New protection approach for waste transfer hub floors

15th October 2014

New protection approach for waste transfer hub floors

Waste transfer hubs are among the most punishing industrial environments – and their concrete floor slabs receive particularly harsh treatment. 

Heavy waste handling equipment, often with aggressive caterpillar tracks, traverses the floor daily while moving waste around.  Front-loading toothed buckets which scrape across the floor only add to the risks of floor damage.

As with other large slabs, the concrete floor in a waste transfer station is poured in sections, which requires the use of armoured joints to act as day joints and control curing.  These armoured joints have the tough task of being robust enough to withstand the challenging environment while ensuring that the joint arrises remain protected.

The traditional approach to joint protection

The traditional approach to joint protection in hard-working environments has been to defend the joint as much as possible by incorporating robust steel strips into the armoured joint. 

However, while this provides some defence, it does not remove the core problem: impact.  With a traditional straight-edged joint, damage occurs when a vehicle passes directly across a joint and its wheels drop between the two edges of the joint.  The clunking sound which accompanies this is evidence of the joint being impacted. 

As well as this direct damage, there is also a risk that the tracks could become enmeshed on portions of exposed joint and even pull it out of the slab.

Permaban Signature® – an end to joint impact damage

Permaban’s Signature joint tackles the problem of impact damage in a different way.  Rather than defending the joint from impact, it prevents the impact happening at all. 

Signature’s half-hexagon shape means that wheels, or tracks, cannot drop between the two edges of the joint – they simply pass smoothly over the top with no impact and no damage.  This means there is no need for heavy joint armouring with steel strips.

Case study: Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council

When engineers MLM Consultants Ltd were commissioned for the new Eagle Lane Waste Transfer Hub project in the West Midlands, they were keen to see whether Permaban Signature® would be an appropriate choice for the gruelling environment.

The £10 million project was a partnership between Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council and Serco, with the aim of improving the region’s waste management efficiency in response to the government’s recycling and composting targets. 

Constructed by Interserve, the 23,500 square metre site was designed to handle 200,000 tonnes of domestic and commercial waste and recycling per year.  Its main building measures 4,460 square metres.

Thanks to the compelling product performance evidence – which included cycle testing on a purpose-built rig – Permaban Signature® was approved for the project.  Eighty-six linear metres of Signature was supplied for installation in the 200mm deep fibre-reinforced pan finish floor.

Installation and support

The specialist flooring contractor had never used Signature before yet was still able to install it successfully and easily.  Our technical engineer attended site to provide guidance should it be needed.  It took just three days to lay the concrete slabs. 

Follow-up visits every 6 weeks thereafter confirmed that Signature was performing well and without any issues.


Preventing leachate

An important issue in waste handling environments is to prevent leachate contamination from entering the ground through the gaps in the joint.  

If a conventional joint is damaged through heavy impact, the joint sealant may become damaged too, and even pull out of the joint entirely.  This creates the risk of leachate contaminants seeping through at the damaged joint arris.

Permaban Signature addresses this issue in two ways.  Firstly, it stops joint arris damage occuring. Secondly, because the Signature profile sits flush with the surface of the concrete, any wear to the concrete and the armoured joint would be consistent, preserving the integrity of the joint.  It is still advisable to use a joint sealant with Signature in these circumstances.

New opportunities

This new approach to joint armouring with Permaban Signature® opens up new opportunities for construction joint protection in harsh environments, where even traditional-style heavy-duty joints might struggle.  Preventing impact damage offers long-term benefits and cost-savings for the client – including reduced flooring repair costs and operational down-time. 

Read the full case study >>

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