See our new Article on Organic Acid Concrete Removers in Concrete Contractor Magazine!

Inform yourself of the dangers of working with muriatic acid and learn about the benefits of removing concrete buildup with an organic acid based product in Lisa Wells' article, "Safe Alternatives to Muriatic Acid" in the April/May 2018 issue of Concrete Contractor magazine.

Read the full article here on page 50!Cover April May Concrete Contractor

Anyone in the concrete industry knows how difficult removing built-up concrete on tools and equipment can be. Many turn to muriatic acid to do the cleaning but this chemical is dangerous to those using it and anyone close enough to inhale its fumes. It's also highly corrosive and will damage many of your tools.

There are safer, organic-acid based alternatives that actually do a better job. Blast-Off, for example, is made from sugar beets and it turns caked-on concrete to mush that easily washes away. And Blast-Off is safe to use on all surfaces, even rubber, glass, metal, and electrical components.

 

Safe Alternatives to Muriatic Acid pg 1

Safe Alternatives to Muriatic Acid pg 2

See Craig Coppersmith’s new Article in Concrete Decor Magazine!

Learn about removing old acrylic sealer with acrylic stripper blanket systems, look for Craig Coppersmith's article, "Strippers, Sealers and Systems" in the April 2018 Issue of Concrete Decor magazine.

Read the full article here!

Right now, much of the country is experiencing a never-ending winter. But the days are getting longer and the temperatures will (eventually) rise. It won't be long before you're spending more time outdoors. Does your patio need some freshening up? It may be time to think about removing old acrylic sealer, especially if it's been several years since its application.

Acrylic sealers will appear blistered, chalky and cloudy after several years, but stripping them can be messy, laborious, and even hazardous depending on the method you use.

A blanket stripper method makes removing the acrylic sealer from your patio easy, clean and effective. In just 3 steps, you can remove the old, worn-out acrylic sealer and be ready to reapply a fresh coat. Our very own Deco-Peel blanket system is an easy-to-use, highly effective stripper for acrylic sealers.

Understanding Biodegradable Form Release Agents

Biodegradable Release Agents

For a more in-depth explanation of biodegradability classifications as well as the differences between petroleum-based and water-based form release agents, see Patrick Linn's article, "Understanding Biodegradable Form Release Agents" in the April issue of Concrete Products magazine.

Simply put, biodegradability refers to a product's ability to naturally break down to its raw material state. The quicker it can do so, the more biodegradable it is. Organizations like the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) apply regulations and standards on how to classify products as biodegradable. For example, the FTC requires proof that the "entire product [...] will completely break down and return to nature within one year". In other words, marketers can't just say an item is biodegradable; they must prove it to be.

Readily vs. Inherently Biodegradable

Biodegradability is divided into two classes: readily biodegradable and inherently biodegradable. Both have the the ability to biodegrade to their natural state when exposed to water, sunlight and microbial activity. However, they do so at different speeds. Readily biodegradable products achieve 60-100% break down in 28 days or less while inherently biodegradable products break down at 20-60% in 28 days.

precast release agent

Water-Based vs. Petroleum-Based Form Release Agents

You can find biodegradable release agent options in water-based formulations such as Bio-Nox and petroleum-based formulations. Water-based form release agents are suitable for most form surfaces and are safe in enclosed building sites. They are typically inherently biodegradable but not always readily biodegradable. Petroleum-based form release agents are also suitable on many surfaces and are usable in all weather conditions. Most can be considered inherently biodegradable, but not all are. Some, which incorporate vegetable oil into the formulation, such as Bio-Nox VS, are actually readily biodegradable.

A commitment to using a biodegradable form release agent will require you to pay close attention to the manufacturer's information and do your research. You can find eco-friendly options that offer exceptional results.

Nox-Crete’s Clean Line Reveal Wins a 2018 MIP at World of Concrete Awards

We’re proud to share with you that our PVC rustication strip product, Clean Line Reveal, is the Industry Choice winner in the Concrete Construction Equipment category in Hanley Wood’s 2018 Most Innovative Products. This award is presented annually in conjunction with the World of Concrete. Attendees of the tradeshow and audiences of Concrete Construction and The Concrete Producer vote on products they deem to be innovative to the industry. A panel of industry experts, many of whom serve on the World of Concrete Educational Advisory Board, also have a hand in selecting the winners.

About Our 2018 Most Innovative Products Winner

Clean Line Reveal  (or CLR) is available in a variety of profiles to create design details in tilt-up and precast structures like never before. The extruded high density PVC material makes the strips lightweight and durable, and unlike wood, they’re oblivious to climate change. CLR is easy to install, easy to remove, and produces a clean, uniform finish that’s incredibly smooth. Wood reveals contain sugars that can leach from the wood, resulting in discoloration and retardation; CLR eliminates this concern. Additionally, there is a reduction in labor costs because this product eliminates the need for priming, sanding, and repairs. Plus, it's easy to cut pieces in the field with a circular/miter saw.

Secure Clean Line Reveal strips in place with an adhesive spray.   

We consider it an honor to have Clean Line Reveal win the Industry Choice MIP. Winning this category in particular serves as a testament to the quality of this product. We congratulate all of the other nominees and winners of their respective categories and we look forward to the innovative products and ideas the industry will see next year.

Easy Work Practice Solutions That Reduce Respirable Crystalline Silica Dust

OSHA’s new Respirable Crystalline Silica Dust Standard sets very strict standards for exposure, and contractors across the United States are developing their compliance playbook to mitigate risk. Employers must limit access to high exposure areas; provide training and respiratory protection; develop written exposure control plans; and begin to measure exposures starting in 2018.

The Nox-Crete team thinks the best way to prevent health problems related to silica dust is to avoid silica dust altogether. Several of our high-performance chemical and accessory solutions reduce the need for grinding and sanding Tilt-Up wall panels. Less grinding, less dust.

Reduce Grinding Requirements to Limit Exposure

Several products in the Nox-Crete Tilt-Up segment can be implemented as dust control work processes to meet the new OSHA requirements. First, chemically active Silcoseal cure and bondbreaker products deliver uniform and consistent panel separation. Clean panel separation with Silcoseal reduces wall panel grinding and patching requirements, thereby reducing worker exposure to silica dust.

Adding TP-Joint as a preventative work process will eliminate the traditional grinding of concrete “fins” on erected wall panel surfaces. TP-Joint is a pre-molded, flexible temporary floor joint filler that easily fits into saw cut floor/casting slab floor joints to prevent concrete seepage. Easy to install, TP-Joint is also easily removed without the use of any special tools or the need for resawing.

Better Reveals Reduce Dust

Rustication and reveal products made with wood, or porous blown PVC have a tendency to stick in Tilt-Up wall panels, which requires grinding along the entire length of each strip. Grinding, patching, sanding and sealing every inch exposes the team to unacceptable limits of silica dust.

Nox-Crete offers Clean Line Reveal, a high density extruded PVC rustication and chamfer strip. Because Clean Line Reveal won’t cause sugar retardation or expand like wood - you get a full surface contact and tighter joints that release clean from tilt-wall panels. Using Clean Line Reveal will greatly reduce the exposure to silica dust.

Use Smooth Textured Patching and Finishing Compound to Minimize Sanding

Creamy Panel Patch from Nox-Crete repairs minor surface defects on tilt-up wall surfaces, such as: air voids (bug holes), honeycombs, spalls, gouges, chips and scratches with no grinding and only minimal sanding prior to painting. With a unique blend of Portland cement, acrylic polymer modifiers and ultra-fine aggregates, high strength Panel Patch trowels out smoothly to a feather-edge thinness without any coarse, gritty feel.

Panel Patch delivers an exceptional bond to concrete and masonry surfaces, and is color-blended to match natural concrete. Because it dries in as little as 15 minutes, Panel Patch can be painted the same day.

Include Preventative Work Processes in Written Control Plans

The new rule requires employers to have a written exposure control plan that describes the following:

  • The tasks that could expose workers to silica dust
  • A description of the engineering controls, work practices, and respiratory protection used to limit exposure for each task
  • The housekeeping measures and restricted work area procedures used to limit exposure

Your written exposure control plan can also include anything else you think is important about keeping your employees safe from respirable crystalline silica at your worksite. Use Nox-Crete dust control products as a preventative work process to avoid grinding concrete.

Change is inevitable, but staying ahead of this new regulation doesn’t have to kill your profits. In fact, by taking advantage of next generation solutions from Nox-Crete, your operations can run more efficiently to give you an edge on your competition.

Key Dates For Construction Industry Compliance

  • September 23, 2017 - Comply with all obligations of the standard, except methods of sample analysis
  • June 23, 2018 - Comply with methods of sample analysis

Resources

Silica: The Nitty Gritty

  • Workers who inhale very small crystalline silica particles are at increased risk of developing silicosis, an incurable and sometimes fatal lung disease.
  • About two million construction workers are exposed to respirable crystalline silica in over 600,000 workplaces.
  • Respirable crystalline silica is a worker safety issue, which has big implications on recruiting and retaining new construction workers.