• Emphasizing The Positive

    May 17, 2010

    There is so much more gained when the engineer specifies synthetic fibers as the temperature-shrinkage reinforcement instead of the wire mesh. The added value when using the 3-dimensional reinforcement system in lieu of the single plane of wire mesh is truly measurable. The wire mesh does not even contribute to improving the durability of the concrete when it is in the plastic phase whereas the synthetic fibers measurably reduce the plastic shrinkage cracking. As for hardened concrete, the wire mesh is the passive reinforcement. The drying shrinkage cracks must find the wire mesh before the wire mesh can hold the cracks together. The synthetic fibers commence their hardened concrete duties immediately by arresting drying shrinkage cracks at their origins. The 3-dimensional reinforcement system reduces crack propagation by helping distribute the drying shrinkage stress through the network of fibers dispersed throughout the cross-section of the concrete. We know the fibers are present since they arrived on the job homogeneously distributed in the concrete courtesy of the ready mixed concrete producer.


    ABC Polymers has several synthetic fiber products both microsynthetic and macrosynthetic that can fill the bill for residential, commercial and industrial/warehouse applications. Select from Mono-Tuf, Mono-Pro or Fibril-Tuf, Fibril-Pro for those residential projects and most of the commercial projects. Mono-Tuf and Fibril-Tuf are approved as plastic shrinkage crack reinforcement and temperature-shrinkage reinforcement by ICC ES and the report is ESR-1699. Check it out on our website. For the industrial and warehouse projects and some commercial projects check out ABC Polymer’s wide selection of macrosynthetic fibers and blends of macrosynthetic fibers/microsynthetic fibers and steel fibers/microsynthetic fibers. Our website now shows a product grid, which provides dialogue regarding use categories for all our products.


    But the engineer gains even more than the assurance that the synthetic fibers will outperform the wire mesh as purely secondary/temperature-shrinkage reinforcement. The list of additional benefits includes increased impact resistance, increased surface abrasion resistance, reduced permeability and increased fatigue strength. These additional benefits are coupled with the in-place cost of the Fiber Reinforced Concrete being less than the wire mesh reinforced concrete. These quantifiable added benefits translate into a more durable concrete over a longer service life than the wire mesh reinforced concrete. So, the engineer gains on the front end by showing a lower in-place cost and then can expect a lower maintenance cost for the life of the Fiber Reinforced Concrete.


    Another consideration in concrete exposed to the weather, FRC will have a lower volume change when considering the effects of temperature change and moisture variations. This is a factor in the increased fatigue strength of the FRC.


    Give ABC Polymer the opportunity to provide the engineers in your market with the technical and economic benefits associated with the use of FRC versus wire mesh. Let us present the argument that times are changing and so are the building codes and specifications and FRC is part of this change. Talk to Denzil Schmitz, Vice President of Sales and Marketing about putting a promotional program together using proprietary mixes with synthetic fiber reinforcement in the mix for residential applications and most commercial applications.


    -R.C. Zellers, PE/PLS, Director, Engineering Services