The November 2020 inauguration of the expanded Galvatech factory in Cape Town, South Africa is an important step in the company’s growth plans. The Penetron System was specified to waterproof the factory’s all-important concrete water tanks.
Located in Bellville South Industrial in Cape Town, Galvatech provides a range of corrosion protection services including metal galvanizing, sandblasting, coating services (epoxy powder, PVC, FBE) and metal spraying. The current construction project was undertaken to upgrade and expand the company’s factory infrastructure – and increase output. The Galvatech site is located in the Cape Flats, a formerly estuary-like environment area with a high-water table.
A crucial part of the project was the expansion of the water tank system, used in the various metal treatment processes. Merlicon Projects, the project engineers, required a concrete waterproofing solution that was durable, absolutely reliable, and did not require maintenance.
Maintenance and Repair Not an Option
“Because of the nature of the work carried out at the factory and importance of absolute risk avoidance, maintenance and repair of the water tanks was not an option,” explains Adriaan Erasmus, Technical Engineering Support at Penetron Africa. “The project engineer required a permanent solution to prevent any moisture penetration from ground water.”
After contacting the Penetron Africa team, it became apparent to Merlicon Projects that no conventional waterproofing method or system under consideration for the Galvatech project could match the Penetron performance specifications that would provide the much-needed protection from the hydrostatic pressure caused by the groundwater levels.
Protecting Concrete from Moisture and Groundwater
The Penetron System was specified for all concrete water tanks, which are used to retain spillage from the factory machinery, etc. PENETRON ADMIX-treated concrete, supplied by Ciolli Brothers, the ready-mix concrete supplier, was used for the tank walls to protect the concrete and also prevent groundwater from seeping into the tanks. PENEBAR SW waterstop strips were installed to permanently seal the horizontal and vertical construction joints. LPG Waterproofing, Penetron-approved applicators, waterproofed the concrete floor slabs of the water tanks with a layer of PENETRON, a topically applied crystalline material. PENECRETE MORTAR was used to fill form-tie holes, all construction joints (over the PENEBAR SW-sealed joints for double protection) and fill any cracks (larger than 0.5 mm) in the new concrete.
Easily mixed in during batching, PENETRON ADMIX quickly becomes an integral part of the concrete and lasts for the life of the concrete. Topically applied to concrete, PENETRON and PENECRETE MORTAR also provide the same self-healing capabilities as PENETRON ADMIX-treated concrete. All hairline cracks that form throughout the service life of the concrete will now automatically self-heal in the presence of water, minimizing the amount of maintenance required over the lifespan of the concrete.