In the manufacturing sector, heavy machinery needs to be secured to the concrete below to ensure that it is firmly in place and will provide optimal performance. The mounting process typically involves mounting soleplates/baseplates directly to the concrete below. The grouting of machine baseplates and bearing plates, and of anchoring alignment equipment to a foundation are low-cost approaches that provide a high quality machine-to-foundation connection.
Grout is poured between the two plate surfaces (normally steel and concrete) components to provide greater stability, alignment, vibration isolation, and leveling. Base plate grouting operations traditionally utilize cement grout. However, many industries are turning towards epoxy grout due to its rapid strength development and superior material properties.
The following blog outlines the importance of grouting base plates, how to go about the grouting process, and common issues that may arise during the process.
What Is the Purpose of Grout Under Base Plates?
Grout acts like a liquid shim between two surfaces and is used to secure the base plates of heavy machinery to the foundation which allows the machinery to function properly. Additionally, the grout reduces operational vibrations that can cause structural damage, machinery malfunctions, and machinery damage.
There are two primary types of grout that are used for this purpose—epoxy grout and cement grout.
What Is Epoxy Grout?
Epoxy grout is made from epoxy resins and an aggregate. This mixture gives the substance its excellent durability, hardness, and water-resistant properties. The rapid strength development, bond strength and chemical resistance supplied by epoxy resin and filler material makes it ideal for situations where vibrations, water, chemicals, and heat are regularly present. ANSI (ANSI A118.3) qualification is an important hallmark of great quality to look out for when evaluating epoxy grout options.
What Is Cement Grout?
Cement grout is made with water, cement, and sand. Cement grout comes in a variety of forms (e.g., high-abrasion, fast-setting, etc.) and is used in a range of industrial applications.
Epoxy Grout vs. Cement Grout
While cement grouts are implemented throughout a wide range of industries, they make a poor choice for machinery grout for a number of reasons. For example:
Cement grout is not designed to resist continuous impact loading and the vibrations of heavy machinery. When exposed to these stresses, the material cracks or otherwise experiences damage, which can have severe ramifications for both the machine and the concrete beneath it. Epoxy grout, on the other hand, has incredible bond strength and natural resistance to vibration.
Cement grout can shrink between the base plate and sole plate. If this happens, the grout may crack, threatening the stability of the bond between the two plates. Epoxy grout has low inherent shrinkage, reducing this risk.
Cement grouts are also vulnerable to chemical attack which can degrade the grout over time. Epoxy grouts are both water- and chemical-resistant, making them ideal for heavy machinery, especially in facilities exposed to chemicals or wet processing.
What Is the Machine Base Plate Grouting Procedure?
Properly grouting a sole plate involves the following steps:
Preparing the surface of the concrete and the sole plates. Before installation of the grout, the surface of the concrete and the plate must be adequately prepared. The surfaces of all components should be free of dust, dirt, and debris that may affect the quality of the grout bond. For the plate, any primers or coatings should also be removed prior to installation.
Pouring the grout. To pour epoxy grout successfully, optimal viscosity, flow rate, and grout temperature conditions must be met—each of these aspects can be advised and verified by the grout manufacturer. A leakproof form should be built to surround the base plate. Using a grout headbox to facilitate the flow of the grout into the form.
Finishing the edges of the base plate. Cement grouts require finishes that are flush to the edge of the plate and chamfered at a slope, while epoxy grouts can be tapered off beyond the edge of the plate.
During base plate grouting operations, some of the most common problems that arise include:
Incorrect grout usage. Make sure you are using the appropriate grout for your unique situation. If you’re using heavy machinery that generates vibrations, you may want to use epoxy grout.
Voids in the grout. Always fully mix the grout (i.e., mix the liquids together before adding the aggregate) and ensure that the base plate is level, the headbox is correct size to allow the grout flow correctly.
Formation of cracks in the grout. If you’re using cement grout, you must manage the grout expansion under the base plate. If you’re using epoxy grout, you don’t have to worry about this issue due to its low inherent shrinkage provided the depth of pour is considered.
Contact Copps Industries for Your Epoxy Grout Needs
When mounting machinery—especially any type that generates or must endure significant vibrations—to base plates, epoxy grouts are the ideal solution. At Copps Industries, we provide a variety of epoxy grout solutions, including:
For more information on epoxy grouts or our product offerings, contact us today. If you’re ready to get started with an epoxy grout and would like to reach out to the Copps Industries team, please request a quote.
Copps Industries is a leading provider of sustainable, superior-quality industrial epoxies. We have been successfully designing and manufacturing resins since 1979, and we draw on this expertise to formulate the optimum product for every one of our 400+ customers. These customers span industries including civil engineering, mining, electronics, and structural adhesives, and we offer over 500 diverse active products to meet their needs.
Copps is driven not only by committed customer service but also our commitment to the environment. We have taken extensive steps to reformulate and redesign products to remove potentially harmful ingredients and ensure our operations are sustainable. This all stems from our core value: finding the better solution. If your project requires a commercial or industrial epoxy resin, you can trust our team to find the best solution for you, your clients, and the planet.
What Is an Epoxy Resin?
Epoxy resins are durable, versatile bonding adhesives preferred for many construction and industrial applications. Their chemical composition can be altered to provide a range of viscosities, weights, and other characteristics, allowing them to be used in many different environments.
Part of epoxy resin’s versatility comes from its properties. These adhesives offer excellent mechanical and fatigue strength along with resistance to moisture, chemicals, and impact, letting them last for a long time with minimal maintenance. They also bond to many materials, including metals and plastics, and shrink little during the curing process.
In industrial and commercial settings, epoxy resins are especially valuable for coating high-wear components for protection, or for repairing faults in critical structural foundations. Some components that are often coated or repaired with epoxy resins include:
Housings and casings
Our High-Temperature Epoxies for Metal & Nonmetal Surfaces
Epoxy resins are well known for their resistance to corrosion, but some are also suited to the high temperatures used in certain industrial environments. We offer several epoxy resins that are specifically designed to withstand the heat required by these production environments.
Designed to withstand abrasion and corrosion in the most severe service conditions, these two-component, ceramic bead-filled epoxy systems are suitable for working environments up to 450° F. In addition to offering temperature and chemical resistance, these adhesives are also known for their impressive slide and impact resistance. They are also non-sagging, meaning they can be applied to vertical or overhead surfaces without issue. Common applications for these compounds are repairing and protecting processing equipment, including high-wear components like:
Like the K-037 ceramic systems, our REDBAC XTra Temp High Performance Grout offers superior strength and chemical resistance to corrosive compounds. Ideally suited to highly corrosive plants and similar environments, this grout maintains its benefits at service temperatures reaching 400° F. The solids resin system is specially designed for applications like:
Grouting machine bases
Setting, anchor bolts, leveling wedges, and other crucial components
Repairing damaged or deteriorated foundations
Protecting vulnerable concrete surfaces
High-temperature environments are especially common in certain sectors such as composite manufacturing and OEM. Our line of active products and custom-designed solutions are specially formulated to meet the needs of processes like infusion, filament winding, and pultrusion. Regardless of industry, we will work with you to identify the right materials and processes to reduce costs and improve results.
Consult Copps for Your Industrial Epoxy Resin Needs
At Copps, we offer highly resistant epoxy resins for high-temperature applications, along with a huge range of industrial epoxy resins suitable for other unique manufacturing environments. For more information about how we can serve your needs, contact us to request a quote.
Copps Industries offers a wide line of products to aid in concrete maintenance in industrial settings. Regardless of the severity of your flooring, our line of industrial concrete floor resurfacers, fillers, and coatings can help you restore your floor to a safe and operable condition.
Copps provides several preventative maintenance options for concrete flooring. From coatings and patching to joint fillers, you can rely on our line of products to keep your concrete floors in top condition and help mitigate the effects of damage. Our concrete floor coatings and resurfacers have been successfully installed in a variety of environments, including:
Tool and die
Pulp and paper
Food and beverages
Floor Patch, Coatings, and Joint Fillers for Concrete
Oftentimes it is difficult to prevent scratches, spills, and other accidents that happen on the job, but taking regular steps to keep your concrete flooring in good condition can help to keep your team and facility safe. Keeping up with routine cleaning is critical to maintaining flooring that’s aesthetically and structurally sound, but what about when chips and cracks turn up? It’s important to use trusted, quality products to make repairs and prolong the life of your concrete flooring.
Copps offers several options for maintenance and upkeep, including the Armorgard line of coatings. These coatings have been specifically engineered to resurface and protect concrete floors in a variety of industrial settings. The solutions have been developed to reduce the yellowing effect that occurs with most conventional epoxy systems.
Whether you need flooring that can stand up to foot traffic, organic acids, or harsh chemicals, there’s an Armorgard option to suit your needs. The Armorgard collection offers a range of benefits, including:
Good chemical resistance
Good adhesion to other materials (wood, metals, etc.)
Fast walk-on times
Copps also manufactures several concrete joint fillers ideal for a variety of industries. These products control the normal shrinkage cracking that occurs in most concrete. Our joint filler products include:
Bonds tightly to the sides of concrete joints in order to prevent contaminant and water penetration. Designed to reduce joint filler sinkers, which saves money and time.
We also offer the K-002 Concrete Floor Patch for to repair concrete that’s spalled, broken, or loose. Through a combination of joint edge rebuilding work and patching, damaged concrete floors can look as good as new with minimal work.
The K-002 is a three-component, 100% solid, trowel-able system specifically engineered to simplify the concrete floor repair process. The patch can adhere to a variety of construction materials, including steel, aluminum, wood, and asphalt. Following proper surface preparation, it can be utilized on new or old concrete.
How to Repair Concrete with Our Epoxy Floor Patch
Repairing concrete using Copps’ epoxy floor patch is easy for concrete repair novices and professionals alike. In just five steps, your concrete flooring can go from a cracked and damage disaster zone to looking as good as new:
Clean the damaged area. Vacuum the crack or holes. Ensure no loose particles are present.
Apply mortar repair. Use a steel trowel; use a caulking tube to fill in small cracks.
Mix patching material. Mix a batch of patching material according to manufacturer instructions.
Patch holes and/or missing segments of concrete. Use a trowel to push the patch material into holes. Smooth patches out after filling with trowel.
Seal the patch (optional). Use concrete sealer to topcoat the patch.
When concrete flooring is damaged, it’s not just an eyesore—it can be dangerous and structurally unsound. Taking the time to perform regular maintenance and fix issues as they arise is the key to avoiding safety hazards and maintaining a professional work environment.
Copps Industries offers our clients a range of products to make concrete repair a cost-effective and simple process. To view all of our products for concrete repair, please visit our Concrete Maintenance page. For more information or questions about our line of products, please contact us or request a quote.
Epoxies are thermoset resins—polymers that result from curing liquid polymers into irreversibly hardened materials. They see frequent use when manufacturing composite parts and structures thanks to the host of benefits they provide, such as:
Exceptional adhesion properties
Excellent resistance to corrosive liquids and environments
Reliable performance under high temperatures
Toughness and impact resistance
Compositematerialshave similar strength capabilities to metals like aluminum and titanium, while weighing less. They result from combining two or more compounds that retain their macrostructures after fusion. These combinations yield materials with stronger combined physical properties than those of their individual parts.
When manufacturers use epoxies in composite manufacturing, they result in stronger, lighter components.
Composites manufacturers combine epoxy resins and carbon fiber because these materials play to each other’s strengths. Epoxy is one of the few materials that can adhere to carbon fiber, and many other composite manufacturing options don’t offer the necessary adhesive properties.
Why Choose Carbon Fiber?
Composites offer industry professionals several benefits that improve product quality, including:
High strength and low weight
Characteristics that can be easily engineered for specialized applications, including:
Low coefficient of thermal expansion (CTE)
Resistance to fatigue
Design and fabrication flexibility—composite materials can:
Decrease the amount of parts required for a project
Translate to products that require less raw material and assembly time
Resist temperature extremes, corrosion, and wear
Many composites manufacturers work with carbon fibers to build high-performance applications, and they appear in countless composites. To build carbon fibers, workers combine several precursor fibers by subjecting them to chemical treatment, heating, stretching, and carbonization.
Carbon fiber offers engineers and designers numerous benefits, such as:
An exceptionally high strength-to-weight ratio
High tensile strength
Resistance to temperatures of up to 500° F when combined with epoxy resin
Where To Use Carbon Fiber
A wide variety of industries value carbon fiber for the above benefits, and it appears in all sorts of applications. Some of these materials’ most popular uses include:
Aerospace manufacturers were among the first to discover the benefits of carbon fiber. This material’s high modulus means it can replace traditional alloys like titanium or aluminum. Because carbon fiber weighs so little, it can hold up to many of the elements encountered by aircraft equipment without overly burdening it. Carbon fiber components now comprise the majority of new aircraft, such as the Boeing 787 Dreamliner, helping reduce fuel consumption.
Sports equipment such as tennis rackets, softball bats, and hockey sticks frequently use carbon fiber composites to reduce equipment weight while preserving durability. Many sporting goods benefit from this combination of light weight and durability because it boosts athletic performance without increasing the risk of breakage.
Carbon fiber composites are perfect or individuals who desire sleek, modern homes. Carbon fiber furniture and appliances give your house a chic appeal without sacrificing quality or performance. It’s easy now to get a hip black coffee table or bar chair right off the shelf—just look for carbon fiber!
Many wind turbines use fiberglass for their blades, but blades that exceed 150 ft. in length typically require “spares,” or stiffening ribs that run along the blade’s length to help maintain structural integrity. Spares are often 100% carbon fiber/epoxy because this material can resist the elements and provide the stiffness needed to keep the blades in place.
Mainstream automobiles are still researching ways to incorporate carbon fiber into new car designs, but high-end cars and racecars have been using this material for some time. Manufacturers of these cars value carbon fiber’s ability to enhance their products’ aesthetic appeal without weighing down their equipment. Some automobile manufacturers also use carbon fiber in internal components like instrument housings.
Composite Manufacturing with Copps Industries Epoxy
Copps is proud to offer the best epoxy resins for every type of composite manufacturing project. As anyone can see, there’s a whole world of ways to use carbon fibers in your next project.
Contact us today or request a quote if you would like to learn more about how these unique materials will benefit your assembly process.