At GlenMartin we deal with a lot of the ins and outs of infrastructure development on a daily basis. We run into a myriad of questions in regards to upgrading telecom towers. If you are considering using adhesives to upgrade your telecom towers, check out these tips we have compiled on how to best use adhesives in your upgrade. As always, if you have questions regarding any telecommunications engineering topics, contact our team.
In December 2010, AGL presented an article entitled “Use Structural Adhesives to Reinforce Towers”. This feature article highlighted the effectiveness of acrylic adhesives as an alternative to common welding methods for structural steel upgrades. It is very common practice to utilize Epoxy adhesive in rebar doweling methods with concrete. Upgrades typically take advantage of Epoxy doweling methods when adding additional concrete. Acrylic adhesive is generally about 1/2 the price of Epoxy. The Dec 2010 article along with all archived AGL articles can be found at www.agl-mag.com.
Acrylic solutions require minimal mechanical fastening methods. These methods include welding or bolting at the primary shear or tear plane. Adhesive offers numerous benefits including minimal evasive effects to the existing tower, no secondary heat effects, reduced fasteners and or welding and even load transfer across the entire structural member. Generally, the installation process is just as easy as standard methods. This ultimately translates into improved job efficiencies.
In fact, improved efficiencies are gained due to the minimal use of evasive methods. For example, a typical fastener can be reduced by half or more. Since bolts tend to be concentrated fastening methods, the use of adhesive allows a much more even distribution of load transfer. Additionally, the adhesive offers enormous benefits from a dynamic load dampening perspective.
Key items to watch out for when utilizing adhesives include:
- Prepare application surface well. This includes cleaning and removal of all debris.
- Establish appropriate cure rate for the installation process.
- Proper training of installation personnel.
- Recommend onsite reviewing engineer.
- Maintain even bead distribution. This will be specified in installation drawings.
- Ambient cure temperatures are critical. Temperatures below 32 degrees Fahrenheit are not appropriate. Excessive heat will increase the cure rate.
If you need assistance with tower upgrades, antenna tower purchases, or other telecom services, reach out to the expert team at GlenMartin. We look forward to serving you soon.
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