Calling all concrete contractors, engineers, and MCI® representatives! We invite you to meet us next month in Atlanta, Georgia, for the 2022 ICRI (International Concrete Repair Institute) Fall Convention. Jessi Meyer (VP of Technical & Product Sales), Ash Hasania (MCI® Technical Sales & Market Manager), and Kevin Quan (MCI® Regional Sales Manager, East Coast) will all be on hand from our MCI® Team to answer MCI® concrete repair questions, reconnect, and simply enjoy time together at our tabletop booth and ICRI social events.
The theme for this convention is “Fire, Impact, Blast: Repairs After Extraordinary Events.” In addition to the insights we’d be happy to share with you from our own experiences in concrete repair, a full schedule of technical sessions is planned, including opportunities not only to learn from industry experts but also to earn PDH credits in the process. You can also get more involved by attending ICRI committee meetings and observing the process to see if you would like to have a more direct role in the future. Best of all, the ICRI Fall Convention is a great way to expand your network and make invaluable new friendships in the concrete repair industry that will be mutually beneficial for years to come.
Construction delays are common and often unpredictable. Winter weather, budget constraints, material delays, and leadership changes are all factors that can interrupt the original timeline of a construction project. Unfortunately, delaying a project does not mean the elements of nature stand still. One of the serious problems of construction delays is that materials left out in the open may begin to deteriorate through corrosion. Cortec® suggests the following guidelines to avoid some of these common corrosion problems.
Post Tensioning Grouting Delays
When the weather gets too cold to grout PT (post-tension) ducts, or when other interruptions halt the process for two weeks or more, it is important to protect against corrosion on PT strands. Fogging PT ducts with MCI®-309 is one of the most logical options to do so. This powder-based Migrating Corrosion Inhibitor™ vaporizes and forms a protective molecular layer on metal surfaces within the enclosed space. Better yet, MCI®-309 does not have to be flushed out before grouting, making this method of PT strand protection extremely efficient and convenient.
Construction Materials Left Out in the Open
When a construction delay hits, some building materials and tools are almost inevitably left out in the open. Piles of unprotected rebar are a common sight. Even worse, half-finished concrete structures with partially installed, partially exposed rebar present a special challenge for structural preservation. Tools and various other steel building materials may also be left sitting outside at risk for weathering.
MCI® CorShield® is an outstanding protective coating for new and partially installed reinforcing metal. It can be sprayed on and left to cure into a soft non-tacky film that eventually hardens and provides short- to medium-term protection against corrosion in unsheltered outdoor environments. For ultimate convenience, MCI® CorShield® has been tested for steel bond strength in accordance with ASTM A944-99 and does not have to be removed prior to embedding in concrete.
Other steel building materials lying out in the open can be wrapped in MCI® Construction Film for protection. The advantages of MCI® Construction Film go beyond the simple physical barrier benefits of using a tarp, because the film creates a molecular corrosion inhibiting layer on enclosed metal surfaces. MCI® Construction Film is good for protecting tools or equipment, especially those sitting in harsh coastal environments at higher risk for attack from airborne chlorides.
Damage Control at the End of a Delay
Anything can happen during a construction delay. Even a site left perfectly pristine and orderly may be disheveled and dirty when the job starts up again. Oil may have leaked or spilled onto new concrete surfaces and need to be cleaned up before applying a coating system or a waterproofing membrane to finish the project. If this is the case, MCI®-2061 or MCI®– 2062 are two excellent cleaners/degreasers that make use of biodegradable surfactants and good bacteria to tackle grease stains. The longer these products are left to sit, the more time microorganisms in the cleaning solutions will have to digest the grease compounds in the stain. Theoretically, this means the stain will get cleaner as time goes on (the product can be left to sit for one hour or overnight if needed). The components work in synergy: cleaning agents lift and disperse the waste while enzymes and microorganisms from MCI®– 2061 and MCI®-2062 digest hydrocarbons and other organic wastes, respectively.
When the issue is rebar rust from lack of protection during the delay, CorrVerter® MCI® Rust Primer should be used to passivate any visible corrosion on unused or partially exposed steel reinforcement. Workers should also examine partially built reinforced concrete structures for signs of corrosion, and, if any are found, should seek to mitigate the problem by treating the concrete with a surface applied corrosion inhibitor such as MCI®-2020 or MCI®-2018 to slow the rate of any corrosion that has begun.
Be Prepared for the Inevitable
Whatever the reason, construction delays are sure to happen. However, they should not be allowed to destroy sound construction materials or deteriorate partially finished structures. Following the preceding guidelines can go a long way toward preventing corrosion and minimizing damage and loss that could otherwise occur during a construction delay. Contact Cortec® to discuss these options further: https://www.cortecmci.com/contact-us/
Keywords: rebar rust, concrete surface, corrosion protection, construction delays, MCI, From Grey to Green, grouting delays, surface applied corrosion inhibitor, concrete oil stains, Cortec
There are always plenty of reasons and opportunities to remove gas and oil stains from concrete. For instance, concrete driveways, garages, and bridges are often the victims of vehicle gas and oil leaks. In addition to dealing with the bad appearance, contractors must make sure concrete surfaces are thoroughly clean and free of all contaminants before applying a waterproofing membrane. A recent test demonstrates MCI®-2061 in action under the microscope and builds confidence in this “green” cleaning product for concrete oil stains.
How Green Cleaners Work
MCI®-2061 works by a dual mechanism. Biodegradable surfactants disperse oil droplets and perform the initial cleaning. If properly applied, MCI®-2061 spores then germinate into active microorganisms and perform secondary cleaning by actually digesting hydrocarbons. This activity increases as time goes on. In fact, spores that remain in the substrate after rinsing may continue to degrade residual hydrocarbons that were not removed in the initial cleaning process.
MCI®-2061 Efficacy Demonstration
To demonstrate surfactants and microorganisms at work in MCI®-2061, the product is typically applied to a small area, and before-and-after results are compared to validate the cleaning efficacy. However, the easiest and fastest way to show decomposition of organic matter is to measure COD (chemical oxygen demand) reduction in a sample. To demonstrate this, three samples of MCI®-2061 were prepared for testing of biodiesel digestion. All samples were diluted with water at a ratio of 1:100 and were also examined under the microscope.
Sample #1 (control) – MCI®-2061 without bacteria or biodiesel
Sample #2 (control) – MCI®-2061 without bacteria but with biodiesel added
Sample #3 – MCI®-2061 with bacteria and biodiesel
COD t=0 (mg/L)
COD t=1 week (mg/L)
COD reduction (mg/L)
COD Reduction %
MCI®-2061 NB Control
COD, a measure of contaminants in the solution, dropped by 36.12% over this timeframe, while COD increased slightly in the two control samples not seeded with bacteria.
Water and wastewater treatment facilities are part of the critical infrastructure that makes our lives better on a daily basis, but often does not get a second thought. Nevertheless, the longevity of these structures not only impacts our municipal budgets but can also aﬀect our long-term carbon footprint, since concrete production is among the largest contributors to anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions. Specifying Migrating Corrosion Inhibitors (MCI®) into the concrete structural design can promote a more sustainable future by reducing the need for early replacement of high carbon-cost, energy-intensive reinforced concrete in drinking water reservoirs, desalination plants, and wastewater facilities.
Drinking Water Reservoirs and Pumping Systems
The ﬁrst of these environments is the least corrosive. However, concrete drinking water reservoirs, piping, or pumping stations can still experience challenges from high exposure to moisture or due to long-term carbonation. One water consortium in Europe knew from experience that their structures were prone to corrosion and took care to minimize future damage by incorporating MCI®-2005 admixture into a new reservoir and water regulating tank. This concrete admixture is certiﬁed to meet ANSI/NSF Standard 61 for use in large potable water structures and so was a great corrosion inhibiting alternative to calcium nitrites, which are not certiﬁed in this way. Another product certiﬁed to meet NSF Standard 61 is MCI®-2020, which can be used for maintenance and corrosion mitigation on existing drinking water structures where carbonation may have set in.
Desalination plants are much more corrosive due to inevitable exposure to saltwater and brine. This is a built-in recipe for corrosion disaster. It is therefore imperative for desalination engineers to specify corrosion protection into the system in order to ﬁght this ever-present challenge. The Sorek Desalination Plant is a great example of how and where MCI® can be used to ﬁght desalination plant corrosion. MCI®-2005 was added along with a waterprooﬁng admixture to both ﬁltration bins and prefab concrete pipe segments. MCI®-2005 was also admixed into brine water reservoirs, where water likely reaches its peak chloride concentration. Furthermore, MCI®-2020 surface applied corrosion inhibitor (SACI) was used to compensate for low concrete cover in some desalinated water reservoirs. At least seven years later, no corrosion related issues had been reported.
Wastewater Treatment Plants and Pumping Stations
Last, but not least, wastewater treatment plants are among the most corrosive of these environments due to the high concentration of H2S and other contaminants present in the waste materials. Clariﬁers, aeration tanks, secondary treatment bins, walkways, and pumping stations are often made of reinforced concrete and exposed to corrosive chemicals. The best plan is to specify MCI®-2005 or MCI®-2005 NS as a corrosion inhibiting admixture when the tanks or facilities are ﬁrst poured. MCI®-2026 can be topically applied at any stage as a tough barrier in tanks or high traﬃc areas because of its outstanding resistance to chemicals and abrasion.
Promote Economic and Environmental Sustainability The presence of water, chlorides, and/or chemicals naturally adds to the risk of reinforced concrete corrosion. By taking advantage of a few key MCI® materials, facility designers and owners can raise the probability of extending service life for greater economic and environmental sustainability. Contact Cortec® for advice on your facility: https://www.cortecmci.com/contact-us/
Keywords: sustainability, MCI, From Grey to Green, corrosion protection, concrete corrosion, concrete admixtures, carbon footprint, contributors to greenhouse gas emissions, wastewater treatment, extending service life
Cortec® is excited to announce seven new DOT approvals for MCI® Technology in North America! In the U.S., six more state DOTs have added MCI®-2005 NS to their list of approved concrete admixtures. In Quebec, Canada, MCI®-2018 has been approved for DOT use in addition to previously approved MCI®-2000. DOT approval is important for three reasons:
It allows engineers to specify MCI® in DOT construction projects for these states/provinces.
It lends credibility to engineers desiring to use MCI® Technologies in non-DOT projects.
It ultimately can improve the quality of construction by qualifying good-performing products through rigorous review according to industry standards.
MCI®-2005 NS is a concrete admixture that delays time to corrosion and reduces corrosion rates once started. MCI®-2018 is a surface applied corrosion inhibitor (SACI) with water repellency that can be used for periodic maintenance or concrete repair.
With 42% of all U.S. bridges at least 50 years old (according to the 2021 Report Card for America’s Infrastructure*), today’s generation is seeing a greater need to extend service life for both new and existing structures. MCI® is one of the easiest and most cost effective ways to do so, especially in coastal regions or states/provinces where harsh winters require the use of deicing salts. In addition, MCI® can be helpful in any region to combat carbonation-induced corrosion that sets in over a long period of time.
The following 20 states/provinces have DOT approvals for MCI® in one or multiple forms.
Cortec® continues to work on the DOT approval application process in other states and looks forward to extending the regions where MCI® can be used in DOT projects. In the meantime, we encourage you to take advantage of the many DOT approvals already in existence to promote greater longevity of bridges and other reinforced concrete structures across North America!
Regardless of the current impetus toward “greener” energy, it remains a fact that society is heavily dependent on the oil and gas industry and will likely remain so in the near future. This does not mean nothing can be done to improve the sustainability of existing oil and gas infrastructure. One great strategy for doing so is to extend the service life of reinforced concrete structures using Cortec® MCI®.
Taking Concrete From Grey to Green™ MCI® Technology extends concrete service life by mitigating corrosion on embedded reinforcing metal. Corrosion is one of the chief enemies of concrete longevity because it leads to cracking, spalling, and eventual deterioration of the structure. Since concrete production is such an energy intensive activity, helping concrete last longer is an important part of a sustainability-savvy and resource efficient society. The less often that concrete repairs or replacements have to be made, the more resources are saved, and the smaller the concrete carbon footprint becomes.
Vulnerable Oil & Gas Structures There are many different concrete structures to consider in the oil and gas industry, with some at greater risk for corrosion than others. For example, many oil and gas terminals are located in coastal environments or harsh regions of the Middle East where airborne chlorides, heat, humidity, or even soil minerals can be highly corrosive. Many fixed or floating offshore platforms, terminals, foundations, and caissons are also made of reinforced concrete exposed directly to high-chloride seawater. These factors can seriously decrease the service life of concrete structures if special measures are not taken to counteract corrosion. Among these measures, a high-performance concrete design mix, preventative maintenance, and quality repairs are of utmost importance.
When to Use MCI® The best time to apply MCI® is as a concrete admixture (MCI®-2005 or MCI®-2005 NS) in new cast-in-place structures or precast concrete elements. MCI® molecules form a protective layer on the surface of the reinforcing metal that delays time to corrosion and reduces corrosion rates once started. However, even existing structures can benefit from MCI®. CorrVerter® MCI® Rust Primer is an excellent option for prepping exposed rusted rebar during concrete repairs. Surface applied corrosion inhibitors (SACI) such as MCI®– 2019 (MCI® + water repellent) or MCI®-2020 (MCI® only) are excellent additions to enhance the lifetime of the repair or to apply simply for periodic maintenance on oil and gas structures. These MCI® SACIs migrate through the concrete pores to reach and protect embedded reinforcement. MCI®-2061 is a complementary biological-based cleaner that uses biodegradable surfactants and microorganisms to remove oil stains before the application of a SACI, a coating, or a membrane system.
Take Responsibility for Critical Resource Stewardship The oil and gas industry is part of today’s existing critical infrastructure that demands responsible stewardship. By taking basic steps like using MCI® Technology to extend service life—particularly for at-risk structures in corrosive environments—the oil and gas industry can save time and money while indirectly reducing their carbon footprint. Contact Cortec® for further assistance in finding ways to enhance the sustainability of concrete oil and gas industry
Keywords: sustainability, concrete oil and gas structures, MCI, From Grey to Green, extend service life, mitigating corrosion, concrete admixture,
Cortec, rusted rebar, reduce carbon footprint
The porous nature of concrete makes it very susceptible to moisture—whether seeping up from the ground beneath or penetrating down from wet materials on the surface above. UV light and chemicals can also damage the substrate and cause premature degradation. This makes sealers a basic element of proper concrete maintenance to extend service life in many circumstances. MCI®-2026 Primer WB is one excellent option to consider for sealing out moisture and protecting concrete, devoid of many disadvantages associated with a solvent-based sealer.
MCI®-2026 Primer WB is a 2K (two-component) 52% solids water-based epoxy coating system that outperforms and outlasts most solvent-based sealer systems without the associated odors, flammability, or VOCs. MCI®-2026 Concrete Primer WB offers good moisture and chemical resistance. The low viscosity allows for greater substrate penetration, improved handling, and easier application, while the lack of solvent odors makes MCI®-2026 Primer WB inoffensive during indoor applications. Compared to traditional concrete sealers, it is more durable, and cleanup is much easier after application. MCI®-2026 Concrete Primer has excellent adhesion and dries quickly in one to three hours before it can be recoated. At <60 g/L VOC per EPA Method 24, it is compliant to all VOC/HAPS regulations. It meets all of the USDA/FDA guidelines for use in federally inspected facilities.
MCI®-2026 Concrete Primer WB works great independently as a standalone concrete sealer and is an economical alternative to its 100% solids novolac epoxy coating counterpart. For extra durability, MCI®-2026 Concrete Primer WB can be applied in two coats, creating a tough concrete sealer system for heavy (rolling) traffic. Those that are willing to make the investment will find MCI®– 2026 Primer WB to be a great companion to MCI®-2026 Floor Coating as a base primer in situations where extra resistance to moisture from the concrete is needed. The end result is an extra tough barrier to moisture, chemicals, and physical abrasion.
MCI®-2026 Concrete Primer WB comes in clear or grey to provide an inconspicuous and/or fresh appearance in industrial settings. This is great for use in factories, garages, food processing facilities, and many other industrial environments where there is frequent spillage, cleaning, cart or vehicle traffic, and residual oils or greases.
Possible applications include • Garage floors • Food processing facility floors • Shop/factory floors • Chemical and pharmaceutical industry floors • Laboratory floors • Decorative concrete overlays
One of the most basic forms of concrete protection is to seal out the elements. MCI®-2026 Primer WB does so without the cost of a full heavy-duty epoxy system and without the nuisances of a solvent-based system. For economical, worker-friendly, industrial-strength protection, contact Cortec® to learn more about using MCI®-2026 Primer WB: https://www.cortecmci.com/contact-us/
Keywords: concrete sealers, Cortec MCI, MCI, concrete primer, floor coating, epoxy coating, proper concrete maintenance, alternative to solvent based sealers, protecting concrete, extend concrete service life
What are the effects of weather on concrete and construction? This was the main topic under consideration at the 2022 ICRI Spring Convention, April 4th-6th in Baltimore, MD, along with many other issues related to concrete repair. We were grateful to have a solid trio of MCI® experts (Kevin Quan, Jon Connealy, and Lisa Marston) there to represent Cortec® MCI® at our tabletop booth and in various committee meetings and educational presentations throughout the three-day gathering of construction professionals.
Networking at ICRI
The convention was marked by strong attendance, allowing our team to network with a variety of engineers, contractors, and distributors—especially from the U.S. East Coast region. The steel wool bottle demo captured a lot of interest because of the clear contrast between unprotected versus protected steel wool in water. It was great to see suppliers interested in learning more about MCI®, as well, since they stand to benefit from incorporating the technology into some of their own projects.
Our team also had time to attend educational presentations and committee meetings, learning about everything from competitor technologies to how climate change could affect concrete durability. Lisa Marston, our Regional Technical Service Engineer with a focus on MCI®, was able to add to her skills and understanding of the field by participating in the 160 Life Cycle and Sustainability committee meeting and attending the 510 Corrosion committee and the Women in ICRI committee meetings.
One topic that kept resurfacing during conference discussions was the issue of service life modeling for existing structures at the repair stage. Currently, no tools for estimating service life exist beyond what is available for new structures. This will likely be a continuing topic of discussion at ICRI as more ideas unfold on how to address this important need. Other exciting initiatives include the recent development of new task groups by Women in ICRI to encourage more involvement and outreach at the local chapter level for emergency response support, philanthropic/volunteer opportunities, education, and more.
All in all, ICRI was a great time to deepen our connections, share our specialty areas of expertise, and keep our eye on trends that will be important to all of us in the concrete and construction industries!
Calling all MCI® professionals! Spring is on its way to the Northern Hemisphere, which also means it is time to mark our calendars for the 2022 ICRI Spring Convention in Baltimore, Maryland. This seasonal conference hosted by the International Concrete Repair Institute (ICRI) offers several great ways to learn and grow in the field of concrete durability and repair.
1. Learn More about MCI® and Concrete Repair First of all, the ICRI Spring Convention is a great opportunity to add to your industry knowledge. This year’s topic, “Weather—Its Impact on Concrete and Construction,” goes hand in hand with Cortec® MCI® Technology. MCI® is used to delay and reduce corrosion on concrete structures in harsh environments, such as winter climates where freeze-thaw cycles and deicing salts wreak havoc. Jon Connealy, Kevin Quan, and Lisa Marston from our MCI® sales and technical team will be available to answer your project and technical questions on these topics and share about recent updates to our MCI® High Performance Repair System (HPRS®). ICRI technical sessions offer further means to boost your knowledge of the concrete repair industry in general.
2. Network with Construction Industry Professionals The ICRI Spring Convention is also a good way to meet other industry professionals such as engineers and contractors who may be looking for new ideas on concrete repair and durability. These conventions gather a wealth of experts and end users into one place with the potential to build valuable long-lasting professional connections.
3. Grow in Your Influence and Expertise Finally, the ICRI Spring Convention presents opportunities to become involved further by volunteering for committees that can shape the future of concrete repair and industry best practices.
Mark your calendars today and stay tuned to the ICRI website for further details on registration!
The World of Concrete (WOC) was a great opportunity for many of us to not only escape the snow and cold of our home environments, but also to see the whole MCI® team and some of our distributors and reps face to face once again! The excitement of being back in person January 18th– 21st in Las Vegas was visible among the audience, which, although smaller than pre-COVID shows, was noticeably larger than the June 2021 WOC when construction season was in full swing.
As usual, the MCI® Lunch & Learn was packed with discussion about MCI® business strategies, challenges, market changes, and industry reception, as well as product updates and relevant case histories. Business aside, our reps and distributors had time to relax and attend “WOW – The Vegas Spectacular,” to be entertained by acrobats in a theatrical setting.
WOC also brought opportunities to talk with current and potential customers—some of whom seemed genuinely interested in learning about MCI® Technology for the first time. Another potential benefit of the conference was connecting with material suppliers who may be helpful resources for future R&D efforts.
Although we missed the presence of our international distributors this year, it was great to see those of you who were able to attend from Alpine Summit Enterprises , JN Lucas & Associates, M2, and SMART. We were happy to be together once again, and we look forward to seeing even more of you next year at WOC 2023!
Keywords: World of Concrete, WOC2022, Cortec, MCI, Cortec MCI, From Grey to Green, construction industry, concrete repair, construction season, Cortec distributors