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Plastic fibre concrete (structural)

Structural fibres (plastic) are manufactured from a high-strength, high modulus synthetic plastic. They
are designed to replace welded mesh and light reinforcement bars.

Where to use it

Suspended floors and roof elements

Large scale industrial floors

Lightweight applications

Architecturally sensitive buildings

Complex, geometric elements


Benefits

Reduced overall construction cost over steel

Reduced manual handling and placement time (no steel fixing)

Increased crack control

No associated corrosion issues

Eliminates concern associated with correct placement of reinforcement and correct cover

Reduced structural weight (suspended slabs/roof elements)

Steel or macro synthetic fibres may be added to the concrete either at the ready-mixed
plant or to the mixer truck on site. The addition of fibres to the concrete should be in
accordance with an agreed method statement, to ensure that the fibres are adequately
distributed throughout the concrete, there are no fibre balls that may cause pump
blockages and the quality of the final concrete is not unduly affected.
Fibres can be supplied in degradable paper bags or containers, plastic bags or in bulk.
The type of fibre and/or packaging has a direct impact on how the fibres are dosed into
the concrete. Care should be taken to ensure proper dispersal and complete mixing.
Degradable paper bags or containers can be put directly into the concrete truck or mixer,
or they can be opened and the loose fibre dispensed. The plastic bags are not
degradable and so cannot be put directly into the concrete. Fibres can also be blown with
compressed air into the concrete to aid dispersion.
Where the fibres are added directly to the truck on site, care should be taken to ensure
that the fibres are completely distributed throughout the load, with no loss by sticking to
the hopper, mixer blades etc. Mixing of the concrete after the addition of the fibres
depends greatly on the trucks efficiency; it is recommended that the fibres should be
mixed for approximately five minutes at optimum speed, or a minimum of 100
revolutions of the drum. Where fibres are added at the ready-mixed plant, it is
suggested that they should be the first item in the mix. The subsequent addition of
aggregate helps to distribute the fibres.
Concretes containing fibres can be placed, compacted and finished using the same
methods as for concrete without fibres. Vibration should be applied, except in the case of
self-compacting concrete, to ensure full compaction and elimination of voids. Finishing by
float or trowel, should not be excessive but sufficient to produce the required finish
without the production of excessive surface laitance or surface exposed fibres. It is
expected that small numbers of fibres may be visible on the worked surface.