If you have a sizeable construction project ahead and are developing a new structure on your property, you will be in discussion with various contractors to help you move forward. You may be immersed in a lot of detail and considering how various materials or products can be used at stages of the build. You may understand the importance of a solid foundation, but may have moved on to consider some other, more technical or detailed areas. After all, concrete is concrete, right? Actually, there's a bit more to it than that, as you may be able to take into account different compositions. What should you look into?
A Variety of Options
Many new project developers these days are turning to fibre-reinforced concrete that uses particular ingredients to help increase durability and overall strength. Individual fibres are distributed uniformly throughout the mixture to provide an extra dimension of stability. These fibres can be made from natural or synthetic materials like glass or steel.
How Steel Fibres Could Help
Steel fibres are often introduced where traditional steel reinforcement (or rebar) may not be as beneficial. They have been found to markedly increased structural strength and reduce the development of cracks. The surface of the finished product will be more resistant to abrasion and less vulnerable to damage from freezing and thawing in specific locations.
Synthetic Additives and Their Benefits
Nylon or polypropylene fibres, on the other hand, can make the mixture more malleable and as a consequence easier to pump over longer distances. There would be less of a need to introduce steel reinforcement, and these particular fibres could help to cure the finished work much more effectively.
Fibre-reinforced concrete may not be a particularly new development, but certain innovations are providing additional solutions. The mixture and volume of fibre in "high-performance" versions could provide a markedly improved resistance to any cracking, while making the concrete significantly lighter than it would otherwise be.
In addition, some developers advocate that other materials could be recycled in order to provide fibres for concrete creation. For example, used carpets could be ground up for this purpose, so perhaps you could do your bit for the environment by looking into such an option.
Should You Consider This?
Have a word with your engineers and concreting contractors to see if you could benefit from a particular type of reinforced concrete from a durability, strength and cost perspective.