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.

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Rethink everything you know about rebar – a one-inch (22-mm) twisted piece of metal is here to deliver shorter construction schedules and cost savings for every insulated concrete form project.

Insulated Concrete Form (ICF) construction is a practical construction technique that improves construction processes, while also providing many other benefits for residents. ICF is often chosen as a superior material to construct homes for its energy efficiency, structural integrity, acoustic insulation and construction simplicity. But not everything with ICF is an advantage – installing rebar and flowing concrete around it can be a time-consuming, difficult and expensive process. In most ICF applications, more rebar is required when compared to conventional construction, so although it can be argued that ICF is stronger than standard concrete-poured foundations, it can also be more costly. Frustrations often continue to arise with rebar inspections, which can set a project back valuable days.

It is time to make ICF even better. That’s why Helix® Micro Rebar™ was created. It is a one-inch twisted piece of metal that is mixed with concrete right in the truck. The patented twist in the metal gives it incredible strength that stops concrete cracks before they even start, outbeating rebar in practically every category.

How to Save Time on ICF Reinforcement

Think of all of the time spent on ordering rebar, delivering rebar, storing rebar, moving rebar, bending rebar, cutting rebar, installing rebar, tying rebar and inspecting rebar. For a single home, it can add up to days of man-hours – wasted. 

Produced by Michigan’s Helix Steel, Helix® Micro Rebar™ can reduce the need for rebar in entire ICF structures, from the basement concrete slab all of the way to the top of the ICF walls. A construction schedule that was once a complex and logistically challenging plan can be drastically cut, which means tenant or homeowner occupancy will happen sooner, and the construction crew will move onto their next project faster. 

Since Helix Steel is an American-based manufacturing company (ISO 9001: 2015, ISO 17065), delivery can take place in as little as two days, and arrives in easy-to-handle boxes. The Helix® Micro Rebar™ is poured directly into the concrete mixer, then pumped into ICF, which expedites the pour time and eases onsite frustrations. Its lighter doses help the concrete to smoothly flow down the forms.

How to Save Money on ICF Reinforcement

The purchase price of Helix® Micro Rebar™ is similar to standard rebar, but the real savings of 20% to 30% is seen when you consider all of the other cost-saving advantages.

The biggest cost savings benefit is that a reduction in rebar installation also reduces all of the hours that laborers would have spent on the project. 

There are also cost efficiencies with the engineered strength and durability of Helix® Micro Rebar™ in an ICF project. For example, a typical ICF basement wall is eight inches wide, but with Helix® Micro Rebar™ it may only require six inches. This could save significant concrete costs and pour time.

The importance of safety on a jobsite as a time saving benefit can not be underestimated. Helix® Micro Rebar™ results in fewer laborers, less time, smaller storage requirements and less contact with steel reinforcement – all of which add up to a safer environment. In many cases, choosing Helix® Micro Rebar™can also reduce the use of pumps and cranes.

Simplifying and Savings with ICF

Helix® Micro Rebar™ saves time, saves money and simplifies the jobsite. From what was a complex, costly and time-consuming process is now just three words: “stack and pour”.

Compound the benefits with complimentary engineering support for dosing, mixing and pouring, and you end up with the perfect concrete reinforcement.

Helix Steel’s team of in-house engineers have engineering tables pre-designed for most form sizes and conditions. We also have the tables stamped and approved in our ICC report, and full code approval to carry building loads under the ACI 318, IBC and IRC.

ICF Improved With Helix® Micro Rebar Concrete Reinforcement

We all know that ICF is a great product, but add in proactive Helix® Micro Rebar and you will have more time to spare, lower costs and all of the benefits you would expect from one of America’s leading concrete innovation businesses, Helix Steel. 

Learn more about some of the thousands of ICF projects that Helix Steel has played a role in using our online Helix® Micro Rebarproject finder.

For more information on using Helix® Micro Rebar in your ICF project contact Helix Steel right now.

Is rebar really that great? Does it make crews happy? Does it create buildings as strong as they can be? Is it the fastest concrete reinforcement to complete time-sensitive developments? Perhaps there is a better way…

Whether you’re a general contractor, ICF builder, precast company, or a developer, there has never been a better time to rethink your concrete reinforcement and consider Helix® Micro Rebar.

For those not familiar, Helix® Micro Rebar is the official alternative to rebar. It’s a one-inch steel rod twisted and combined with concrete to create a superior building product. Since its inception in 2003, it has been used in over 100 million square feet of slabs and more than 20,000 vertical structures, and counting.

So, how can Helix® Micro Rebar do pretty much everything better than rebar? Well, we will tell you.

Installation Labor

Ask any laborer and they will share with you what they really think of rebar. It can be frustrating, time consuming and often leads to placement mistakes that lead to expensive corrections. 

Helix® Micro Rebar rethinks the entire laborious installation process, and is mixed in with concrete before it is even poured. That means fewer laborers, simplified jobsites and practically zero difficulties, with professional engineers available to help.

Meeting/Exceeding Construction Schedules

Rebar installation is a huge component of a building’s construction timeline. Many days – and often weeks – are used up purely with installation of this reinforcement. 

Since Helix® Micro Rebar is mixed in with concrete and poured into its final destination, the entire time scheduled for rebar installation is saved. For contractors who use tilt-up panels, this saves approximately 50% of each panel’s preparation time. On top of the installation time savings, those who use Helix® Micro Rebar often see a faster pour rate, as high as 20% more than standard rebar. 

This leads to vital time savings for developers seeking a faster return on their investment. 

Jobsite Safety

Rebar is exactly as you’re picturing it right now: dirty, difficult to maneuver, sharp, and infection-inducing. 

If safety on your site is important, Helix® Micro Rebar may be the best option for you. There is less contact with your reinforcement, and when you do touch Helix® Micro Rebar it’s not rusty or dirty. With significantly smaller crews, fewer tripping hazards and less equipment needed, jobsites with Helix® Micro Rebar have been proven to be safer.

Installation Processes

Rebar can require a large storage area and specialized equipment to lift into work areas. A simple error in placement can reduce concrete’s strength by 50%! When mesh reinforcement is used, it’s often done so incorrectly, often just laid on the ground.

Rebar inspections can add additional time, and create unnecessary frustrations on projects that have tight timelines. 

Helix® Micro Rebar is already approved for use in most states, and is the easiest product to finish given the size and low dosage. Before, during and after your pour, our professional engineers are at your disposal at no additional cost. Helix Steel is the only business with both ICC and UES reports, and has full code approval to carry building loads under the ACI 318, IBC and IRC.)

Post-Construction Risk

It’s a known fact that all concrete will crack. That’s because standard concrete reinforcement like rebar is designed to stop cracks only after they start – bandaging it – and allows water to enter, eventually leading to dangerous and costly failures.

Helix® Micro Rebar is twisted to help give it five times the tensile strength of rebar and up to a 33% increase in modulus of rupture (flexural strength), which maximizes the structural durability against corrosion, earthquakes, water penetration and blasts. An 8” slab of Helix® Micro Rebar can have the same strength as 12” with rebar, which results in additional cost savings.

Along with the patented design of Helix® Micro Rebar, its specialized coating resists rust three times longer than conventional uncoated steel reinforcement. This helps to prevent cracks at the micro level, and resists failure.

Structural Applications

For the past couple hundred years, rebar has been the champion when it comes to being able to create everyday buildings as well as sturdy skyscrapers, long bridges and hydroelectric dams.

For most projects, Helix® Micro Rebar can do it all: structural foundations, concrete walls, warehouse slabs, tunnel linings, precast vaults and more. Even Ferris wheels!

Precast Production

Precast concrete plant employees have the arduous task of assembling rebar for vaults, septic tanks, manholes and storm shelters. It’s difficult, costly work, and depending on the skills of the crew, errors can seep into the processes. 

Helix® Micro Rebar is mixed into the concrete and so every minute of rebar installation time (and the headaches that come with it) is nonexistent. A single precast plant can save millions of dollars every year in expenses, increase their business’s capacity and create higher-quality products. 


Made of scrap steel that’s hot-rolled into form, rebar can be slightly cheaper than Helix® Micro Rebar when comparing direct material costs. 

But the alternative is less expensive than rebar when you factor in your reduction in labor costs, time savings, safety improvements and customer satisfaction.

Allowing General Contractors to Create More-Competitive Bids

Every concrete contractor has used rebar. They know how rebar works, and most project bids will list rebar, knowing full well of the disadvantages.

Helix® Micro Rebar has a list of advantages for general contractors unlike anything else – especially rebar – making for a much more promising solution for developers. Like choosing between a Ford Model T or a Ford F-150, the benefits will stand out.

Choose Helix® Micro Rebar or Choose Rust

For most construction applications, rebar is now obsolete. Helix® Micro Rebar is here to help you to build faster, cheaper and better, breaking through the industry’s long-held convictions that now have cracks in their foundation. (Both figuratively and literally.)

Learn more about Helix® Micro Rebar and the many ways that it can work hard for your next project by contacting Helix Steel’s Sales & Technical Team at 734-322-2114 x3 or sales@helixsteel.com.

We look forward to sharing more about the power of Helix® Micro Rebar soon.