Durability Enhancing Waterproofing For Tunnels

In every project, underground structures are high risk areas that are prone to heavy leakage and seepage. When it comes to tunnels for transportation such as metro, subways and roads this risk becomes ten times worse because tunnels can be subjected to heavy traffic & vibration and corrosion damage, these factors affect the durability of the structure.

In fact, with tunnels consultants and contractors are specifying waterproofing products and solutions that keep in mind the need for speed and durability in such projects. Today, these specifications are heavily skewed towards solutions that are easy to use and economical. This is especially critical in Asia, where skilled labour is not always readily available, terrains are challenging, and the traffic is set to be higher.

In such high-risk projects crystalline has become a solution of choice for waterproofing. This is increasingly visible in projects such as the Beijing subway - China, Hanzomon Subway Tunnel – Tokyo, Japan, Shinsegae Tunnel - South Korea, Delhi Metro - India, IICC Dwarka - Delhi, India; where the projects have given preference to crystalline integral waterproofing over other traditional solutions. The reason is that, inclusion of crystalline has proven to prevent penetration of moisture and chemicals into the concrete and steel components of the tunnel and has added years to the life of the structure.

Crystalline integral waterproofing solutions protect the structural rebar from corrosion and provides a durable, leak-free solution that will last for the life of the tunnel. These solutions are easy to use and do not require special weather conditions. In fact, if the concrete work such as pouring and mixing is possible on the site, these solutions (especially the admixture) can be used.

The simplest, most economical and most effective crystalline solution being currently used across the globe and in Asia at a great length is the admixture. By simply adding this product in to the concrete at the time of mixing the tunnel can easily be waterproofed without the need of any extra time or effort. This solution turns the entire concrete into a waterproof barrier ultimately protecting the durability and structural integrity of the concrete, prolonging the life of the tunnel.

The inventor of the crystalline admixture – Kryton, have been waterproofing projects for over 4 decades and have set the standard for crystalline waterproofing. Krystol Integral Membrane (KIM) is an award-winning admixture that can be added to the concrete at the plant, or on-site to the mixer truck to make the concrete watertight. KIM can even be used for shotcrete walls in tunnels. KIM turns the concrete itself into the waterproofing membrane – eliminating the need for any surface-applied membrane to be applied. KIM and the Krystol Waterproofing System reduce labour, construction schedules and costs for concrete waterproofing. KIM also works to reduce shrinkage and cracking during the curing process. With the KIM admixture, membrane systems become redundant and every jobsite saves on time, labour and cost.

The highlight of using this integral waterproofing system in the form of admixture or coating is that it removes the need for costly repairs and disruptive downtime. Kryton’s award-winning Krystol technology grows needle-like crystals inside the concrete, filling pores and capillaries, transforming ordinary concrete into an impenetrable barrier to liquids, yet still breathable.

So, when it comes to waterproofing for tunnel projects the right solution is crystalline for every project, every time.