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2010 Titan Hollow Bar School

clock June 22, 2010 06:08 by author blogadmin
Micropile Drilling School by Con-Tech and TEI features ECP Micropier underpinning brackets.


During June of each year, TEI takes three days to hold a school for the installation of the popular Titan Hollow Bar Micropiles. 2010 was no exception as 22 people from around the country headed to the TEI Rock Drill facility in Montrose, Co. Instructors from TEI, Con-Tech, ECP and local drill contractors presented information in a classroom setting during the morning hours. The afternoon was set aside for hands-on drilling, equipment safety and repair instruction by Con-Tech and TEI employees.

Classes were held in the warehouse at TEI opposed to the previous location at the Holiday Inn. The new setting was very popular with attendees, due to the ability to stop a discussion and taking the entire group outside and explain questions with product and equipment at everyone's disposal. TEI is currently discussing the possibility of creating a full-time classroom in the warehouse that would double as an internal company safety meeting gathering point.

Jeff Tully, ECP, once again presented the ECP Micropier bracketing system. The underpinning system for hollow bar micropiles has gained acceptance in the industry as the premier underpinning bracketing system. The ECP Model 350MP pier bracket was jointly developed by TEI and Earth Contact Products to fill a demand for a high-quality underpinning bracket that can be used in the commercial and residential micro pile markets. The patent pending bracket is based upon ECP's line of underpinning brackets for helical anchors and steel push piers along with TEI's man-portable drill rigs (MP250 and MP260). Terry Burnell of Mountain Highwall Concrete Contractors gave the system great praise and shared the success his company has had since using the Model 350MP underpinning system.

Courses were taught in load calculations, testing techniques, installation methods, and grouting. Instructors included Dan Mclean, Contech Systems, Bill Patterson, TEI Rock Drills, Jeff Tully, Earth Contact Products and more. Terry Brunel, Mountain Highwall, and Kyle Vanderburg, Mays Construction, both local contractors gave case studies on some of their local projects. On Thursday afternoon the entire class was able to visit one of Terry's job sites to watch the installation of some Titan bars in real time. Terry's crew also demonstrated a tension load test on this same project. Norman Parsons headed up the load test and was very informative in his explanation of testing procedures and requirements.




Minimizing the Effects of Expansive Soils

clock June 9, 2010 13:21 by author blogadmin
Expansive clay soil and inconsistent soil moisture levels are the causes of foundation failure. Follow these steps to decrease the effects of expansive soils.


For those of us that live in areas that have expansive clay soils foundation problems are as predictable as the rising sun. Expansive clay soils contain minerals such as smectite clays that are capable of absorbing water, hence they exhibit volume change. Expansive soils can cause heave and settlement depending on the time of year and overall moisture content of the soils.

Some movement is likely to occur in homes built on expansive soils.We can minimize cracking and major structural damage through maintaining more consistent soil moisture levels around our homes. Using some simple steps, outlined below, and common sense we can protect our homes from the potential devastating effects of expansive soils.

A.      Yard Drainage – All areas should drain away from the home. 5% slope within the first 10’ of the foundation and at least 1% after that.

B.      Roof and Gutter – Gutters need to be maintained and downspouts should be routed beneath grade in PVC pipe at least 10’ away from the home.

C.      Driveway and Sidewalk – Concrete areas should be slope away from the foundation and kept at or below grade to prevent ponding.

D.      Plumbing – Unexplained increases in water consumption should be investigated immediately. Plumbing leaks are a very common cause of heaving beneath structures.

E.       Subsurface Drainage – Maintain and or add foundation drain systems. Make sure pipes are free-flowing and drain into a sump basin or to daylight away from the foundation.

F.       Trees and Bushes – Trees should be 1 – 1-1/2 times their height away from the structure. Trees are a major contributor to settling foundations.

By following the above steps you will decrease the effects of expansive soils. If water is your enemy, the solution is water management. By maintaining a constant soil moisture content, your home will remain stable and unaffected by the dramatic effects if expansive soils supporting homes are allowed to become too wet or too dry.



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