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Specification for Bonding Hardened Concrete and Steel, to 1

Hardened Concrete with an Epoxy Adhesive 2
ACI 548.E 3
An ACI Standard 4
Reported by ACI Committee 548 5
Bradley Nemunaitis Mahmoud M. Reda Taha 7
Chair Secretary 8
Ashraf I. Ahmed 10
Mohammad A. Alhassan 11
Milton D. Anderson 12
J acques A. Bertrand 13
Constantin Bodea 14
Timothy Bower 15
David W. Fowler 16
Robert W. Gaul 17
Quentin L. Hibben 18
Albert O. Kaeding 19
J ohn R. Milliron 20
Myles A. Murray 21
J oseph A. Nuciforo, J r. 22
J ohn R. Robinson 23
Michael L. Schmidt 24
Qizhong Sheng 25
J oe Solomon 26
Michael M. Sprinkel 27
Michael S. Stenko 28
Donald P. Tragianese 29
Wafeek S. Wahby 30
David White 31
David P. Whitney 32
Richard E. Wollmershauser 33
Consulting Members 35
Lu Anqi 36
Craig A. Ballinger 37
J ohn J . Bartholomew 38
Shashi P. Bhatnagar 39
Zhi-Yuan Chen 40
Inz Lech Czarnecki 41
Harold (Dan) R. Edwards 42
Larry J . Farrell 43
J ack J . Fontana 44
George Horeczko 45
David P. Hu 46
Bert Paul Kreikemans 47
Deon Kruger 48
William Lee 49
Troy Douglas Madeley 50
Henry N. Marsh, J r. 51
Peter Mendis 52
Peter J . Moss 53
Yoshihiko Ohama 54
Kelly M. Page 55
J erzy Pictrzykowski 56
Richard C. Prusinski 57
Hamid Saadatmanesh 58
Donald A. Schmidt 59
Meyer Steinberg 60
Harold H. Weber, J r. 61
This Specification addresses bonding hardened concrete and steel to hardened concrete with 64
an epoxy adhesive as defined for this purpose in ASTM C881. Included are controls for adhesive 65
labeling, storage, handling, mixing and application, surface evaluation and preparation, as well 66
as inspection and quality control. 67

The materials, processes, quality control measures, and inspections described in this document 1
should be tested, monitored, or performed as applicable only by individuals holding the 2
appropriate ACI Certifications or equivalent. 3
Keywords: adhesive; bond; construction; epoxy; quality control; repair; safety; steel. 5
(mandatory portion follows) 7
Part 1General 8
1.1Scope 9
1.2Definitions 10
1.3Referenced standards 11
1.4Submittals 12
1.5Product delivery, storage, and handling 13
1.6Project conditions 14
Part 2Products 16
2.1Materials 17
Part 3Execution 19
3.1Preparation 20
3.2Inspection and testing 21
3.3Adhesive mixtures 22
3.4Adhesive application 23

3.5Cleanup 1
3.6Safety 2
(nonmandatory portion follows) 4
Notes to specifier 5
General notes 6
Forward to checklists 7
Mandatory requirements checklist 8
Optional requirements checklist 9
Submittals checklist 10
(mandatory portion follows) 12
1.1Scope 14
1.1.1 This specification covers the bonding of hardened concrete and steel to hardened concrete 15
with an epoxy adhesive. This specification does not apply to anchoring dowels or anchors in 16
concrete. 17
1.1.2 The provisions of this specification shall govern unless otherwise specified in Contract 18
Documents. In case of conflicting requirements, Contract Documents shall govern. 19
1.1.3 Values in this specification are stated in inch-pound units. A companion specification in 20
SI units is also available. 21
1.2 Definitions 23

ACI provides a comprehensive list of definitions through an online resource, ACI Concrete 1
Terminology, Definitions provided here complement that 2
resource. 3
accepteddetermined to be satisfactory by Architect/Engineer. 4
architect/engineerarchitect, engineer, architectural firm, engineering firm, or architectural 5
and engineering firm issuing Contract Documents or administering the Work under Contract 6
Documents, or both. 7
contract documentsset of documents supplied by Owner to Contractor as the basis for 8
construction; these documents contain contract forms, contract conditions, specifications, 9
drawings, addenda, and contract changes. 10
contractorperson, firm, or entity under contract for construction of Work. 11
epoxythermosetting polymer that is the reaction product of epoxy resin and hardener. 12
ownercorporation, association, partnership, individual, public body, or authority for whom 13
Work is constructed. 14
submittaldocument or material provided to Architect/Engineer for review or acceptance. 15
submitprovide to Architect/Engineer for review. 16
workentire construction or separately identifiable parts thereof required to be furnished under 17
Contract Documents. 18
1.3Referenced standards 20
Standards of ASTM International, International Organization for Standardization, and The 21
Society for Protective Coatings referred to in this standard are listed with serial designation, 22
including year of adoption or revision. 23

ASTM International 1
C881/C881M-10 Standard Specification for Epoxy Resin Base Bonding Systems for 2
Concrete 3
C1583/C1583M-04 Standard Test Method for Tensile Strength of Concrete Surfaces and the 4
Bond Strength or Tensile Strength of Concrete and Overlay Materials by 5
Direct Tension (Pull-off Method) 6
D4258-05 Standard Practice for Surface Cleaning Concrete for Coating 7
D4259-88(2006) Standard Practice for Abrading Concrete 8
D 4263-83(2005) Standard Test Method for Indicating Moisture in Concrete by the Plastic 9
Sheet Method 10
The Society for Protective Coatings 13
VIS 1-2002 Guide and Reference Photographs for Steel Surfaces Prepared by Dry 14
Abrasive Blast Cleaning 15
SP 1-1982(2004) Surface Preparation Specification No. 1, Solvent Cleaning 16
SP 2-1982(2004) Surface Preparation Specification No. 2, Hand Tool Cleaning 17
SP 3-1982(2004) Surface Preparation Specification No. 3, Power Tool Cleaning 18
SP 6/NACE No. 3-2006 Surface Preparation Specification No. 6, Commercial Blast 19
Cleaning 20
These publications may be obtained from: 21
ASTM International 22
100 Barr Harbor Drive 23

West Conshohocken, PA 19428 1 2
The Society for Protective Coatings (SSPC) 3
40 24th Street, 6th Floor 4
Pittsburgh, PA 15222 5 6
1.4Submittals 8
1.4.1 CertificationsSubmit manufacturers certification verifying conformance to material 9
specifications. 10
1.4.2 Application controlSubmit mixing and application procedures for acceptance prior to 11
use. 12
1.4.3 DataSubmit technical data sheets and material safety data sheets (MSDS). 13
1.5Product delivery, storage, and handling 15
1.5.1 Delivery of materialsDeliver all materials in sealed containers with labels legible and 16
intact. 17
1.5.2 LabelingClearly mark all containers with the following information: 18
(a) Name of manufacturer 19
(b) Manufacturers product identification 20
(c) Manufacturers instructions for mixing 21
(d) Warning for handling and toxicity 22
(e) Expiration date and lot number 23

1.5.3 Storage of materialsStore materials at temperatures between 40 and 100F, unless 1

otherwise specified. 2
1.5.4 Handling of materialsHandle materials in a manner that complies with the MSDS and 3
manufacturers recommendations. 4
1.6Project conditions 6
1.6.1 Environmental requirementsComply with manufacturers recommendations regarding 7
environmental conditions under which the epoxy adhesive shall be applied, unless otherwise 8
specified. 9
2.1Materials 12
2.1.1 Epoxy adhesiveUseASTM C881/C881M Type I for non-load-bearing or Type IV for 13
load-bearing applications. Curing temperature requirements (Class) shall be based on project 14
conditions. Use Grade 2 (medium viscosity) or Grade 3 (nonsag) for bonding horizontal or 15
vertical mating surfaces. Use Grade 3 for overhead and for nonmating surfaces. 16
3.1Preparation 19
3.1.1 Preparation of concrete surfaces 20 Mechanical abrasionConcrete surfaces to which epoxies are to be applied shall be 21
newly prepared concrete free of loose and unsound materials. Prepare surfaces as specified in 22
Contract Documents by use of shotblasting, sandblasting, scarifying, or waterblasting. 23

3.1.2 Preparation of carbon steel surfaces 1 Prior to blast-cleaning, clean surfaces according to SSPC SP l, SP 2, and SP 3, as 2
required. 3 Blast-clean carbon steel surfaces using SSPC SP 6/NACE No. 3 to provide a surface 4
condition corresponding to ASa2, BSa2, CSa2 of SSPC-VIS 1, depending on the initial surface 5
condition of the steel surface. Use sand abrasive media. 6 Remove blast-cleaning residue with compressed air from an oil- and water-free 7
compressed air source or by vacuuming. 8
3.1.3 Preparation of galvanized steel surfaces 9 Scrub galvanized steel surfaces thoroughly in accordance with SSPC SP l. 10 For galvanized steel surfaces showing signs of subsurface corrosion, blast-clean as 11
specified in 3.1.2 for carbon steel. 12
3.2Inspection and testing 14
3.2.1 Inspection of concrete surfaces 15 Inspect all concrete surfaces prior to application of epoxy adhesive. 16 Concrete surfaces shall be sound and free of loose material. 17 Concrete surfaces shall be free of any deleterious materials such as laitance, curing 18
compounds, dust, dirt, and oil. 19 At the time of installation surface temperature of the concrete shall be within the limits 20
recommended by the adhesive manufacturer. 21 All concrete surfaces shall be dry. Evaluate moisture content of concrete in accordance 1
with ASTM D4263, except a 4 x 4 ft polyethylene sheet shall be used. Do not apply epoxy 2
adhesive until the test results indicate no moisture within the epoxy curing time period. 3
3.2.2 Inspection of steel surfaces 4 Inspect all steel surfaces prior to application of epoxy adhesive. 5 Steel surfaces shall be dry, sound and free of loose material. 6 At the time of installation surface temperature of the steel shall be within the limits 7
recommended by the adhesive manufacturer. 8
3.2.3 Testing of concrete and steel surfaces 9 Test prepared surfaces for tensile strength and bonded surfaces for bond strength in 10
accordance with ASTM C1583. 11
3.3Adhesive mixtures 14
3.3.1 Mix epoxy components in accordance with manufacturers recommendations. 15
3.3.2 Condition epoxy components to a temperature consistent with manufacturers 16
recommendations. 17
3.3.3 Blend epoxy components to a uniform and homogeneous mixture. 18
3.4Adhesive application 20
3.4.1 Apply epoxy adhesive to concrete surface by brush, roller, broom, squeegee, or spray 21
equipment. The application method should not entrap air. Apply epoxy adhesive at a thickness 22
sufficient to fill, with slight excess, the gap between the substrate and the element to be bonded. 23


Do not exceed the manufacturers thickness recommendations. Protect concrete surfaces against 1
spillage beyond limits of surface receiving adhesive. 2
3.4.2 Fasten or shore elements to be bonded when movement is likely to occur, such as 3
elements on sloping, vertical, or overhead positions. Shoring and bracing elements should not 4
induce deflections that may cause the elements to debond when removed. 5
3.4.3 Apply epoxy adhesive and position elements to be bonded within the contact time of the 6
epoxy adhesive as recommended by the manufacturer. If epoxy compound cures to the extent of 7
losing its tack before elements are in contact with the adhesive, follow the manufacturers 8
recommendations with respect to removing or slightly abrading the first coat and applying a 9
second coat. 10
3.4.4 Do not disturb elements being bonded until the adhesive has attained required strength 11
according to Contract Documents. 12
3.5Cleanup 14
3.5.1 Remove any epoxy adhesive applied or spilled beyond desired areas. Perform cleanup 15
with material designated by epoxy adhesive manufacturer. Avoid contamination of work area. 16
3.5.2 Unused materials shall be disposed in accordance with manufacturers recommendations 17
and state and local regulations. 18
3.6Safety 20
3.6.1 Advise applicators to avoid contacting epoxy compounds with eyes and skin, inhalation 21
of vapors, and ingestion. Make protective and safety equipment available on site. Refer to 22
Material Safety Data Sheets and heed all label warnings by manufacturer. 23


(nonmandatory portion follows) 1

General notes 3
Gl. ACI Specification ACI 548.E-XX is to be used by reference or incorporation in its entirety 4
in the Project Specification. Do not copy individual sections, parts, articles, or paragraphs into 5
the project specification, because taking them out of context may change their meaning. 6
G2. If sections or parts of ACI Specification 548.E-XX are copied into the project 7
specification or any other document, do not refer to them as an ACI specification, because the 8
specification has been altered. 9
G3. A statement such as the following will serve to make ACI Specification 548.E-XX a part 10
of the project specification: 11
Work on (Project Title) shall conform to all requirements of ACI 548.E-XX, Specification for 12
Bonding Hardened Concrete and Steel to Hardened Concrete with a Multi-Component Epoxy 13
Adhesive, published by the American Concrete Institute, Farmington Hills, Michigan, except as 14
modified by these Contract Documents. 15
G4. Each technical Section of ACI Specification 548.E-XX is written in the three-part Section 16
format of the Construction Specifications Institute, as adapted for ACI requirements. The 17
language is imperative and terse. 18
G5. ACI Specification 548.E-XX is written to the Contractor. When a provision of this 19
specification requires action by the Contractor, the verb shall is used. If the Contractor is 20
allowed to exercise an option when limited alternatives are available, the phrase eitheror 21
is used. Statements provided in the specification as information to Contractor use the verbs 22


may or will. Informational statements typically identify activities or options that will be 1
taken or may be taken by Owner or Architect/Engineer. 2
F1. This Foreword is included for explanatory purposes only; it is not a part of Specification 5
ACI 548.E-XX. 6
F2. ACI Specification 548.E-XX may be referenced by the Specifier in the Project 7
Specification for any building project, together with supplementary requirements for the specific 8
project. Responsibilities for project participants must be defined in the Project Specification. ACI 9
Specification 548.E-XX cannot and does not address responsibilities for any project participant 10
other than the Contractor. 11
F3. Checklists do not form a part of ACI Specification 548.E-XX. Checklists assist the 12
Specifier in selecting and specifying project requirements in the Project Specification. 13
F4. The Mandatory Requirements Checklist indicates work requirements regarding specific 14
qualities, procedures, materials, and performance criteria that are not defined in ACI 15
Specification 548.E-XX. The Specifier must include these requirements in the Project 16
Specification. 17
F5. The Optional Requirements Checklist identifies Specifier choices and alternatives. The 18
checklist identifies the Sections, Parts, and Articles of the ACI Reference Specification 548.E- 19
XX and the action required or available to the Specifier. The Specifier should review each of the 20
items in the Checklist and make adjustments to the needs of a particular project by including 21
those selected alternatives as mandatory requirements in the Project Specification. 22


F6. The Submittals Checklist identifies information or data to be provided by the Contractor 1
before, during, or after construction. 2
Section/Part/Article Notes to Designer/Specifier
1.1.1 Specify specific scope of work. Specify which ICRI 310.2 chip face is acceptable.
Specify methods for preparing surfaces such as in
accordance with ASTM D4258 and ASTM D4259. Specify number and frequency of testing and
minimum strength.
Section/Part/Article Notes to Designer/Specifier
1.5.3 Specify storage temperature as epoxy components are
affected by temperature.
1.6 .1 Specify any project conditions that would specifically affect
this work.
Performance of epoxy systems may be affected by
temperature, humidity, and surface water. Strict adherence
to the manufacturers recommendations should be
maintained. Where other unusual conditions are
encountered, the material manufacturer should be consulted
before application.

Specify Class and Grade as indicated. Also specify
additional or alternative performance requirements and/or
acceptable suppliers. Specify limitations, if any, on use of mechanical abrasion
and on disposal of waste products. Specify other surface preparation methods as appropriate
from ICRI 310.2. Specify if alternative abrasive material, such as grit or shot,
is required.
Section/Part/Article Submittal Items
1.4.1 Manufacturers certification.
1.4.2 Mixing and application procedures.
1.4.3 Material technical data sheets and MSDS.