One of the driving factors in deciding construction materials and placement strategies has moved towards a desire for sustainability. The shotcrete method of applying concrete offers both sustainable and economical benefits. Dry-mix shotcrete is a way to apply concrete material to new or existing structures, and when properly applied by a professional, is a sound and durable option for a variety of projects. Using shotcrete allows the same composition as concrete, but a much lower water-cement ratio. Its high compressive strength, low absorption, low permeability, and resistance to weathering or chemicals make dry-mix shotcrete comparable, perhaps even superior, to conventional concrete applications.
There are a myriad of economical and environment benefits of using this method as it is both a cost efficient and a labor-saving process. The need for cranes, pumps, and forms can be reduced or even eliminated; therefore, it can be applied at a much faster rate than conventional concrete placement or repair methods. Formwork needed in difficult terrains and complex shapes replace conventional cast-in-place construction to generate immense savings. Here are three major types of projects where shotcrete is being used in our industry:
Cutting Costs in Structural Restoration
A city’s history can be told by its venerable buildings that continue to stand today. Over time, even the best built buildings can succumb to time and wear. Living in New England where there are historic churches, monuments, landmarks, brick smokestacks, schools, and practically any structure that was constructed with brick or stone can benefit from shotcrete technology.
Slope Stabilization in Underground Construction
Using shotcrete to stabilize soil for excavation has advantages over traditional timber and steel shoring techniques. This is an ideal method for ground support and stabilization in tunneling and mining. It can be used as a final or permanent lining for underground structures as it provides foundational support after blasting or excavating. This allows a flexibility for ground stabilization and stress relief in challenging terrains. In urban structures, this is the preferred method when constructing for tunnels, underground stations, sewers, and side drifts as the nozzleman can easily access hard to reach underground environments. The accuracy of material flow results in long-term stability for the project.
Using the Shotcrete Method on Dams and Bridges
Shotcrete is an effective method for elevated and remote environments that are difficult to access and require precision. For projects surrounded by water or plants it can sometimes be difficult to have a crew, materials, and equipments stationed on the terrain. By using this accurate process, it can eliminate this traditional set up. The nozzleman and a finisher can shoot, cut, finish, and cure several sections of the project in quick succession without having to return. This is especially useful in heavy traffic area or in locations over water or railways. This also reduces labor costs and eliminates construction downtime.
Safety, adaptability, time efficiency, cost savings, and premier quality contribute to results that are durable repairs that enhance sustainability benefits. For more information, contact the shotcrete experts at Knowles Industrial today.