Xypex News

Aging Concrete Flume Undergoes Crystalline Rehabilitation

First constructed in 1950, the Jackson Gulch Reservoir is a vital resource to resident and visitors of the high mountain regions of Southwestern Colorado. It supplies much-needed water to 13,746 acres of agricultural lands and domestic water to Mesa Verde National Park, Mancos Rural Water Company and the town of Mancos.

When the Jackson Gulch Reservoir infrastructure began to show signs of wear and tear, its owner, the Mancos Water Conservancy District, was justifiably concerned. A condition assessment and recommendation report was prepared by Buckhorn Geotech.

The off stream reservoir is fed by the 2.6 mile concrete Inlet Canal that extends from the Mancos River. The Inlet Canal includes a one-mile U-shaped concrete flume that was showing signs of serious deterioration ranging from surface spalling of the floor and joint deterioration to wall blowouts and vertical wall cracks.

Per the district's request, Buckhorn Geotech initiated a three-year program to test various membrane liners, only to find that conventional liner solutions were not ideal in this environment.

"In the event of a membrane leak, the ability to locate any penetration and create a clean moisture-free repair was a real concern to the district," said Norm Aufderheide, an engineer with Buckhorn Geotech.

Buckhorn Geotech selected the Xypex spray-on crystalline waterproofing system for the project. The firm had successfully used the system on smaller concrete projects with similar deterioration problems. Blended into fresh concrete or spray-coated on existing concrete, the product can seal the paths by which water and aggressive chemicals penetrate, attack, and ultimately threaten the long-term integrity of a concrete structure.

"We selected the crystalline waterproofing system for the repair and protection of the concrete flume because it could be installed in confined spaces as well as the system's ability to seal or heal itself should damage occur to the concrete surface from falling rock or routine maintenance in the coming years," Aufderheide said.

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Xypex used in Beijing Olympics "Bird's Nest" Stadium

In major sports venues around the world, Xypex is scoring big. Olympian big! In 2000, Xypex products played an important part in the waterproofing and protection of the concrete used in the construction of the Olympic Stadium in Sydney.

Now, in Beijing, Xypex crystalline technology is again a winning architectural choice where it is being used on the already famous "Bird's Nest" Olympic Stadium.

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Call Justin at 801-694-3812 to schedule a Lunch & Learn Presentation.

Case Study

Vulnerable Nature of Concrete

As you are aware, concrete is vulnerable to water and chemical absorption. Because of its permeable nature, concrete requires protection. This protection normally comes in the form of a barrier, or membrane waterproofing systems.

Vulnerable Nature of Membranes

You may also be aware that waterproofing membranes have their share of vulnerabilities. For example:

  • Poor adhesion
  • Difficulty of application
  • Delamination from concrete
  • Membranes often puncture during backfill
  • One pinhole can compromise the complete system
  • Slows construction schedule
  • Can accelerate concrete corrosion


Recently in Salt Lake City, Utah, a major tunnel was designed with an envelope waterproofing system. The membrane was placed below the floor slab and wrapped up the wall. Then a peel and stick membrane was applied over the top of the tunnel. In theory this sounds like an effective system. The tunnel was completely covered from floor to ceiling with membrane.


In reality, the membrane system was a complete failure. There are many cracks on the walls and floor of the tunnel. All of these cracks are leaking profusely. Because of the size of the project, millions of dollars were spent on this system. This raises the question: why did it fail? Our estimate is that it is one or more of the following:
  • Poor adhesion
  • Difficulty of application
  • Delamination from concrete
  • Puncture during backfill
  • One pinhole compromised the complete system


Many theories have been conjectured as to why it failed, was it a puncture, or poor installation. The bottom-line is that membranes are vulnerable to failure.

What is the alternative?

For over 40 years, Xypex has been effectively waterproofing concrete, replacing the need for vulnerable membrane waterproofing systems.

Xypex has many advantages over typical waterproofing systems

  • Integral part of concrete matrix
  • Self healing
  • Won’t break, tear, or puncture
  • Solves corrosion problems
  • Increases concrete durability
  • Accelerates construction schedule
  • Less shrinkage cracks
  • Less expensive
  • Admix for new concrete

Designing watertight joint details

Xypex's crystalline technology effectively seals cracks, voids and capillaries inherently found in concrete. But how do you waterproof a joint detail?

Many engineers and architects are now specifying a “new school” approach in solving “old school” waterproofing problems. Xypex Admix makes concrete 100% waterproof. The Xypex Watertight System also includes a “fool proof” joint detail that we warranty as part of this system. It involves dry packing a reglet knock out with Xypex Concentrate and adding a Deneef Swell Seal bead.

Xypex Concentrate offers a high concentration of chemicals that react with water to form a crystalline front. The swelling sealant is a flexible hydrophilic expansive gasket. This joint, coupled with Xypex Admix makes a watertight system used in below grade, water tank and parking structure design.

You no longer need to rely on membrane systems that are built to fail. With Xypex, concrete has long term durability because XYPEX is:

  • Breathable
  • Self-healing
  • Freeze-thaw Resistant
  • Corrosion Resistant
  • Waterproof
  • Warranted
  • Permanent

The diagram above illustrates our proven concept for this watertight joint detail. When details are designed to IMX Technologies specification, IMX Technologies will provide a warranty against leaks.

Click here for other IMX Technologies details.

AIA accreditation

Architectural Magazine now offers A.I.A. accreditation. Click here for more information.

Xypex performance on moving structures

Xypex was used to repair leaking cracks on a bridge deck that averages a load of about 100,000 vehicles per day. Xypex Concentrate was sprayed on the underneath side of the structural deck and allowed to chemically diffuse for ten months. (For an Adobe Reader formatted report on this project, click here.)

Core samples taken from selected cracked areas were subject to pressurized water. A graphic in the report illustrates that half of the Xypex cores leaked slightly at the beginning of the test, but within sixteen hours they were completely healed and exhibited NO measurable leakage. This demonstrates the healing ability of Xypex’s crystalline chemistry.

We are now announcing a special provision for moving structures. IMX Technologies will now repair moving cracks outside of the normal scope of Xypex’s ability to heal. Please contact us for the additional warranty details.

Lithium nitrate soaking fails to retard ASR damage

In the field, flooding of ASR-damaged concrete with lithium nitrate solution to halt the ravages of alkali-silica reactivity is largely ineffective, according to a 3 year study of ASR afflicted pavement in North Dakota. The limitations of lithium nitrate soaking to impede the spread of existing ASR were substantiated by Christopher Taun, Ph.D., P.E. Associate professor of civil engineering and his team at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln; and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

Recognized as the greatest cause of deterioration of U.S. highway concrete structures and Pavements, ASR occurs in the interaction between certain reactive siliceous aggregates and hydroxyl ions associated with alkalis from the Portland cement paste and external sources (water).

XYPEX MITIGATES ASR IN CONCRETE BY ELIMINATION OF MOSITURE! Xypex, surface applied or introduced as an admixture reacts to the byproducts of cement hydration to cause “Waterproofing by Crystallization” The pores and capillary tracts of concrete become permanently sealed against water from every direction even against strong hydrostatic pressure.

Xypex is the world leader in providing waterproof, chemical-resistant concrete. Xypex C-Series Admix is often referenced by competitors with an additional statement like, “We are like Xypex... but less expensive.”

Xypex stands alone in waterproofing by crystallization. Xypex is not ammonia stearate, sodium silicate, or talc. Xypex is tested to above 175 PSI on 2000 PSI cores with no measurable leakage (US Army CRD-C-48-73). We have more testing data and projects in place than all competitors combined.

When considering a waterproofing admixture, ask yourself:

  • Is it truly “crytalline”?
  • Is it organic or inorganic?
  • Is it non-soluable?
  • Is test data available?
  • Is there a 10 plus year successful usage in this state?
  • Is it permanent?
  • Does it use silicate, stearates or talc?
  • Does it cause set retardation?
  • Does it require doctoring the mix design?
  • Does it change the slump or air?
  • Does it require other admixtures?
  • Does it carry a real material and labor warranty?
  • Is there history of warranty performance?