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Recent developments in pre-cured silicone products have increased the popularity of bridge seals as a method of sealing difficult joint configurations in remedial applications. Although these methods are compelling, ignorance of application methods results in excessive bids for esoteric designs, therefore it behooves the architect or engineer involved with remedial applications to understand application methods in order to control the cost of state-of-the-art designs. This paper provides an analysis of the design and implementation of three methods of creating bridge seals, “cast-in-place” using RTV sealants, pre-cured silicone materials, both extruded and transfer molded adhered with RTV silicone sealants, and hybrid methods using finished aluminum parts adhered with RTV silicone sealants. Comparisons are made which analyze the ability of each method to accommodate theoretical and actual stresses along with factors of cost and application which guide the selection of the appropriate method of bridge seal. Five case studies of installations in Denver, San Francisco, Oakland, Los Angeles and Laughlin, Nevada are reviewed for the criteria which instigated the selection of a bridge seal, along with factors of design and techniques of installation. Also included is a discussion of technologies for three-dimensional molded silicone parts that can provide an economical solution for complex intersections which experience a variety of stresses which may fail ordinary bridge joint methods.
bridge sealant joint, heat-cured extruded silicone, compression molding, RTV silicone, band-aid joint, splice plate
Vice President/Pacific Region - Director of Sealants, AMS Architectural Technologies, Inc., Lakewood, CA