; this means you can address temperature issues before they lead to costly damage. Additionally, the Smart Temperature Controller features the Beacon Controls Portal, a simple to use interface that makes temperature monitoring from a computer, iOS or android device fast and easy.

If you are looking to simplify and make the use of your temperature control devices more efficient, consider using the Beacon Smart Temperature Controller from Powerblanket.

 

Propane Tank Sizes

Our Remodel Story

We purchased a house in 2015 with the intention of doing a full remodel.  We had never done this before, but armed with ideas and a great contractor, we started on January 4, 2016.  That time of year is an awesome time to remodel because subs are looking for work and the project, if planned well, will move quickly.  That time of year is not-so-awesome if you are living in the remodel, which we were.  The contractors demoed the kitchen on January 4 and I did not have a place to cook again until early March.  I didn’t think this would be that big of an obstacle because I am creative, and I had a barbecue–I planned to grill all winter.

Little did I know, propane freezes, and this winter would be one of the coldest on record for Utah.  Needless to say, my winter grilling plan did not work and we ate out a lot.  I wish I had known more about propane and about Powerblanket propane tank heaters.

Propane Tanks Can Freeze

Propane tanks can freeze while in use. The colder it is outside, the lower the pressure will be in your tank; conversely, the higher the temperature, the higher the pressure. The liquid propane volume is directly related to its temperature.  When the ambient temperature is very cold, especially below zero temperatures, there may not be enough pressure in your tank to keep your system/appliance working properly. There is not enough heat to keep the molecules active, and the faster the molecules are moving, the higher the tank pressure.

Propane Tank Sizes

Propane tanks sizes vary by need and application.  Consult the chart below for the propane tank size you need.

Propane Tank Sizes Chart

Powerblanket Propane Tank Warmers

Powerblanket propane tank warmers heat the entire tank by blanketing it in warmth. Our superior heating solution increases propane tank efficiency and reduces costs by optimizing temperatures. Powerblanket has the best propane tank warmers on the market. Increase propane tank pressure with even heat distribution

  • Save money by optimizing gas and material usage
  • Eliminate unnecessary tank refills because of cold weather
  • Insulated full-wrap design

Learn More Here

PBL05 Bucket Heater is in the Top 5

PBL05 Bucket Heater is in the Top 5

Powerblanket is honored to have PBL05 selected as number five of Ezvid Wiki’s Top 6 Best Heated Buckets

Powerblanket Lite PBL05 has recently been ranked at #5 in the 2017 wiki of the best heated buckets. If you store food or industrial supplies in 5-gallon buckets, you’ve dealt with the stringent temperature storage requirements.  It can be difficult to regulate temperatures and stay within temperature ranges for heating and storage requirements. By using an effective heating solution like bucket warmers from Powerblanket, certain foods and materials will last longer and be more effective. In turn, this saves you time, hassle, and money. Powerblanket bucket heaters are superior when compared to conventional heating and warming methods.

Valin Corporation Teams Up With Powerblanket

Valin Corporation is a leading technical solutions provider for the technology, energy, life sciences, natural resources, and transportation industries. They came to Powerblanket with a process heating engineering dilemma, and our world-class engineers came up with a solution.

What was the heating dilemma?

Valin’s problem centered around their work within the oil and gas industry. Pumps were getting too cold and shutting down, slowing production and wasting time and money. They had tried to use electric heat tape to solve the problem. Unfortunately, electric heat tape products do not allow for temperature regulation. Consequentially, the tape got too hot and melted the rubber portion on the pump.

They were in great need of a heating solution that contained self-regulating thermostats, and that was certified to comply with C1D2 safety requirements. In addition, this process heating solution also needed to be tailor-made to cover the pumps’ varying shapes and sizes.

What is C1D2?

Class 1, Division 2 is an OSHA classification that includes locations where volatile flammable liquids, gases, or vapors are used but are typically confined in closed systems or containers. C1D2 locations are only considered hazardous if there was an accident or breakdown. Within all Class 1 locations there is a possibility that there are ignitable substances in the area’s air.

What Can Be Used In a C1D2 Location?

The National Electric Code sets forth strict requirements for any electrical equipment being used in a C1D2 area. In order for an electric device to achieve a C1D2 certification all components, circuitry, cables, and wires must be in non-incendive enclosures. This means that under normal conditions, the electrical components are encased so they are incapable of igniting a flammable gas/air mixture. This includes internal electrical components, wiring that is leaving or entering a piece of equipment, and the power supply.

Powerblanket Heating Solutions

So the Valin field site sales manager provided Powerblanket engineers with the necessary information and measurements. They then set to work to create a solution with a good fit for each pump. Next, Valin tested the initial heating blankets for form and fit and Powerblanket made minor modifications for the final order. We provided a pricing level that fit within Valin’s budget. As a result, each pump now has a custom made, C1D2 certified, heating blanket, with a self-regulating thermostat.

Time, Money, and Stress Averted

Valin found wintertime peace of mind with Powerblanket. They no longer have to worry about pumps and stators freezing and shutting down operations. The blankets heat evenly without getting too hot or damaging rubber rings on pumps. Because of this process heating engineering solution, Valin can install their blankets and rest easy about the efficiency and safety of their operations.

Powerblanket will keep you running all winter long and save you time, money, and hassle. We have the fastest lead times on the market for custom orders. We provide custom quotes with 1-3 days and ship custom orders within 1-3 weeks. Learn more about our custom heating blankets that are tailor made to fit your equipment. Contact us at 855.977.9657 or [email protected]

 

Heat Authority Sells Powerblanket

Find Powerblanket Products at Heat AuthorityHeat Authority

Heat Authority has researched the leading products for industrial and job-site productivity and offers the widest variety of heating and cooling accessories to make working in any environment easier and more efficient. Cold weather got you stuck? Unfavorable warehouse conditions? Hazardous area environment? Construction site issues? Need better equipment to get the job done? Heat Authority has a product to help solve your problem.

Heat Authority Has It All

With products for almost any industrial application, Heat Authority is one of the very best resources for industrial equipment supply. With a low price promise and FREE shipping on almost every product site-wide, Heat Authority offers heated concrete curing and ground thawing blankets, drum and IBC tote heated jackets, hot plates, furnaces, lighting, machinery, welders & generators, including freeze protection products and warehouse lighting solutions. Construction contractors and utility excavators rely on the light towers heated construction blankets. Warehouse managers and manufacturers demand the drum & tote heaters. Concrete finishers require the concrete curing heated blankets to keep their crews working all winter long.  Everybody loves the low price guarantee on EVERY product site-wide. Heat Authority knows that time is money and do their best to help their customers save money & stay on schedule all season long.

Great Distributor

Distributors like Heat Authority are vital to the success of Powerblanket, and we appreciate and value these partners for all they do to help us deliver heating solutions all over the world. If you are in search of Powerblanket heating solutions, Heat Authority is a trusted and reliable source.

Powerblanket Heating Solutions at Heat Authority Include:

  • Bucket Heaters
  • Tote Heaters
  • Barrel/Drum Heaters
  • Concrete Curing Blankets
  • Bulk Material Warmers
  • Propane Tank Heaters
  • Pipe Warmers
  • Ground Thawing Blankets
  • Spray Foam Heaters
  • Hot Boxes
  • DEF Tote Heaters
  • Tank Heaters

 

Cold Chain Logistics

Cold Chain Logistics

Effective cold chain logistics are essential to keep fruit fresh, flowers from wilting, and various chemicals and pharmaceuticals  safe during transit. In all modes of cold chain transport, temperature sensitive products are susceptible to a loss of quality.

The Global Cold Chain

Globally, there is a heightened interest in healthy food. Consumers are looking for higher-end products, such as Alaskan salmon, that must travel long distances and move quickly to ensure freshness and quality.

“Demand for fresh food is growing, and that requires increased innovation to overcome capacity and infrastructure constraints, and mitigate disruption risks to ensure quality delivery,” adds Tim Smith, executive vice president, sales and business development, for Lineage Logistics. Adjusting to these new demands while maintaining prices, places added pressure on every element of the supply chain.

Maintaining control of products is a major concern for many shippers.

Cold Chain Must Maintain Quality

In the food industry, there is an increased focus on quality, health, and integrity. Cold chain logistics must ensure that changes in texture and taste do not occur.  When a shipment strays outside recommended temperatures, quality will deteriorate rapidly.   

More premium products with a shorter shelf life and greater sensitivity to temperature, are raising the bar for temperature control and cold chain logistics.  Refrigerated warehouses across the food cold chain must maintain as many as five different temperature zones.

Cold Chain Logistics with Powerblanket

Powerblanket offers innovative cold chain solutions that will meet the demands of unique temperatures during transit. With the new Powerblanket ICE industrial cold chain solutions, you can efficiently regulate temperature-sensitive material under both regular and hot conditions. Transporting food, chemicals, and other heat sensitive materials is no longer a major challenge.

Cold Chain Logistic Options

Icepack Blanket

  • Insulated, ensuring that your ice packs will last longer than ice alone and longer than other non-insulated options on the market
  • Internal pockets place the ice directly against the surface of your container

  • An affordable option for cold chain logistics
  • Easily portable solution
  • Temperature adjusted by the number of ice packs used

Circulation Blanket

The Powerblanket Ice Circulation Blanket, a more advanced cooling solution, is combined with either a cooler or chiller to achieve optimum results. The Circulation Blanket draws heat away from the contents of the container and consistently circulates cool.

Blanket with Cooler

  • Surround your product in constant cool as ice cold water from the cooler is pumped through the blanket
  • Maintain a minimum temperature of 32°F/0°C or lower the temperature with salt or other freeze point modifiers.  
  • Forty pounds of ice can maintain the temperature of the product at 55°F/13°C for nine to ten hours in 100°F/38°C ambient temperatures
  • Operates on 12VDC or 120VAC power.  

Blanket with Chiller

  • Achieve colder and continuous results
  • Maintain industrial cooling of 20°F/-7°C
  • One chiller can operate with two 55-gallon drum blankets
  • Ideal for process cooling and other industrial cooling applications

 

Technology and Cold Chain Logistics

Like all supply chains, cold chain operators must continually upgrade technology to ensure efficiency, integrity, and safety. This includes both back-end IT infrastructure and front-end devices that gather and report key data in real time.

Some shippers use removable sensors to independently track the temperature of cold cargo, usually for high-value goods and international shipments.

 

There is a sincere need for products that can can analyze and deliver data where and when it’s needed. Powerblanket has partnered with Beacon Controls to create a solution that is effective, reliable, and on the cutting edge of real-time smart temperature monitoring.

Smart Cold Chain Temperature Monitoring with Beacon

  • Change settings locally or connect remotely through Wi-Fi or Cellular networks, so you can keep your operation running smoothly wherever you are.
  • Customize scheduling and alerts based on temperature, electrical current, voltage, and resistance readings
  • Enjoy peace of mind for cold chain logistics
  • Compatible with a wide variety of cooling or heating devices
  • Create multiple users with varying levels of access and control for added security.
  • 120/208/240V AC options, switch up to 24 amps

 

 

 

How long does concrete take to set?

If you really want to know the truth, concrete never stops curing; it continually hardens forever. However, for practical purposes, it reaches a point where further hardening will be so slow it becomes unnoticeable. In this article, we cover the basics of what you need to know if you’re asking the question, “how long does concrete take to set?”

Concrete Never Stops Curinghow long does it take concrete to set

The continual hardening occurs because cement particles react with the water in the mix (hydration), and as long as cement is in contact with moisture, even miniscule bubbles, it will continue to form bonds. This is minimal after “full strength” is achieved, but it is continual.

Curing Time for Concrete

In standard industrial cases, full strength concrete is recognized at 28 days. At seven days, you should have concrete that is cured to 70% full strength or greater. But to answer the question of, “How long does concrete take to set?” concrete setting time is generally 24 to 48 hours. At this point the neighborhood dog will not leave his footprints in it, but you should keep it clear of heavy equipment during this time period. Most mixes are cured at 28 days.

Factors Affecting Concrete Setting Time

  • Moisture's Effect on Concrete SettingMoisture plays a critical role in curing time for concrete. If there is not sufficient water in the mix, the concrete will cure too fast, resulting in weaker overall strength. Too much moisture, often used in the finishing step will weaken the top layer and cause flaking.
  • Hot ambient temperatures and wind accelerate the evaporation of moisture–speeding concrete setting time.
  • The mix design has a lot to do with concrete setting time. Some jobs will require accelerants because the area needs to be usable as soon as possible. The accelerant will do its job and speed up the concrete setting time. Accelerant mixes will show a weaker overall strength in the end, but will still meet strength requirements.

Temperature also has an impact on concrete setting time. For more information, check out this article about how concrete curing temperature makes a difference.

Concrete Blankets

If you are wondering about how long concrete takes to set, a solution for your concrete setting needs is a concrete heating or cooling blanket. But not all blankets are created equal. Consider the following two types of solutions to the effects of hot and cold:

The FluxWrap from North Slope Chillers is portable cooling equipment that will keep newly poured concrete safe from heat, regulating concrete setting time in both regular and hot conditions.

The FluxWrap is combined with either a cooler or chiller to achieve optimum results. The Circulation Blanket draws heat to the blanket in order to cool the concrete.

  • Use Powerblanket’s patented heat-spreading technology in reverse–the cooling blanket draws heat away and lowers the temperature of the concrete.
  • Take it with you on every job.  It is easily portable.
  • Blanket cover and insulation are the same as the robust system used in Powerblanket heating products
  • Control the curing speed of newly poured concrete even in hot conditions

If conditions are cold, concrete curing blankets provide a manageable way to cure concrete effectively and confidently. Powerblanket curing blankets increase production by rapidly curing with consistent, even heat.

  •  Cure concrete 2.8 times faster than conventional, insulated blankets
  •  Maintain moisture throughout hydrating process
  •  Easily installed and removed
  •  Produce cold weather concreting strength of up to 3,925 psi in 72 hours
  •  Prevent a freeze cycle
  •  Thaw ground and frost from job site before you pour
  •  Reduce downtime & increase profitability
  •  Maintain ACI compliance for cold weather concreting

Realize that just because you have a concrete curing blanket doesn’t mean you have a solution. The type of blanket and how that blanket is used will have a massive impact on your concrete. Read more about curing blankets here.

Choosing Process Heating Equipment

Choosing Process Heating Equipment Vendor

Choosing a process heating vendor
Many industries require process heating after equipment has been established. Powerblanket manufactures process heating equipment that compliments existing systems.

Are you choosing process heating equipment vendor? You may be experiencing some anxiety and option overload.  A lot of time has probably been dedicated to determining the details of your requirements, researching options, getting bids, and analyzing those proposals.  The question now is, “Which process heating equipment vendor is best for you?”  How do you make this decision?  Powerblanket has some suggestions.

Choosing Process Heating Equipment Vendor

Visit the vendor’s production facility

If you really want to know who you are working with and what kind of product they produce, go to where the magic happens.  Spend a day or two getting to know the staff and the facility.  It is worth the time.  There is really nothing that can replace old-fashioned, face-to-face interaction.  You have probably had plenty of interaction with the sales personnel, but now you can talk directly to the engineers who will build, test, implement and service your process heating systems.  Get a feel for the atmosphere of the work environment and the relationship of the team.  Happy employees usually indicate that you will also be a happy customer.

Ask to see the testing facilities.  This will give you a chance to observe the tools they use and the team that conducts tests.  Watching their problem-solving process can give you great insight to the actual expertise of the team.  Don’t be afraid to ask questions during your observations.

Visit actual customers in your industry

When choosing process heating equipment vendor, go visit another company that uses this vendor’s product. Ideally, you will want to be pointed in the direction of a company that works in an industry like yours with heating equipment similar to your needs.  You don’t typically buy a car without a test drive.  This process will allow you to see the equipment in action.  Talk to the staff about reliability, consistency, and quality output.  Ask about the vendor’s customer service, reliability, and responsiveness.  Do your research and gain confidence in your decision.  

Ask for References

When an individual or company offers a reference you can expect that it will be a glowing reference with only fantastic things to say about the vendor in question. Seek out a variety of references.  Find a reference that will tell you about the ups and downs of working with this process heating equipment vendor.  Find a reference who has had a long-term relationship with the vendor.  Do your homework and ask a lot of questions:

  •    How does this vendor handle setbacks?
  •    How did this vendor work with your industry standards?
  •    If a problem arose, how quickly and efficiently did they respond?
  •    Did they do the right thing, even if it wasn’t the convenient thing?
  •    Do they stand behind their equipment?

After all this hands-on research, you should have a new perspective on the original bid.  Choosing a process heating system vendor becomes much easier after you have invested the time and effort to see and hear about how this vendor really works.  Now proceed with confidence.  

Industries that Benefit from Process Heating Systems

  • Oil/Gas
  • Sprayfoam
  • Coatings
  • Chemical
  • Food Processing
  • Composites
  • Construction
  • Precast
  • Roofing
  • Industrial
  • Manufacturing
  • Specialty Gases
  • Agriculture
  • Dairy
  • Mining
  • Concrete
  • Public Works
  • Water Purification
  • Government & DOD
  • Fertilizer
  • Brewing
  • Fermentation
  • Welding

Process Heating with PowerblanketChoosing Process Heating Equipment Vendor

Often, when your industry is unique, or your product very specialized, there is not an off-the-shelf solution for your specific process heating needs.  In these cases, our engineers take a hands-on approach to creating a custom heating solutions just for you. Powerblanket engineers use their ingenuity and proprietary technology to solve the temperature needs of many different companies throughout many different industries, saving time, money, and/or headache for our clients. With Powerblanket custom process heating solutions, you’ll benefit from quick turn-around times. Our products are certified to universal safety standards and are easy to install, use, and store. If you can build it, produce it, or store it, we can cover it and protect it.

Powerblanket is the unrivaled leader in custom temperature control solutions. Whether you need minor modifications to our standard products or a fully customized solution, our world-class engineering team will quickly solve your problem.

FOLLOW THESE STEPS TO BEGIN YOUR CUSTOM PROCESS

  • Gather as much information as possible using the Custom Application Questionnaire. Be thorough.
  • When you record dimensions make sure they are as built, not a CAD drawing .  ALL dimensions must be submitted to the custom team for quote.
  • Once quote is accepted and PO is sent, engineering will begin.
  • Custom products will normally be completed within two weeks.

 

Concrete Curing Temperature Makes a Difference

How Warm Does it Have To Be To Pour Concrete?

Whether the conditions are hot or freezing, the ideal concrete curing temperature should be maintained at about 55°F to achieve the optimum concrete strength.

Curing the Hoover Dam

At its completion in 1935, the Hoover Dam was the largest dam in the world and a marvel of labor and engineering.  The first pour began on June 6, 1933. Rather than being a single block of concrete, workers built the dam as a series of individual columns. The trapezoidal columns rose in five foot lifts. This method allowed the tremendous heat produced by the curing concrete to dissipate. If the dam were built in a single continuous pour, the concrete would have gotten so hot that it would have taken 125 years for the concrete to cool to ambient temperatures. The resulting stresses would have caused the dam to crack and crumble away.  

The heat and dryness of Nevada posed additional complex problems with the pour and concrete curing temperature.  When the concrete was first poured, river water circulated through cooling coils of 1″ thin-walled steel pipes. Once the concrete had received a first initial cooling, chilled water from a refrigeration plant on the lower cofferdam circulated through the coils to finish the cooling.

Concrete Curing is an Art

We live in a world where faster always seems better; however, concrete that cures too quickly or under hot concrete curing conditions can actually result in weak or unstable concrete.  If concrete is cured in cooler ambient  temperatures (32°F to 50°F) with moisture continually present, strength gain will be slow but the concrete will eventually reach a high strength. Concrete should not be allowed to get hotter than 90°F or to dry out during the curing period.

Best Concrete Curing Temperature

By “best” we mean “most thoroughly,” not the fastest.  High temperatures mean faster curing, but fast curing equates to weaker strength in the end.  The following study by Paul Klieger in the Portland Cement Association Research Bulletin 103 illustrates this concept.

concrete cure time chart with concrete curing temperature

Concrete Cure Time Chart with Temperature

At an age of 1 day the 120°F concrete was strongest and the 25°F concrete was weakest. By 7 days the high-temperature cured concretes had no more strength than the 73°F concrete or even less. By the age of 28 days the high-temperature concretes were weaker than the 73°F concrete. From 28 days to 1 year the 55°F concrete was considerably stronger than the 73°F concrete. All of this suggests that, provided there is continuous curing, concrete cured at about 55°F for the first 28 days ultimately reaches the highest strength (Concrete).

Hot Weather Concrete Temperature Limits

Hot weather concreting doesn’t simply involve temperature.  High ambient temperatures, winds, and relative humidity all play a role in “hot weather.”  Under hot heather conditions, the primary curing issue is having the top of the slab of concrete dry much faster than the bottom. As concrete dries it shrinks. This means that the top will be shrinking while the bottom is not. This creates internal problems with the concrete that will result in a damaged slab. The top and the bottom of the pour need to cure at the same rate (Placing).

Concrete Curing Temperature Solutions

Is it too HOT?

Powerblanket ICE is portable cooling equipment that will keep newly poured concrete safe from heat. Portable, insulated, and efficient, Powerblanket ICE effectively regulates the temperature of concrete under both regular and hot conditions.

The Powerblanket ICE Circulation Blanket is combined with either a cooler or chiller to achieve optimum results. The Circulation Blanket draws heat to the blanket in order to cool the concrete.

  • Use Powerblanket’s patented heat-spreading technology in reverse–the cooling blanket draws heat away and lowers the temperature of the concrete.
  • Blanket cover and insulation are the same as the robust system used in Powerblanket heating products
  • Portable
  • Control the curing speed of newly poured concrete even in hot conditions

Is it too COLD?

Can you pour and cure concrete in the winter? Powerblanket concrete curing blankets provide a manageable way to cure concrete effectively and confidently in the cold weather months. Even in warm weather, Powerblanket curing blankets increase production by rapidly curing with consistent, even heat.

  •   Cure concrete 2.8 times faster than conventional, insulated blankets
  •   Produce cold weather concreting strength of up to 3,925 psi in 72 hours
  •   Maintain moisture throughout hydrating process
  •   Easily installed and removed
  •   Prevent a freeze cycle
  •   Thaw ground and frost from job site prior to pour
  •   Reduce downtime & increase profitability
  •   Maintain ACI compliance for cold weather concreting

Powerblanket understands what it’s like to work on large concrete projects when the weather and temperatures aren’t cooperating. From the Statue of Liberty to a major interstate bridge in Kansas City, we’ve been a part of the action and have proven our products to be the best in the industry.

For more info on solutions, check out Powerblanket’s Concrete Curing Blankets and find one that fits your needs best.

 

 

 

 

Works Cited

“Placing Concrete in hot or cold weather”. Sakrete Blog. 16 May 2017. http://www.sakrete.com/media-center/blog-detail.cfm/bp_alias/Placing-Concrete-in-hot-or-cold-weather

“The Story of Hoover Dam – Essays”. Bureau of Reclamation. 16 May 2017. https://www.usbr.gov/lc/hooverdam/history/essays/concrete.html

Portable Water Chillers for Industrial Process Cooling

Portable Water Chillers for Industrial Process Cooling

Powerblanket is excited to introduce the new North Slope portable water chillers for industrial process cooling.  If you need industrial-level cooling to keep your processes running smoothly, or you’re protecting critical materials against extreme heat, check out North Slope portable water chillers.

Cooling that Moves with Youportable water chillers

This portable water chiller offers precise temperature control, down to 20 °F.  You can set your desired temperature and acceptable set points.  The entire system is self-contained and requires only a power connection.  You don’t have to worry about making room for a large refrigeration system.  North Slope portable water chillers for industrial process cooling have a minimal footprint that will not interrupt the layout of your current system.  

Advanced Water Chillers

These portable water chillers are equipped with a continuous duty, non-ferrous pump and boast the most advanced active refrigeration circuit available.  The high quality compressor is the magic behind the chiller’s efficiency and reliability. The North Slope portable water chiller combined with the Powerblanket ICE circulation blanket is ideal for process cooling and other industrial cooling applications.

Pair with a Circulation Blanket

Draw heat away from the container and lower the temperature of the contents within. Combine the North Slope portable water chillers for industrial process cooling with the Powerblanket ICE Circulation Blanket to maintain temperatures as low as 20°F/-7°C.  

Small.  Portable.  Powerful.

  • Rated at ambient temperatures from 35ºF to 100ºF
  • Hermetically sealed compressor & Non-ferrous piping-system
  • Continuous duty, non-ferrous pump, 4 GPM at 50 PSI (other pumps available)
  • Submersed copper coil evaporator
  • Stainless steel tank with fully welded stainless steel couplers (12 gallon capacity)
  • Environmentally acceptable R134a refrigerant
  • Cooling capacity up to 12,000 BTU’s/h
  • Powder-coated steel or stainless steel cabinet
  • Comes standard with a twist-lock plug
  • Mounted on casters (feet option available)
  • Available voltages: 120VAC & 240VAC

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Total Process Cooling with Powerblanket ICE

Total Process CoolingTotal Process Cooling

At the end of the day, it is important to know that the cooling solution in place will do it’s job.  Powerblanket’s world-class engineers create total process cooling systems that are reliable, efficient, and effective.

The Basics

When it comes to industrial process cooling, materials make all the difference.  Powerblanket ICE blankets are made with a rugged white vinyl that provides robust insulation.  The white reflects the sun’s rays and other heat to keep the contents cool.  Along with the rugged outer shell, these blankets use Powerblanket’s patented heat spreading technology in reverse to pull the heat from the contents and the container and then transfer it into the blanket. Powerblanket ICE total process cooling solutions are portable, requiring only 120VAC for operation.

Industries

Keeping critical materials at safe temperatures has never been so easy.  Powerblanket ICE industrial process cooling works especially well for transportation, manufacturing, spray foam, motor, fermentation, welding, and biomedical industries with products ready to ship for tank, drum, and tote cooling.  

Pair it with a Chiller

When the Powerblanket ICE circulation blanket and North Slope portable chiller are used together,  you can achieve precise temperature control, down to 20 °F.  This combination is ideal for industrial process cooling because it is small and portable while still doing the job at hand.

Consider This

Your state-of-the-art system is producing unacceptable high heat along certain areas of the process.  You have already invested a substantial amount of money into the system and are, in no way, interested in pulling the whole thing out to solve this high temperature dilemma.  When materials or systems overheat, you are risking damage to the materials and/or the equipment itself.  Industrial cooling solutions can be big and expensive.  Powerblanket specializes in retrofitting systems to solve high temperature dilemmas.  Total process cooling is no longer a daunting endeavor.  You can do it with Powerblanket ICE.

 

Propane Tank Warmers Optimize Performance

Propane Tank WarmersPropane tank warmer

The efficiency of your propane tank is based upon the temperature of the gas within.  Optimize output and performance with propane tank warmers.

Can Propane Freeze?

When the ambient temperature drops below -44° F, propane will freeze.  Below this temperature propane will not vaporize and your tank will freeze.  While there are not a lot of places where temperatures drop this low, any considerable drop in temperature will affect the propane tank pressure.   

When the ambient temperature is lower, an optimal tank pressure may be very difficult to maintain.  Propane tank pressure is based on the speed at which the gas molecules move–the faster the molecules are moving, the higher the pressure within.  Cooler/colder temperatures mean slower moving molecules, which prevent propane from vaporizing.  Bringing the propane tank/system up to a temperature above the cooler existing ambient temperature will result in increased propane tank pressure, flow and efficiency.

Propane Tank Warmers

Powerblanket propane tank warmers provide a uniform barrier of heat across the entire tank. Our superior heating solution reduces costs by optimizing temperatures and increasing propane tank efficiency. Powerblanket has the best propane tank warmers on the market. Overcome the effects of cold weather and cooler temperatures and maintain propane tank pressure and efficiency.

  • Increase propane tank pressure with even heat distribution
  • Save money by optimizing gas and material usage
  • Eliminate unnecessary tank refills because of cold weather
  • Insulated full-wrap design

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