What is Grout?

This first issue in a series of technical newsletters is designed to provide practical help to people in the field who install grouting materials. It will also provide, in subsequent issues, design tips to help engineers and equipment technicians in the proper selection of materials and installation details that will insure better grouting designs and specifications.

While a definition of machinery grout is not necessary for many of you, a brief definition will help those new to this field and avoid confusion with the use of the term "grout" as used in masonry construction. Machinery grout is a material; either organic (such as an epoxy) or inorganic (in the case of cement-based materials) that serves as a filler between the bottom of the machine base and the top of the concrete foundation or metal equipment skid.

Typical machinery grouts are flowable, virtually non-shrinking or slightly expanding, and serve to support the equipment base at a precise elevation within .001" over the life of the machine. Usually installed 2" to 3" in thickness, they fill the gap between a non-precise top elevation of the concrete block and the machined bottom of the equipment base.

Grouts only keep the machinery base from moving downward. An integral right angle drive gas compressor produces loads in the horizontal and vertical directions. Horizontal movement is restrained by the clamping action of the properly torqued anchor bolts against the machinery grout.

You can see why a machinery grout has to be a tough material. It must be able to withstand prolonged com-pressive loads, at equipment-operating temperatures, without creeping or allowing the base to deflect, as this will disturb the alignment of the moving parts of the machine.

Grout has to be used in conjunction with a properly torqued anchor bolt system when both static and dynamic loading is involved, such as with compressors, turbines, pumps, gear boxes and most heavy industrial machines. It takes both good grout and good bolts to properly hold the modern machines industry uses today.

Future issues of this newsletter will cover additional subjects, such as proper surface preparation of concrete and steel, anchor bolt consideration, the use of machinery grouts with machinery sub-base components (such as rails, sole plates and chocks) as well as a selection of generic types of grouting materials for typical applications. Tips on use of expansion joints, reinforcing, and other practical hints based on over 63 years experience will also be a regular part of these newsletters.

More About Robt. L. Rowan & Assoc., Inc.

For over sixty-three years, Robt. L. Rowan & Assoc., Inc. has been solving foundation and grouting problems for critical alignment equipment. In the mid-fifties, Bob Rowan, Sr. and Bob Rowan, Jr., developed the first epoxy machinery grout, which later became Ceilcote grout. This was the first of many new, innovative products created by Robt. L. Rowan & Assoc., Inc. designed to solve foundation and grouting problems of critical alignment equipment by utilizing the latest technologies.

ENGINEERING EXCELLENCE

With over forty-five years of experience in the field, Robt. L. Rowan & Assoc., Inc. has developed unrivaled engineering expertise. Full engineering services are available, including initial field inspection and problem diagnosis, detailed repair design and drawings, complete scope of work write-ups and on site field supervision. Currently, Robt. L. Rowan & Assoc., Inc. is under contract by several major pipeline and refining companies to design repairs for all of their critical alignment equipment, as well as to update their design criteria and material specifications.

COMBINING SUPERIOR PRODUCTS AND DESIGN

Economics is the key to Robt. L. Rowan & Assoc., Inc.’s success. The blend of high technology products, that can lower material costs, combined with proven engineering designs, enables Robt. L. Rowan & Assoc., Inc. to design more cost effective, long-term repairs that can extend the useful life of your equipment, as well as reduce future maintenance costs.

FUTURE MAINTENANCE COST FORECASTING

Whether your need is for next years operating budget, potential purchase, or sale of a facility, we can help you identify foundation problems for all types of equipment and machinery that will require repair in the near future. We can help you quantify each repair in terms of materials cost, down-time required to complete the repair, and priority.

FORENSIC EVALUATION

Catastrophic failure of critical alignment equipment can be foundation/alignment related. A detailed forensic evaluation can help identify the reason for the failure, as well as provide input into avoiding and identifying potential future failures.

 

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