In September 2020, the Centre Médical Essaïda au Bardo in Tunis, Tunisia was inaugurated. PENETRON ADMIX was specified to prevent the penetration of corrosive chloride ions from seawater, ensuring the durability of the center’s concrete structures.
The Centre Médical Essaïda au Bardo is a new medical facility adjoining the Makni Bardo Clinic in the Le Bardo district of Tunis, just west of the city center. The four-floor project features medical offices (40-70 m2 layouts available), medical analysis and cytology laboratories (100-140 m2), a radiology center, physiotherapy center, and retail space on the ground floor (1200 m2). In addition, two below-grade floors (1200 m2) for underground parking are available.
An Underwater Job Site
“Initially, the excavated construction site was totally under water, forming an azure pool. The jobsite is also located close to the Sebkha Séjoumi, a large, shallow, saltwater-filled lake. This situation made a robust and durable waterproofing solution a high priority for the project engineers,” explains Akrout Hamdi, Technical Manager at Penetron Tunisia.
Collaborating with Job Beton, the project’s ready-mix supplier, Penetron Tunisia recommended PENETRON ADMIX for all exposed concrete structures. The contractor, EBJ (Companie Belgique Jammel), then specified PENETRON ADMIX-treated concrete for the foundation slab, basement floors and retaining walls.
Keeping Seawater Out
Added to the concrete mix during the batching phase, the PENETRON ADMIX ingredients react with concrete minerals to form insoluble crystals, which fill in the small cracks, pores and voids typically found in concrete. The resulting crystalline network stops seawater from penetrating into the concrete, even when exposed to high hydrostatic pressure. This also makes the concrete matrix impermeable to any chloride ion penetration, resulting in a durable concrete structure with a permanent self-healing capability that automatically self-heals any new cracks that may appear.
“Thanks to our experience with many seaside projects in Tunisia, we were able to show how the Penetron System would be a very effective solution,” adds Akrout Hamdi. “The PENETRON ADMIX-treated concrete, at the Centre Médical Essaïda au Bardo, is impervious resulting in corrosion resistance, by protecting the embedded reinforcement steel in concrete from the aggressive saline environment of the Sebkha Séjoumi. That’s permanent protection.”