Concrete Services Sunshine Coast
Concrete has been in use for thousands of years and for good reasons. It is strong, easy to use, and is quite cost effective for the construction of residences and commercial properties. Along the Sunshine Coast a typical concreter will have a long list of jobs that include pouring slabs of buildings about to be constructed. But as good as concrete is, there are some issues that it does possess.
Concrete is porous
Made up of crushed rock, concrete is porous which allows for water, dirt, oils, and the like to penetrate the surface. It is also subject to chipping and cracking because of its inflexibility. This is because air pockets form inside the concrete as it hardens which is why it must be pressed as it dries which can take time.
While different substances have been used to mix with concrete to help harden the surface and create fewer air pockets, a new technology called fibre reinforced concrete is showing real promise.
What is Fibre Reinforced Concrete?
These are glass, synthetic, steel, and natural fibres that have been mixed into the concrete evenly to provide greater integrity. The fibres not only fill in the air pockets, but their random distribution inside the concrete helps to make it denser and more resistant to impacts that otherwise would cause chipping or cracking.
Adding substances to concrete is nothing new. The Romans added volcanic ash which resulted in many of their roads and buildings such as the Colosseum still standing and in use today. Other materials such as asbestos were commonly used in concrete by the turn of the 20th century. But it was in the 1950s when experiments with composite materials began to take place.
A decade later, synthetic materials along with steel and glass were also being tested to strengthen concrete. This was the first use of fibre materials in concrete and the results were quite promising.
Advantages of fibre in concrete
The benefits depend on the type of fibre materials that are mixed with the concrete itself. What follows are the benefits of glass, nylon, and steel.
Glass: Improves strength, provides tensile reinforcement, and is low cost.
Nylon & Polypropylene: Bolsters resistance to freezing, extreme heat, cracking, impacts, and more.
Steel: Boosts structural strength, reduces cracking, and is more resistant to freezing.
Arguably the most prominent advantage of incorporating fibres is that they add considerable benefits with few, if any disadvantages. While it does add to the cost, it also adds to the longevity of the concrete which means fewer repairs will need to be made over its lifetime. The cost savings over time may be considerable.
Plus, certain enhancements such as glass provide a decorative appearance to the concrete which may be desirable for certain applications. The overall result is that fibre materials offer benefits that are being used more frequently today.
For the concreter who works in the Sunshine Coast, the prospect of fibre reinforced concrete is an attractive one. This means for residential and commercial projects the pouring of concrete slabs is arguably faster and more efficient while resulting in a stronger product. Contact Scott for more information.