OEM/ODM Case Studies

ASTM E-96 Test Blocks

A few years ago (and just about at the same time) two of TACM’s valued customers came to us with a problem.  They wanted to do in-house ASTM E-96 Vapor Transmission testing and needed a source for concrete test blocks.  One customer was a domestic testing lab that specializes in construction materials, and the other is a manufacturer of building materials that specialize in flooring and ceramic tile products.   Our teams collaborated to come up with the design mix and size of the blocks.  It was also necessary to find a producer for the metal trays that the blocks are placed in.

The E96 test method determines reliable values of water transfer through a permeable or semi-permeable material. As part of the test method the bottom of a specialized metal tray is filled desiccant fluid or plain water and then the concrete block and metal tray are sealed (either with wax or duct tape).  The concrete block is pre-weighed prior to putting in the metal tray, and then weighed after for whatever moisture was absorbed. Calculations determine the rate of vapor transmission over a certain period of time.

This test is valuable in solving flooring and coating issues with concrete slabs that have high moisture transmission and will delaminate a flooring material or coating/sealer.

TACM’s ASTM E96 test block is now available as a stocking standard test block.

Client "123"  Chemical Company  Accelerated Weathering

Client "123" contacted TACM to develop a concrete piece for testing early rain-drop and water-puddling color differentiation for sealers.  Visual inspection for damaged sealer made it necessary to have a high contrast between the damaged area and non-damaged area. After some discussion, it was decided that a deep red-brick color would be a good color to try (as some tests had successfully been done on red-brick quarry tile).  The testing apparatus needed a 3" x 6" x 1/2" coupon.  TACM created a red-brick 3" x 6" x 1/2" piece for client "123" to run testing on.  The prototype coupons showed good consistency and resulted in repeatable and reliable testing.  In addition to the 3" x 6" red brick coupons ordered, Client "123" ordered 7" x 7" x 1/2" red-brick pieces for sales samples to coat with various sealers to give to Customers.

"ABC" Moisture Control Material Manufacturer

Client "ABC" specializes in Moisture Control systems for concrete slabs.  Installation of flooring materials fail regularly because too much moisture in concrete destroys the bonding material that keeps the floor covering in tact.  This company needed to show their applicators and sales force what a properly prepared concrete slab looks like, as proper concrete prep is critical to the success of their system.  They have a large sales force and customer base to supply samples to, so it was important to keep the size of the samples small in order to keep shipping costs down (as concrete is heavy and expensive to ship).  The first shot-blasted slabs were made in 16" x 16" x 1.5" size.  These slabs weigh 29 lbs. each and are cumbersome to handle and ship.  The client wanted to know if TACM could make them lighter (14.5 lbs.) 16" x 16" x 3/4" size.  The thinner and lighter prototypes were shipped to the client.  These first prototypes indicated some issues with the concrete design mix that needed to be adjusted.  A collaboration ensued over the next couple of months.  The process started with a molded smooth surface tile, and evolved to a steel troweled surface tile.  These tiles were soaked in a water-lime solution and cured for 28 days.  They were subsequently shot-blasted to an extremely even light shot-blast finish.   This resulted in a nearly perfect example of how a lightly shot-blasted concrete surface should look and feel, and became a guide for their contractors to use in the construction field. This collaboration processes resulted in a high quality product that met the client's needs and expectations.
Lightly Shot-blasted Slab

Client "XYZ1" Chemical Manufacturer

Client "XYZ1" supplies chemicals to Epoxy Coating Manufacturers. Their primary market for the Epoxy Coating sales is the DYI market (sold through Big-Box Stores).  Client "XYZ1" is working with other industry Research & Design scientists to develop standardized testing for these material applications.  The "Hot Tire Pick-Up" Test is one of the test methods in development.  This new test involves coating a concrete test substrate with epoxy and after curing, attaching to an apparatus that simulates a car tire accelerating and creating friction to the point of causing damage to the epoxy coating. TACM was approached by client "XYZ1" in 2016 to help develop a slab for this new test method.  After looking at requirement to simulate a garage floor, it was decided to move forward with 4,000psi design mix concrete and have the test slab troweled as an actual garage floor would be. A series of prototypes have been developed to date, and TACM will be approaching ASTM Committee D01.47 members for Round Robin Testing and the possible adoption of this test slab for a new Hot Tire Pick-Up ASTM Standard.  Currently, this product is only being sold to Client "XYZ1".  In the near future this product will be sold on a Custom basis to numerous companies, and eventually it will be made available as a Standard product. 

Client "ABC1" Building Materials & Cementitious Topping Producer

Client "ABC1" had been purchasing TACM's Standard Test Products for a couple of years.  They called and asked if TACM had the ability to produce a unique piece for an in-house test. Parameters were discussed to make sure it was viable to produce this unusual product at an affordable price for the customer.  Their specifications were for an 8" x 8" x 3" concrete square with a 2.5" centered hole.  This was made in a 5,000psi concrete design mix.  After 2-3 weeks of R & D a prototype was sent to Client "ABC".  The prototype was approved, and TACM went into production on this item the next week.  The order was shipped three and a half weeks after receipt of the purchase order.

Client "XYZ" Specialty Concrete Producer

Client "XYZ" developed a new Polished Concrete Flooring-Overlayment,  along with a full set of specifications and installation instructions.  The client was producing Sales Sample Sets in 14 different colors and a 3" x 3" x 1/2" size.  Their in-house sample processing became bogged down with quality control problems, and could not keep up with customer demands.  Client "XYZ" responded to a TACM marketing mail out of  4" x 4" x 3/4" Polished Concrete samples.  A collaboration process between the two companies began from that point.

Client "XYZ" sent materials and mixing equipment to TACM and the first batch of 3" x 3" x 1/2" prototype samples were produced per "XYZ"'s specifications.  The first prototype batch had some issues with "pin-holing".  This is when tiny pockets of air form in the mixing of the product, resulting in pin-head sized holes in the finished product.  "XYZ" sent a technical person to TACM's plant and worked with them on the next prototype batch.  During this process, it was discovered that the mixing paddle sent to TACM was damaged and was whipping air into the concrete mix.  A new mixing paddle was sent to TACM and the following batch of concrete samples met quality expectations.

During this  same time frame, Client "XYZ" was gearing up for promoting the new product at the World of Concrete Expo.  Their marketing department had a display booth and they were needing to replace some of the old concrete panels with this new Polished Concrete Topping System.  TACM was able to make their 2' x 2' x 3/4" polished concrete display samples in a two to three-week time period, shipping on time. The Expo was a success for client "XYZ", and TACM received a new purchase order for thousands of 3" x 3" x 1/2" samples.