Finishing a Concrete Slab Reinforced with Helix® Micro Rebar™ - Helix Steel - Banner Image

Finishing a Concrete Slab Reinforced with Helix® Micro Rebar™

Helix Steel’s twisted concrete reinforcement can be finished similarly to concrete with conventional rebar. Let us take a closer look at the steps needed to finish your slab.

Helix® Micro Rebar is the proactive concrete reinforcement that is redefining construction in the 21st century. It saves you time, saves you money, reduces your crew sizes and much more. Pouring too is simplified, and contractors appreciate how there are few additional steps needed to properly finish concrete infused with it.

Screeding Concrete with Helix® Micro Rebar

Immediately after pouring the concrete, already mixed with Helix® Micro Rebar, use a standard vibrating, roller or laser screed to facilitate the process of bringing the larger aggregate and Helix® Micro Rebarbelow the surface. As with conventional concrete, do not overwork the surface.

Floating Concrete with Helix® Micro Rebar

Especially important for large concrete slabs, ensure your surface is completely level and fill in the voids left by screeding. Floating is crucial to the finishing process since it helps the Helix® Micro Rebar sink below the surface with the large aggregate.

Many of our contractors tell us that Helix® Micro Rebar is much easier to float than fibers. For a nice, smooth surface, ensure only a small amount of paste is visible around the pans; too much will expose the Helix® Micro Rebar

Power floating operations are not recommended for outside applications subject to freeze/thaw conditions, but when used should not start until the concrete will sustain foot pressure with only approximately ¼ in. (6 mm) indentation. 

Troweling Concrete with Helix® Micro Rebar

Just like rebar-reinforced concrete, your concrete with Helix® Micro Rebar is fully compatible with hand trowel operations. Keep the trowel blade as flat against the surface as possible, since tilting too much will expose the Helix® Micro Rebar. Each subsequent trowelling pass should be made perpendicular to the previous pass.

When Michigan State Prison was undergoing a renovation, they chose Helix® Micro Rebar, but not before expressing their concern that pieces of steel could potentially be embedded in the surface of the concrete. Using proper finishing techniques, the installation crew ensured that the Helix® Micro Rebarproperly settled below the surface and still provided the durability needed. This is much easier than fibers as it does not affect the slump and dosages are lower as well. Be sure to ask us about exact dosages required.

Broom Finishing Concrete with Helix® Micro Rebar

Following conventional best practices, broom finishing will not affect the Helix® Micro Rebar. After 15 to 60 minutes, create a fine-broomed surface by drawing a soft-bristled broom over a freshly troweled surface in only one direction. (Do not use a stiff-bristled broom since this will disturb the surface paste and expose the Helix® Micro Rebar.)

Stamping Concrete That Has Helix® Micro Rebar

For practical and pleasing design elements in your concrete, use Helix® Micro Rebar just as you would with concrete form finishes, whether you are using roller stamps or sheet stamps. There is nothing different from standard rebar-reinforced concrete; follow normal best practices. 

Saw Cutting Helix® Micro Rebar Concrete

Whether you will cut wet or dry, the screw-shaped Helix® Micro Rebarwill ensure you have a clean cut. Since the concrete will be quite strong even one to four hours after curing, we recommend a premium diamond blade for a wet saw. Dry saws can be used within one to four hours – we recommend a hard aggregate blade.

Slab Curing Helix® Micro Rebar Concrete

Avoid plastic shrinkage cracking, crazing and curling by managing moisture using one of these standard methods:

  • Use curing compounds in your mix;
  • Allow the concrete slab to dry at a consistent rate;
  • Spray on a liquid membrane-forming curing compound; or
  • Use wet coverings, such as burlap, waterproof paper, or plastic sheets,

Polishing Helix® Micro Rebar Concrete

Concrete infused with Helix® Micro Rebar can be polished to a beautiful shine. Start with a wet polish with a grit higher than 100. If you will not be removing the complete layer of surface paste, the twisted steel and heavier aggregates will not be exposed. If your floor is polished through the paste layer, a small amount of Helix® Micro Rebar will be exposed.

Finishing Your Tutorial on Helix® Micro Rebar Concrete Reinforcement

As the leading alternative to rebar, Helix® Micro Rebar meets code performance requirements and delivers a beautiful finished product with all of the benefits you would expect from one of America’s leading concrete innovation businesses, Helix Steel. For more information on finishing your concrete simply contact us with any questions you may have.