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Key Benefits of Adding Fiber to Your Repair Mortar’s Diet

  • Date: 1-29-2020
  • By: Euclid Chemical
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As the construction industry continues to produce ever larger structures and grander projects, the technology at its heart is getting smaller and smaller. This is especially true of the fibers that reinforce the concrete required for today’s demanding construction applications.

Aging concrete infrastructure and buildings is also of concern: the International Concrete Repair Institute in its Vision 2020 report estimated the annual cost for repair, protection and strengthening of concrete in the United States is $18-22 billion! Although concrete is strong in compression, it is quite weak in tension. Embedded steel reinforcement increases the tensile strength of concrete elements but unfortunately, in the presence of water and oxygen, steel corrodes. Therefore, in almost all exposure conditions for reinforced concrete, corrosion of the steel is likely, resulting in the need for concrete repair.

Traditional concrete repair mortars often fail because they are constrained by the surrounding concrete. Portland cement-based materials shrink when they dry, resulting in internal stress which is relieved by cracking as soon as this stress exceeds the tensile strength of the repair material. To overcome this issue, Euclid Chemical has applied its expertise and industry-leading fiber reinforcement technology to concrete repair by formulating a number of concrete repair mortars that use monofilament, polypropylene micro-fibers to significantly reduce the risk of cracking. These tiny fibers, distributed throughout the repair mortars, enhance the four key properties of the material that cause traditional materials to crack (tensile strength, modulus of elasticity, tensile creep and drying shrinkage rate). The addition of micro-fiber to Euclid Chemical’s repair mortar formulations results in low-shrinkage, exceptionally durable concrete repairs.

Euclid Chemical’s fibers safeguard the repair mortar right from installation. When the repair mortar is in a plastic state, its tensile strength is at its lowest. Fibers provide a high degree of secondary reinforcement to the mortar, which minimizes early cracking. This protection extends throughout the lifecycle of the repair, mitigating plastic shrinkage cracking, reducing permeability, and improving impact resistance and toughness characteristics. The addition of microfiber to Euclid Chemical’s repair mortars does not affect their finishability or appearance.

The effectiveness of these micro-fibers is proven through ASTM C 1581, which determines the concrete’s resistance to cracking under restrained shrinkage. In this test, typical ready-mix concrete and standard repair mortars will usually crack within three days; micro-fiber reinforced mortars can last for over 140 days in the same conditions.

Euclid Chemical provides a complete range of high performance repair mortars for applications ranging from cosmetic to structural restoration. Many of our mortars are fortified with micro-fiber, extending the service life of the repair and sustainability of the structure.

Here is a full list of Euclid Chemical concrete repair mortars that utilize microfiber technology:

 


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