a.b.e. Construction Chemicals’ KZN branch has secured a major R3.5 million Transnet contract for the supply of concrete bridge repair products to Transnet.

a.b.e. is part of the Chryso Southern Africa Group of companies.

Darryl Laycock, Technical Sales Consultant for a.b.e. in KZN, says several of the company’s concrete repair products were specified by the Transnet Rehabilitation, Maintenance and Engineering (RME) division for its repair of the Inshambili and Ifafa bridges over river mouths on the KZN South Coast.

“These are the first bridges to be tackled in a massive ongoing bridge repair project by Transnet that is part of a seven-year project implement in KZN. The timing of the repair work is determined by the severity of concrete spalling but Transnet has already identified various bridges in need of repair for 2020-21 in the province,” Laycock explains.

At the forefront of the a.b.e. products used for the bridge repair projects is the company’s durarep GT MCI, a sprayable version of the company’s polymer-modified cementitious repair mortar, of which 7 800 units of 25kg will be used for the repair of the first two bridges. Containing a migrating corrosion inhibitor (MCI), this durarep formulation is based on blended cements, graded siliceous aggregate, propriety chemical additives, fillers, and anti-desiccants. The migrating corrosion inhibiting qualities offer extended life expectancy of concrete in aggressive rust-promoting locations such as the Transnet bridges which are over lagoons virtually on the Indian Ocean.  

durarep GT MCI has generally made an extremely favourable impression with Transnet RME as its fast-track spraying properties are superior to any alternative repair mortar on the South African market and we are confident that it with the other a.b.e. products used for the initial two bridges will again be specified for the rest of the Transnet repair programme. Tenders will provide the final contract content but the basic specification is now in place with Transnet and has become the standard bridge repair product package for Transnet Freight Rail,” Laycock states.

The other a.b.e. products used for the South Coast bridges’ refurbishment are:  

  • durabond GP – an acrylic emulsion used as primer/bonding medium for concrete repairs;
  • durarep ZR primer – a liquid epoxy resin with metallic zinc that provides excellent corrosion protection;
  • epidermix 345 – a “slow-set” solvent-free epoxy resin bonding agent to bond new concrete to old concrete; and
  • duracote WB – a high-performance polymer coating with strong crack-bridging properties used in the first two bridge repairs both as primer and grey coating.

Laycock and his colleagues at a.b.e. have established a strong relationship with Transnet RME and Transnet Freight Rail and provide in-depth advice on product specification as well as training. “a.b.e. will be able to offer the same on-site service, irrespective of location or company carrying out the various contracts – or the a.b.e. products selected, for that matter.”

a.b.e. Construction Chemicals in 2017 also provided concrete repair products for the critical repair of support columns of a coal tippler at Richards Bay harbour: durarep Fluid Micro Concrete (FMC) was the main remedial product used on this occasion with Darryl Laycock also handling the a.b.e. input to Transnet. “a.b.e. has been supplying concrete repair products for routine tippler shutdowns over the past three years,” Laycock states.