The expansion of the Kimberly Clark manufacturing facility for nonwoven materials in Corinth, MS, was completed in July 2022. PENETRON ADMIX SB, a crystalline concrete waterproofing admixture, was specified to protect the plant’s below-grade concrete structures from high groundwater levels.
Located 85 miles (137 km) east of Memphis, Tennessee, in northeast Mississippi, Corinth lies at the intersection of U.S. Route 45 (running in a north/south direction) and U.S. Route 72 (east/west). The city also served as an important railway junction earlier in its history. Today, it is home to around 15,000 inhabitants, with farming, electronic equipment production, and diesel engine manufacturing as the main economic activities.
Kimberly-Clark, maker of well-known products including the Huggies, Kleenex, Cottonelle, and Depend brands, invested $140 million in the expansion of the company’s CM7 Saturn manufacturing facility in Corinth, Mississippi. It is the company’s largest investment in its nonwovens manufacturing capabilities.
“The expanded Corinth plant specializes in the production of nonwoven fabrics, which are made from short (or staple) and long fibers,” explains Christopher Chen, Director of The Penetron Group. “Neither woven or knitted, these fibers, such as felt, are bonded together by chemical, mechanical, heat or solvent treatments.”
Constructed by G.A. West & Company, the project’s general contractor, the completion of the CM7 Saturn manufacturing facility adds more than 150,000 ft2 (13,640 m2) of floor space for the nonwoven manufacturing hardware.
Countering High Groundwater Levels
Due to the relatively high groundwater levels at the construction site, a concrete waterproofing solution was needed for the below-grade concrete structures. B & B Concrete, the ready-mix concrete supplier, added PENETRON ADMIX SB, in soluble bags, to the concrete mix for the facility’s manufacturing pits.
Once added to the concrete mix, PENETRON ADMIX SB’s active ingredients react in a catalytic reaction to the moisture in concrete. This reaction generates a non-soluble crystalline formation throughout the pores and capillary tracts of the concrete. The entire concrete matrix is now impermeable, stopping the penetration of groundwater and moisture from any direction.
“PENETRON ADMIX also enables concrete to self-heal microcracks for the lifetime of the treated structure,” adds Christopher Chen. “This effectively minimizes any future waterproofing related maintenance costs for Kimberly-Clark.”