Airports are an integral part of Australia’s transport infrastructure and contribute significantly to the country’s economy. As the aviation industry operates according to complex air traffic management systems, any infrastructure failure can lead to costly disruptions – this is why proactive remediation with reduced downtimes is especially effective for the sector.
Airport pavements are a huge investment. Profitability and operational efficiency are greatly impacted by pavement failure, which can cause damage to aircrafts and potentially result in catastrophic accidents. For customers, if an airport runway or taxiway is not fit for use, it can lead to delays and cancellations.
Airport pavement failure is often caused by underlying issues in the infrastructure. Not addressing these issues can result in further damage requiring more costly repairs.
Since 1989, Mainmark has been successfully delivering its Resin Injection products and methods to support and re-level subsided pavements and structures, as well as strengthening the sub-grade soils often associated with pavement failures at airports.
Mainmark is the industry leader with its proprietary Teretek® Resin Injection solution. Teretek® Resin Injection is a technology that has been qualified, tested, and adopted by infrastructure authorities across Australia.
It offers a unique method for addressing bearing capacity issues and voiding common in aging infrastructure foundation systems while avoiding the significant operational disruption and high costs often associated with pavement removal and replacement.
Teretek® materials expand in a controlled manner, allowing its targeted placement to fill voids, reconfirm support, and raise subsided pavements with precision.
Mainmark has delivered effective airport pavement repair solutions with major airports across the Asia-Pacific region, including many of Australia’s commercial and defence airport facilities in our capital cities and across regional locations.
Mainmark’s Russell Deller, said, “Mainmark has been working with airports around the Asia Pacific region to implement low impact, non invasive and sustainable solutions. Using our Resin Injection technology, these airports have been able to minimise operational downtimes and get back to business sooner.”
Low impact materials
Teretek® is a particularly effective, non-invasive solution due to its unique material and mechanical properties. Mainmark’s void filling, re-levelling and ground improvement solutions are completely machine pre-mixed before injection. The result is an inert material that is non-toxic, low-impact, noninvasive, has an indefinite lifespan and is environmentally sustainable.
Teretek® materials and processes have a low carbon footprint since expansive resins significantly reduce material consumption compared to alternative methods, substantially cutting down on production and transportation emissions.
“The materials used are lightweight and strong, resistant to water and have a high chemical resistance, meaning that once injected, they will retain their mechanical properties for many years. “This makes them an ideal solution for repairing airport runways, taxiways, and structures without adding additional weight to the underlying soils,” Mr Deller said.
Innovative technologies for rapid repair
As a fast, non-disruptive, and economical solution, Mainmark’s Teretek® is particularly well suited to address the complex challenges of airport pavement repair, including:
- The filling of voids directly beneath pavements to reconfirm support and limit deflection and deterioration
- Raising subsided pavements to re-establish design levels and/or drainage gradients
- To provide targeted ground improvement to weak subgrade soils
Mr Deller said, “In almost every airport project we are contracted to, water is often a common denominator – whether via failed construction joint seals permitting surface water to access the subgrade, because of a failing service pipe causing washout voiding, or by excessive accumulation due to loss of surface drainage causing ponding/icing issues.”
“When water accumulates beneath a pavement, it can weaken the supporting soil or subgrade. As a result, the pavement may start to deflect under load, sink or settle, which can lead to cracking and other significant types of failures.”
Mainmark’s efficient processes involve no demolition, excavation or heavy machinery and create no waste, helping repair Australia’s infrastructure without harming the environment.
Unlike traditional repair methods, Teretek® can be delivered in just a few hours. The completed pavement sections are returned to full operation immediately after the repair work, and no curing time is required.
In addition to void filling & lifting, Teretek® can be utilised for targeted ground improvement to restore or improve bearing capacity to weak or failing subgrades. The primary improvement mechanism is densification of the soil due to aggressive expansion of the Teretek® product.
Secondary effects such as improved composite stiffness, cementation, and horizontal stress increases are also present. The expansion of the injected material results in compaction of the adjacent soils, due to the new material being introduced into a relatively constant soil volume.
This means the injection process can also strengthen the subgrade soils beneath the pavements, increasing its load-bearing capacity and restoring/providing additional support.
Injection of weakened or failing subgrade is often applied as an early intervention measure at the first signs of pavement failure, restoring or improving subgrade capacity to mitigate against further pavement deterioration that can lead to extensive demolition, excavation, and interruption to operations.
Mainmark works closely with client engineers to align design requirements to ensure achievable improvement targets. The design is determined by the initial soil properties and the target outcome for the target structure. This influences the injection depths and extent of improvement required – following the site application; the design is then validated using standard geophysical tests.
Maintenance is critical
Functional transportation infrastructure is a key component of a stable economy and plays an essential role in supporting communities’ well-being and economic growth. Maintenance and replacement of aged infrastructure is crucial for public safety and is one of the largest draws on federal funding.
Finding ways to increase the lifespan of existing infrastructure and avoid complex reconstruction is an effective way to reduce budget demands. This is why finding proactive ways to increase the lifespan of existing infrastructure and avoid complex reconstruction through remediation is an effective way to reduce airport budget demands.