# PD 14

PVC Water Stop

Waterstop, as the name itself suggests is an important element of concrete structure which is used to stop the flow of fluids like water from joints. It is embedded in concrete joints to stop the flow of water from them. Waterstops are commonly manufactured using extruded plastics like polyethylene (PE), flexible polyvinyl chloride PVC and thermoplastic vulcanizate rubber (TPV). Extruded Thermosets like styrene-butadiene rubber, natural rubber, neoprene rubber and formed metals such as copper, stainless steel and carbon steel are also commonly used to manufacture waterstops.


Hydrophobic polymer waterstops are usually made with PVC, TPV, PE and rubber. These waterstops are supplied to the construction site in usually 50 lineal feet long coils whose width could vary from 4 inches to 12 inches. The waterstops are designed to efficiently interlock with the concrete and provide limited amount of movements within the joints where they are installed. Waterstops made with PVC, TPV and PE are installed continuously through the length of the concrete joints. Heat welding and thermoplastic welding techniques are used to accomplish this task. On the other hand, waterstops made with metals or Thermoset rubbers are relatively difficult to fabricate into continuous lengths of concrete structures. These are used less often and are commonly not recommended by engineers and architects for installations.


PE and TPV waterstops are usually installed in joint structures having secondary containments. These waterstops are used to prevent the flow of hazardous fluids other than the water like acids, oils, process chemicals, liquid fuel etc.

Hydrophilic (literally meaning Water Loving) waterstops are actually strips or rubbers which are modified with a hydrophilic agent like Bentonite. These watestops swell when exposed to water or moisture, thus effectively sealing the concrete construction joints. Commercial manufacturers usually do not recommend the use of hydrophilic waterstops in contraction and construction joints. Hydorphilic waterstops need to be swelled to work effectively, and for that a source of moisture must be present to activate their hydrophilic agent. You may experience leakage of fluid initially but when the waterstop will swell, leakage too will be stopped.

PVC waterstops are profiles that are made with specially formulated plasticized PVC compound. PVC waterstops are custom designed to meet the specific requirements of a particular industry or building. The waterstops work as a guard against the risk of discomfiture that may occur in the concrete structure due to a variety of reasons like climatic conditions, frictional impasse and geological disturbances. All these causes make the concrete structure to expand or contract. This contraction and expansion of the concrete structure results in the seepage and leakage of water. All this ultimately exposes the concrete structure to the risk of dismemberment and cracks.

Waterstops are widely used in concrete structures of strategic importance like Dams, Under Ground Water Tank, Canals, Bridges, Swimming Pools, Basements, Overhead Water Tanks, Retaining Walls, High Rise Buildings and Embankments.

Waterstops are available in the markets with a variety of formulations and permutations that can be used both in non-water retaining concrete structures and water retaining concrete structures. The range of waterstops includes Ribbed, Dumb Bell, Ribbed with Central Bulbs, Kicker Types etc. The width of waterestops could vary from 80 mm to 305 mm and you can choose them as per your specific requirements and needs.

Waterstops could be easily fixed and installed in concrete structures. They work as excellent sealants and could be conveniently fixed on a designated spot while concrete slab is laid. These could be easily welded at the site itself with required angle and shape.

PVC waterstops are commonly used in concrete joints that are often subjected to hydraulic pressures. Once embedded successfully in the concrete structure, PVC waterstops fill in the joints to make a continuous watertight diaphragm to stop the flow of water and other fluids. Waterstops must be carefully designed and installed to properly accommodate for the contraction, lateral & transverse movements and expansions of the joints. Watestops must be compatible to be used in a particular concrete structure for which they are purchased and should be able to stop the flow of desired fluids, liquids, chemicals, acids, water etc.