55046Re: [bolger] Big Dig epoxy
- Aug 9, 2007I'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>
From: GarthAB <garth@...>
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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