A tough & practical solution for floors!
Concrete floor technology continues to evolve to meet the needs of building owners at a rapid pace. Members of the CFCA are pleased to offer steel fibre reinforced concrete solutions to meet the demands of commercial and industrial floor & pavement users.
Steel fibres have a proven track record. Steel fibre reinforcing was introduced to Canada by CFCA members in 1984. For more than 30 years, steel fibres have been used to toughen concrete floors against the stresses created by applied loading and internal drying stresses. Steel fibre reinforcing has been used in countless buildings across Canada and for every type of floor user. Steel fibres have proven to be extremely economical, durable and versatile in addressing the varying needs of concrete floor users in a variety of applications.
Steel fibres are extremely practical. They are added to the concrete at the specified dosage rate in factory packaged and weighed bags. This makes both the addition and inspection a straightforward task. Fibres are added following the addition of a plasticizing admixture which reverses the mechanical slump loss created by fibre addition. All concrete containing fibres should be plasticized for this reason — do not use water. Without the need to install the steel prior to concrete placement, project schedules can also be reduced when using steel fibre solutions.
Whether steel or synthetic, all fibres are not equal. There is no common standard configuration for steel or synthetic fibres. Each manufacturer makes a particular configuration which produces it’s own unique performance characteristics. Steel fibres come in a variety of lengths (30 mm to 60 mm), in different cross sections (round wire, crescent or slit sheet), with different anchorages (hooked end, wavy or pinched end) and dosage rates (15 to 45kgs/m3). A specified floor designed with one type of fibre must not be substituted for another fibre – the floor must be redesigned for each fibre type in order to avoid shortfalls in actual load capacity and performance. Fibres of one type must not be substituted for a different fibre without this performance design review. It is also not appropriate to specify a dosage rate without the associated product type and manufacturer. Simply put, there can be large variations in the performance of a floor using different fibres at the same dosage rate.
Computers take the guesswork out of design. State of the art computer designs supported by large manufacturers create exacting designs that can meet almost every need. Designing concrete floors with steel fibres is relatively easy in its ability to calculate slab thickness, compressive strength, subgrade support and the required amount of reinforcing for a given set of loading conditions. Choosing the optimal combination of slab thickness, compressive strength and reinforcing for a given set of loading conditions can produce exceptional performance and improve cost value. Computer programs allow the modern designer to explore all the load conditions from the quality of the granular base up through the forklift wheel contact pressure to arrive at an optimal design to maximize performance and minimize the cost per square foot.
Steel fibres are a part of a sustainable future. Through careful evaluation of the design outputs, slab thickness can be optimized to minimize slab thickness while also maximizing performance. An increase in performance characteristics of the concrete and steel fibre materials can produce reductions in slab thickness thereby allowing constituent concrete materials to be used on other projects.
- State of the art structural design
- Creates more ductile concrete with reduced cracking
- Reduces the effect of shrinkage curling
- More economical than conventional steel solutions
- Fast installation thereby reducing schedule time
- Easy materials handling
- Supported by large manufacturers
- Very durable
- Does not interfere with guidewire signals
- Can be used inside or outside
- Does not cause concrete corrosion delaminations
- Can replace wire mesh in most elevated slabs
- May sometimes be visible at the surface
- Will surface rust in corrosive environments (does not cause delaminations)