Concrete Curing in Freezers

Curing concrete in a deep freezer is a unique experience. Walk-in freezers are crucial to any organization that handles temperature sensitive material. The ability to store mass amounts of cold product in a controlled environment allows for meat, ice cream, cadavers, liquid oxygen and more to be used nearly anywhere in the world, so long as there is a freezer to put it in.

Most often, these freezers have a concrete flooring that is specially cured to handle the frozen environment around it, while keeping the heat from nearby room temperatures out. On top of all this, concrete flooring also needs to be able to withstand everything from footsteps to forklifts in ways that mitigate as much repair as possible.

Image taken from www.garonproducts.com

When preparing and pouring cement for freezer floors, there are several steps that one should consider, especially since this isn’t your usual concrete constructing picnic:

  • Maintain the mix: Be sure that your mix of concrete doesn’t contain too much water. Not only is it likely to cause cracking due to shrinkage, but it can also lead to water freezing within the concrete if it’s not cured enough by the time the freezer begins operating.
  • Seal the deal: The United States Dairy Association has a zero-tolerance policy regarding leaks in the freezer space. Frozen food should be stored at 0°F (-18°), as “freezing to 0° F inactivates any microbes — bacteria, yeasts and molds — present in food.” Any leakage would lead to moisture invading the freezer, potentially allowing mold and other harmful bacteria to grow. Any concrete installed as part of a walk-in freezer must be properly set and sealed to prevent leaks from happening.

Restoring Concrete Freezer Floors

With that in mind, you might be wondering how to repair concrete floors in freezers. Damage to the concrete floor like cracking or chipping can happen via forklift accident, replacing glycol heating systems, or subsoil moisture freezing.

Cracking occurs naturally in concrete, and there’s virtually no way to prevent it from ever happening. The best tools for repairing concrete freezer floors are low-temperature grade epoxy seals and additional concrete.

Equally important of what to use is what not to use. Repair product manufacturers like Polycote advocate against hard repair mortar when fixing floor joints. Doing so will create an inflexible bond that will not allow for any concrete movement, increasing the chances of additional concrete cracking.

Things to Keep an Eye Out For

Our friends at Concrete Mender offer several challenges that pose a problem when repairing concrete, which include frost, working conditions, and curing:

  • Frost: Frozen moisture in the concrete will act as a barrier between the repair material and the pores of the concrete. Most repair materials will try to bond to the frost coated concrete. When the temperature increases, the frost melts and so does the bond.
  • Working conditions: Working with materials in the cold is challenging to both man and materials. Mixing epoxies or mortars in the cold is especially challenging. As the temperature decreases, the viscosity and flow rate of these materials increase making them harder to mix and much more difficult to work with. Drum heaters are an excellent solution to keeping epoxy and mortar warm while waiting to use on a freezer job.
  • Curing: With most materials, cure times in cold environments are extended significantly. A product that normally cures in an hour at room temperature may take as much as 12 hours in a cold environment. Some materials may not cure at all before actually freezing solid. Use a concrete curing blanket to help the concrete cure for maximum strength.

If You’re Gonna Do a Job, You’d Better Do It Right

Fixing a freezer is a job you only want to do once. Making crack repairs can be tedious and have to be done exactly to specifications in meeting safety requirements. After all, keeping that freezer sealed tight with a good concrete job will keep the cadavers cold and food frozen.

The best tools to help with a quick, clean concrete repair job are drum heaters and curing blankets. For more information on these items, check out Powerblanket’s concrete solutions.

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

 

 

 

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.

 

Small Industrial Chiller: Powerblanket and North Slope Chillers

portable chillers
Optimize performance when the heat is high with a small industrial chiller.  

Small Chiller Units

Do you need freezer-level chilling with continuously circulating fluid as low as 20° F?  Are you working hard to protect critical materials against extreme heat?  Do you have a process that unexpectedly needs cooling?  The small industrial chiller unit is an effective solution for all of these situations.

These small chiller units are equipped with a continuous duty, non-ferrous pump and boasts the most advanced active refrigeration circuit available.  The high quality compressor is the magic behind the chiller’s efficiency and reliability. Because of the stainless steel reservoir with fully welded stainless steel couplers, this small industrial chiller is much higher quality than the competition that uses plastic reservoirs.  Liquid line sight glass allows for easy assessment of fluid levels.

Precise Control and Small Footprint

The North Slope Chillers fluid chiller offers precise temperature control, down to 20 °F.  Set temperatures and set points.  Self-contained and requiring only a power connection, you can enjoy the ease of a small chiller unit that comes on 4 casters for easy mobility and a minimal footprint.   The small industrial chiller combined with the Powerblanket ICE circulation blanket is ideal for process cooling and other industrial cooling applications.

Works with Powerblanket ICE Circulation Blanket

Draw heat away from the container and lower the temperature of the contents within. When you combine the North Slope small chiller unit with the Powerblanket ICE Circulation Blanket, you can maintain temperatures as low as 20°F/-7°C.  This combination is ideal for process cooling applications while also being small and portable.


North Slope Chillers: Small Industrial Chiller Standout Features

  • Rated at ambient temperatures from 35ºF to 100 º
  • 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
  • Comes standard with a twist-lock plug
  • Mounted on casters (feet option available)
  • Cooling capacity up to 12,000 BTU’s/h
  • Powder-coated steel or stainless steel cabinet
  • Available voltages: 120VAC & 240VAC

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