Science Behind Polyurethane Foam Being Used To Lift And Level Concrete

CONCRETE RAISING SERVICES TAMPA BAY β€” Closed cell high density polyurethane foam is commonly used for lifting and leveling concrete in a process known as polyurethane foam injection or polyurethane concrete raising. This method is an alternative to traditional techniques like mudjacking or slabjacking. The science behind using polyurethane foam for this purpose involves its unique chemical and physical properties.

Here’s a breakdown of the key aspects:

  1. Chemical Composition of Polyurethane Foam:
    • Polyurethane Resin: Polyurethane is a polymer composed of organic units joined by urethane links. The foam used for concrete lifting typically consists of a two-component liquid resin mixture: polyol and isocyanate.
    • Reaction Process: When the polyol and isocyanate components are mixed, a chemical reaction occurs, resulting in the formation of polyurethane. This reaction produces a foam that expands and solidifies, filling voids and lifting the concrete.
  2. Expansion and Density:
    • Expansion: Polyurethane foam expands significantly after injection. This expansion is crucial for lifting and leveling sunken or uneven concrete slabs.
    • Density: The foam has a relatively low density compared to traditional materials like mud or concrete slurry. This lightweight property reduces the overall load on the underlying soil.
  3. Structural Benefits:
    • Strength and Durability: Polyurethane foam provides structural support to the lifted concrete slab. Once cured, it has high compressive strength, ensuring stability and longevity of the lifted structure.
    • Water Resistance: Polyurethane is generally water-resistant, making it suitable for applications in damp or wet environments. It won’t break down or degrade when exposed to moisture.
  4. Precision and Control:
    • Injection Process: The foam is injected into the targeted area through small holes drilled in the concrete. The injection process allows for precise control over the amount of foam injected, enabling accurate leveling.
    • Fast Cure Time: Polyurethane foam typically cures relatively quickly, allowing for minimal downtime. This is beneficial for projects where fast turnaround is essential.
  5. Soil Stabilization:
    • Interaction with Soil: Polyurethane foam interacts with the soil beneath the concrete. As it expands, it compacts loose soil and stabilizes the ground, preventing further settlement.

In summary, the science behind using polyurethane foam for lifting and leveling concrete involves its chemical reaction, expansion properties, structural benefits, and the precision achieved through the injection process. This method has gained popularity due to its efficiency, durability, and ability to address various concrete lifting and leveling challenges.