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A height-adjustable edging system enables producers to economically form new panels.

Precasters using the system have reported significant improvements. First, they've eliminated any permanent damage to the casting bed surfaces by discontinuing using weld mounts, drill holes, and bracket supports. Second, they've reduced their set-up times by standardizing on a readily available form lumber size. Finally, since the track is in contact with the casting bed on all perimeters, they have all but eliminated using silicone caulking.

The MILCO system also has a decorative aspect. Producers have used the adhesive's lasting power to cast quality reveals and chamfers. They have used a premium surface-treated MDF lumber to resist moisture-related expansion and absorption. By reusing these forms, producers reduce labor on multiple pours, without sacrificing detail.

Hot stuff

While new to the North American concrete industry, this hot melt adhesive system has been successfully used by European precasters for several years. The system uses only applicators and large glue feed sticks.

It is easy to use in the plant, according to MILCO. The adhesive doesn't require a primer. After applying the adhesive to the casting bed, workers have about a three- to five-minute period to set in place the item to be affixed. When casting is completed, the adhesive residue is easily scraped from the steel bed's surface, leaving no stain or discoloration.

Applicators range in capacity, based on the amount of area to spray. For thin reveals, the manufacturer recommends a 400-watt unit to emit beads or dots of adhesive. For extremely large areas, such as a foamed doorway blockout, a 1000-watt applicator is equipped with a pneumatic spray nozzle. With this unit, a worker can cover up 21 square feet with one glue cartridge.

All of these applicator units feature electric-powered glue heaters that warm up within 10 minutes. A solid-state thermostat is preset to emit the adhesive at the proper preset temperature. The worker merely puts in the glue cartridge and pulls the trigger.

This system is also being tested for use in tilt-up construction.

Contact the manufacturers:

MILCO Adjust-A-Trak System, developed by MILCO Concepts, 1-866-876-4526,www.milco-tilt-up.com. The system is distributed to U.S. producers through Fister Inc., 800-339-9534,www.fisterquarries.com.

Hot Melt System is manufactured and sold direct by Power Adhesives Limited, 704-334-2425. Visit the Web site atwww.poweradhesives.com.