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DuraModel™ Demo Version Now Available on Internet
Offers Users Corrosion Protection Alternatives and Lifecycle Cost Analysis


Cambridge, MA, November 11, 1999
- Grace Construction Products has unveiled a new interactive Internet preview version of its DuraModel™ Software, a program that provides in-depth analysis of corrosion protection alternatives and lifecycle costs in a matter of minutes.

"Our goal is to make it as easy as possible for users anywhere in the world to 'test-drive' the DuraModel program by accessing a demonstration version on the Web," said Tim Durning, Grace Construction Products.

The new web demonstration version, which can be accessed at Grace Construction Products' web site, www.graceconstruction.com, walks potential users through a simulated material selection modeling process (MSMP) for a hypothetical project. It then generates a recommended corrosion protection program based on a set of variables that the user enters. These variables include the expected service life of the "project," overall budget, and "project" repair costs. The DuraModel program analyzes the information and the results are graphically displayed in a comprehensive report that is easy to understand.

"The science of corrosion protection can be very complex and often confusing," Durning said. "Grace's DuraModel is an easy way to make sense of it all."

The DuraModel program is based on a scientific modeling process that uses Laws of Physics, standardized test procedures, and field grade concrete testing. It then compares all available corrosion protection products and systems - not only those developed by Grace Construction Products - to make the most appropriate recommendation.

The site also includes a comprehensive glossary of terms and user-friendly instructions for easy navigation.

"Chloride induced corrosion is a worldwide problem that results from exposure to a wide range of conditions including marine environments, application of de-icing salts or contact with salt-laden air. As the battle rages between salt and the service life of reinforced concrete structures, the expected service life of new bridges, parking decks, and marine or coastal structures is extending by tens of years. These factors make the ability to choose the appropriate corrosion protection program more critical than ever," said Durning.

As examples, he pointed out the following facts:

  • The U.S. Federal Highway Administration has increased the required service life of bridges from 50 to 75 years.
  • While the expected service life of parking decks was once 25 years, it now often exceeds 60 years.
  • Many European countries design highway bridge structures to be safe and in service for well over 100 years.

Grace introduced the original version of DuraModel in 1997. Since then, the program has undergone a series of upgrades, the most recent of which was unveiled at ConExpo-Con/Agg '99 in March. The current version boasts such features and enhancements as the ability to address multiple sealer and membrane applications and to determine the apparent diffusion coefficients from concrete field cores. Service life results can now be predicted based on local and regional concrete exposure and permeability.

DuraModel Software has been used in some of the world's largest and most complex construction projects including Boston's Central Artery/Tunnel Project, widely known as "The Big Dig." Grace's Engineering Services Group used the DuraModel Program to help Big Dig engineers analyze corrosion protection alternatives for several critical aspects of the project.

"The bridges already had been specified and put out to bid. Yet, when we sat down and ran the numbers, the DuraModel Program indicated that the current specifications for the bridges would not ensure the desired 75-year life," Durning noted.

For more information about DuraModel, contact your local Grace Construction Products salesperson or visit Grace's web site at http://www.graceconstruction.com.

Headquartered in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Grace Construction Products, a business unit of W.R. Grace & Co., is a leading manufacturer worldwide of concrete admixtures, cement processing additives, fire protection and waterproofing products, and masonry products. The company has more than 125 plants and sales offices around the world.


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