ICRI 2009 Project Award Winner
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Award of Excellence: Special Projects Category

Earth-Covered Magazine Protection Using Electro-Osmotic Pulse Technology
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Fort A.P. Hill, Virginia

Submitted by Electro Tech CP

Earth-Covered Magazine

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
Champaign, Illinois

Project Engineer/

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
Champaign, Illinois

Repair Contractor
Electro Tech CP
Tequesta, Florida

Material Suppliers/

Cathodic Technology Limited
Ontario, Canada

ELTECH Systems Corporation
Chardon, Ohio

A military base in the U.S. has several earth-covered magazines (ECMs) used for storage of a wide variety of explosive ordnance. The magazines consist of a reinforced concrete floor with reinforced concrete head walls at each end. The side walls and ceiling consist of a reinforced knee wall approximately 15 in. (381 mm) high with a galvanized corrugated steel-panel arch bolted on top and at various points into the head walls. 

Because of failures of the waterproofing membranes and french drains, large amounts of water was seeping through the concrete walls, floors, wall/ceiling joints, and ceiling panel joints of the ECMs. Water intrusion through these structures was corroding ammunition and equipment stored inside the magazines, and was also starting to corrode the reinforcement steel embedded in the concrete floors and walls. 

Conventional methods for preventing water intrusion were expensive, labor intensive, and time consuming with a high probability of failure once completed. They also failed to address the difficult problem of water intrusion through the bunker floor. Electro-osmotic pulse (EOP) systems were selected to safely apply low-voltage DC pulses from inside the concrete to create an electric shield against water intrusion. These transparent energy walls effectively sealed off the below-grade ECMs. Extensive field and laboratory testing was performed to validate the system as a long-term solution. Then, EOP systems were installed in 11 magazines and proved to be the ideal solution; the repair is expected to last the life of the structure.

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