Our Products At Work in the Field

Concrete Cloth™ GCCM: Berm Protection

Mount Vernon, WA
October 12, 2014

Project Overview
In October 2014, Concrete Cloth GCCM was used as hard armor berm protection for a secondary containment system at a tank terminal site in Washington state. Industry safety protocols state that berms must maintain a minimum height to provide an effective secondary containment and must be maintained at all times.

Previously, asphalt-emulsion had been used to protect the berm. This method incurred high maintenance costs and operation disturbances due to frequent re-coating every five to seven years to repair cracking, as well as patch repair work throughout the year. The client wanted a more robust solution.

Concrete Cloth GCCM was selected based on the significant savings that were associated with its installation and maintenance versus the four alternatives mentioned for this facility. Concrete Cloth GCCM required a minimal daily operation disturbance during its installation and the use of Concrete Cloth GCCM upgraded the secondary containment berm to allow for potential future expansions.

Western Refinery Services (WRS) completed the installation over a seven-day period with minimal personnel. Bulk rolls of CC5 were placed at the crest of the berm and spooled down one side before being unrolled down the other. This process was repeated along the berm, with a four-inch overlap established between layers.

Each overlap was screwed and sealed using ¾-inch self-tapping screws (placed at 12-inch intervals) and Sika 1-A sealant. On the inside of the berm, the cut edges of the Concrete Cloth GCCM were placed into an anchor trench and then backfilled and compacted with an asphalt road base material. On the outer edge of the berm, masonry bolts were used to fix the Concrete Cloth GCCM to the existing concrete infrastructure and/or placed into an anchor trench and backfilled with a compacted asphalt road base or gravel road base material.

In areas where the berm had eroded to the extent it no longer met the height requirements, sandbags were used to elevate the berm height before the CC was rolled out. Infrastructure such as pipework was easily accommodated due to the drape characteristics and flexibility of Concrete Cloth GCCM. Holes were cut for the pipes and, where needed, an extra layer of Concrete Cloth GCCM was fitted around them and sealed. The Concrete Cloth GCCM was hydrated using a high-volume mounted hose attached to a water hydrant.

56,000 ft2 of CC5 was installed in only seven days. The completion of this project has resulted in drastically reduced maintenance costs, improved impermeability and improved fire resistance of the berm. The installation also increased the aesthetics of the facility while reducing safety issues and concerns. Corner details and pipe protrusions were simple to accommodate, resulting in an easy and rapid install. The client was pleased with the outcome of the project and is looking to install CC on other berms in its vast oil and gas network.

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