What’s Old Is New: Innovation
Although synthetic macrofibers have been available as alternatives to steel for several decades, the risks associated with innovating have kept builders away. However, the completion of several major projects in recent years now provides both encouragement and best practice for builders to follow when selecting macrofibers.
Good Financial Sense
Synthetic macrofibers, are not all that new in concrete construction anymore, and using them can make good sense financially: “Synthetic macrofibers have passed the test of time and are being used on hundreds of projects of every size. With cost savings of as much as $1.10 per ft2, the use of macrofiber is booming in the concrete construction industry—meaning we will likely continue to see its rise….” Macrofibers also appeal because they can “significantly cut “ project schedules.
Increased use of macrofibers means more guidance is available for builders looking to give it a try and examples to follow when making decisions. One big project that put synthetic microfibers to the test was construction of California’s SoFi Stadium:
The stadium seats 70,240 spectators for most events, with the ability to expand it with 30,000 additional seats for larger events. As opposed to conventionally reinforced slabs, these fiber-reinforced concrete slabs:
- Prevent corrosion over the lifetime of this facility;
- Provide improved crack control for this topping slab;
- …The use of macrofiber eliminated the time to crane lift and install welded wire fabric or reinforcing steel; and
- Improved job-site safety by eliminating tripping hazards for the concrete placement crew.
Another successful use of synthetic macrofibers can be found on a four-lane section of US 52 outside of Fowler Indiana, which had deteriorated and required a sustainable solution, and was ultimately: “rehabilitated with a 4 to 4.5-in. concrete overlay using a 4 lb./yd3 (2.4 kg/m3) dosage of macrofiber….The project utilized a twin-shaft portable mixer placed at its local dry batch plant location. This combination of mixers allowed for the production of up to 100 yd3 per hour, with the placement of between 500-900 yd3 per day. In total, over 18,500 yd3 of macrofiber-reinforced pavement was placed without the use of any dowels or reinforcing steel.”
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