Learn the advantages and disadvantages of the construction industry's favourite concrete reinforcement options.
Time is money, but taking five minutes to read this article on benefits for precast business owners, can soon save days of labor every week.
Precast concrete is as old as concrete itself. Discovered by Romans thousands of years ago, and now used in everything from municipality water pipes to garden walls, precast products (and the processes used to make them) have been implemented around the world with great success.
Unfortunately, innovation in the precast industry can be quite slow. Many precasters still choose rebar as their concrete reinforcement of choice, even though the product is practically a historic relic.
The Precast Times Are A-Changin’
Look around the precast industry to see the differences. Labor costs have skyrocketed, and finding reliable talent to build precisely engineered products is becoming increasingly difficult. Technology has made some aspects far more efficient, while making other things more complex.
Building the same with these demands is becoming impossible, all while client demands continue unabated. With the constant need to work faster, better and cheaper, precasters can often feel like they are never going to get their head above water.
It’s time to improve your materials and processes using the only code-approved alternative to rebar, Helix® Micro Rebar™. It’s a twisted one-inch (25-mm) piece of steel that’s combined with thousands of others to reduce cracking and save significant time in the precast concrete process.
Helix® Micro Rebar™ is the only ISO-certified concrete micro-reinforcement that stops precast concrete cracks before they even start. Since the patented product is twisted, it works similarly to the way a screw does; when a screw is drilled into wood it grips the wood and holds two pieces together, while resisting forces that want to pull it apart. Pulling out a piece of Helix® Micro Rebar™ is almost impossible.
Stopping cracks is one thing, but Helix® Micro Rebar™ is beloved by precasters across the country by eliminating up to 100% of the rebar in precast products, and up to 75% of the time you spend on concrete reinforcement. That means most time your team spends installing rebar can instead be spent producing more precast products, saving you time and money.
Fewer Cracks, Higher Productivity – What Else?
There are many other reasons why precasters choose Helix® Micro Rebar™. Whether you build tanks, manholes, vaults or pipes, you will find that innovating your materials and processes will result in labor that’s focused, only does occasional rebar tasks (for lids and specialty precast products) and enjoys safer working conditions.
The new ASTM C478-20 Standard Specification for Circular Precast Reinforced Concrete Manhole Sections helps precasters to use alternative concrete reinforcement in their products’ production. This means less steel, lower costs and easier engineering.
Your crew will appreciate how Helix Steel’s in-house engineering team is here to support you every step of the way. We have engineering completed for precast products across North America, including pre-approved dosages for each product you offer. For unique requirements, we will work with your team to determine the best solution for your client.
“The process is just much more efficient with Micro Rebar™,” says David Rasmussen, Technical Sales/QC, Dalmaray Concrete Products. “We used to have mesh that we would have to cut to the right size, then bend each section using a bender. Then we’d take the four straight pieces and tie each corner in. It took a lot of time.”
Colorado Precast originally made 15,500-gallon (58,674-litre) vaults designed with conventional rebar and mesh. Each tank required about 4,500 pounds (2,041 kg) of rebar and mesh and 90 hours of labor to prepare, tie and install the steel reinforcement. By using Helix® Micro Rebar™, Colorado Precast reduced the steel weight to only 810 lb (367 kg) and reduced labor to only 25 hours per vault.
“The best part is the removal of the bent u-bars of rebar,” says Colorado Precast Engineer Kim Fenstress. “Those are so labor intensive and typically don’t fit very well since the form is tapered. It’s a constant fight to make those fit and they don’t end up where I want them. I’m pretty thrilled with how the Helix® Micro Rebar™ is working with our designs. It is saving a lot of labor.”
Join the Growing Number of Innovative Precasters
Now is the time to save time, reduce expenses and eliminate cracks. Contact Helix Steel today to discuss how upgrading your concrete reinforcement will revolutionize your business and create better products. Simply put, Helix® Micro Rebar™ is a better way to build precast. Contact us today to speak with one of our American representatives.
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