Concrete producers will often add synthetic macro fibers into their concrete to improve its toughness and durability. This is much easier than physically placing welded wire mesh, which can be labor-intensive. The fibers simply disperse equally throughout the concrete mix to strengthen the concrete matrix and minimize cracking. However, the one disadvantage of using synthetic macro fibers is that they can reduce the slump of the concrete, making the concrete a little harder to work with. Fortunately, the emergence of control flow concrete helps remove that concern.
Introducing a new type of flowable concrete
Control flow concrete is a new category of concrete that bridges the gap between traditional and self-consolidating concrete. In many ways, control flow concrete provides the best qualities of both: it has very robust high flow properties, but without the need for costly mix design adjustments and quality control. It’s easier and faster to discharge, pump and place, than traditional concrete, while maintaining its cohesive, non-segregating properties.
Based on these advantages, ready mix concrete producers are adding synthetic macro fibers, along with water reducers like CONCERA®admixtures for control flow concrete, directly into the concrete mix. This gives contractors extremely workable concrete with improved impact resistance and durability. This type of reinforced concrete can be used in concrete applications, such as external slabs, elevated decks, or loading docks, that need significant crack resistance.
Improving concrete consistency
In a typical job site, if the slump or slump flow is low, water is often added to the mix. Unfortunately, adding water weakens the concrete. The ready mix concrete producer can add a water reducer or superplasticizer along with synthetic macro fibers right into the concrete mix to mitigate this concern. By having equally distributed structural fibers throughout the concrete mix instead of welded wire mesh, contractors can more efficiently manage the cracking tendencies of concrete.
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Why the ASTM C94 revision to accept water additions in transit matters
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