Industrial Food Processing Facility Support in Kansas and Kentucky

Problem

Two different industrial food storage and processing facilities faced similar challenges due to weak soils and water drainage issues. In Murray, Kentucky, a 50,000-gallon milk storage tank and two adjacent buildings at a dairy processing facility were all settling due to a high water table and fine grained soils beneath the structures. Meanwhile, in Canton, Kansas, a grain handling facility was experiencing settlement in several areas due to poorly compacted soils. At both facilities, catastrophic structural failure was on the horizon, but the prospect of halting operations to conduct a major remediation project was not an option.

Analysis

At the dairy processing facility in Kentucky, a decision had to be made regarding the preferred approach to solving the problem: high-density structural polymer vs. cementitious grout. The weight bearing capacity of the soils beneath the milk storage tank was severely compromised, so a solution that increased the overburden on the already compromised soils was not a good option. For operators at the grain handling facility in Kansas, adjacent infrastructure assets were also at risk as the compromised soils below threatened the uninterrupted flow of activity at the Motor Control Center (MCC), the rail car loading area, and the approach slabs to the truck unloading area. Both situations called for a solution that would increase the bearing capacity of the soils, provide a minimal amount of disruption to normal operations, and provide years of lasting protection against future settlement and soil erosion issues. For both facilities, a decision was made to call URETEK.

Solution

For both projects, the URETEK Deep Injection® (UDI) process was the ideal solution. Crews at the dairy processing plant injected URETEK 486 Star® polymer to stabilize and bridge the weak soils at two different depths beneath the pad. The injection plan allowed the densified soils to bridge over weaker soils at depth, providing a cost-efficient solution to the dairy’s settlement issues that would last for years. Moreover, at only 7,000 pounds, the injected material provided only a fraction of the strain on foundation soils that would have been present after injecting the 25 tons of cementitious grout required to complete the job. At the grain handling facility, URETEK crews employed UDI to successfully stabilize the sub-soils and fill voids underneath various key structures, all without interrupting normal facility operations.

Result

URETEK’s speedy intervention allowed both of these food-handling facilities to maintain normal operations schedules while assuring stable infrastructure assets long into the future. For more than two years since URETEK completed its work, the tank pad in Kentucky has been monitored and no additional settlement issues have been detected. In Kansas, where URETEK completed its work within budget and without interrupting operations, the grain handling facility continues loading and unloading trucks and trains right on schedule above stabilized soils and level building foundations.

URETEK Deep Injection® (UDI)

Widely referenced throughout our industry, UDI involves the injection of structural polymer into base and subgrade soils to increase the load bearing capacity. This is achieved by injecting the polymer through small holes drilled directly through the pavement structure to depths determined by site-specific analysis. Our URETEK 486 Star® material flows easily into voids and weak zones within the soil mass below. Through a controlled chemical reaction, the expanding polymer compacts surrounding soils and applies a controlled pressure on targeted areas of the affected pavement above. If needed, a multi-injection design plan is utilized to gently return the pavement to its original grade. The composite material quickly cures into a strong, dimensionally stable, and water-resistant geo-material, providing years of reliable service.

URETEK 486 Star®

URETEK 486 Star® polymer is a two-component, high-density, expanding thermoset polyurethane system. It was developed to be the ideal solution for under-sealing, void filling, lifting of settled pavement, stabilization and stiffening of weak soils, and for encapsulating and sealing buried infrastructure. URETEK 486 Star® is environmentally inert, non-toxic, and resists underground water erosion or weakening due to its industry-leading hydrophobic properties.

Weak Soils
Weak soils beneath a 50,000-gallon milk tank threatened operations at a dairy processing facility in Kentucky
URETEK crew injecting through the pad on the exterior of the silo