Soon enough InfoMine will have Wikis, Discussion Groups, and e-Forums on the pages of TechnoMine. I am told I will have to seed these new places with contentious and challenging questions. In anticipation of the coming of new e-places, here is the first competition: list the uses of high-strength carbon or glass filaments in a polymer resin in retrofitting and rehabilitating mine facilities.

I suspect that the only constraints on production of a very long list are lack of time, failure of imagination, and absence of participation. As I sat in the small library in Belle Plaine, Iowa perusing, my mind flew to all the places I could use their expertise and products: the roof that virtually holds up the 80-year old garage with its twisted and tilting frame, the crumbling sandstone basement walls, the rotting wood pillar that holds up the corner of the stairs, the kids’ bedroom ceiling that threatens any day to sigh and expire in a cloud of dust, and the shear walls and other frame components my knowledge of structures tells me should be reinforced to resist the occasional tornado that global warming brings our way.

As an utterly irrelevant aside, I record that the local farmers are most excited about global warming, for the weather here has been nicer than ever before and they have read a study that tells them that in Iowa the number of growing days will increase substantially as will the corn yields and the need for ethanol. It looks as though the economy can only benefit, and who can blame a farmer faced with the prospect of better weather. They seldom go to the coast or care about expensive beachfront property. After all, a nice house here costs less than a garage in the areas to be flooded by rising sea levels.

To return to my library reveries regarding the use of fibers in resin as a neat way to fix and rehabilitate structures. To seed the discussion, here is an edited version of a piece sent to me by Christopher Colman of HJ3 Composite Technologies in Tucson.

In the process plant of a copper mine, the tank-support columns were degraded and susceptible to structural failure as a result of electrolyte leaks through the ceiling and on to the column-to-beam connections. Exposure to electrolyte within the basement of the cell house had caused the steel reinforcement within the concrete columns to corrode.

The solution involved preparing the substrate of the R/C Columns by chipping out loose material and abrasive blasting the columns to rid the column of electrolyte. Then a polymer patching material that could withstand the acidic attack from the electrolyte was used to resurface the column. Pre-cured strips of S-Glass Laminate were placed against the surface of the column using a Tack Coat. Eight columns were repaired in two days. The tanks are back in action and the columns support the load by structural processes not envisaged by the original designers.

Hence, to repeat the premise of this piece: how many other applications can you list and share with us here at InfoMine for this fascinating way to fix and rehabilitate mine facilities, and to dream of fixing old farm houses in the mid-west? Until the InfoMine wikis, etc are up, e-mail your ideas to or

HJ3 Composite Technologies can be found on the web at