County Materials joined fellow industry leaders to celebrate Concrete Pipe Week 2020 from August 16th – 22nd. This industry initiative serves to create a greater awareness of the vital role reinforced concrete pipe has in society. These efforts are focused toward the general public, as well as local, state, and federal government officials, some of whom sign proclamations in recognition. During this week, many concrete manufacturers around the country open their doors for plant tours and demonstrations; however, this year celebrations looked quite different because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
County Materials’ Roberts facility hosted an innovative Drive-Through Plant Tour, where visitors could learn about concrete pipe from the safety and comfort of their vehicle. With safety as our top priority, social distancing precautions were implemented, and safety guidelines explained to ensure guests could fully enjoy their visit.
The tour began at the wet cast concrete station, where guests learned how County Materials utilizes this traditional manufacturing method to yield exceptional results for unique precast designs. Because all products must undergo testing prior to leaving the facility, the tour demonstrated hydrostatic and vacuum tests to meet ASTM guidelines. Among some of the guests were contractors who use County Materials’ concrete products regularly. This section of the tour allowed them to see the company’s quality assurance program to guarantee unmatched durability and strength. Concrete pipe’s inherent strength can be amplified using reinforcing steel cages. Guests drove to the next station to learn more about this process and the added benefits of using reinforced concrete pipe. Before moving on, a coring demonstration showed how quickly holes can be cut through concrete structures to connect pipe and other utilities. The tour then led visitors to the dry cast manufacturing station. Dry cast production is made possible with technological advancements that reduce the amount of water needed to manufacture pipe. This process is efficient and allows for newly formed pipe to support itself. By utilizing both wet and dry cast processes, the operation can fulfill a variety of design considerations. The final portion of the tour demonstrated d-load testing to showcase concrete pipe’s impressive strength and resiliency under heavy loads. While many guests understand concrete pipe has an impressive load capacity, it’s not every day that they get the opportunity to see the product put to the test.
Although this year’s Concrete Pipe Week looked different than most, County Materials’ Roberts facility stepped up to the challenge and hosted a worthwhile behind-the-scenes event for industry professionals that could be enjoyed in compliance with recommended COVID-19 practices.