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.

Higher Temperature Heating Solutions Now Available

Have you been awaiting higher temperature heating solutions in the Powerblanket line? Well, if so, your wait is over. The new higher-temperature, Powerblanket 400 line is now available!

 

Powerblanket 400 Insulated Band HeaterWhat 400 Offers

So what makes Powerblanket 400 different from the standard line of Powerblanket products? Increased heating capabilities, that’s what. The Powerblanket® 400™ industrial heating blankets offer new high-temperature abilities for industries that need higher heat application.

Powerblanket 400 heating blankets are able to reach higher temperatures than the standard Powerblanket product line. How high, you ask? If you guessed 400° F, you’d be right. The increased heating capabilities of the Powerblanket 400 heating blanket come as a result of increased wattage and high temperature aluminum heat spreading technology. With 300 watts per square foot of surface area, these blankets deliver a lot of heat. These blankets offer high-powered, high-temperature heating for jobs that need oven-like temperatures.

Like so many other Poweblanket models, the new Powerblanket 400 products come in both 120 volt and 240 volt models. Our Powerblanket 400 band heaters are the safe and efficient alternative to traditional silicone band heaters, and our Powerblanket 400 custom options allow for a tailored approach to your specific project. Our proprietary blend of technology has long set us apart from our competition and has enabled us to provide the best, most even heat distribution on the market. Now, with the Powerblanket 400 product in the arsenal, we’ve added to our technological heating approach. The Powerblanket 400 series makes use of high-efficiency aluminum heat-spreading technology, creating increased heat density and a completely even distribution of heat.

But it doesn’t stop there either. These new heating blankets also include silicone-coated, 2nd generation fiberglass shells. These fiberglass shells are extremely durable and flame retardant. Where other silicon heat solutions are known to be somewhat unsafe in hazardous conditions, Powerblanket 400 heaters are as safe as all our other products. Since the silicone shells are insulated, there’s no risk of burns or flames if they’re touched by a hand or an unexpected spark. All these features have allowed us to create a solution fit for many heave duty projects, such as resin curing, welding conditioning, manufacturing processes, and much more.

 

 

Epoxy Curing For Boats and Other Water Craft

To many people, summer means time on the lake or in the ocean boating or jet skiing. But have you ever stopped to consider how boats and other water craft are built? In almost every case, the high-tech water vessels of today use some form of fiber construction and epoxy curing.

 

Boats at the dock

Epoxy Construction on Water Vessels

Not everyone stops to think about how their jet ski was built when their speeding across the lake at 40 mph. Nor do many think about the same sort of thing as they’re sitting in their finely crafted boat, fishing or watching friends or family water ski. But such a thought is certainly worth addressing, even if it’s long before or after all the fun is over.

Unless you’re out enjoying the water in an older, traditional wooden or aluminum boat, you’re likely sitting in a piece of modern engineering, the type that involves high-quality plastics, glass fibers (sometimes referred to as glass-reinforced plastics – aka: fiberglass) and on some occasion, even carbon fiber. Most boats and jet skis these days are built using such composite materials. And where such composites as these exist, there’s also the need for some heavy-duty resins.

Composites such as fiberglass and carbon fiber are bound together using high-grade epoxy resins. These resins both bind and coat the material in a hard, nearly impervious shell—making for very strong construction. For those familiar with epoxy curing, it’s apparent that the primary challenge is temperature. Most epoxies cure well above room temperature, and when you’re dealing with construction as big as boats, such an endeavor becomes all the more difficult.

Some boat manufacturers take a lot of time and resources to construct large ovens or rooms in which they can pump heated air in order to bring the temperature up to the ideal range for epoxy curing. As you can imagine, such an undertaking requires a lot of patients, not to mention it creates a lot of downtime.

This is why Powerblanket is pleased to offer the boat-manufacturing world a much better solution. With Powerblanket curing blankets, a manufacturer can saves thousands of dollars and hours of time just on one boat build. Our curing blankets allow epoxy to cure at its ideal temperature for as long as needed. What’s more, Powerblanket curing blankets are available in ready-to-ship and customizable sizes and shapes.

 

 

Curing Epoxy Resin On Wind Turbine Blades

Whether it’s for repair or initial construction, curing epoxy resin on wind turbine blades can be a tricky endeavor. However, with the right technology, this arduous process can be a whole lot easier.

 

Wind turbine blade on the ground

Wind Turbines: A Large Scale Application

The typical wind turbine blade ranges in length from 116 ft. to as much as 148 ft. That accounts for a big hunk of glass-fiber or carbon-fiber reinforced plastic. Either way you look at it, the curing process involved with such a beast is certain to take a lot of space. That’s why wind turbines are often created in pieces and then secured by joints.

Very strong, high-temperature epoxies are used for this process, but as anyone who’s worked with epoxy knows, the proper curing takes some extra heat. Can you imagine building a hot box around the joint of a turbine blade? Better yet, can you imagine having to stick that huge thing in an oven? The idea sounds ludicrous, and it is when you consider that there is a much better way of approaching the problem.

Instead of being left to the need of a hot box or an oven to properly heat cure epoxy resin on wind turbines, you could apply localized heat to the area that needs to be cured. That’s right, localized heat in the form of a revolutionary heat blanket that evenly distributes heat over the entire surface area of application. In addition to the amazing ability this blanket has of transferring heat, it also has the capability to regulate it.

By using thermostatic controllers, you can use such a blanket to cure epoxy at the ideal temperature. It’s simply a matter of setting the temperature range to the proper level for your application and then waiting for it to work its magic. With customization possibilities, this blanket is available in as many sizes as necessary, so you can cure even the largest cure joint. Shoot, you could even cure the whole blade if you want.