IMC Britannica is a manufacturer of catering machinery and equipment. At their facility in North Wales, their operations had to cease immediately as a burst pipe caused flooding across the facility. Water had worked its way around the slabs and up between the seams to create the flooding.
The machines used by IMC require absolute precision to manufacture their products. The burst pipe had weakened the fill material beneath the slabs; this led to instability which affected the precision machinery. With all operations having to stop, IMC required an urgent and immediate solution to allow them to commence production.
Geobear was contacted during the weekend of the incident. Within 24 hrs, we had two of our experts on-site to assess the issue and propose a suitable solution. Our team conducted a thorough investigation on-site, which enabled them to devise an action plan within hours. We designed a solution and mobilised a team to complete the emergency repair works the following weekend.
The facility was a busy operational site and the solution needed to minimise any disruption to business operations. The only alternative available to the client was to remove the floor slab, fill and compact the sub-base and reinstate the slab.
A traditional solution would have seen the breakout and replacement of the slab. This method requires many weeks of site closure; the removal of machinery and equipment would precede the excavation and replacement of the slab. This process would inevitably lead to substantial delays in the production lines and significant losses.
Geobear’s core solution requires the installation of material through drilled holes in the existing slab. No excavation is necessary, and the client could be sure of the specific timeframes for the repair to be completed and when their operations could resume. This would allow the client to adequately forward forecast their workload.
The client would be able to restart a proportion of the production facility within five hours of our commencement of Geobear works and could be fully operational within 36 hours.
Furthermore, from the initial conversation with the IMC, our geopolymer injection solution could be designed and implemented within six days.
Our technicians investigated the site and identified an area of 420m2 of floor slab as having voiding up to 200mm, with soft ground conditions beneath.
The solution we designed utilises one of our lightweight geopolymer materials; the material is created from two liquid components and mixes when injected into 14mm drilled holes across the slab. Polymerisation occurs when the two components mix creating an expansive geopolymer resin beneath the slab.
As the geopolymer is injected, it expands throughout the area under the slab filling the voids. The expansive forces compact the existing sub-base and impart lateral forces on the slab above. Technicians monitor the areas with laser levels as the material is installed. When the readings show 0.25mm of lift, this is verification that the particular location is stabilised.
Following the engineering design, our technical teams installed material in a 1.5m grid pattern across the slab. We filled the voids and stabilised the areas allowing IMC to return to full operational capacity.