Evaluation of the Use of High Molecular Weight Methacrylate Monomers to Seal Cracks in Decks on I-81 Over the New River

Report No: 91-R19

Published in 1991

About the report:

This report presents the results of a study undertaken to evaluate the installation and performance of two high molecular weight methacrylate monomers used to treat the cracks and seal the surfaces on two bridges on I-81 over the New River. The evaluation is based on data collected during the treatments, skid tests, permeability tests on cores removed from the deck, petrographic examination of the cracks in the cores, and inspections of the underside of the deck for leaks. The evaluation indicates that no significant application problems occurred and the treatments partially filled the top 1/2 in of the cracks. However, because of traffic and temperature induced strains across the cracks, the polymer in many of the cracks was cracked after 1 year in service. Even so, the treatments significantly reduced the permeability to chloride ion of the top 2 in. of both cracked and uncracked sections of the deck. Cores taken through treated cracked and uncracked areas after 1 year had permeabilities that were 59 and 43 percent, respectively of the untreated bases. The study concludes that the application of high molecular weight methacrylate monomers is a practical way to reduce the infiltration of chloride ions into cracked concrete surfaces because of the low cost and ease with which the treatment can be applied as compared to pressure injection of epoxy. The report also indicates that high molecular weight methacrylate monomers can be applied as a prime coat to improve the bond strength of polyester styrene concrete overlays.

Disclaimer Statement:The contents of this report reflect the views of the author(s), who is responsible for the facts and the accuracy of the data presented herein. The contents do not necessarily reflect the official views or policies of the Virginia Department of Transportation, the Commonwealth Transportation Board, or the Federal Highway Administration. This report does not constitute a standard, specification, or regulation. Any inclusion of manufacturer names, trade names, or trademarks is for identification purposes only and is not to be considered an endorsement.


  • Michael M. Sprinkel, P.E.

Last updated: December 26, 2023

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