Vicksburg, Miss. - The U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center (ERDC) recently validated a concrete repair product manufactured in South Korea as part of the U.S. Office of Under Secretary of Defense’s Foreign Comparative Testing (FCT) Program.
Repair of concrete infrastructure, an effort that may be necessary due to environmental factors or enemy attack, is a primary mission within the Department of Defense (DOD). While many high-quality proprietary repair products are available, the cost and time associated with shipping these products to installations outside the continental U.S. can be exorbitant, especially during the current coronavirus pandemic. These products can be available in many foreign countries, but they must be thoroughly evaluated to ensure they meet performance requirements.
“The FCT program provided the funding to procure and test JC400 concrete repair material manufactured by JetCon Korea Co. Ltd.,” said William Carruth, ERDC Geotechnical and Structures Laboratory (ERDC-GSL) research civil engineer.“ JC400 was first subjected to the tri-service spall repair material certification protocol, which is a testing program managed by the Airfields and Pavements Branch within ERDC-GSL that provides certification for concrete repair products for use on military airfields.”
Once JC400 passed laboratory testing, the material was field tested as a surface cap on two small, 8-foot-by-8-foot and one large, 15-foot-by-15-foot airfield repairs. After two hours of cure time, the repairs were trafficked with simulated fighter aircraft traffic. The material had a target of 3,500 passes, and all repairs exhibited little or no damage after reaching the target number.
“This project supports joint force lethality in contested environments and significant life cycle cost savings in priority areas by providing a high-quality concrete repair product available on the Korean peninsula,” Carruth said. “In addition to the laboratory testing protocol, other tests were conducted to fully characterize the material. These material properties can be valuable design parameters for a variety of applications including repair of bridges, dams and other concrete structures.”
In addition to expected savings based on reduced shipping costs, the availability of high-performance repair materials in areas of interest ensures prompt resupply if current materials are depleted.
The ERDC was joined on this project by partners from the U.S. Forces Korea and the U.S. Air Force Civil Engineer Center (AFCEC). AFCEC has partnered with ERDC for several years to develop solutions for Rapid-Airfield Damage Recovery, including rapid-setting, concrete-capping materials. After reviewing the results from this project, AFCEC plans to potentially re-supply bases on and near the Korean peninsula in lieu of shipping material from the U.S.
The purpose of the FCT Program is to find, assess and field world-class products with a high technology readiness level to satisfy valid defense requirements more quickly and economically. Authorized by United States Code 2350a(g), the FCT Program provides the DOD with a unique acquisition tool to bypass the capability development cycle by enabling the test and evaluation of mature foreign developed technology to determine procurement alternatives for existing or emerging requirements.