When not to use a cartridge

The number one situation I find when a customer calls with a problem doing crack injection is that he is using a cartridge to seal a hairline crack.

Cartridges are a great tool to have in your arsenal. We at Prime Resins are big fans of cartridges. In fact, 30 years ago we were the first manufacturer to package polyurethane injection resins in a cartridge system. They are perfect for small jobs. They can be the most cost-efficient option when considering the time to set up and clean up compared to pumping. Cartridges are ideal when access with a pump is impossible or impractical. See ours here.When not to use a cartridge to seal leaks. Shown here is a Quick Mix cartridge of 900 XLV polyurethane injection resin

Cartridges do have limitations though and are not right for every job. Do NOT attempt to seal a hairline crack with a cartridge. Period. A crack needs to be at least 1/16” or wider (1.6 mm) for a cartridge resin to be effective. That’s about the thickness of a credit card. For cracks tighter than that, you won’t be able to generate enough pressure with a cartridge gun to force the material deep enough into the crack to ensure a proper bond. A true hairline crack often requires 500 psi or greater, sometimes up to 3000 psi, of pumping pressure.

Imagine trying to force water in a pinhole. It’s hard to do and you can’t be sure any actually got in there. Same with using a cartridge for a hairline crack. It isn’t going to work, so don’t waste your time and money. As with anything: choose the right tool for the job. If you aren’t sure whether a cartridge is right for your job, give me a call at 800-321-7212 or email me at customerservice@primeresins.com.

Adam Goldstone, technical consultant and customer support

2 Responses to “When not to use a cartridge”

  1. gary says:

    I am a developer/builder with a new construction foundation that has a crack which weeps water inside and on the c/c floor in rain conditions. I tried chiseling the crack and applying hydraulic cement while it was weeping. It was difficult trying to stop the water flow but after continuous applications one after the other,it finally stopped, i thought!. During a few rain events we noticed water on the basement floor again, the wall always looks wet and very conspicuous. This house is our model to sell and it is tiring to explain water leaks, let alone dealing with supposed fixes that don’t work. I need to get this done asap with the rain season upon us.
    Can you suggest any of your DYS remedies.

    thank you in advance
    jsg development, llc.

    • Prime Resins says:

      Hi Gary,

      Thanks for thinking of us. Here’s what I recommend: Drill a couple 1/8” diameter holes at the 3 and 9 o’clock positions through the slab. Using a thick cotton rag as a gasket between the static mixer and the surface of the concrete, injecting a cartridge of Prime Flex 900 XLV Quick Mix should do the trick. This can be installed while leaking or not. It will create a layer of flexible, closed-cell foam that will not allow the water to have access to the shrinkage crack around the drain. NOTE: Be careful to not drill through the elbow of the drain pipe! Please do feel free to call me at 800-321-7212 to discuss your project further.

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