A sagging, leaning, leaking structure is a rare but very serious condition that can result in an accident or the demolition of a building. In the Baltic States and Poland, Geolift Baltic, a Lithuanian-owned company, offers stabilisation and lifting of structures with geopolymer injections – a quick and elegant procedure.
Valdas Kordušas and his colleagues have refined the knowledge gained during their internships in the United States into a stand-alone product. Geolift has a cooperation agreement with scientists from VILNIUS TECH, where Valdas Kordušas has a degree in civil engineering.
The fast method requires technical knowledge and experience
Kordušas cannot reveal the subtleties of the technology used. However, he says that „our technology is achieving results that would be difficult for other technological solutions to compete against”.
On the internet, it is possible to find a number of videos showing how the problem of sinking, deformed floors, foundations, or entire buildings has been solved with geopolymer injections. Through small holes drilled in the floor or foundation, a geopolymeric material is injected into the ground and instantly expands and solidifies, strengthening the soil and stopping further deformation of the structure while at the same time lifting it.
However, Kordus emphasises that it is much more complicated than it may seem at first glance: „This method requires a great deal of technical knowledge and experience, and the probability of an error is calculated in seconds. If too much material is injected or in the wrong place, the structure could simply break if it is raised too high. Therefore, before beginning the injection of geopolymer materials, very careful soil investigations and engineering calculations of the whole building are carried out, and the condition of the structure is assessed because the consequences can be extremely severe and costly, and the responsibility is always huge”.
The work is carried out without stopping operations
The environmentally neutral geopolymers can be injected into the ground at any time of the day or night, without the need to pull equipment or displays of goods to carry out the work, so that businesses, shops and manufacturing do not have to stop. People in their homes can also watch TV in peace while the specialists lift the floors.
“We are particularly proud of the reinforcement work carried out in an Estonian furniture factory, which meant that production did not have to be stopped, and the robots, which are accurate to hundredths of a millimetre, did not have to be re-calibrated”, says a Geolift engineer.
Other large industrial facilities that have been „healed” include the Švyturys-Utenos alus logistics centre in Utena, the Granplasta production facilities in Kaunas, the Jotron production facilities in Kaunas, the Gabriel Textiles production facilities in Vilkaviskis, the Grigeo Klaipėda production facilities in Klaipėda, and the Boen drying facility in the Kietaviškės production complex.
Using geopolymer injections avoids stoppages, dust, cleaning works, and dismantling of equipment. The works are carried out at the most convenient time for the client, minimising production downtime. In many cases, it is particularly important not to slow down the operation of industrial installations. This is something that no other technology on the market can avoid. In some cases, it is impossible, as the equipment is installed during construction. „Geolift can generate a controlled lifting capacity of up to 1,000 tonnes per square metre so that any structure or equipment can be safely restored to its original position”.