The November 2022 completion of the US$1.3 billion LD Celulose paper mill in Indianópolis, Brazil, created one of the world's largest paper pulp facilities. PENETRON ADMIX, a crystalline concrete waterproofing admixture, and PENEBAR SW waterstop strips were used to protect the mill’s concrete water storage tanks and wastewater treatment plant structures from constant exposure to water, moisture, and effluent.
A small industrial town of around 7,000 inhabitants, Indianópolis is located in the state of Minas Gerais in southeastern Brazil, about 450 km (280 miles) south of Brasilia, the country’s capital city. Situated in the fertile farming region of the Triângulo Mineiro, the region features coffee, banana, and rubber plantations, as well as cattle ranches.
One of the town’s key industries is the LD Celulose paper mill, a joint venture between Lenzing, an Austrian company and the world’s largest producer of cellulose fiber, and Dexco, a Brazilian company and the largest wood panel producer in Latin America. The new Indianópolis dissolving pulp mill, with an annual capacity of 500,000 tons, is one of the largest and most energy-efficient mills in the world.
The dissolving pulp produced in Indianópolis is a key raw material for manufacturing Lenzing’s wood-based textile and specialty fibers. The cellulose is also used in a wide range of products, including viscose, fibers, clothing, footwear, hygiene and beauty products, tires, medicine capsules, foods (yogurts and ice cream), and LCD screens.
“Before construction of the new mill began, Penetron Brazil was approached about providing a durable concrete waterproofing and protection solution to protect the facility’s planned water storage tanks and dedicated wastewater treatment plant,” explains Cláudio Neves Ourives, CEO and Managing Partner of Penetron Brazil. “Because these concrete structures are constantly exposed to the liquids, moisture, and chemical attack typical for this type of manufacturing and wastewater treatment plants, the project architect required a robust concrete waterproofing solution.”
After reviewing the performance parameters of Penetron’s crystalline products on numerous previous projects in Brazil and beyond, the architect specified PENETRON ADMIX, a crystalline waterproofing admixture, for all concrete water storage tanks and the wastewater treatment plant’s effluent treatment tanks.
The active ingredients in PENETRON ADMIX generate a non-soluble crystalline formation throughout the pores and capillary tracts of the concrete. These crystals permanently seal micro-cracks, pores, and capillaries against the penetration of water or liquids from any direction; this makes the concrete impermeable with an increased durability and service life.
PENEBAR SW, swellable waterstop strips which create a physical barrier against water penetration through cast-in-place concrete joints, permanently sealed the new concrete joints of both the water storage tanks and the wastewater treatment plant.
“PENETRON ADMIX also gives the paper mill’s concrete structures the ability to self-heal hairline cracks that may form in the future,” adds Cláudio Neves Ourives. “Finally, Penetron-treated concrete is maintenance free, which will help the Indianópolis plant minimize future maintenance and repair costs.”