Concrete Preservation Technologies Ltd are specialists in the preservation of reinforced concrete structures. They supply and install long-term solutions for corrosion problems in car parks, bridges and other similar reinforced concrete structures.
A typical treatment would begin with the drilling of hundreds of 30mm diameter holes into which galvanic anodes are inserted. The anodes must not have direct contact with the steel reinforcement of the structure. To achieve this the company were hand cutting foam strips and glueing them diametrically opposite along the length of the anode. This is both time consuming and may affect performance due to it’s reduced contact area with the electrolyte grout used to seal the cavity.
Adrian and Steve from Concrete Preservation Technologies were able to use 3D modelling and rapid prototyping technologies at the ETC to help them develop a new range of spacers. This resulted in the design and manufacture of a novel ‘clip’ that could be built in a matter of hours using rapid prototyping machines in the Faculty of Engineering. We then introduced them to Captive Closures who specialise in injection moulding. The two companies then collaborated to develop the final product.
The company use in the region of 35,000 anodes per annum, so this new clip design will achieve significant time savings on site as well as providing an out of the box solution to customers and clients.
3D modelling is a natural development of Computer Aided Design (CAD). This technology allows users to build virtual three dimensional models of individual components and complete assemblies. These models can be read by other machines, thus, rapid prototypes can be produced in just a few hours, allowing the models to be evaluated for use before moving on to mass production techniques. The clips were produced using the injection moulding process. The dies use to manufacture the clips were machined using the same 3D data derived from the initial design of the clip.