January 23, 2008
Fermilab's Tevatron Tunnel is the Latest Success in a Long line of Penetron Tunnel Projects
In 2007, the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory brought these two very different worlds together when Penetron was chosen to waterproof the Tevatron tunnel.
Tevatron - a primary instrument for high-energy physicists to learn what the universe is made of and how it works.
Penetron - a primary material for internally waterproofing concrete, the most widely used construction material in the world.
The circular Tevatron tunnel is located more than 300 feet underground and has a circumference of 4 miles. Completed in 1985, it was constructed using a shotcrete process that after 20 years of stellar service began to show some wear. Groundwater began penetrating the tunnel walls jeopardizing both equipment and on going experiments. Fermilab needed to identify a product that could work under a unique set of conditions. The product had to be effective on damp concrete surfaces, applied against a head of water pressure and be able to work on rough and uneven shotcrete surfaces.
Penetron was determined to be that solution. Its unique technology allows it to waterproof concrete by growing millions of insoluble crystals within the natural pores of concrete. This crystal growth occurs even in the face of extreme head pressures (up to 514 feet) and becomes a permanent part of the concrete. Once moisture penetration is stemmed, Penetron remains dormant in the concrete. Should further moisture appear, Penetron reactivates to continue the waterproofing process sealing hairline cracks that might also have formed.
Using a combination of products, Peneplug (to rapidly stop active leaks), Penecrete Mortar (for filling cracks and crevices) and Penetron (for slurry coat applications), the leaks were quickly, effectively and successfully stopped. It was recommended that in future shotcrete construction that Penetron Admix be incorporated into the fresh concrete to produce a waterproofed tunnel from the beginning.
Penetron's extensive work on tunnel projects and varied set of solutions for different construction and design conditions make the Penetron system a high performance, time effective and cost effective solution for tunnels both new and old.