Frequently Asked Questions
OSHA Respirable Silica FAQs
What is changing in 2017 with the OSHA regulation?
On March 25, 2016, OSHA published new standards regulating exposure to crystalline silica in the workplace. Under the new standard, 29CFR 1926.1153, the construction industry respirable quartz PEL was reduced from approximately 250 to 50 μg/m3 (micrograms per cubic meter of air). Construction employers will be required to monitor crystalline silica exposure if workplace levels may exceed 25 μg/m3 for at least 30 days in a year and provide medical monitoring to employees in those workplaces if the workers are required to wear respirators for those times. The new standards took effect on June 23, 2016; however, construction industry employers are required to comply after September 23, 2017.
How does LATICRETE SUPERCAP perform in regards to the new regulation?
When LATICRETE SUPERCAP self-leveling materials are pumped using the Mobile Blending Unit into a building, the product is transported in a wet state through a hose to the floor where the product is applied. No pallets of dry materials are moved into the building to be mixed inside — all mixing takes place outside in the MBU. Conceptually, it is obvious that this process does not contribute to respirable crystalline silica exposure to the interior of a building.
Has independent testing been conducted to prove that the LATICRETE SUPERCAP process generates exceptionally low respirable silica dust?
Yes. Independent industrial hygiene consultants Fuss & O’Neill Manufacturing Solutions (FOMS) conducted a personal and area air sampling test during a commercial LATICRETE SUPERCAP project on October 25, 2016. The report concludes that: "There was no respirable silica detected in any worker exposure or local area sample taken during the application of the Supercap SC500." Additionally: " Based on this sampling event, and our knowledge of the product and process, FOMS believes there is no foreseeable exposure to respirable silica above OSHA’s action limit of 0.025 mg/m3 for any of the workers involved with this process." This report is available on request (please contact LATICRETE SUPERCAP Technical Services).
What does this mean to customers considering LATICRETE SUPERCAP products on their projects?
It means simply that installing self-leveling products such as LATICRETE SUPERCAP SC500 with the Mobile Blending Unit will generate virtually no respirable silica dust inside the building. Other sources of respirable silica may be present from other construction activities, but since all LATICRETE SUPERCAP powders and dry materials are mixed outside the building, and only a hose with a liquid slurry goes inside, there will be no added contribution to any respirable silica exposure levels from the LATICRETE SUPERCAP activities on the project site.
Is it the Applicator's responsibility to ensure their workers utilize all appropriate PPE?
Yes it is. The website OSHA.gov includes a section on Employer Help to explain in more detail.
Where can I learn more?
Please see our product Safety Data Sheets at laticretesupercap.com.
How do bulk sacks of Laticrete Supercap delivered through the patented Mobile Blending Unit compare to small bags delivered through small pumps?
We can only speak to how bulk sacks perform, and LATICRETE SUPERCAP bulk sacks mixed using the Mobile Blending Unit contribute no respirable silica exposure to the interior of the building.
We hope that this information is useful in modifying or creating your own safety program including the appropriate use of PPE for the tasks and materials utilized for any given project.
What is LATICRETE SUPERCAP?
It is a computer controlled; polymer modified engineered, low-alkali, self-leveling cement that is blended at street level using a state of the art Mobil Blending Unit that delivers a consistent, quality controlled underlayment used to finish new concrete and capping existing slabs.
What makes it different?
A. It is not a Portland based product, but a superior Calcium Aluminate product that is more stable, water repellant, requires less water to mix and has very low shrinkage properties. B. The Mobile Blending Unit mixes at street level and pumps up to 30,000 lbs. per hour, up to 40,000 s/f per day.
Is it considered a LEAN Construction building tool?
Yes, it is proven to eliminate waste and deliver time and cost savings to both capping the slab process and a halo effect on virtually all other interior trades following the slab cap.
Is it green?
Yes, it is Greenguard Gold certified contributing to LEED v4. Each project is evaluated on amount of LEED v4 contribution. In addition, SUPERCAP is pumped through the Mack Truck Green Diesel Clear Tech SCR System resulting in near zero emissions.
How high can it pump?
Up to 50 floors with an average, uniform compressive strength of 4,200 PSI.
Why is it cleaner and easier to use?
No unmixed material enters the building eliminating: Vertical Transportation, Point Load Issues and Respirable Silica Dust. OSHA’s new ruling takes effect in September 23, 2017, enacting preventive measures that are 5X less allowable silica dust on jobsites to protect workers against silica dust. Also, SUPERCAP is ideal when used in occupied buildings; low noise, small jobsite footprint, fast in & out, only a hose enters the building and no silica dust.
What kind of specifications will it deliver?
It is guaranteed to exceed Division 3 and Division 9 flatness tolerances virtually eliminating concrete deflection issues.
What about moisture?
When used in combination with an epoxy moisture barrier that is correctly applied, the LATICRETE SUPERCAP System is engineered to effectively address high alkalinity and eliminate moisture mitigation problems.
How long does it take to dry?
SUPERCAP can be walked on in 2 to 4 hours; all trades back to work 24 hours.
How are the wear surfaces affected?
All wear surfaces will look and perform better when installed over a SUPERCAP underlayment, simply because it is dry and flat.
How do you address pouring in extreme hot weather?
We’ve designed a chiller unit that allows us to mix SUPERCAP at an average of 54 F in the truck and pours at an average of 72 F, that is at near-perfect lab temperature pour conditions.
What type of buildings would most benefit from SUPERCAP?
Interiors of Hospitals, Healthcare, Laboratories, Education, Corporate, Retail, High Rise Residential and Renovation, Repair & Remediation Projects.
What does it weigh?
The SC500 SUPERCAP weighs 125 pounds per square cubic foot, we have a SC500LW that weighs 85 pounds per square cubic foot, both are lighter than Portland concrete that is 140 pounds per square cubic foot.
When is it best to apply SUPERCAP?
Early, before the walls are up is best, but that’s not always possible. We can pour late and to ongoing renovation projects. We have different steps to ensure completely reliable results.
How are the other trades on the project affected?
In addition to their returning to work in 24 hours, they will be working on a flat floor, potentially saving hundreds, even thousands of labor hours because very little shimming or scribing is needed to build and install on.
Can you apply a wear surface coating directly onto SUPERCAP?
Yes, we have several options to choose from. Please ask about your specific project and end-use.
Can SUPERCAP be used outside?
No, SUPERCAP is an interior, non-structural product.
What is your warrantee?
Using SUPERCAP with a moisture barrier offers a 15 year full systems warranty against moisture/alkalinity related failure including underlayment and floor covering material(s) and labor replacement cost up to the original cost to owner.
Who are SUPERCAP competitors?
Competitors use traditional, manual, bag-barrel-mix and small to medium pump methods. They cannot compete with our speed or volume. Traditional bag application is approx. 6 men, 800 bags per day that self-levels 10,000 sf at ½” depth. The same SUPERCAP crew will pour ½" up to 40,000 sf a day. This changes the game because no one can apply an underlayment that finishes concrete at our speed and can guarantee the floor flatness. No one else has a mobile blending unit that can compete with the LATICRETE SUPERCAP Mobile Blending Truck. In direct and in-direct time lost, hard costs and by virtually eliminating jobsite silica dust contamination.
Does SUPERCAP reduce my exposure to change orders?
A LATICRETE SUPERCAP System installed over substrate will virtually eliminate change orders for major floor prep.
What evidence do you have that LATICRETE SUPERCAP gives GC’s and A&D firms a decided advantage over competitors when competing for projects?
Allow us to estimate a project, using SUPERCAP vs. traditional methods and roll that information into your overall budget and WWP. We’ll prove it every time. Just give us the opportunity.
What does it cost?
Every project is different with variables that must be considered before we can provide an accurate estimate. We will be glad to provide you with an estimate on your space and conditions. As a general rule, using SUPERCAP will give superior results while saving you up to 25% on your core & shell schedule and on the costs associated with traditional self-leveling methods.