Application of Steel Fibre
- Preparation – while adding steel fiber will improve the longevity and reduce structural floor problems there are other important considerations that have to be taken care of before the actual pouring of the floor. Preparation of the subgrade, the amount of water in the concrete and the content of the concrete mix itself are all factors that will affect the quality of the floor. Be sure there is adequate drainage and a vapor barrier is always a good idea.
- Crack control – Generally speaking, cracks will start to form first around the joints, so the fewer joints the easier it will be to reduce cracks. Dramix has designed their 4D product to significantly reduce cracking in concrete floors. Higher concentration of steel fiber in the concrete mix will allow a greater distance between joints. Dosage of steel fibre in the concrete can be vary between 25 to 75 pounds per cubic yard of concrete in most cases, depending on the design objectives and budget of the project. How much fibre to add to the mix is best left to engineers or sales specialists who are experienced in this area. Too much or too little can impact the ultimate performance of the structural floor.
- Experienced contractors – Be sure that the contractor who will be pouring the floor has experience with steel fibre reinforced concrete. Finishing of the floor surface, dosage rates and many other components of a structural floor project can be affected by the addition of steel fibre to the concrete mixture. For these and many other reasons, it is a good idea to make sure the contractor is familiar and comfortable working with this type of material. Most contractors who have used steel fibre reinforced concrete will tell you that their first experience with this product probably didn’t go too well. You don’t want to be the test bed for a contractor’s first experience with this product.
- Recycle and replacement – In concentrations over 50 pounds per cubic yard, a structural floor will need to be cut and lifted out in sections as it will be difficult in the extreme to use a jack hammer to break up the concrete – the steel fibres simply provide too much structural integrity to the cement. While this might be perceived as a negative, in reality, it speaks well for the strength and longevity of steel fiber reinforced concrete floors.
In summary, steel fibre reinforced concrete is a remarkably durable and practical way to create a structural floor design that will last for many years with a minimum of maintenance. We recommend that you consult with our steel fbre supplier on the different design parameters and preparatory steps to ensure a cost effective and trouble free installation.