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Title:
EMBEDDED FOUNDATION PROTECTION SYSTEM
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2019/183667
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A passive cathodic protection process for preservation of em bedded metallic foundations entails embedding a wrap around a metallic foundation. The wrap has an outer sheath and an inner absorbent mat to be in direct contact with the metallic foundation. The is also mat hydrophobic. The wrap is subsumed such that an upper edge of the wrap is accessible. An oil-based metallic soap is injected via the upper edge to impregnate the mat. The metallic soap is selected from a set of metallic soaps such that the metal of the metallic soap is more electropositive than the metal of the metallic foundation such that the metallic soap acts as an anodic solution for galvanic exchange with metal within the em bedded metallic foundation for the passive cathodic protection thereof. For example, zinc naphthenate may be selected for steel or aluminium foundation s thereby al lowing for both passive cathodic protection and biocidal action.

Inventors:
ABBOTT, William (41676 261st Ave, Humphrey, Nebraska, 68642, US)
ABBOTT, Benjamin (41676 261st Ave, Humphrey, Nebraska, 68642, US)
Application Number:
AU2019/050248
Publication Date:
October 03, 2019
Filing Date:
March 21, 2019
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
COPPER CARE WOOD PRESERVATIVES, INC. (41676 261st Ave, Humphrey, Nebraska, 68642, US)
International Classes:
C23F13/06; C09D5/08; E02D31/06; F16L58/16
Domestic Patent References:
WO2017094868A12017-06-08
Foreign References:
CN101275391A2008-10-01
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
PATENTEC PATENT ATTORNEYS (L11 65 York St, Sydney, New South Wales 2000, 2000, AU)
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Claims:
Claims

1. A passive cathodic protection process for preservation of embedded metallic foundations, the process comprising: applying a wrap around an embedded metallic foundation, the wrap com prising an outer sheath and an inner absorbent mat to be in direct contact with the metallic foundation, the mat being hydrophobic, subsuming the embedded foundation and wrap such that an upper edge of the wrap is accessible, and injecting an oil- based metallic soap via the upper edge to impregnate the mat and wherein the metallic soap is selected from a set of metallic soaps such that the metal of the metallic soap is more electropositive than the metal of the metallic foundation such that the metallic soap acts as an anodic solution for galvanic exchange with metal within the embedded metallic foundation for the passive cathodic protection thereof.

2. A process as claimed in claim 1, wherein the metallic soap is a metal naphthenate.

3. A process as claimed in claim 2, wherein the metallic foundation comprises steel.

4. A process as claimed in claim 3, wherein the metallic soap comprises a metal naphthenate selected from the group of metal naphthenates comprising zinc naphthenate and aluminium naphthenate.

5. A process as claimed in claim 2, wherein the metallic foundation comprises aluminium .

6. A process as claimed in claim 5, wherein the metallic soap comprises zinc naphthenate.

7. A process as claimed in claim 1, wherein the absorbent mat com prises

polypropylene.

8. A process as claimed in claim 7, wherein the absorbent mat com prises polypropylene fibre.

9. A process as claimed in claim 8, wherein the polypropylene fibre is unwoven.

10. A process as claimed in claim 1, wherein the sheath comprises plastic com prising at least one of polyethylene and PETE.

11. A process as claimed in claim 10, wherein the sheath comprises a copper foil lam inate.

12. A process as claimed in claim 10, wherein the copper foil laminate is laminated between plastic sheets.

13. A process as claimed in claim 11, wherein the copper foil sheet is between 10 -30 pm thick.

14. A process as claimed in claim 12, wherein the copper foil sheet is 18 pm thick.

15. A process as claimed in claim 1, wherein wrap is left in place for more than two years.

16. A process as claimed in claim 1, wherein wrap is left in place for more than five years.

17. A process as claimed in claim 1, wherein the process further comprises periodically injecting a replenishment of oil -based metallic soap via the upper edge.

18. A process as claimed in claim 18, wherein the replenishment is injected every 5 - 10 years.

19. A wrap for the passive cathodic protection of a metallic foundation, the wrap being of a cyclindrical configuration for being subsumed around a metallic foundation, the wrap having an inner absorbent mat and an outer protective sheath for the protection of the inner absorbent mat, the inner absorbent mat being hydrophobic, the inner absorbent mat configured for being in direct contact with the metall ic foundation when installed, the mat impregnated with a metallic soap selected from a set of metallic soaps such that metal of the metallic soap is more electropositive than metal of the metallic foundation to be preserved such that a galvanic exchange occurs for the passive cathodic protection of the metallic foundation.

20. A wrap as claimed in claim 19, wherein the metall ic foundation comprises steel and wherein the metal lic soap is zinc naphthenate.

21. A wrap as claimed in claim 20, wherein the absorbent mat comprises polypropylene.

22. A wrap as claimed in claim 20, wherein the sheath comprises plastic comprising at least one of polyethylene and PETE.

23. A wrap as claimed in claim 22, wherein the sheath comprises a copper foil laminate.

24. A wrap as claimed in claim 23, wherein the copper foil laminate is laminated between sheets of plastic.

Description:
Embedded foundation protection system

Field of the I nvention

[1] This invention relates generally to embedded wraps for preservation of structure foundations such as util ity poles and the like .

[2] This appl ication is related to co -pending PCT patent application entitled "A chem ical applicator system for replenishment of em bedded foundation preservation wraps" by the present Applicant, the entire contents of which are herein incorporated by reference.

Backgrou nd of the I nvention

[3] Copper naphthenate has been com mercially produced and ind ustry utilized as wood preservative since its first use in Europe in 1889. Copper naphthenate is typically formulated in hydrocarbon solvents such as diesel, heavier fuel oils, or m ineral spirits. Copper naphthenate in oil is a heavy duty wood preservative used util ity poles, railroad crossties and bridge tim bers, highway construction such as posts and guardrails, fence posts, and piles.

[4] Unlike creosote, pentachlorophenol, and arsenic-containing preservatives, copper naphthenate has been classified by the US E PA as a general use pesticide due to its relatively benign toxicity profile.

[5] Copper naphthenate may impregnate a "bandage wrap" which is subsumed around a wooden foundation for the preservation thereof.

[6] For example, FR 2397924 A1 ( E BENSE ER SO LVAY WERKE SO LVAY CI E) 16 February 1979 [hereinafter referred to as Dl] discloses a bandage wrap of absorbent material buried around a buried wooden post having an opening above ground for replenishment of the absorbent material with liquid wood preservative.

[7] US 4731267 A ( MAKUS et al. ) 15 March 1988 [hereinafter referred to as D2] further discloses a buried ba ndage wrap for wood preservative treatment of wooden poles com prising copper naphthenate.

[8] However, utility poles may be metallic such as of steel and preservation thereof is also desirous. Furthermore, foundations may com prise both metal and organic material, such as concrete foundations com prising steel reinforcement and an adm ixture of organic material.

[9] Whereas copper naphthenate is a commonly used liquid preservative for wooden foundation protection, prior art bandage wrap systems are deficient for protection of metal foundations, such as steel or iron (or even alum inium) util ity poles and/or reinforced concrete.

[10] A need therefore exists for a way to protect most or al l types of com mercially installed wooden and metal lic foundations.

[11] It is to be understood that, if a ny prior art information is referred to herein, such reference does not constitute an adm ission that the information forms part of the common general knowledge in the art, in Austral ia or any other country.

Summa ry of the Disclosure

[12] There is provided herein an em bedded foundation protection system and process which comprises a bandage wrap subsumed around a foundation. The wrap com prises an outer protective sheath and an inner absorbent and hydrophobic mat, such as of polypropylene.

[13] The wrap may be buried such that an upper edge of the wrap is accessible for periodic injection of liquid preservative replenishment including by way of apparatus as is disclosed in co-pending patent application entitled "A chemical applicator system for replenishment of em bedded foundation preservation wraps" by the present applicant, the entire contents of which are herein incorporated by reference.

[14] We found that whereas copper naphthenate is a commonly used l iquid preservative for wooden foundation protection, prior art subsumed bandage wrap systems are deficient for protection of metal lic foundations, such as steel/iron util ity poles and/or reinforced concrete.

[15] In this regard, we discovered that metallic soaps, when applied to a subsumed bandage wrap seem to protect metall ic foundations. Our experimentation involved burying a ferrous metal pole surrounded by a wrap im pregnated with a metallic soap and com paring corrosion thereof against a control ferrous metal pole after some time. The results of our experimentation showed that the ferrous metal pole surrounded by a wrap im pregnated with a metallic soap showed significantly less corrosion than that of the second control metal pole.

[16] Indeed, corrosion protection of the first pole appeared to extend far above the position of the wrap, leading us to suspect that the metallic soap causes a galvanic exchange to occur with the metal contained within the foundation, providing for the passive cathodic protection thereof, an effect that has hitherto been unexploited by prior art embedded foundation protection systems. [17] As such, we devised a method for protection of embedded foundations wherein the hydrophobic mat of the wrap is im pregnated with an oil-borne metallic soap and wherein the metal of the metallic soap is more electropositive than that of the metal of the foundation .

[18] The oil-borne metallic soap is readily absorbed by the hydrophobic mat, typically of polypropylene, and is applied specifical ly to act as an anodic sol ution for galvanic exchange with the more electronegative metal within the embedded metallic foundation for the passive cathodic protection thereof.

[19] Preferably the metallic soap is a metal naphthenate, thereby having dual use biocidal and passive cathodic protection appl icability.

[20] We chose a metal naphthenate having a metal being more electropositive than that of the metal of the foundation being protected.

[21] For exam ple, we found zinc naphthenate or al uminium naphthenate as being suitable for cathodic protection of more electronegative steel foundations. Furthermore, we found that zinc naphthenate may even be used for the preservation of more electronega tive aluminium foundations.

[22] The metal naphthenate may be used alternatively for the preservation of wooden foundations or wooden foundations comprising both metal and organic content, such as reinforced concrete foundations com prising steel reinforcement a nd organic material adm ixture.

[23] Whereas zinc naphthenate may have less biocidal potency as that of more commonly used copper naphthenate, such deficiency may be mitigated somewhat by the ol igodynam ic effect of the zinc molecules therein .

[24] The galvanic protection by oil-borne metal soaps, such as oil-borne metal naphthenates, is surprising because oil-borne metal soaps are non-conductive, but conventional zinc galvanizing however depends on conductivity.

[25] Specifically, the molecular bond between the steel and z inc for exam ple m ust be conductive to allow the zinc anode to function. When a steel object is hot -dipped in zinc, the steel is both protectively coated and potentially benefited with passive cathodic protection.

[26] However, when a steel/metall ic foundation is covered with a wrap charged with an oil-borne metal soap, the wrap functions more like a non-conductive coating in that the non-conductive oil-borne metal soap functions as an insulator as opposed to an electrolyte . However, we suspect that the zinc molecules in the fluid, non-conductive and amorphous metal soap appear to be available for ionic exchange, thus providing a significant, albeit temporary, anode in solution.

[27] As such, whereas insulators prevent corrosion by preventing ionic exchange and anodes prevent corrosion by facil itating sacrificial ionic exchange, the present liquid oil - borne non-conductive metal soap appears to sim ultaneously provide both types of metal corrosion protection, albeit with the lim itation of having to be periodically recha rged.

[28] Conventional wrap systems, such as of D1 and D2 above em ployee copper naphthenate which would not exhibit such passive cathodic protection by the greater electronegativity of copper as compared to steel, for example, evident of the prior art failing to recognise or exploit the additional protective benefit of using a metal naphthenate having a metal being more electropositive than that of the metal of the foundation to be protected, even allowing for the protection of relatively electropositive metal foundations such as of aluminium.

[29] The biocidal properties of the metal naphthenate (assisted by the oligodynamic effect thereof) and the organophil ic properties of the polypropylene mat al low the present wrap to be additionally used for the protection of wooden foundations including foundations com prising both organic material and metal, such as reinforced concrete often mixed with organic fibres.

[30] Furthermore, whereas organisms exist that can feed on plastic hydrocarbon molecules and therefore degrade the p lastic protective layer of the wrap necessitating periodic replacement thereof, the the oligodynamic effect of zinc of zinc naphthenate for exam ple may prevent or reduce such deterioration to such an extent that the service life of the present wrap may outlast that of the foundation it protects.

[31] In em bodiments, the protective sheath may com prise a copper foil lam inate to further protect the sheath by oligodynamic effect from such plastic hydrocarbon digesting organisms. Whereas, ol igodynam ic effect is typically recognised and utilising the medical industry for sanitisation appl ication, oligodynamic effect appears to be hitherto unrecognised and unexploited for enhancing durability of em bedded foundation wraps, as is evident by the prior art only exploiting al um inium foil laminates for vapour barrier effect and for which al um inium is a poor choice for oligodynam ic effect .

[32] As such, the present system and process al lows for an em bedded foundation wrap which may protect wooden or metallic foundations or sim ultaneously protect foundations com prising metal and organic content. The system and process may even protect metallic foundations comprising relatively electropositive metal such as aluminium and the way in which the wrap can be replenished via the upper edge thereof and the oligodynam ic effect provided by the use of the zinc naphthenate which may be enhanced by a copper foil lam inate may al low the service l ife of the prese nt wrap to outlast that of the foundation it protects.

[33] It should be noted that whereas US 7195823 B2 (SAN DERS et al .) 27 March 2007 [hereinafter referred to as D3] , (in the unrelated field of joint protection as opposed to embedded foundation protection systems), discloses a porous pad designed to be placed within a joint between members made of wood, metal or combinations thereof for protection against biotic or abiotic deterioration within the joint and that D3 further discloses the porous pad being impregnated with a protective substance that is either a wood preservative or a metal corrosion inhibitor, D3 however fails to recognise the use of a metallic soap for passive cathodic protection, let alone for em bedded foundation application.

[34] Specifically, according to D3, the extent of the protection of the metal corrosion inhibitor according to D3 is for oxidation inhibition. Furthermore, whereas D3 discloses listings of various chemicals, including zinc naphthenate, D3 rather discloses these as being useful for their well-known fungicidal or insecticidal properties. D3 fails to disclose or obviously suggest the surprising galvanic protection effects of a using a metal naphthenate have a metal being more electropositive than that of the metal foundation it protects.

[35] As such, the prior art fails to disclose or obviously suggest a passive cathodic protection process for embedded metallic foundations wherein a subsumed bandage wrap is impregnated with an oil borne metallic soap such as a metal naphthenate and wherein the metal of the metall ic soap is specifically chosen to be more electropositive than that of the metal of the foundation it protects to cause galvanic exchange to occur for the passive cathodic protection of the metal and which also has biocidal effect for wooden foundation protection or foundations com prising both metal and organic content.

[36] Furthermore, whereas subsumed bandage wrap foundation protection systems have hitherto used alum inium lam inated, such are for vapour barrier effect which, in com bination with plastic lam inates are used to prevent the treated wood preservatives from migrating to the soil, rather than for o ligodynam ic effect for the preservation of plastic lam inates against plastic hydrocarbon dissolving organisms for which aluminium would be a poor choice. Indeed, bandage wrap manufacturers (such as Baeckerâ„¢) have rather hitherto included organic pesticides within plastic laminates for preservation of plastic lam inates against such organisms. [37] Other aspects of the invention are also disclosed.

Brief Descri ption of the Drawi ngs

[38] Notwithstanding any other forms which may fal l within the scope of the present invention, preferred em bodiments of the disclosure will now be described, by way of exam ple only, with reference to the accompanying drawings in which:

[39] Figure 1 shows an install ed wrap for the preservation of a structure foundation;

[40] Figure 2 shows a wrap supply sheet roll in accordance with an embodiment;

[41] Figure 3 illustrates galvanic exchange occurring between the wrap and a metall ic foundation in accordance with an embodiment;

[42] Figure 4 il lustrates the installation and replenishment of the wrap in accordance with an em bodiment;

[43] Figure 5 shows a cross-sectional elevation view of the installed wrap in accordance with an em bodiment; and

[44] Figure 6 il l ustrates a process for the preservation of em bedded foundations in accordance with an em bodiment.

Description of E m bodiments

[45] Figure 1 shows a wrap 100 subsumed around a foundation of a structure 104, such as a utility pole.

[46] The wrap 100 comprises a hydrophobic mat 101, preferably of polypropylene. The mat 101 is further preferably polypropylene fibre and yet further preferably unwoven fibre.

[47] The wrap 100 has a protective sheath 103 which may comprise plastic sheeting. The plastic sheeting may comprise polyethylene.

[48] The hydrophobic mat 101 is impregnated with preservative for the preservation of the foundation of the structure 104.

[49] The wrap 100 may be subsumed within the ground surrounding the structure 104 such that an upper edge thereof is accessible for replenishment such that the wrap 100 may remain subsumed, typically enduring the service life of the structure 104.

[50] Figure 2 shows an embodiment wherein the wrap 101 is formed from a continuous roll of sheet 105 which is cut to a length according to the diameter of the structure 104. With reference to Figure 1, the edges of a cut sheet portion may be sealed with tape 105 or sim ilar in a cyl indrical fashion to surround the foundation such that the mat 103 directly contact the foundation for exposure to preservative . [51] In em bodiments, the hydroph obic mat 103 may com prise a longitudinal narrowing 108 which locates towards the apparatus of the wrap 100 when installed. The longitudinal narrowing 108 encourages the preservative to dwell at the upper portion of the wrap 100, thereby enhancing the coverage of the reserved of along the length of the foundation.

[52] With reference to Figure 2, the protective sheath 103 may comprise plastic sheets of polyethylene or Polyethylene terephthalate ( PETE). In the embodiment shown, the sheath

103 may com prise an outer plastic sheet 109 and a metal foil lam inate 111, such as of copper for enhanced oligodynamic effect to preserve the plastic sheet 109. The metal foil lam inate 111 may further offer vapour barrier effect to prevent the preservative from migrating to the surrounds. An inner plastic sheet 110 may be provided also, cooperating with the outer plastic sheet 119 to lam inate the metal foil lam inate 111 therebetween.

[53] Figure 7 illustrates the wrap 100 instal led between the foundation of the structure

104 and the gro und 105. There is shown the outer protective sheath 103 enclosing the hydrophobic mat 101 therein in direct contact against the foundation. There is also shown the longitudinal narrowing 108 located towards an upper edge of the wrap 100.

[54] Figure 8 illustrates the installation and use of the wrap which, with reference to Figure 4 comprises the step of the instal lation of the foundation at step 117 and the excavation around the foundation 118 as is il lustrated in Figure 4A.

[55] Step 119 com prises wrapping the wrap 100 around the foundation and sealing the edges thereof. The wrap 100 is preferably instal led un -impregnated with preservative, thereby preventing hand ling contact therewith. Once installed, the mat 101 may be soaked with preservative.

[56] Step 120 comprises refill ing the excavation, thereby embedding the foundation of the structure 104 with the wrap 100 subsumed therearound.

[57] The wrap 100 is located such that an upper edge thereof is accessible such that, at step 121, the preservative can be periodically reple nished, such as every 5 - 10 years such that the wrap 100 can be left in place. I n em bodiments, the preservative may be replenished using an applicator as is disclosed in co-pending patent entitled "A chemical applicator system for replenishment of em bedded foundation preservation wraps" by the present Appl icant, the entire contents of which are incorporated herein by reference.

[58] The foundation of the structure 104 may comprise metal . In this regard, the structure 104 may be entirely metall ic such as by being a steel or alum inium utility pole or alternatively comprise metal, such as a steel reinforced concrete structure. [59] For the preservation of the metal lic structure 104, an oil based metall ic soap may be used. By being oil base, the preservative is readily absorbed by the hydrophobic mat 101 and which further repels corrosion causing water electrolyte.

[60] The metal of the metal lic soap is chosen to be more electropositive than the metal of the foundation to be protected. As such, the meta llic soap acts as an anodic solution for galvanic exchange the metal of the embedded metallic foundation for the passive cathodic protection thereof.

[61] Where the foundation com prises steel, a zinc or aluminium metal soap may be employed for being more electropositive than steel. Where the foundation comprises aluminium, the metal soap may comprise zinc, being more electropositive than al uminium .

[62] Figure 3 ill ustrates the galvanic exchange for the passive cathodic protection of a metallic foundation comprising iron/steel . In this embodiment, the metallic soap com prises zinc and there is shown zinc molecules 113 in oil suspension in the mat 101.

[63] As each zinc molecule contacts the iron, electrons are donated thereto by virtue of zinc being more electropositive such that the link is sacrificed as Zn 2+ , thereby preserving the iron foundation by passive cathodic protection.

[64] For steel reinforced concrete foundations, the oil based metal lic soap may seep someway through the concrete, thereby also preserving the internal steel reinforcement by passive cathodic protection.

[65] In a preferred em bodiment, the metallic soap is a metal n aphthenate thereby conferring wood preservative, insecticidal, fungicidal and acaricidal properties such that the im pregnated wrap 100 can be used alternatively for the preservation of wooden foundations such as of wooden telegraph poles or foundations com prising both metal and organic content, such as reinforced concrete comprising steel reinforcement and m ixed with organic fibres.

[66] As such, for the preservation of steel containing foundations, aluminium naphthenate or zinc naphthenate may be em ployed, both being more electropositive than steel for the passive cathodic protection thereof yet also conferring biocidal properties.

[67] Whereas the biocidal toxicity of zinc naphthenate may be less than that of copper naphthenate for example, the zinc molecules of the zinc naphthenate may also offer oligodynamic effect. Furthermore, the protective outer sheath 103 may comprise the copper foil laminate 111 for enhanced oligodynamic effect, includ ing for the preservation of the plastic of the outer protective sheet 103. [68] The foregoing description, for purposes of expla nation, used specific nomenclature to provide a thorough u nderstanding of the invention. However, it will be apparent to one skil led in the art that specific details are not required in order to practi se the invention. Thus, the foregoing descriptions of specific em bodiments of the invention are presented for purposes of ill ustration and description. They are not intended to be exhaustive or to lim it the invention to the precise forms disclosed as obviously m any modifications and variations are possible in view of the above teachings. The embodiments were chosen and described in order to best explain the principles of the invention and its practical applications, thereby enabling others skilled in the art to best util ize the invention and various embodiments with various modifications as are suited to the particular use contemplated. It is intended that the fol lowing claims and their equivalents define the scope of the invention.