Am I oversimplifying or what? After so many reports of creaking and crumbling in the tragically collapsed condo in Surfside, Florida, it’s probably not surprising to structural engineers that there has been some deterioration of the concrete. And it may be due to the rusting of the rebar.
I am on Basanite industries (OTCQB: BASA), a Florida company that ironically makes a rust-resistant rebar called BasaFlex ™ just a few miles north in the neighboring county of where the disaster happened must think so.
Could a more durable, ecological, durable building material with a lifespan of 100 years, stronger and significantly lighter than steel, have prevented this nightmarish tragedy?
BasaFlex is a basalt fiber reinforced polymer reinforced rebar designed as a non-corrosive alternative to conventional steel rebars for concrete structures. So, could a rust resistant rebar have saved all those lives?
It’s such a shame that this must have happened to so many people in Florida where I live in a high rise condo on the ocean not so far north of the disaster. I just hope that the determination to find out exactly what caused this tragedy does not corrode over time, but remains strong, tenacious and resilient.
Meanwhile, media cites a 2018 inspection report finding ‘abundant’ cracks and splinters of columns, beams and walls in the garage under the tower that fell to the ground last week, killing nine people and 156 are still missing. Was it the rust that did that?
Spalling refers to the deterioration of concrete, sometimes causing spalling and exposure of steel rebar called rebar.
According to a structural field study report, there were apparently extensive cracks and chipping to varying degrees observed in the columns, beams and concrete walls of the downstairs parking garage. The report included photos of parking garage columns in which concrete had cracked and rebar could be seen in a condition described as a form of cancer.
Professional engineers specializing in concrete repair projects believe that after seeing the Surfside condo tower crumble into rubble, a potential structural defect jumped out in their eyes called concrete crumbling.
An engineer has been quoted in news reports saying that when salt water seeps into porous concrete, it causes rusting and expansion of reinforced steel rods called rebar in the support beams. In turn, the expansion breaks the concrete, weakening the beams.
So why not build with a rust-resistant rebar, the type Basanite makes, to prevent a disease like “concrete cancer” from spreading and killing people?
When cancer spreads, it’s like a domino effect where concrete breaks and weakens over time, so if a column is subjected to chipping, it can fail and a beam can do. drop the whole building.
“Concrete deterioration” at the South Champlain towers
A 2018 inspection report indicated that approximately 8% of the concrete slabs in the garage and building plaza had suffered “concrete deterioration.” In addition, approximately 5% of the structural balcony floor slabs exhibited hairline cracks.
The report also found additional chipping or cracking in a small percentage of concrete columns and exterior walls. One column contained a large crack, defined as greater than 2 millimeters, and the waterproofing membranes were “beyond their useful life” and needed to be replaced. He further noted that the pool and hot tub were leaking and needed to be removed and all cracked or chipped concrete needed to be repaired.
In addition, it appeared that the concrete frame slab that had supported the plaza / pool above the garage had already undergone repairs and crack repairs. Hmmmmm!
I feel so sorry for the victims, whose families and loved ones deserve answers on what really caused this collapse in the middle of the night when all were probably asleep.
This article was also published in CommPRO.biz https://www.commpro.biz/if-building-collapse-when-rebar-rusts-why-not-build-with-rust-proof-rebar/
Besides an avid blogger, Tom Madden is the author of countless published articles and five books, including his latest, WORDSHINE MEN, available this summer on Amazon. He is the founder and CEO of TransMedia Group, an award-winning public relations firm serving clients worldwide since 1981 and has led remarkably successful media campaigns and crisis management for America’s largest businesses and organizations.