RapidCure – by name and by nature

mageba’s newest addition to the company’s range of TENSA®POLYFLEX® flexible plug expansion joints – the “RapidCure” (type RC) alternative to the long-established “Advanced” (type PU) original – enables traffic to drive over the joint just three hours after completion of installation!

Since the TENSA®POLYFLEX®Advanced (type PU) expansion joint was invented by mageba fifteen years ago, it has proven its value on bridge construction and renovation projects all around the world. As the modern alternative to the traditional asphaltic plug joint it provides a perfectly smooth surface for traffic (minimising noise and vibrations under traffic), but with vastly superior elasticity, strength and durability. It also offers great benefits for the installation process – not only can it be poured to form virtually any shape of expansion joint, such as sidewalk details, upstands and intersections, it can also typically be installed within the depth of a bridge’s bituminous road surfacing, and can be easily installed in phases. These benefits relating to installation are especially significant where the joint is being installed to replace an old joint on an existing structure, since they enable the impact on the bridge structure to be minimised, thereby also limiting the effect on the bridge’s traffic while the work is carried out. Further details are provided here, including a short video illustrating the installation process.

The new RapidCure alternative

To further improve the installation-related benefits, by enabling traffic to drive over the new expansion joint even more quickly – which will be especially valuable where traffic is stopped or diverted to enable the work to be carried out – mageba has now developed the RapidCure version of the TENSA®POLYFLEX® expansion joint. While the polyurethane (PU) material of the Advanced (type PU) version cures quickly – at a rate that depends on the temperature (e.g. curing in 12 hours at 20 °C) – the polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA) material of the RapidCure (type RC) version cures in just three hours, regardless of temperature.

Tests and trials

The new RapidCure version has been subjected to extensive testing at such renowned testing institutes as MAPAG-Gumpoltshofen and OFI–Vienna in Austria, and TU Munich and BAM in Germany. Two trial projects have also been successfully completed – one in Austria and the other on the Delaware Memorial Bridge in the USA. The new type of joint has already convincingly demonstrated its quality and durability, and as well, the European Technical Assessment (ETA) has been granted. Then, thanks to its extraordinarily quick curing time, which enables impacts on construction schedules and on traffic to be kept to an absolute minimum, we expect that the RapidCure joint will soon be widely recognised to be the state-of-the-art flexible plug expansion joint on the market – just as the Advanced joint has been for over a decade already.

Illustration showing the design of the new TENSA®POLYFLEX® RapidCure expansion joint, a flexible plug joint that can be designed to accommodate movements of up to 105 mm

Pouring of polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA) material to form the driving surface of a TENSA®POLYFLEX®RapidCure expansion joint during a recent pilot project in Salzburg, Austria

Spreading of the exceptionally fast-curing PMMA material of a TENSA®POLYFLEX®RapidCure joint during a pilot project on the Delaware Memorial Bridge, USA

The rapid-curing PMMA material of the TENSA®POLYFLEX® RapidCure joint enables traffic to cross the new joint just three hours after completion of installation – substantially sooner than the TENSA®POLYFLEX® Advanced joint

Like the TENSA®POLYFLEX® Advanced joint before it, the TENSA®POLYFLEX®RapidCure joint (here from the Salzburg pilot project) forms a perfectly flat and watertight driving surface for traffic

This TENSA®POLYFLEX®RapidCure joint of the Delaware Memorial Bridge pilot project proved its ability to be opened to traffic only three hours after casting, making it particularly suitable for time-critical projects such as overnight installations