Pile Buck’s interview with Pieresearch®—designer and manufacturer of rebar reinforcing alignment products for the deep foundations industry.
PB: What are Pieresearch® products used for?
P: Pieresearch® products are used to properly centralize and align reinforcing steel cages in drilled shafts, slurry walls, and matt foundations. Proper rebar alignment is critical to the success of the final product. For example, drilled shafts are created using a three-step process. First the shaft is drilled, then the rebar cage is set into the shaft excavation and, finally, the concrete is poured in place. Our products assist in the proper centralization and alignment of the steel cage. Because once that concrete is poured, it’s a done deal. If the cage is not aligned, the concrete column won’t be straight. It’s too late to fix it.
Tony Kraut, Sales Manager at Watson Drill Rigs, has a really good video that explains the drilling process and the driller’s responsibilities. Which is a lot more than just firing up the equipment and digging a big a hole.
PB: Is there a difficult soil condition or other obstacle that you tend to see?
P: Jack Watson, the founder of Watson Drill Rigs, used to say, “A drill does two things – turns and pushes.” Sounds simple. But when that drill starts pushing into the ground it can hit any kind of soil. A driller has to be prepared for that. He has to carefully monitor what’s happening and adjust the speed and rotation of the drill. The ultimate goal is to maintain a straight hole. Of course, every project dealing with soil should have a geotechnical report. But that report may not anticipate every type of soil that drill will encounter.
PB: What kinds of projects have Pieresearch® products been used for?
P: Wow. It would take all day to give you a full list! Some of the larger projects that used Pieresearch® products include the Bank of America Tower, Exxon Corporate Headquarters, Parkland Hospital, the new Texas Rangers Stadium and the Dallas Cowboys Stadium. Our products help build solid foundations for hospitals, museums, opera houses, high-rise buildings, casinos, and resorts. Like I said, it would take all day to name them all. You can find a partial list on our website.
PB: What are the different applications that Pieresearch® products are used for?
P: Rebar/tendon alignment in drilled shafts, auger cast piles, soil nailing, and erosion control. Our new Unibar® Centralizer products are specifically designed for the installation of soil nails and related earth retention elements.
PB: Tell us about some of your products.
P: A couple of new products we’re excited about are the Quick-Lock® Adjustable Unibar® centralizers. They are used to keep the tendon / bar centered in the shaft. They don’t impede flow – and allow for minimum grout / concrete coverage. So you get proper alignment and save some money.
Our Quick-Zip Bar Booster® supports a reinforcing steel cage within a bored/drilled shaft with a 3″ concrete cover requirement. What’s great about this product is you can attach it to any size rebar. It literally takes seconds to install. Position it on the end of the vertical bar of the cage and pull the zip tie taut. That’s it.
Check out our full product catalogue here.
PB: What did contractors use before Quick-Lock® Unibar® Centralizers?
P: Poorly designed and manufactured products made from cheap PVC pipe. Pieresearch® wanted to provide well-designed and manufactured centralizers made from high-quality materials. We continue to improve and innovate to meet the needs of our customers. We’ve been designing and manufacturing products for 35 years; we’ve gotten pretty good at it.
PB: Are your centralizer and alignment products easy to install?
P: Yes; very easy. Our products are designed to be simple. You literally just snap two pieces together. They are made out of a high-quality, noncorrosive plastic. We have several videos on our website that explain the process. Of course, our team is always available to answer questions.
PB: A lot of PB readers work with drilled shafts. Do you have any advice for them based on your experiences with rebar cages over the years?
P: Take the time to do it right the first time using high quality centralizer and alignment products. Rebar cage alignment is key to a quality product. Remember that we are dealing with the foundation of a structure. Think about a bridge. It needs to support perhaps millions of vehicles and people over its life. Proper alignment is an important part of the overall safety of a structure.
PB: Where are Pieresearch® products manufactured?
P: All our products are proudly made in the U.S.A. That gives us full control over the supply chain – so we can deliver our products to our customers when they need them.
PB: What else should our readers know about Pieresearch®?
P: Just that our goal is to help our customers find the right solutions to build strong foundations. There’s a lot of construction pros across industries – from energy to entertainment – who count on us. Pieresearch® products are high-quality and easy to install. Our motto is “Helping build a better foundation for America.” And we’re doing it right here in the U.S.A.
To get a quote from Pieresearch®, give them a call or submit a request for quote: https://pieresearch.com/product-quote-request/