If volatility in the steel market has you revising your bids too often, and if you’re interested in a Military-tested technology that’s poised to change the way concrete is installed forever, you owe it to yourself to stop by the ICF Concrete Additives’ booth and take a look at HiperLon, a fiber added to concrete that provides the flexural strength of rebar-reinforced concrete, without rebar!
“It was initially developed to make blast-resistant concrete,” said Mike Cook, Director of Sales for ICF Concrete Additives. “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, and it’s now being used for full rebar replacement in one and two-story dwellings as well.”
HiperLon™ fiber was originally developed post-9/11 as a means of containing the fragments that came from explosions near concrete, according to Chief Technology Officer Mike Riley. When tested by the Army Corps of Engineers, the fiber contained the fragments and prevented them becoming flying debris.
“In testing an explosion near concrete using rebar, 40% of the concrete became airborne projectiles,” said Riley. “By putting the fiber in, it went down to 2%.”
The military application was obvious; the first parallel market ICF Concrete Additives brought the fiber to, was the petrochemical industry, where OSHA mandates man-occupied buildings be designed to meet certain blast safety criteria. The HiperLon™ approach, according to Riley, was the lowest-cost solution anyone had ever seen, and with all of the testing data verified by the petrochemical industry stalwart Baker Engineering and Risk Consultants, several companies on the Texas Gulf Coast (and municipalities) now use it exclusively to replace rebar.
HiperLon™ rebar replacement fiber makes perfect sense for places like the Gulf, or any place where corrosion is a concern, including underground tunnels and pipes. “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.
The 3-inch long HiperLon™ fiber mixes beautifully, according to Riley, despite what many in the industry might have thought. “It can even be shot-creted,” he said, “to be used in in-ground swimming pools, replacing all the wire mesh and rebar that would be used in that application.”
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.
“We’ll have videos of all these tests at our booth,” said Riley, “as well as some of Special Forces guys placing explosives, unsuccessfully trying to make the concrete fail.”
For more information about ICF Concrete Additives and HiperLon™ fiber, visit Booth # N1813 at World of Concrete or visit www.icfconcreteadditives.com.