• Why Ready Mix Professionals Are the Ideal Professionals to Mix and Market Fibers in the U.S. Marketplace

    April 19, 2013

    Fiber manufacturers and marketers, as an industry, have been selling reinforcing fibers for concrete since the late 1970s. Back then they searched for the optimum point of sale for the fibers. What drove the decision to work with the ready mixer seemed as obvious then as it does today.

    Randy Reed
    Randy Reed
    President & CEO
    ABC Polymer Industries, LLC

    The ready mix professional is the who unites the conventional materials (cement, coarse and fine aggregate and water) and the special ingredients (admixtures and additives) and is responsible for assembling the concrete mix to meet the requirements of the engineer and for maintaining the conformity of the mix with the specification.

    In the mid-‘90s when ABC Polymer Industries entered the Fiber Reinforced Concrete industry, we, too, quickly realized that the ready-mix community would be the most effective distribution channel for FRC to reach its full potential.We have been and remain committed to marketing our fiber products through our nationwide network of professional distributors exclusively to the ready mixer.

    Through the years, we have continued to build our relationship with and commitment to the ready mix industry through our memberships in ACI, ASTM C.09, and other industry-related organizations. More significantly ABC Polymer has become a member of NRMCA, and our engineering director now sits on the NRMCA Materials Division Board.

    Far into the future ABC Polymer will consider the ready-mix industry, teamed with our distributor network, to be the most integrated and effective system for marketing Fiber Reinforced Concrete.

    Please call us anytime for the most comprehensive service and technical support in the FRC industry.

    Best regards,

    Evaluating the Benefits of Microsynthetic Fibers versus Wire Mesh in Residential Construction

    Secondary Reinforcement for Concrete

    Contractors are making the move from truckloads of wire mesh to ready-mix trucks filled with Fiber Reinforced Concrete (FRC).


    1. The three-dimensional reinforcement of fiber will always outperform a single layer of wire mesh as temperature-shrinkage reinforcement.

    Wire mesh typically ends up lying on the base

    There has always been a dollars-and-cents advantage to making the change to fiber reinforcement. Now that advantage has been greatly enhanced by the change in the ICC International Residential Code.

    1. Wire mesh must be placed on permanent supports prior to the placement of the concrete.

    In 2009 a new paragraph was added to the Section on Concrete Floors (on the ground), Section R506. This new paragraph is R506.2.4 – Reinforcement Support: Where provided in slabs on ground, reinforcement shall be supported to remain in place from the center to upper one-third of the slab for the duration of the concrete placement.

    Pulling the wire mesh up into the cross-section will no longer be permitted by Code

    As outlined in ICC R506.2.4 – Reinforcement Support, the practice of pulling the wire mesh up into the cross-section will no longer be permitted. Requiring that the wire mesh must be set on permanent supports adds significantly to the contractor’s labor and material costs, meaning there is now both a technical and an even greater economic advantage to using FRC.

    Although many contractors are aware of both the Code change and the cost savings of using FRC, many others still are not or haven’t yet incorporated this change into their operations. ABC Polymer will work with ready mixers to help educate more contractors as to the advantages, both technical and economical, of fibers versus wire mesh. Using fibers rather than wire mesh is a win-win for everyone involved.

    ABC Polymer offers three microsynthetic fibers that are approved by ICC for use as either plastic shrinkage crack reinforcement or temperature-shrinkage crack reinforcement. The products are FiberForce 100™, FiberForce 150 ™, and FiberForce 300 ™, and all are listed in ICC ESR-1699. A document showing that these products have gone through the ES product evaluation program is available on our website.

    1. The Ready Mixer’s potential profit per cubic yard of FRC can far exceed the profit potential of a yard of concrete – making fibers a true profit center.

    A growing number of Ready Mixers now consider the use of wire mesh as a very real barrier to improving profitability while recognizing that fibers deliver more durable, longer-lasting concrete and contribute more dollars to their bottom line.