We all live in a world where any form of disruption is a major issue which dramatically affects our wellbeing. The infrastructures we use on a daily basis, especially rail, roads and highways, constantly need maintaining as they are often used at full capacity. This problem also extends to utilities – water, gas and electricity distribution – power stations, marine environments and others. Much of this infrastructure, especially within cities and large towns, now can’t cope with the demands put upon it.

The net result is that these indispensible systems have begun to wear and fail at a higher rate and speed than may have been the case in the past. They now require a higher level of repair and maintenance to keep them operational, and this has to be carried out with less access time to keep traffic flowing and trains moving. As a result, there is an ever-increasing need for high-performing products to achieve the best level of repair in the shortest time.

A lot of infrastructure repairs require the use of cement. It’s easy to buy, simple to use, and relatively foolproof – in normal circumstances.

Re-engineering the product

Portland cement has been the standard for many years, but also has had some shortfalls. It shrinks excessively, can’t be accelerated without negative effects, is susceptible to attack by prevalent chemicals and reacts destructively with certain aggregates. None of this makes it ideal to use in today’s high- pressure maintenance environment.

CTS Rapid Set products provide cementitious solutions to this problem, with products that cure in a very short time and allow operations to continue with a minimum of disruption. There is also a specialist selection of additives available that give versatility of use to the three main products that are used to cover most repair and maintenance works.

Market leaders in USA, CTS Rapid Set products are fast becoming established across Europe, Asia and Australia and have recently been introduced to the UK. The three main products have recently been added to the London Underground Approved Products Register and are likely to be adopted for use within LUL civils maintenance works.

Rapid Set Cement is an advanced high-performance hydraulic cement that provides structural strength in one hour. It is manufactured with the same raw materials, equipment and processes used to make Portland cement yet has reduced shrinkage and superior resistance to chemical attack.

Precise selection and proportioning of the raw materials, many refinements throughout the manufacturing process and comprehensive quality control combine to give Rapid Set superior performance and a unique chemistry.

When Rapid Set cement is used in concrete, it provides superior performance in terms of rapid strength gains, reduced permeability and low shrinkage. Traditionally, when fresh concrete is placed using conventional Portland cement, the heavier particles settle and displace the water mix which then forms capillaries as it rises to the surface as bleed water. After the concrete has hardened, these capillaries become routes of entry for substances that attack the concrete and reinforcing steel.

When Rapid Set cement is used in concretes, repair mortars, or any other Rapid Set products, it produces ettringite crystals that rapidly consume water and create a three- dimensional lattice. This stops the settling and displacement process, eliminating the capillary formation which reduces permeability and resulting in a more durable concrete.

Comprehensive range

Rapid Set cement forms the basis for several easy-to-use products.

Cement All is a multipurpose product that can be used for general concrete repairs, doweling, anchoring, industrial grouting and form work. It can be used from a feather-edge up to 100mm thick, the surface does not need priming, and can be water cured. It has an initial set time of 15 minutes and can be trafficked in one hour.

Mortar Mix is a versatile product that can be used for general concrete repairs to floor slabs, vertical and overhead applications. It is a high performance blend of Rapid Set cement and quality sands. Mortar Mix is non-metallic and has no chlorides and, when mixed with water, it produces a workable high-build mortar that can be applied anywhere from 10mm to 150mm thick. It too sets in 15 minutes and can be trafficked in one hour.

Concrete Mix is a multi-purpose, fast setting product that can be used for repair and construction of floor slabs, machine bases, and general concrete repairs. It is a blend of Rapid Set cement, grades of sands and 8mm aggregate.

When mixed with water, Concrete Mix produces a workable, high-quality concrete material that is ideal where fast strength gain, high durability and low shrinkage are desired. It can be applied from 50mm – 600mm in depth, is durable in wet environments, sets in 15 minutes and is ready to traffic in one hour.

In addition, there is a range of specialty additives for retarding setting, increasing flow ability and including reinforcement fibres.

All of which can come in handy when repairing a railway at two in the morning when trains are due to start running in a couple of hours.