One of the most effective ways to obtain a reinforced concrete driveway is to use fibers made from different materials apart from steel and wire. This article will discuss a few of those materials. Concrete with fiber-reinforcement has used chiefly with shotcrete products, though it can also be utilized for household concrete products like a reinforced concrete driveway. It is also applicable fro fiber-reinforced concrete that is usually in contact with soil like ground floors and pavements. Though, it can also be used for a wide array of building components like beams, pillars, foundations and of course the simple driveway. Fiber-reinforcement can be used solely and/or with hand-tied steel rebar for added strength.
Reinforced concrete driveways which have these fibers, typically steel, glass and even plastic fibers is more cost-effective than hand-tied rebars, and they can still boost the tensile strength of concrete. The forms or shapes, diameters and length of fiber is crucial. One thin and short fiber material, for instance the short hair-shaped glass fiber material, can only work during the initial few hours at the completion of the concrete placement.
Fiber reinforcements lessen the potential for cracking during concrete hardening, though it may not boost the tensile strength of concrete. The typical size fiber for European shotcrete which is about 1 mm in diameter and 45 mm long and can be made from either steel or plastic can effectively boost the tensile strength of reinforced concrete driveways.
High quality stainless steel has the most strength in typically available fiber, and can be procured in various lengths in Australia and in many countries as well. It can be as short as 30 and as long as 80 mm with different shapes or end-hooks to be used in many applications. Most steel fibers may only be utilized on driveway surfaces which can tolerate or prohibit corrosion and rust staining like sealed surfaces. For most driveways, a steel-fiber surface can be coated with protective materials such as paint.
Concrete driveways may also be reinforced with glass fiber which is cost-effective and very resistant to corrosion, though not as ductile compared to steel. In recent years, spun basalt fiber used for reinforced concrete driveways and has been available in Eastern Europe for a long while now, is also used in the U.S., Western Europe and parts of Australia.
Basalt fibers contain more strength and are even more cost-effective compared to spun glass, though in the past, has not been very alkaline-resistant within the environment of Portland cement material sufficiently to be applied as the reinforcing material directly. The latest materials make use of plastic binders to keep the basalt fiber from close contact with cement, preventing the damage by any cement components which may harm it.
High quality fibers for reinforced concrete driveways may be made from graphite reinforced plastic fibers, these have strength levels very close to stainless steel rebars also used for, are much lighter and more corrosion proof as well. Many tests have been done that show the potential for stronger concrete when used with carbon nanotubes. However, this building material could still be much too costly for a reinforced concrete driveway project at present. But with newer advances in technology and cheaper manufacturing methods, it’s only a matter of time before we’re seeing it in driveways everywhere.