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In seeking a more cost-effective way to build blast-resistant buildings for the petrochemical industry, ICF Concrete Additives tapped a military technology and applied it successfully to the civilian market and discovered HiperLon™ fiber completely revolutionizes the way concrete is placed, in all applications.
Fiber has been added to concrete since the Romans used horse hair in their mortar. Since then, the use of non-metallic fiber in concrete has been mostly to increase resistance to plastic shrinkage during curing. Little has changed in this market over time.
Now, a new fiber, HiperLonTM, introduced by ICF Concrete Additives, LLC offers the capability of reducing, or in some cases replacing steel rebar in precast, cast-in-place, underground, and shotcrete applications.
"If you can eliminate all or most of the steel in a concrete structure, you eliminate the biggest cause of corrosion and failure in the concrete," said Riley. "Also, the cost of steel fluctuates weekly, so eliminating rebar for scheduling and estimating means you can rely on a fixed cost when you are preparing your bid.”
"It's really the first and only fiber on the market backed up with the technical data to prove it will replace rebar in precast and slab applications," said Mike Cook, Director of Sales for ICF Concrete Additives. "And it's now being used for full rebar replacement in one- and two-story dwellings as well."
With the objective to replace rebar, or highly minimizing its use in the field, means a concrete placement schedule that's cut practically in half, according to Riley, and with the potential for what are often job-threatening injuries due to the dangers of working with rebar, HiperLon™ use becomes increasingly attractive also for the increasingly safety issues.
"There are petrochemical companies on the Texas Gulf Coast and municipalities in Texas that now use this exclusively to replace their rebar in culverts and other flat work," said Cook. "Also, without being able to tell you their name, there's a large amusement company in Florida where this product is now in eight of their national and international specifications to replace rebar. Their finisher said it is like nothing they'd ever seen before, it is like space-age concrete."
HiperLon™ is a three-inch fiber that mixes so well it can even be shot-creted.
HiperLon™-treated concrete has been tested under contract by multiple Military agencies; additional testing, such as for impact and cracking under heavy loads, has shown the finished concrete to have spectacular properties.
ICF Concrete Additives has also done extensive impact testing, for applications that might include heavy equipment on slabs. A typical wire mesh concrete failed with a 100-pound weight dropped from about 24 inches, according to Riley; before they could produce a single crack in the HiperLon™ treated concrete they had to take a 350-pound weight dropped from 12 feet. That is more than 80,000 psi.
For more information about ICF Concrete Additives and HiperLon™ fiber, visit Booth # N1813 at World of Concrete or visit www.icfconcreteadditives.com.
HiperLon™ macro fiber. Typical length is 3 inches. This breakthrough product provides highest average residual strength (ARS) of any commercially available fiber on the market.
Split tensile test on HiperLon™ macro fiber test cylinder. While the concrete cracked, the cylinder remained together. At a 10 lb./cy loading the flexural strength of the concrete is 512 psi, permitting the replacement of steel rebar.
Precast vault produced by commercial vendor in Houston, TX. By replacing all steel typically used, the HiperLon™ macro fiber permits significant resistance to all forms of corrosion and chemical attack.