If you work with concrete, you are very familiar with the frustrations of using rebar. Who knew that a simple metal rod used for 100+ years could still be causing so much frustration in an industry that otherwise is innovating faster than ever before?
Whether you’re a contractor, laborer, ICF home builder, precast company, or developer, there has never been a better time to rethink your concrete reinforcement and consider Helix Micro Rebar.
Helix Micro Rebar is a small, one-inch steel rod twisted and combined with concrete to create a superior concrete product. It isn’t even that “new”, but it might be new to you. It has been used over the past 20 years in more than 100 million square feet of slabs and more than 20,000 vertical structures. Brands that trust Helix Micro Rebar include Amazon, FedEx, General Motors and Hilton.
And it is everything you want a concrete reinforcement to be.
But how does it compare to rebar?
Why drop everything you know about concrete reinforcement for an alternative?
We’re glad you asked…
Helix Micro Rebar Takes Less Effort Than Rebar
Rebar needs to be ordered far in advance and placed in large storage yard until needed. Once neded, they are picked up by cranes and hefted to the worksite where each piece of rebar is picked up by your crew, lifted into place, then tied down by teams of laborers. When it comes to installation, rebar is always frustrating, dirty, rusty and often involves placement mistakes.
Helix Micro Rebar is the opposite in a lot of ways. This product is mixed with concrete before it is placed, and involves very few laborers – and mostly just on pour day. These jobsites are simple, clean and safe, and have Helix Steel engineers available to help at every step of the way – reducing effort for your team.
Helix Micro Rebar Takes Less Time Than Rebar
If you’re working on a warehouse concrete project, you may need to set aside weeks to install the rebar. Planning, managing crews and installing all take time and effort.
In many slab applications, every 10,000 sq. ft. of rebar replaced with Micro Rebar saves one full day of construction. Since Helix Micro Rebar is mixed in with concrete and poured into its final destination, almost all of the time scheduled for rebar installation is saved. You will also save time during the pour itself. Cement mixers can be driven directly onto the warehouse floor and pour at the location where the concrete is needed. This alone can improve your pour rate by up to 20%.
Helix Micro Rebar is Safer Than Rebar
Just thinking about rusty rebar gives us tetanus. It is heavy, awkward and a trip hazard on every jobsite. How many times have your crew members tripped on rebar? Once is too many.
Helix Micro Rebar is delivered in easy-to-handle cardboard boxes that greatly minimize contact with the reinforcement. With significantly smaller crews, fewer tripping hazards and less equipment needed, jobsites with Helix Micro Rebar have been proven to be safer.
Helix Micro Rebar Has Minimized Post-Construction Risk
One of the biggest struggles with using concrete is preventing crack formation. We are led to believe that rebar “should” stop cracks from forming, but in many cases, it’s only used to “reduce” the number and size of cracks. Standard concrete reinforcement is not as perfect as its popularity portrays.
Helix Micro Rebar is twisted to help give concrete five times the tensile strength compared to rebar-reinforced concrete and up to a 33% increase in modulus of rupture (flexural strength), which maximizes the structural durability against corrosion, earthquakes, water penetration and blasts.
Helix Micro Rebar also has a specialized coating that resists rust three times longer than conventional uncoated steel reinforcement. This helps to prevent cracks at the micro level and resists failure.
Helix Micro Rebar Has Lower Costs Than Rebar
Made of steel that’s hot-rolled into form, rebar can be slightly cheaper than Helix Micro Rebar when comparing direct material costs.
But when you factor in your reduction in labor costs, time savings, safety improvements and customer satisfaction, the difference is clear. Your project’s overall savings is significant, as is the higher-quality concrete product.
Submit Your Project
We are here to help make it easy to learn about the alternative to rebar and helping to make your job more efficient.
Send us some basic details about your project and we will help you to design a solution that works for you in just a couple of days. Submit Your Project Here
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
We look forward to sharing more about the power of Helix Micro Rebar soon.
Finishing concrete that has Helix Micro Rebar does not require any special equipment.
Helix Micro Rebar is easy to use – it can often be stained, stamped, polished and broom finished by following standard best practices for finishing are all you need to ensure an excellent finish every time.
Helix Steel does have several best practices for finishing concrete with Helix Micro Rebar to ensure a satisfactory finish every time.
Screed the surface using a standard vibrating roller or laser screed immediately after pouring the concrete, then do your bull floating. Allow the concrete to swell above the grade line in front of the screed so it can fully engage the concrete as it levels the concrete back to grade. This helps to segregate the paste from aggregates and force the Helix Micro Rebar and coarse aggregates below the surface.
When vibration screeding is impossible, use a “jitterbug” to force coarse materials below the surface and, as with conventional concrete, do not overwork the surface.
Floating should be done as you usually would. Power floating is preferred to force the Helix Micro Rebar below the surface, but hand-floating can also work effectively. Trowelling will help to produce a dense, smooth, hard surface after the completion of the power or hand-floating.
Floating should not be started until the concrete will sustain foot pressure with only approximately ¼ in (6 mm) indentation.
The importance of bull floating cannot be understated as the process aids the separation of the cement and fines from the aggregate. Bull floating impacts a relatively even but open texture to the fresh concrete surface, eliminating ridges and filling in voids left by screeding. Hand or darby floats can be used in congested areas where bull floating is impossible.
Power floating, using float pans or using float shoes is critical as it breaks open the concrete surface: large aggregate and Helix Micro Rebar float downwards while cement and fine aggregates are sucked to the surface. A raised ridge of paste should be visible around the pans. If power floating is not done sufficiently or if it is started too late, both aggregate and Helix Micro Rebar will remain on the surface or just below as segregation could not occur. The same recommendations apply to hand-floating.
If high flatness is a requirement, please contact Helix Steel for this specific procedure.
The purpose of hand or power troweling is to produce a dense, smooth, hard surface after the completion of the power or hand-floating. Only a small amount of paste should be visible around pans; too much will expose Helix Micro Rebar.
Initially, the trowel blades should be kept as flat against the surface as possible.
For pavements and rough finishes, the floating and troweling operations may be eliminated or
replaced with a broom operation.
A fine-broomed surface is created by drawing a soft-bristled broom over a freshly troweled surface in one direction. This should be done 15–60 minutes after the concrete is poured, when the concrete surface is very stiff, ensuring that the paste layer is disturbed very little.
Using a stiff-bristled broom is not recommended since this will disturb the surface paste and expose the Helix Micro Rebar.
Added texture is possible through many stamping methods and equipment to create decorative and practical patterns. Simply follow standard procedures. Helix Steel has a best practice guide that will help.
Helix Micro Rebar is compatible with standard cutting processes. If the application warrants it, and when an appropriate time has passed, you can cut the concrete with a premium diamond hard-aggregate blade. Both wet cuts and dry cuts can be used as long as you follow all standard methods and materials.
The preferred way to cut is with a traditional 25-hp wet saw with a premium hard-aggregate diamond blade. Cuts should be 1/3 depth of the slab and should take place 4–12 hours after the slab has been finished. (Closer to four hours in hot weather.)
Dry sawing is also possible and should take place one to four hours after the slab has been finished again with a premium hard-aggregate diamond blade. (Closer to one hour in hot weather.)
Helix Micro Rebar is compatible with all curing methods and materials. When proper curing measures are taken, problems such as plastic shrinkage cracking, crazing and curling are minimized.
The most common method to cure concrete with Helix Micro Rebar is a spray-on liquid membrane which forms a curing compound containing synthetic resins in a solvent. Curing can also be accomplished with wet coverings such as burlap, waterproof paper or plastic sheets which should remain wet for seven or more days.
For a high-performing, longer-lasting slab with less joint maintenance, consider Infinity Slab™ with Helix Steel and E5®, which reduces the need for sawcut joints, eliminates traditional curing and densifying methods, reduces shrinkage and reduces curling while helping to minimize volume loss. Be sure to ask about Infinity Slab™ with Helix Steel and E5® when you contact us.
Helix Micro Rebar may be used in exposed (uncovered) (as defined by ACI 302.1R-15 Class 1) concrete slabs. To assure Helix Micro Rebar is forced below the surface, pay careful attention to the best practices. Your Helix Steel representative will help you with best practices during the pre-pour conference. When used in residential settings we recommend a mockup to ensure the mix design and finishing method produces an acceptable result for the owner.
Concrete slabs with Helix Micro Rebar can be polished to a beautiful shine. There will be occasional exposed Helix Micro Rebar along with the aggregate, but Helix Steel has detailed slab polishing procedures available to ensure success.
Ask your Helix Steel representative for a copy of this procedure. We recommend a mockup to ensure the mix design and polishing method produces an acceptable result for the owner.
Finishing your Helix Micro Rebar-infused concrete has never been easier. Reach out to the Helix Steel team to learn more about this stage or any other in the “Working With Helix Steel” process.
You can also return to the beginning and begin your journey of “Working With Helix Micro Rebar”: Specifying.
Combining Helix Micro Rebar With Your Concrete and Placing the Mix Has Never Been Easier
With procedures understood by your crew and ready-mix operators, you will quickly realize that placing concrete has never been this easy. Using Helix Micro Rebar instead of pre-tied rebar allows concrete trucks to drive adjacent to your slab pour site with ease. The speed means days and even weeks cut from your concrete schedule. Helix Steel can walk you and your team through these procedures.
Mixing Procedures for Helix Micro Rebar
Before any concrete is mixed or placed, a pre-pour meeting is conducted. This is when several areas are reviewed:
- the Helix Micro Rebar dosage
- the mixing plan
- the quality control plan
- And instructions for ready-mix truck drivers.
For commercial projects, Helix Steel can also provide live support.
Adding the Helix Micro Rebar to your concrete mix can be accomplished through hand dosing, sifters, portable conveyors, blowers or hoppers, either at the batch plant or onsite. When and how to mix the reinforcement will depend on the concrete plant type and the available equipment you’re using, so be sure to understand the instructions provided by Helix Steel.
Following this procedure will help to prevent Helix Micro Rebar from clumping.
- Add all Helix Micro Rebar to the truck drum. Typically this is done by hand, dumping the entire contents of the box into the drum while it is at idle speed. If available, this is done from a slump check stand or by using a conveyor from ground level.
- Drive the truck into the plant.
- Once the truck is in position under the chute, increase the drum to full charging speed and add a minimum of 50% of the batch water to the truck (more than 50% is okay).
- Allow the Helix Micro Rebar and water to mix for no less than 45 seconds while delaying the addition of the remaining materials. NOTE: Once the water and Helix Micro Rebar are in the drum and the drum is at charging speed, the drum speed must not decrease.
- Add the aggregate, sand, cement and remaining water to the truck and mix in the normal matter (60 revolutions minimum).
- For dosages below 15 lb/yd3 (9kg/m3) follow the dry procedures with 7 gallons (27 liters) of water in the drum (instead of the 50% requirement). NOTE: Once the water and Helix Micro Rebar are in the drum and the drum is at charging speed, the drum speed must not decrease until all batching is complete.
- For higher dosages please use the Site Batching instructions below.
- Set the drum to charging speed.
- Helix Steel recommends using a blower for site batching to reduce issues – ask us about blower availability. For hand batching, sift Helix Micro Rebar through 2’’x 2’’ (50mm x 50mm) mesh. The dosing unit breaks up clumps and ensures Helix Micro Rebar goes into the truck at a controlled rate (about one box per minute). When Helix Micro Rebar is added at this stage, it must enter the mixer clump-free.
- Helix Micro Rebar may collect on residual concrete on the interior surfaces of the hopper. Push the Helix Micro Rebar into the drum, avoiding clumps. Adding a slippery lining, such as PVC sheeting, to the hopper may help avoid these buildups.
- Mix at charging speed for five minutes (60 revolutions) after Helix Micro Rebar is added.
Pan Mixer / Drum Mixer
- Set the mixer to the proper speed.
- Add Helix Micro Rebar at a rate of 45–60 seconds per 45 lbs (20 kgs).
- Helix Micro Rebar should be added with the aggregates.
- Mix at maximum speed for five minutes after Helix Micro Rebar is added.
- Mixing should be done in accordance with ASTM C94 and the mixing instructions above.
- The dosage of Helix Micro Rebar added to the mix should be noted on the batch documentation in accordance with Uniform Evaluation Service ER 279 Section 5.15 and verified using the procedure in ER 279 Appendix A.
Placing concrete with Helix Micro Rebar is very similar to standard concrete placing procedures. Whether you’re using a pump, buggy, telebelt, portable concrete hopper or direct discharge, place as you normally would.
One of the primary benefits of choosing Helix Micro Rebar is that there is no rebar or mesh in the way of your crews and trucks for concrete slab applications. You can often drive cement mixers right up to the pour site with no need for pumps or belts. (And the costs associated with them.)
When direct placement is not possible, Helix Micro Rebar is also compatible with all concrete pump systems. Helix Micro Rebar pieces are 1” long and present minimal pumping resistance but use a minimum 3” line to pump Helix Micro Rebar-reinforced concrete.
Helix Micro Rebar must be consolidated in many concrete applications – such as ICF and slabs – to remove entrapped air bubbles and eliminate voids. Just like standard reinforced concrete, do not over-vibrate.
Slabs and other structures require vibration at dowelled construction joists, bulkheads, penetrations or where rebar is placed, such as reentrant corners and loading docks. Although slabs can be placed without consolidation using only a hand straight edge, vibrating the entire slab surface is good practice.
Read about the final stage of “Working With Helix Micro Rebar”: Finishing.
Helix Steel works with engineers, contractors, concrete plants and crews to help prepare you for your pour.
Our in-house engineers and project managers work with your Engineer of Record to ensure full transparency and exceptional concrete results. We will review and optimize your concrete mix as needed.
In many cases, standard techniques can be used to ensure that you and your team are ready for the concrete pour that includes Helix Micro Rebar.
Before your concrete pour, whether big or small, our project team will meet with you to discuss every step of the pouring process, including mixing, pouring and finishing. These meetings can involve a wide range of individuals, such as engineers, general contractors, concrete contractors, ready-mix producers and site foremen.
Testing is not typically needed since Helix Steel has pre-approved reports. But when required, we will work with your concrete contractor and engineer to complete a test batch using standard mix design practices.
There are many standard techniques you can use to ensure that your site is ready for the concrete pour. For slabs, footings and foundations, your subgrade should be smooth, well compacted, free of ruts and covered in a moisture membrane if specified. For wall applications, forms must be in place and additional concrete reinforcement installed per your Engineer of Record’s design. Helix Steel will provide comprehensive outlines for every application upon request.
Continue reading about the next stage of “Working With Helix Micro Rebar”: Mixing and Placing.
It’s time for engineers, developers and contractors to build better, faster and stronger than ever before.
When you specify Helix Micro Rebar concrete reinforcement, you will receive optimized designs for structural applications and access to a team of engineers passionate about shortening project schedules, reducing waste and cutting greenhouse gas emissions.
Here are other popular reasons why people just like you are choosing Helix Micro Rebar:
- Helix Micro Rebar can be used in many common concrete applications, including slabs, walls, footings, foundations, structural slabs, slabs on metal decks and precast.
- It is easy to finish, given its small size and low dosage.
- It also has pre-approved doses for most applications and meets design guidelines for alternative means and methods under ACI 318, IRC and IBC.
How Do You Specify Helix Micro Rebar?
1. Determine if Helix Micro Rebar works for you
Our superior concrete reinforcement has been used in thousands of projects across North America. Read more about some of the many applications Helix Micro Rebar has been used in and the benefits of each.
2. Submit project specifications to Helix Steel’s engineering team
Provide our team with a brief description of your project, and we will provide a dosage using your rebar or mesh reinforcement design. If you are seeking specification details for your home building project, review our ICC-ES report.
3. Work with us
When you specify Helix Steel, our whole team works with you, from engineering to project management to field engineering support.
Our in-house engineers and project managers coordinate with your Engineer of Record to ensure complete transparency and exceptional design. As a part of the concrete design process, we will provide an equivalent load resistance to the original design, supported by a calculation package.
4. Specify Helix Micro Rebar in drawings
Your Engineer of Record will specify Helix Micro Rebar in construction documents, ensuring compliance with building codes. Helix Steel can also manage this process if needed.
Mix Design & Dosing
Although many Helix Micro Rebar doses are standardized based on pre-approved designs, Helix Steel strongly encourages you to contact Helix Steel to ensure your dosage meets the needs of your region and building codes.
As a part of the concrete design process, we will work with your Engineer to determine the concrete stresses and suggest extra steel reinforcement supports for certain areas. This support is often required for concrete slab applications with wall openings, slab corners and anywhere penetrations exist.
Standard details can be provided for residential applications through our ICC-ES report.
To get started with your commercial project, simply submit your project’s structural plans to our engineering team. We will provide the documentation you need, backed by industry research, evaluation reports and design tables.
If your project is for a residential application, dosages are available via the ICC-ES report ESR 3949 and standard plans and details are available in our ICC-ES Equivalency Evaluation Report EER-3949.
Continue reading about the next stage of “Working With Helix Micro Rebar”: Preparation.
Aug 30, 2022 (Ann Arbor, Michigan) – Sales of the world’s most innovative concrete reinforcement are leading Michigan-based innovator Helix Steel to record growth, cementing plans for a wide range of expansion initiatives over the next year.
The business’s one-inch twisted steel reinforcement named “Helix Micro Rebar” replaces up to 100% of rebar in concrete. It offers better resiliency, ductility and elasticity in various concrete applications, from warehouse slabs to tunnel linings to house foundations.
The tiny steel innovation has experienced overwhelming demand among engineers, contractors and developers who seek to think outside the box to address their significant concerns with timelines, cost overruns, structural strength and ease of use.
This demand is leading Helix Steel to expand its manufacturing capacity again – the second time in two years.
“We are increasing our commitment to Michigan manufacturing jobs and the American construction industry,” says Helix Steel’s President & Chief Technology Officer Luke Pinkerton. “We are very proud to be a part of Michigan’s manufacturing community. Helix Micro Rebar was designed in Michigan, launched in Michigan, grew up in Michigan, is powered by Michigan residents, and was started with help of Michigan’s economic development program. Today, it is helping some of Michigan’s largest businesses build new factories that will support the future of the automotive industry in more robust and sustainable ways.
Helix Steel’s manufacturing center was made possible in great part due to investment through the Michigan Economic Development Corporation.
Since its inception, Helix Micro Rebar has benefited tens of thousands of projects worldwide, including specialized projects for global businesses and various government departments. The alternative reinforcement has grown from slab and pavement applications to now also benefiting structural applications like concrete walls and footings.
To learn more about Helix Steel and its commitment to improving lives throughout the construction industry, please visit www.HelixSteel.com.
Arpita Shah, Marketing Manager
2300 Washtenaw Ave Suite 201
Ann Arbor, MI 48104
Office: 734-322-2114 x29
Efficiency and speed are paramount in the construction industry today and tomorrow. We often think of automation as robots working on an assembly line, but it’s not always as complex and expensive. Usually, the best and most obvious automation upgrades take place in small ways.
Have you thought of automating your concrete? It has been around for 100+ years and never fails to require time-consuming processes, back-breaking labor and expensive equipment rental costs. Concrete reinforcement is ripe for automation, and Helix Steel is here to prove it.
Helix Steel’s proprietary concrete reinforcement is called Helix Micro Rebar. Each all-steel piece is only one inch (25 mm) long and has an ingenious patented twisted design that bonds with concrete to create a strong and durable material, keeping concrete together like a screw in wood. It’s not a concrete fiber. It has more strength than cheap single-use plastics and the all-steel solution starts to work before cracks even form.
This twisted piece of steel reinforcement will help to automate three distinct areas of your construction project: your processes, labor and equipment. Guess what? Helix Micro Rebar can help with them all.
How Does Helix Micro Rebar Improve Your Project Processes?
Helix Steel is a proudly American company with a team of project managers and engineers who work with you to not only determine the exact dosage you need for your concrete project, but they take your project to a whole new level. A team works with you and your colleagues to help design a dosage reflective of your rebar specifications, creates a plan, coordinates with trades and even provides live support on your pour days.
How Does Helix Micro Rebar Reduce Your Labor Costs?
A one-million-square-foot warehouse would require a significant amount of concrete, meaning that standard reinforcement installed in the slab alone could take weeks or even months to install. Delivering rebar, hiring laborers, moving the rebar, tying the rebar and then dealing with the safety issues involved in having one million square feet of tripping hazards on your site can become a headache you simply don’t need.
Helix Micro Rebar is mixed with the concrete in the concrete mixer, often at the batch plant, so there are few rebar operations at your site, there is far less time spent installing and tying rebar, and practically zero tripping hazards compared with traditional reinforcement.
Helix Steel customers have said that every 10,000 square feet of rebar replaced with Helix Micro Rebar saves one full day of construction. That’s up to three months faster than if you used rebar in a large warehouse slab.
How Does Helix Micro Rebar Lower Equipment Usage and Costs?
When you reduce your rebar tripping hazards, you also remove obstacles for concrete equipment. That means your costs for concrete pumps, concrete power buggies and the labor associated with them are practically nil. In most concrete slab applications, your cement truck can drive directly to the pour site.
Construction Automation is Possible with Helix Micro Rebar
In an age where reducing costs and finishing more quickly is essential to secure jobs and finish them without losing your sanity, there has never been a better time to consider the alternative concrete reinforcement that reduces your tool usage and lowers your equipment costs and improves your project processes.
After hundreds of millions of square feet and tens of thousands of successful structures, Helix Micro Rebar has been proven in the field and has many happy customers who can attest to the tiny reinforcement’s advantages. This includes a wide range of applications, such as slabs on grade, ICF and even highways.
Whether you need a concrete slab for your upcoming warehouse, fulfillment center, commercial building or concrete parking lot, you are always looking for ways to cut your costs while also trimming the amount of time that it takes to complete the job. Well, have we found an alternative concrete reinforcement for you…
Some say that the main benefits of Helix Micro Rebar are its ability to make concrete more durable. Others will talk about how it’s safer to use than rebar. Many others will be thankful for its team of design and project management support included for the duration of the project and beyond.
But the vast majority of warehouse contractors and developers who discover the tiny concrete reinforcement are sold on two things: time savings and money savings.
How Do You Reduce Your Warehouse Construction Time?
Think of all of the time attributed to rebar and mesh installation. You need to order it many weeks or even months in advance, and when it arrives that’s when the most time-consuming aspect starts: installation.
If you are like most warehouse project contractors, you need to hire dozens of reliable laborers to tie each piece together, across a concrete slab space that could be over 1,000,000 square feet (92,903 square meters) – or larger. This painstakingly long process can have massive repercussions on a project that needs to be built for your client “A.S.A.P.”
Here’s the alternative that will save time on your next project: Helix Micro Rebar. In many cases, it can be shipped within a week, and for large projects, just a few days more. It is most often poured directly into the cement trucks at your batch plant, so there’s no time spent managing inventory on your jobsite.
When the trucks arrive with your concrete, they can place their load directly onto the prepared surface. There is no need to use time-consuming pumps to pour your slab since Helix Micro Rebar can replace up to 100% of the rebar and mesh while cutting weeks from your construction schedule.
How Do You Reduce the Cost of Your Warehouse Construction Project?
For many concrete projects, whether it is a slab, ICF home, road or precast application, the cost of buying Helix Micro Rebar is often around the same price you would pay for standard reinforcement. But that’s not the whole story. Not even close.
The real cost savings come from all of the construction components that are no longer required because of a single wise decision to upgrade concrete reinforcement:
- Weeks of laborers installing rebar, who can now proactively be working on other aspects of the project.
- Costs associated with onsite concrete reinforcement storage.
- Expensive and time-consuming concrete pumps and conveyors that flow the concrete over prepared rebar.
- Helix Micro Rebar is safer to handle than rusty, dirty rebar. This may result in fewer safety-related costs.
- On average, every 10,000 sq. ft. of rebar/mesh replaced with Helix Micro Rebar saves one full day of construction. Starting occupancy weeks or even months early can have a significant impact on when a developer begins to see an ROI.
Case Study: Helix Micro Rebar in Action in Distribution Warehouse
This distribution warehouse in Michigan switched from mesh to Helix Micro Rebar and saw significant savings in both time and money.
The original design for the warehouse was:
4″ SOG 1 layer of 6X6, W2.9/W2.9 mesh
8″ SOG 1 layer of 6X6, W2.9/W2.9 mesh
The Gilardone Company, the concrete contractor for this project, realized that placing traditional steel reinforcement across 1.1 million sq. ft. would require a crew of workers and several weeks of time. Instead, the Gilardone Company turned to Helix Micro Rebar reinforcement to reduce the construction schedule and provide Ashley Capital with a superior performing and more durable floor. Helix Steel recommended 4″ & 8″ SOG with 9 lb/yd3
Ken Bowen, V.P. of Construction at Ashley Capital appreciated the switch, “With Helix Micro Rebar steel reinforcement we were able to meet the schedule and provide a superior product for a knowledgeable and fast-moving tenant. Using Helix Micro Rebar reinforcement increased the daily concrete pour rate by 20% and saved weeks of time.”
Watch this video to see how preparing, placing and finishing this distribution center’s concrete slab was done:
One Little Product is the Answer to Your Need to Save Time and Money
Helix Micro Rebar is one little product that can totally change how you think about and respond to warehouse and fulfillment center construction challenges. It is trusted by some of the largest companies in the world, including Amazon, FedEx, General Motors and Hilton.
When an innovative product like Helix Micro Rebar reaches tens of thousands of construction workers across North America, there are bound to be some misconceptions about what it is, what it does and how it works. Let’s clear the air!
Helix Micro Rebar is a unique concrete reinforcement that accomplishes the seemingly impossible – doing things that standard steel rebar and mesh are simply unable to do. It assists practically every person at every stage of the construction process and for these reasons – and many more – there are many misconceptions about this paradigm-shifting tool for the concrete and construction industries.
Myth #1: Helix Micro Rebar is just another fiber.
Fact: Helix Micro Rebar is small just like concrete reinforcement fibers, but that’s where the similarities end:
- Helix Micro Rebar stops cracks before they start. Its patented twist bonds to concrete, unlike rebar and fibers.
- It meets IBC and IRC performance requirements.
- It is made from 100% steel, which is 600% stiffer than concrete. This reduces cracks better than any plastic fiber available on the market today.
- It uses low dosages, often applied at 1:3 to 1:4 the dosage of steel fibers.
- It can be used in concrete for a wide range of applications, from slabs and walls to roads and tunnels.
Plastic fibers are marketed for temperature and shrinkage crack protection. Ask any fiber manufacturer and you will discover that these tiny pieces are not designed to work until cracks have already formed. Fiber reinforcement is often tested with a 3.5 mm crack, because once the fiber stretches to that width, it will provide the best test results. Helix Micro Rebar is tested at a wide range of crack width – and even no crack at all – with superior results.
Myth #2: Helix Micro Rebar costs more than rebar
Fact: Depending on your order size, the upfront cost of your boxes of Helix Micro Rebar may be slightly more than standard rebar. But when you factor in the reduction in time spent with rebar (one day of construction can be saved for every 10,000 square feet of a concrete slab) as well as the long-term savings in maintenance, our customers see significant cost savings.
Myth #3: Helix Micro Rebar has a long lead time, just like rebar
Fact: Helix Micro Rebar may be made out of steel, but the huge delays the construction industry is experiencing with rebar simply don’t exist with Helix Micro Rebar. Often our reinforcement is manufactured in America and is ready to ship out in as little as one week. This reduction in material delays helps you stay ahead of the game and reduces stress.
Myth #4: Helix Steel replaces the need for an engineer
Fact: Engineers are the lifeblood of many construction projects, and the work that Helix Steel does to create superior concrete products would not be possible without their work.
Most projects begin with the Engineer of Record completing a building plan using standard reinforcement. From there, Helix Steel’s engineering team can take over and use the specifications to provide an equal solution with Helix Micro Rebar – a solution that has full transparency in design approach and calculations.
Once you are familiar with using our superior concrete reinforcement product, this process is simplified and steps can be taken to reduce the Engineer of Record’s initial design workload.
Myth #5: There’s no assistance from the manufacturer
Fact: Helix Steel is not just here to improve your concrete, it is here to support every professional at every step of the project process, from concrete design to ready-mix supplier mixing to contractor pouring and finishing.
Helix Steel has a team of American project managers and engineers who are here to help you with answers to your questions and assist in any way they can. For larger projects, Helix Steel staff may be able to even be onsite to assist you with your first mixing project and help ensure that the first pour goes smoothly.
Myth #6: The Helix Micro Rebar mixing process is too complicated
Fact: The mixing operation is easier than you think! It just takes a few minutes to empty the Helix Micro Rebar boxes either onto a conveyor belt or by hand directly into the hopper. Each box weighs 45 pounds (20 kilograms) and is easy to handle – easier than rebar.
Helix Steel works with long-standing ready-mix operators across America who understand the ease of use of this product and how it is far less complicated and time-consuming to use than plastic or steel fibers. Helix Micro Rebar has doses lower than fiber, ensuring that you need to add less into your mixer, saving you valuable time. Here’s a direct link to our quick-start guide to show you how easy our product really is.
Myth #7: Helix Micro Rebar will put my crew out of work
Fact: Helix Micro Rebar certainly saves you time and cuts the amount of rebar work your crew will do. But that doesn’t mean anyone’s jobs are on the line. By operating more efficiently your team will be more able to pivot and work on other important areas of the project, and hop over to the next project faster than ever before.
At the same time, we have the health and safety of your crew in mind: no more back-breaking rebar tying, no more lugging large, rusty rebar from one part of the jobsite to another and no more dangerous tripping hazards.
Myth #8: Helix Micro Rebar is Made of Steel so There is No Environmental Benefit to Using It
Lower carbon emissions can be achieved since Helix Micro Rebar has less tonnage of steel required. Our reinforcement uses less steel overall, and with the added strength achieved by Helix Micro Rebar, you can often reduce your concrete thickness, further reducing steel reinforcement. Our online calculator estimates CO2 footprint based on its EPD from ASTM. Our engineering team can assist in quantifying the advantage for you.
Myth #9: Helix Micro Rebar is too messy and rinsing out a truck wastes time
Fact: It doesn’t need to be messy at all. Each box can be opened with a basic box cutter, and then dumped directly into the hopper. You can even use conveyor belts or pan mixers.
When you’ve completed a job with Helix Micro Rebar and your next project will not require concrete reinforcement being added to your mixer, give your drum a cleaning with water just like normal procedures.
Myth #10: Helix Micro Rebar takes time to mix and it slows down operations
Fact: Since Helix Micro Rebar pours easier and faster than fibers, it can save precious minutes in delivering a load to where it needs to go, and getting back to the batch plant faster than ever possible. Many ready-mixers would agree that time is money, and less time spent driving and unloading is cash in the bank. Yes, a few minutes is required to add the Helix Micro Rebar prior to loading your drum with concrete, but these minutes are paid back.
Myth #11: Helix Micro Rebar pokes out of the concrete
Fact: As the leading alternative to rebar, Helix Micro Rebar not only meets code performance requirements, but it delivers a beautiful finished product. Concrete that uses Helix Steel’s twisted concrete reinforcement can be finished similarly to concrete with conventional rebar. Using standard techniques will help to minimize Helix Micro Rebar on the surface of your concrete. If your floor is polished through the paste layer, a small amount of Helix® Micro Rebar™ will be exposed.
If you’re broom-finishing concrete that has Helix Micro Rebar, you may need to take a little extra care.
Myth #12: Helix Micro Rebar is made of steel, so it will rust and look bad.
Fact: Each piece of Helix Micro Rebar is coated to resist rust. Although heavily salted concrete surfaces may result in minor surface imperfections, each Helix Micro Rebar piece embedded in the concrete has long-lasting power.
Myth #13: There’s nothing in it for us
On top of all of the myth-dispelling listed above, ready-mix producers, engineers and other construction-related businesses have an opportunity to generate thousands of extra dollars on every load of concrete by choosing Helix Micro Rebar. Helix Steel offers significant pricing discounts through our reseller program.
These are just some of the most common misconceptions about Helix Micro Rebar. If you are interested in talking with us about other myths, or if you would like more information about using Helix Micro Rebar in your next project, reach out to our American-based team today.