Camp Ripley was looking to make a venue for their troops that would allow them to stay on base and have a place to relax with their fellow soldier. They decided to remodel an existing hangar that dates back to the 1930s and at that time was the main hangar of the base. The idea for the remodel was to turn half the hangar into a bar of approximately 5,000 square feet. The concrete within the hangar had many highs and lows, rough spots, patches and areas that needed to be cut out and replaced. Camp Ripley choose to use polished concrete because of the ease of maintenance and the ability to work with the existing floor and make it into a finished product.
Our work on this project took place in February and March of 2010. Throughout the project, we had a crew size of three to four people. We started in February repairing all the joints in the hangar. The joints had been chipped and damaged from the many years of plane and mechanical traffic. To repair the joints we cut out a 4-inch-wide, 1-inch-deep section of concrete along all joints. We then backfilled the section with concrete and recut the sawcut to honor the joint below. We then left the site while other construction took place.
When we returned in March, the restoration of the floor took shape. Special attention was needed during the initial grind of the floor. The crew needed to check for rebar and bolts left behind and move at the correct speed to ensure that the floor was leveled to produce a beautiful polished floor. The crew used two HTC 800 grinding machines equipped with Eramator Vacuums. The initial grind took place with MFL 40 and 80 grit tools from Concrete Polishing Solutions. After our initial grind was complete, we applied Consolidek LS by Prosoco. Our next step used a combination of 100- and 200-grit Big Block tools from HTC. We followed this step with 200, and 400-grit resin bonded tools from Gran Quartz. Camp Ripley wanted the bar to have an aviation theme so at the 400-grit level we added an 8-inch-wide border and an 8-foot-wide runway using black acetone dye from Ameripolish. Next we proceeded with 800 resin bonded tools from Gran Quartz and complete our polishing process by applying LS Guard from Prosoco.
To further highlight the runway and continue with the aviation theme we install runway striping and a helicopter landing pad. We wanted these designs to compliment the polished floor so we accented them using Rapid Shield (UV Technology sealer) by Quaker Chemical Corp. With this technology we added a glow-in-the-dark element to the polished floor. To install these designs we first laid them out and protected the surrounding area to allow for a shot blast of the floor, allowing the Rapid Shield to adhere properly. After the designs were prepped we installed Rapid Shield primer, two coats of white, and two coats of Glow followed by two coats of top coat. Our first coat of top coat contained a glow-in-the-dark powder that gave the design a unique appearance. Rapid Shield is installed similar to an epoxy coating, except the product needs to be cured using a special UV light. This process gave life to the designs and accented the floor in a very unique way. Once the designs were complete, we pulled all the floor protection and turned the floor over. Camp Ripley now has a floor that only can be found at their restored 1930s hangar.