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55046Re: [bolger] Big Dig epoxy

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  • adnyb@aol.com
    Aug 9, 2007
      I'm sure there are differences in strengths depending on the chemical mix - but I also don't think that boats have very many 6000 pound panels suspended by glue.  Of course, if someone merely glued a ballast keel on they might have a surprise waiting them <G>

      -----Original Message-----
      From: GarthAB <garth@...>
      To: bolger@yahoogroups.com
      Sent: Thu, 9 Aug 2007 9:09 am
      Subject: [bolger] Big Dig epoxy

      Just saw this in the NY Times, concerning the epoxy used in Boston's
      Big Dig tunnel. Makes me wonder about strength differences in the
      epoxies we use for boatbuilding -- do they vary depending on the speed
      of the hardener?


      The supplier of the epoxy that federal officials have blamed for the
      collapse of a Big Dig tunnel was indicted Wednesday in the death of a
      woman crushed by falling ceiling panels.

      The company, Powers Fasteners Inc., was charged with one count of
      involuntary manslaughter. It is the first criminal charge in the
      tunnel collapse, which killed Milena Del Valle, 38, in July 2006 as
      she was on her way to the airport. Her death ignited an uproar over
      the safety of the $15 billion Big Dig.

      Martha Coakley, the Massachusetts attorney general, said the charges
      stem from the fact that Powers, based in Brewster, N.Y., produced two
      kinds of epoxy — standard set and fast set. The standard-set one would
      have been adequate for the ceiling, she said, but fast-set epoxy was
      incapable of suspending such heavy panels for a long time.

      Ms. Coakley said that Powers "blurred the distinction" between the two
      epoxies, and that the fast-set one was used for that section of the
      tunnel, even though the company's testing indicated it was
      inappropriate for such a job.

      Paul Ware, a special assistant attorney general, said that in 1999,
      when bolts were seen to be pulling out within months after the ceiling
      had been installed, a Powers representative called to the tunnel
      failed to disclose that fast-setting epoxy could cause "creep" that
      could weaken the hold of the bolts.


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