Steel fiber concrete is the newest innovation in reinforced concrete products. It is made by mixing small steel fibers in with a concrete mix either in a factory setting, or at the job site. If it is made at a job site, fiber manufacturers recommend having a qualified quality control professional onsite to make sure that the mixture is made properly. Too many fibers and you may see fibers poking through the surface of your final product. Steel fiber concrete gives contractors the chance to reinforce their work, while making a bigger profit.
How is Steel Fiber Concrete Used?
The other steel reinforcement method for concrete involves pouring concrete around a network of steel bars. This method creates a strong concrete surface, but it is also expensive. Concrete mixed with steel rebar can still crack while hardening, especially on larger surfaces.
Steel fiber concrete can be used in all of the same applications that steel rebar reinforced concrete was used. This includes airport runways, parking garages, and concrete parking lots. But because it does not require the extra rebar to be installed, steel fiber concrete can also be used in homes and office buildings more efficiently and cheaper that rebar reinforced concrete.
Structural Advantages of Steel Fiber Concrete
Since the fibers are mixed in with the concrete prior to it curing, they can work their ways into areas where rebar cannot and prevent cracking while the concrete is curing. Steel fiber concrete is also lighter than rebar, which means it can be used in areas where reinforced concrete is ideal, but could not be used because of weight restrictions.
With the fibers mixed into the concrete and holding the mixture as it cures, that reduces the crevices and cracks that moisture, chemicals, and cleaning solutions can get into. That effect helps to prevent the concrete from decaying. If you have ever seen a concrete slab that is decayed with a rebar network in it, then you can appreciate how important it is to have steel fiber instead.
Structural Disadvantages of Steel Fiber Concrete
The biggest issue with steel fiber concrete is that there not yet been a way developed to evenly distribute the fiber into the concrete. That opens steel fiber concrete up to the possibility of weak spots that could be exploited by extreme weight or dynamic surface activity.
Another issue for steel fiber concrete is that manufacturers are still trying to determine the proper concentration of fibers to get the right results. While steel fiber concrete does open itself up to being customized to handle certain types of loads, the data on how to create those custom mixes is very limited right now.
Steel fiber concrete could be the solution you have been looking for when it comes to reinforced concrete projects. The information you need on steel fiber concrete can be found at PDH Contractors, and it is presented in a way that is easy to understand. We invite you to browse courses by state to find the course that fits your needs and gives you the comprehensive information you have been looking for.