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Case Study: Consistency is Key For Ready-Mix Concrete Supplier

AVR Inc. uses an innovative American-made concrete reinforcement to deliver superior concrete products for its customers in the Minneapolis metro area.

For 20 years Helix Steel has been reinventing concrete reinforcement, and it is finding success around the world. Five years ago, ready-mix supplier AVR Inc. discovered the game-changing concrete reinforcement and hasn’t looked back. 

Innovative Solutions Help to Grow Minnesota 

AVR Inc. had its humble beginnings in 1925, when the founders moved to Minnesota to work on a 120-acre farm. With determination and innovation, the fledgling company expanded into a gravel supplier, then a road construction company. That grew into a ready-mix company followed by many acquisitions resulting in the regional powerhouse that is AVR Inc.

Today, with more than 800 acres of aggregate pits and 100+ concrete trucks, AVR offers the ‘Twin Cities’ metro area a wide range of construction solutions, from concrete contracting to concrete pumping to read-mix concrete delivery. With innovation at its core, AVR had used fiber reinforcement in the past since it was a faster and safer alternative to rebar, but the workability of macrofibers was a constant frustration. 

Time is of the essence for concrete delivery operations, and plants were spending far too much time troubleshooting the consistency of concrete with polyethylene fibers. Contractors were sick of it as well, so AVR sought out other solutions.

Easy-to-use Concrete Reinforcement Wanted

“We found out about Helix Micro Rebar in 2014,” said Josh Edwards, P.E., Vice President – Engineering & Aggregates for AVR. “We spoke with a member of the Minnesota Concrete Council who recommended it, so we thought we would give it a shot.”

Edwards contacted the engineers at Helix Steel to learn more about the design of the product, and to determine exactly how the one-inch twisted steel design helps it to perform better than polyethylene or even steel fibers. Helix Micro Rebar was shown to increase fatigue resistance by up to 300% and the flexural strength of concrete by up to 33%. It also has a history of successful use in a wide range of structural applications.

“In theory it was going to be better; the engineering certainly made sense,” Edwards said. “The real advantages for us ended up being the consistency and workability we gained. We needed to fight with polyethylene fiber a lot. We don’t get that with Helix Micro Rebar.”

Promises Made. Promises Delivered.

AVR now gives contractors a more workable mix that can do everything that macro fibers do and then some. 

“When you’re pouring a warehouse slab, for example, you might be pouring 200 yards in an hour,” said Edwards. “The concrete has to have a good consistency to pour quickly….Any little benefit is a big cost and time saver.”

Contractors appreciate the reduced labor costs and safety issues compared to rebar or mesh, with every 10,000 sq. ft. of rebar replaced with Helix Micro Rebar saves them approximately one full day of construction.

Using Helix Micro Rebar also allows AVR’s customers to pour concrete slabs with extended joint spacing. The standard joint spacing is roughly 14–18 feet, but can be extended to as much as 100 feet with the innovative micro reinforcement. That often results in huge savings in labor for concrete cutting alone.

Helix Micro Rebar is Key for AVR Construction Projects in Minneapolis

In the Twin Cities metro area, fibers are well known, but Helix Micro Rebar is being used in more and more structures, from office buildings and warehouses to bridges and condominiums.

With Helix Steel’s product on their side, the future continues to look bright for AVR. “AVR is committed to delivering consistent products and services for our customers,” said Edwards. “Anything that we put in our concrete we hope it gets us closer to fulfilling that.”

Learn more about AVR Inc. and its commitment to delivering on its promises in the Twin Cities metro area: visit or call 952-997-9100.Helix Steel offers valuable margin opportunities for ready mix producers, special ready-mix pricing and a ready-mix reseller program. Please contact our team to learn more.