A.L Patterson, Inc
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Patterson has been a top supplier in the precast/prestressed industry for over four decades.  After years of offering same day service, excellent customer interaction and supplying our growing customer base, it was time for Patterson to expand. CEO Barry Fleck wanted a building that exposed Patterson’s abiding dedication to the industry and precast was the answer.  In 2007, the new Patterson headquarters broke ground in the middle of winter to start the erection of its current 31,000 sq. ft. building. When it comes to precast, weather conditions are no barrier; the walls were up in less than two weeks. Built to environmental standards and constructed to be LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Deign) certified, nine years later the building is still maintenance free and its benefits are unchallenged.

Our precast building has a lot to show off and be proud about.  We didn’t just stop at retaining walls and prestressed insulated wall panels.  The building holds precast manholes, pipe, a 20,000 gallon holding tank for the sprinkler system, box culverts, precast steps, benches, and our BBQ cooking wall with thin-set brick detail (where all the famous ALP BBQ’s take place).  To put it briefly, our building is pretty cool, especially in the summer!

precast booth
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This years Precast Show took place in Nashville, TN and wow what a town. The Gaylord Opryland Resort was filled with exhibitors and attendees ready to absorb all the different wonders of the concrete world. Filling a 20×20 space in the middle of aisle 800 was your very own Single Source Supplier, A.L. Patterson along with Nycon and Kraft Curing.

How to dominate your space and captivate your audience? A talk of the show triangle backdrop accented by three informational booths, a sharp team, and top it off with a spinning sign nice and high so everyone in every direction can see your brand! Check out our pictures below. The PCI and NPCA partnered together this year making the 2016 Precast Show a big success and Patterson is always happy to be part of it. With PCI and NPCA’s partnership we have no doubt that the 2017 Precast Show in Cleveland, OH holds great things!

3d Printer photo
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Paving the way and changing the way we invent! We are excited to introduce a new addition to the ALP Team. Our Markerbot 3D Printer!  3D Printing is a process in which a printer transmits a digital design into a tangible model, therefore creating a professional, high quality, and realistic prototype.  This makes it possible for our engineers to not only see but also touch their designs.

Bringing a prototype into play at the beginning stages in the development process allows more time for customization.  Our engineers can save and review individual files, which allows them to go back and make specific adjustments reducing product and development costs.  Our Makerbot 3D Printer cuts down on the time that is required to build and test models by hand.  This results in less waste, less energy, rapid prototyping and more fun. To keep up with our more efficient product development cycle we had some time to experiment with some enjoyable designs.  In the spirit of Halloween

3D Skull

Happy Halloween!

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Thanks to our friends at Gainey’s Concrete Products, we’re happy to share this video of Skip Francies’s Lifting Session. Skip reviewed safe working loads and how they are calculated, lifting equipment and transfer of load, placement and use of inserts/hardware as well as the basic dynamics of lifting.

We’re happy to answer any questions you may have about lifting and handling at your own plant or place of work. Just give us a call or send an email and we’ll be sure to have one of our engineers get in touch with you and answer your inquiry.


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Once upon a time, the sea lions at the 17th Street Dock in Astoria, Oregon caused a real uproar! In an article published by KOIN 6 news last year, it was reported that the estimated 1,600 sea lions that came to sunbathe at the port continuously break  “water lines, electrical lines [and] dock connections” costing the port somewhere around $100,000 to fix and maintain. With the original dock made of timber, it’s no wonder the repairs were needed! The structure needed to be accessed by Coast Guard ships in need of refueling as well as forklifts and cranes used to access and repair ships.

The solution? Precast. Precast deck panels were made, saving lots of time and helping the port to meet their project deadline. In an article written Sarah Fister Gale for the PCI Journal, she says, “The newly completed dock features 125 precast concrete deck panels on steel piles”. The up-to 1,000 lb sea lions now have a place they can sunbathe without breaking the port’s bank that just so happens to help the incoming ships’ needs.

Image & information taken from: Koin.com

Sources: Koin.com & PCI Journal (Jan-Feb 2015 Edition)

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We are excited to share Kraft Curing’s commercial on Concrete.Tv! The video reviews Kraft’s custom curing solutions that deal with the typical challenges of precast concrete production, improving product properties while saving cement and speeding up production cycles. You also get a chance to “meet” Michael Kraft, Managing Director of Kraft Curing Systems GmbH in Germany. Watch the video and let us know what you think!

Big Precast Concrete Water Bottle
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The next time you’re in Las Vegas, NV and you start to feel parched – fear not – The Water Bottle is there to save the day!

Created from a two-piece precast form, The Water Bottle stands tall at 15’ 1” and offers visitors a chance to fill up their water jugs for a small fee. The ginormous thirst quencher was brought to life by Marks Metal Technology (who created the mold for the project). Marks Metal joined forces with Rockway Precast and with their combined efforts, they were able to take steal bars, create the exterior shape of the bottle and cast a two-piece form. The result was a giant replica of your average 5-gallon water jug.

The giant Water Bottle made its debut in 2011 and due to its success; the plan is to add 15 to 20 more Water Bottles in Last Vegas and Phoenix.

For more information, visit Concrete Products at www.concreteproducts.com or click here for the full story.

Photos from: Concrete Products

Tuff-Mix Slab
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In 2011, a steel recycling company asked Nycon to provide a solution for a longer lasting, more durable concrete for the company’s heavy-duty roads and scrap pads. The plant’s scrap pads are the most abused areas where scrap steel is received in dump trailers or rail cars. Once received, the scrap is off-loaded and pushed into stockpiles, waiting to be loaded into hoppers and transported to the steel processing plant. The plant scrap pads are required to endure tremendous abuse including supporting 300 ton scrap melt hoppers, 100 ton Lift- King wheel loads, and impact from falling scrap steel as well as abrasion from scraping, pushing and loading equipment. Due to the around-the-clock abuse, the plant’s usual concrete mix and scrap pad designs were not holding up well. The scrap pads failed quickly after being placed into service with cracks, depressions, gouges and scraping wear so intense that failures included abrasion-exposed rebar which would puncture tires and require constant maintenance.

Typically, the scrap pads would only survive about eighteen (18) months before requiring complete rehabilitation. Clearly, the company’s scrap pad areas needed a super heavy-duty slab made from a new concrete mix capable of enduring the tremendous abuse. Moreover, since the facility operates 24/7, a new concrete mix needed to be made, cast-in-place and be ready for the heavy traffic and abuse within one week. The steel recycling company wanted the extreme, heavy-duty concrete to have improved impact and abrasion resistance as well as increased life to avoid disruption to the plant operations and improve their return on investment.

The solution developed by Nycon was TUFF-MIX™. The new, super heavy-duty slab design requirement was 18” (45cm) thick to endure the plant’s 300-ton 4-point load scrap melt hoppers and the 100-ton wheel load Lift-King equipment.

The TUFF-MIX™ design included one layer of steel reinforcing bars placed 4 inches (10cm) up from the bottom of the slab as well as dowelled construction joints. The Nycon design did not require any steel reinforcing bars on the top section of the slab. The TUFF-MIX™ mix design is a high performance, low water/cement ratio concrete made with a blend of two Nycon-PVA fibers that requires standard QC placement techniques, control joints and proper cast-in-place curing.

The project design for making the TUFF-MIX™ included developing a low water/cement ratio, high strength mix including production of a trial batch at the ready-mix producer’s plant. The trial TUFF-MIX™ made with the Nycon-PVA blend was sampled and attained 3,000 psi (21 MPa) in 3-days, 5,000 psi (35 MPa) in 7-days and 9,000 psi (62 MPa) in 28-days. The TUFF-MIX™ trial batch was also cast-in-place into a small area to allow finishing crew an opportunity to work with the new mix design.

Once the trial TUFF-MIX™ slab was placed into service and load-tested, the steel recycling plant asked the concrete contractor and ready-mix supplier to proceed with construction of the 40,000 SF TUFF-MIX™ scrap pad. The plan included a staged construction schedule for the contractor to 1) demolish one-third of the old concrete slab, 2) excavate the base and sub-grade to the proper depth, 3) place a well compacted crusher-run base, 4) build forms and install the fine aggregate slip layer, 5) install the steel rebar 4” (10 cm) up from bottom-of-slab and 6) insert the dowel bars to prepare for the first of the three-sections pours.

The super heavy-duty TUFF-MIX™ was batched at a concrete plant into 10 CY transit-mix trucks with pre-water and admixtures which then rotated at full mixing speed for four (4) minutes prior to adding the two Nycon-PVA fibers. The concrete plant used a portable belt conveyor to charge the transit mix trucks with the dose of the two Nycon- PVA fibers while the trucks were rotated at slow mixing speed to assure fiber dispersion.

The transit mix trucks were then dosed with the final trim water and rotated at full mixing speed for four (4) more minutes to complete the mixing cycle. The TUFF-MIX™ was sampled and tested by QC at the plant prior to departure for the scrap pad construction site. The mix was routinely tested to confirm the slump range of 5” to 7” (12cm to 17cm), an air content of 2% to 4% and a unit weight of 155 lb/cf.

Upon completion and proper curing of each of the three sections, the recycling plant moved all operations onto the newly constructed TUFF-MIX™ scrap pad. The new TUFF-MIX™ slab offered operations the opportunity to improve efficiency by providing a well constructed super-heavy-duty area for loading the 300 ton 4-point load melt hoppers and for the full hoppers to be easily and quickly captured and transported by the Lift-King tractors.

During production and placement of the new TUFF-MIX™ slab, extra test cylinders, beams and panels were cast for comparison testing. The samples were sent to an independent testing laboratory for curing and testing. Tests were performed on the cylinders, beams and panels to compare a normal performance 4 ksi (28 MPa) concrete mix to the TUFF-MIX™ mix made with and without the blend of Nycon-PVA fibers. The testing was performed to confirm the dramatic resistance to failure provided by TUFF-MIX™, as well as the significant improvement to toughness, impact and abrasion resistance.

Nycon-PVA fibers are the only fiber that develops a molecular bond to concrete, which is activated when the PVA fiber comes into contact with the elevated pH alkalinity of the concrete paste. The Nycon-PVA fiber unique molecular bond to the cement paste provides the dramatic improvement to the concrete without any loss of compressive strength. After two years of constant use, the new TUFF-MIX™ at the steel recycling plant has no cracks, displacement, gouges or deformation compared to previous slabs which began to fail within two to three weeks.

The independent testing laboratory performed tests on the samples made at the plant and project site. All the samples were tested immediately upon completion of the 3, 7 and 28-days of curing.

Patterson remains focused on expanding our offering through acquisitions and partnerships which include Nycon Corporation for reinforcement fibers and Kraft Curing Systems, Inc., the global leading manufacturer of concrete curing systems. It is through these partnerships that Patterson remains the largest single source supplier in North America to precast and prestress producers. For more information on Nycon reinforcing fibers, visit www.nycon.com or call toll free: 1-800-456-9266

Precast wall being lifting with A.L. Patterson lifting and handling products.
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“If it is a 4-Ton Lifting Pin Anchor (dog bone) it must lift up 4-tons (8,000 lbs.)”

It is a common misconception within the industry that we would like to address in today’s blog. The tonnage in the title of the anchors generally refers to the lifting capability of the anchor itself. However, depending on the PSI of the concrete during lifting, the usage capacity of the anchor can vary.

For example, when properly imbedded and lifted, a 10” 8-Ton ALP Lifting Pin Anchor (LPA8T10G) has an in-concrete capacity of 16,000 lbs in FULLY cured concrete and an Ultimate Mechanical Capacity of 64,000 lbs. Ultimate Mechanical Capacity is the total weight that the anchor can hold in mechanical testing of the steel.

Even though the in-concrete capacity is 8 tons in fully cured concrete, it will vary with greener concrete. For example, in 2,000 PSI concrete the in-concrete capacity for this anchor goes down to 14,110 lbs, and at 1,500 PSI it goes to 12,220 lbs (see attached chart for additional examples).

It’s also important to keep in mind that all of these in-concrete capacities have a 4:1 SWL (Safe Working Load). This means that the capacity rating for this anchor is 1/4 of the failure point during testing. A 4:1 SWL is standard with all embedded lifting anchors. Because of impact loads and instances in which one of the anchors in a precast piece takes more weight than another, this safety ratio is essential for safe lifting. However, it is highly recommended that, during handling, precast products are transported on even, smooth ground to eliminate impact loads. In addition, rigging and lift planning should be done by a qualified engineer to ensure proper use of the anchors and other lifting hardware. If you have any questions regarding proper rigging, please contact us at 800-332-7090.

reinforced concrete pipe
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The folks over at Rinker Materials in Middletown, DE hosted a training seminar for the Delaware Department of Transportation. Things got a bit interesting when it came time to test the performance of reinforced concrete pipe.

Reinforced concrete pipe is used to various applications such as storm drains, storm sewers, culverts, gravity & low-head pressure, irrigation, tunneled systems and more. Reinforced concrete pipe can come in all sizes and diameters, made to fit a variety of other pipe.

To demonstrate the structural integrity and durability of reinforced concrete pipe, the Delaware DOT and Rinker Materials drove a 25,000 lb Caterpillar loader and a 40,000 lb John Deere Excavator over a range of reinforced concrete pipe! The pipe ranged from 12″ to 72″ and stayed intact while the heavy machinery was driven across.

Image and article provided by: PCAV (Precast Concrete Association of Virginia). You can subscribe to their newsletters here.