100 year design life for precast concrete
Road and infrastructure designers and authorities have long recognised the need to increase the integrity of infrastructure elements such as bridges, roads, drainage systems and hard pavements. Increasing construction costs and reducing budgets often mean that new solutions in construction methods must be developed. One of the main challenges facing designers and engineers is the longevity of the reinforcement of the concrete that makes up the back bone of all infrastructure.
Traditionally, the reinforcement of concrete is achieved using welded steel mesh and or reinforcement bar. The steel bar and mesh provides very good stiffening for the concrete, however, it has limitations in its longevity. As we know, all steel corrodes. In fact, it has a much shorter design life than the concrete that it reinforces.
For bar and mesh to achieve the 100 year design life that authorities now require, it needs to have a greater concrete cover (the distance of the steel to the surface of the concrete) and use modified cements to protect it from corrosion. As steel corrodes it swells and fractures the concrete structure from within, thus causing catastrophic and potentially, early life failure.
TEXO, with its client and supply partners, began a fibre development program seeking to develop a polymer fibre that could meet the 100 year design life requirements and eliminate the need for steel reinforcing in precast elements. The program successfully produced a range of fibres which replace mesh and bar and at the same time, provide the opportunity to actually reduce the concrete element’s mass and therefore cost.
Our 100 year design life fibres are now used in many infrastructure applications. We have not only given the authorities and designers the ability to meet their design life targets, we have significantly reduced the production costs for our clients allowing them to compete more aggressively in their markets.
TEXO would like to recognise and thank our client partners, Aus Pits and BASF for their contribution and effort in this program. For more information on 100 year design life fibres, call TEXO on 1300 00 TEXO (8396).