EVERBERG, Belgium - A series of concrete bridges that support a new high-speed rail line connecting Beijing and Shanghai is set to benefit from the protective properties of specialty polyetheramines from the Performance Products division of Huntsman Corp.
The Chinese Ministry of Railways is building an 800-mile dedicated passenger rail link to ease pressure on one of China’s busiest transport routes. Due to be operational by 2012, the new track runs parallel to an existing freight route and will carry an estimated 220,000 passengers a day. Trains are expected to reach up to 185 miles per hour, cutting the journey time between the two cities from 14 hours to approximately four and a half.
The route crosses the Yellow River and the Yangtze delta. Because of the soft terrain in this area and the need to minimize land usage, almost 80 percent of the line is being built on metal and concrete bridges that are compatible with the transportation system already in place. It is on these structures that Huntsman's polyetheramines have been put to good use.
JEFFAMINE® D-2000, JEFFAMINE T-5000 and JEFFAMINE D-400 polyetheramines have been used to create a polyurea-based coating that is being sprayed onto the bridges’ concrete slabs, which act as a hardwearing base for the ballast-less tracks. Forming a waterproof protective layer, the coating will guard the concrete against weather, abrasion and general wear and tear, extending the lifetime of the bridges and reducing long-term maintenance costs.
JEFFAMINE products were specified by some of the top systems houses involved in the rail scheme. With excellent physical properties, the role of the amines is to ensure that the final coating formulation reacts quickly once applied, remains unaffected by moisture and temperature changes during application, and cures without the need for a catalyst.
Work to apply the JEFFAMINE-based coating to the Beijing-Shanghai rail bridges is scheduled for completion by September 2010. Most of the amines used are being manufactured at Huntsman’s Asia-Pacific polyetheramine plant in Singapore.