Oklahoma City-based Advanced Chemical Technologies Inc. (ACT) has developed mixtures and new methods of application for readily available chemicals that have helped make Oklahoma a leader in using organosilanes for the infrastructure protection market.
Organosilanes are organic chemicals where at least one carbon atom has been replaced by a silicon atom. The replacement of carbon by silicon alters the reactivity of the molecule to make it penetrate and then to react with infrastructure substrates such as concrete, limestone and masonry to form a protected surface.
Since providing the first silane-based product to protect a bridge structure more than 40 years ago, ACT has been a leader in the waterproofing market due to its innovative approach and focus on this industry segment. The company also was the first to protect a nuclear power plant with silane. ACT has received 14 U.S. and Canadian patents for its products that have been used worldwide to protect concrete and masonry structures from the destructive forces of water, salt, ion, and chemical pollutant ingression.
The company products penetrate into the concrete forming a chemical bond to the internal surfaces of the structure, while not altering the vapor permeability of the concrete. This creates a barrier to water and salt intrusion, which reduces the corrosion of the reinforcing steel. Further, the structure is protected from acid rain and it resists freeze thaw damage.
“Our products stand apart from similar products in the market due to ACT’s commitment to quality and product support.” said Dr. Arnulf P. Hagen, who joined the company as technical director shortly after retiring as a University of Oklahoma professor. “Our alkyltrialkoxysilane has faster reactivity than some competitive products, resulting in faster drying time. Faster drying time translates into bridge decks closed for shorter periods during the treatment process, saving time and money for the state entity protecting the deck and keeping traffic diversion to a minimum.”
ACT’s products are specified by most states’ departments of transportation and are used nationally and internationally to protect concrete and masonry structures. Its products have been used to protect the Chesapeake Bay Bridge and Tunnel Project – one of the largest bridge projects in the world.
The company’s reputation in the industry has resulted in the selection of its product by the New York State Department of Transportation for its maintenance program. In addition, the company was recently awarded a grant through the Oklahoma Applied Research Support program of OCAST to develop a system to heal bridge cracks.
“We are dedicated to this research not only to provide a profitable product for our company but also, to provide a product that will make a significant contribution to Oklahoma and the nation to protect our vital transportation infrastructure,” Hagen said.