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42

www.concrete.org.uk

M

ǘǰ ǻǹǺȀ

concrete

FIBRES

R

educed costs, improved

performance and health and safety

benefits are among the reasons

contractors are turning to macro-

synthetic fibres, as well as using traditional

reinforcement methods. When applied to

external slabs, polypropylene fibres act as

consistently distributed reinforcement and

crack control, producing a hard-wearing and

durable concrete that provides long-term

service.

Concretebolsterer

Corrosion of steel reinforcement caused

by chloride contamination is a common,

long-term threat to slabs all over the world.

The process leads to spalling and cracking,

and in many cases, drawn-out and costly

refurbishment to remove, repair and maintain

the damaged areas.Macro fibres enhance

the toughness of the concrete and alleviate

the need for steel fabric reinforcement, when

used with the appropriate design.

The system reinforces against abrasion

and reduces corrosion damage in the event

of water ingress, as it doesn’t rust or corrode.

Macro-synthetic fibres also offer safer, faster

and easy-handling solutions for contractors.

By comparison, steel fibres require a much

higher quantity of product, and require more

manual handling than macro-synthetic fibres.

Placing traditional steel fabric

reinforcement is a labour-intensive operation,

as it is often difficult to determine whether

the fabric has been placed correctly within

the slab.Macro fibre-reinforced concrete

scores a critical advantage over equivalent

processes in terms of on-site hours and costs,

as placement, compaction and finishing of

slabs is more efficient.

As well as helping to streamline the

concrete placement process,macro-

synthetic fibres are also considered ‘cleaner’

technology. Its use on site results in a lower

carbon footprint (compared with steel

reinforcement) – a fact worth considering, as

the UK Government struggles to maintain

its pledge to cut the country’s emissions by at

least 80% of 1990 levels by 2050.

Slipway solution

SikaFiber Force 400, comprising a range of

macro-synthetic fibres that can be extruded,

embossed and cut for use in a range of

concrete applications, provided a long-

term, environmentally friendly solution

Synthetic fibres present

real alternative for concrete

reinforcement

SikaFiber Force 400

macro-synthetic

fibres.

Macro-synthetic fibres offer an alternative to traditional steel reinforcement

for a range of construction applications.

John Eustace

of

Sika

considers

some of the benefits of the technology.