• Key Drivers to Selling More Fiber Reinforced Concrete

    August 23, 2012

    1. Fiber Reinforced Concrete is a Profit Center. The concrete salesman must understand that fibers should be viewed the same as conventional admixtures and additives. The concrete salesman should focus on presenting the fibers as a ‘value added’ material.
    2. Wire Mesh is NOT a Profit Center. In today’s cast-in-place concrete market the ready mix professional does not furnish the wire mesh, when specified.

    Therefore, when a project specification calls for wire mesh the concrete salesman should introduce the idea of substituting the fibers for the wire mesh as secondary/non-structural reinforcement. The fibers should be considered part of the concrete salesman’s every day total package.

    The concrete salesman has two options depending on the specification and the application. The concrete salesman can recommend either microsynthetic fibers to achieve the basic 3-dimensional reinforcement needs or macrosynthetic fibers to deliver a more powerful secondary reinforcement system.

    Microsynthetic fibers are most appropriate for residential and commercial applications and macrosynthetic fibers are utilized in industrial, warehouse and transportation applications.

    1. Get ABC Fibers Specified NOW. If fibers are specified on a given project, the concrete salesman should get a copy of the specification to determine which ABC Polymer Industries products are listed.

    If ABC Polymer Industries products are not included, notify the local ABC Polymer Industries representative immediately so appropriate steps can be taken to secure the approval of the appropriate ABC Polymer Industries product or products. This may be the point where the ABC Polymer engineer needs to get involved with the project engineers.

    1. How to Identify the Specified Reinforcement System. Within the framework of standard project specification, Section 3000 is Concrete and Sub-Section 3200 is Concrete Reinforcement. Fibers, if specified, can be found in Sub-Section 3240. Also some specifications today list the fibers in Sub-Section 3300. If there are any questions regarding the specification and ABC Polymer Industries products most appropriate for the specification, ask for a copy.

    Send a copy to Robert C. Zellers, Director of Engineering Services, ABC Polymer (RZellers@ABCFibers.com).

    1. Know Your FRC Facts. ABC Polymer Industries has prepared a number of FAQs addressing the most frequently asked FRC questions. The FAQs and other ABC Polymer Industries documents include material for the contractor as well as the engineer. Our literature is available for the asking. Contact Denzil Schmitz, SVP of Sales & Marketing at 205.620.9889, Ext. 115 or Denzil@ABCFibers.com.
    2. Offer the contractor a dollars and cents reason to Specify FRC. Fiber Reinforced Concrete in-place will typically cost the contractor less than wire mesh in-place. CAUTION: Don’t fall into the trap of comparing the cost of the wire mesh with the cost of the fibers in the concrete truck. When it comes to Value Engineering and in-place cost, fibers cannot be beaten!

    NOTE 1: The cost of wire mesh in place must include the labor and time to place the wire mesh as well as the cost of the extra laborer on the placing crew responsible for pulling the wire mesh off of the ground and into the concrete. Some states and code bodies are now requiring that the wire mesh is placed on permanent supports at the mid-height of the slab. At this time most of these changes are related to residential construction.

    NOTE 2: Also consider the cost of the concrete pump and operator when comparing the wire mesh and FRC. When the fibers are in the concrete the truck can pull up on the site and discharge. Not so with the wire mesh in place.

    Prepared by Robert C. Zellers, PE/PLS, Director of Engineering Services, ABC Polymer Industries, LLC