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.

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. 

Cost

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.

Every month, 200,000 transport trucks cross the border from Mexico into Laredo, Texas using the city’s four international bridges. Each of these trucks stops at a local warehouse to load or unload, resulting in a high demand for durable, multi-use facilities.

Park Avenue Construction is one of Laredo’s leading general contractors, in charge of building these essential facilities. “We are a design/build construction company for the local industrial market,” says Gary Chatham, Director of Corporate Development with Park Avenue Construction. “We’ve been around for 30 years, and we like to innovate. We like to be out-front with new ideas and better ways, always looking for new efficient, sustainable ways to do construction.”


Always looking for ways to build better, the construction company started using Helix® Micro Rebar concrete reinforcement just recently. 

Taking the First Step in Improving Concrete Reinforcement

“A few years ago, there was a spike in steel prices that affected our bottom line,” Chatham recalls. “We had a huge warehouse designed on old prices and the costs for us significantly increased. We realized that with rebar prices being so unreliable, we needed to find alternatives.”

Park Avenue Construction’s management had seen Helix® Micro Rebar reinforcement used elsewhere, and had already done their research, so they contacted Helix Steel to learn more. Although their own engineers were hesitant to trust the one-inch twisted steel rods over the much-larger and well-known rebar, the results quickly proved that the decision to choose Helix Steel was a wise one.

Luke Pinkerton, Helix Steel’s President and Chief Technology Officer, communicated the benefits and characteristics of Helix® Micro Rebar concrete reinforcement and walked the general contractor’s team through the product, processes and expected results, which greatly helped to alleviate concerns.

“Once we understood the structural integrity of the reinforcement it was a pretty easy decision to make, and a pretty easy thing to do,” says Chatham. “The first time we used it was in a small 30,000-square-foot parking area at a refrigerated warehouse. The owners realized they needed more parking than they originally wanted because they also have a trucking company. After we poured the concrete with Micro Rebar we told them not to drive trucks on it for a week, but I guess that message wasn’t passed on, because two days after we poured it, they had it covered with trucks. We were afraid to see the damage, but there wasn’t a single crack. We couldn’t believe it.”

General Contractors Know That Saving Time and Money Involves Doing More With Less

With Park Avenue Construction’s engineers in agreement over the durability of Helix® Micro Rebar concrete reinforcement, they worked with Helix Steel’s engineering team to create further dosage efficiencies. Today, Chatham says that they can lay it as cost effectively as asphalt.

Park Avenue Construction recently completed a 20-acre paving project, and saved 73 days of construction time by not having to install rebar and tie the steel. That resulted in more than just time savings – there were significant cost savings, and gave Park Avenue Construction the opportunity to work on more projects in a year.

“Our subcontractor needs a fraction of their usual crew, and Micro Rebar lets the concrete truck do all of the work,” says Chatham. “All we need to do is back up the truck and dump it out where concrete is needed for the slab. It creates tremendous savings in both labor and time. The material costs a little more per square foot, but when you factor in the savings it makes it much more cost effective.”

The Engineering Behind the Product

The affordability, schedule reductions and labor savings are of course reason enough to consider Micro Rebar concrete reinforcement, but for many general contractors, it is the engineering that sells them on it. 

“Anyone can claim product benefits,” says Chatham. “But Helix Steel worked on the engineering with us to determine the right loads and product dosages. Now we don’t need to do the math every time; We have an established dosage just from the experience of working with Helix Steel.”

Park Avenue Construction’s General Contractors Are Doing More and Growing Faster

With five projects on the go right now, Park Avenue Construction is showing no signs of slowing down, and is about to sign a contract for a 300,000-square-foot “tilt-up” warehouse that will all be built with concrete panels and paved with Helix® Micro Rebar-infused concrete. 

The future relies on businesses operating smarter than ever before, so owners and builders like Park Avenue Construction must use the most advanced products available. Chatham understands this well and sees Helix® Micro Rebar reinforcement becoming the new standard for many concrete applications. They value it so much, they’re also a distributor, selling the product to other general contractors throughout Texas.

General Contractors Understand That Helix® Micro Rebar Reinforcement Makes Sense

To learn more about how Helix® Micro Rebar reinforcement is a better way to build with concrete, contact Helix Steel today or continue exploring our website to discover past concrete reinforcement projects, applications and the many benefits of working with Helix Steel

In a time when every contractor is seeking substantial savings while simultaneously innovating their business and keeping an eye on improving product lifespans, one business is stepping up to innovate concrete reinforcement: Helix Steel. 

Helix® Micro Rebar is the innovative solution that replaces the standard concrete reinforcement that hinders so many construction projects. From parking lots to concrete walls to warehouse floors, the concrete reinforcement applications are practically endless, outmatching rebar, mesh and fibers available in the market today.

So, what exactly is Helix® Micro Rebar concrete reinforcement? Instead of unmanageable lengths of rusty metal, it is a simple one-inch piece of steel, twisted and mixed with thousands of others into concrete before it is poured into forms, providing strength to practically every inch of the finished concrete structure.

Michigan-based Helix Steel invented Helix® Micro Rebar reinforcement, and has seen its product used as a vital component in over 10,000 concrete structures including mid-rise apartment buildings, warehouses, manufacturing facilities and even Seattle’s famous Ferris wheel. Every step of the construction process benefits from the product, but it is contractors who have seen some of the greatest benefits. 

Saving Time with Concrete Reinforcement Upgrades

As a contractor you have the fortunate opportunity to work on projects that have significant impacts on people’s daily lives. Undertaking such important tasks means that contractors are always under pressure to stay on track, even when there are disruptive scheduling delays, such as fixing rebar installation errors, waiting for rebar inspections and finding experienced crew members. They are looking for ways to automate construction processes.

Contractors who have experienced working with Helix® Micro Rebar concrete reinforcement firsthand appreciate the significant jobsite time savings, which often results to be one full day cut from a schedule for every 10,000 square feet. For projects that use tilt-up construction, 50% of each panel’s preparation time is saved!

Concrete Reinforcement With Fewer Laborers and Errors

It’s not something that contractors always like to talk about, but the laborers who install rebar and mesh have gruelling jobs. They need to have strong backs, years of experience and wisdom in the ways of placement. It’s a daunting task, which often results in a labor market that’s fluid and small. 

Since Helix® Micro Rebar reinforcement is poured directly into the cement mixer, there’s no need to rebar installation nor the installers who would normally do the work. This results in a simpler worksite, with fewer health and safety issues, reduced claims, less placement errors, and significantly cheaper costs!

“Our subcontractor needs a fraction of their usual crew, and Micro Rebar lets the concrete truck do all of the work,” says Gary Chatham, Director of Corporate Development at Park Avenue Construction. “All we need to do is back up the truck and dump it out where concrete is needed for the slab. It creates tremendous savings in labor time. The material costs a little more per square foot, but when you factor in the labor savings it makes it much more cost effective.”

Improving Construction Crew Safety

It’s a contractor’s worst nightmare: a preventable jobsite incident that results in injury, lost time and lost money. Injury prevention is crucial to the success of any project, but in today’s complex construction environments, it’s becoming increasingly expensive and time consuming to focus on. By shrinking crew sizes, reducing the use of heavy equipment and minimizing contact with steel, a safer jobsite is possible. 

Helix® Micro Rebar reinforced concrete can replace up to 100% of rebar in a project, and since it is poured directly into concrete mixer trucks, there is little to no contact with the product itself. In many cases of concrete slab pours, there is a reduction or elimination of concrete pumps, trip hazards, cranes and onsite storage – all things that were safety hazards for your jobsite. 

Complimentary Support from Professional Engineers

Just like water corroding rebar, engineering and design challenges can creep into a project. It’s essential to simplify processes and choose reliable engineering backed up by decades of experience. With Helix® Micro Rebar concrete reinforcement, a contractor is not only purchasing a product, but essentially choosing a new construction partner at no additional cost. 

“Anyone can claim benefits,” says Chatham. “But Helix Steel worked on the engineering with us to determine the right loads and product dosages. Now, we don’t need to do the math every time; We have an established dosage just from the experience of working with Helix Steel.”

Long-Lasting Replacement to Rebar

Although a contractor’s work may only last a few months, the resulting structure should stand for generations. That’s why the structure should avoid earthquakes, water penetration and hurricanes, while also reducing the amount of corrosion and cracking which many contractors consider unavoidable.

To increase the durability and longevity of concrete structures – and avoid callbacks from owners – contractors choose Helix® Micro Rebar reinforcement, which increases the flexible strength of concrete, prevents cracks (before they even start), and each piece is coated to resist rust three times longer than uncoated steel reinforcement.

GCs Know that Lowest Bids Often Get the Work

You’ve likely experienced firsthand how another business won out on a project because they undercut your pricing. Micro Rebar reinforcement results in installation costs that are far cheaper than rebar, while also tightening the timelines that owners need. In many cases, the strength of the concrete is so much greater than rebar that contractors see up to a 25% decrease in the amount of concrete needed. Less concrete, lower costs, smaller crews, shortened timelines, long-lasting durability and safer jobsites add up to winning more bids, and more projects.

The Faster, Cheaper and Better Concrete Reinforcement Alternative is Here

The trifecta is possible, only with Helix® Micro Rebarreinforcement. A more durable end product, at a lower price, that saves days (and sometimes even months) of work. For more information on Helix® Micro Rebar reinforcement, a better way to build with concrete, contact Helix Steel today.

Helix Steel Explains the Most-Highly Sought-After Product in the Concrete Reinforcement Field

You know rebar. Everyone does. It’s that heavy, awkward, rusty material that eats up your construction schedule and causes problems. 

Not everyone knows about the product that in many cases has made rebar obsolete. It’s Helix® Micro Rebar by Helix Steel, a Michigan-based innovation-centered business with a mission to make the construction world work better. Helix® Micro Rebar™  is the only ISO-certified concrete micro-reinforcement that stops cracks before they even start. The proactive all-steel micro-sized solution is better than standard rebar in almost every way, and since its inception approximately 20 years ago more and more industry leaders are understanding – and relying on – its differences. 

Helix® Micro Rebar and Its Small Start

Helix Steel launched Helix® Micro Rebar in 2003 after a study through the University of Michigan which proved that a small, twisted piece of metal, combined with thousands of others, resulted in far better resiliency, ductility and elasticity to concrete structures than any other metal or plastic concrete reinforcement.

The results from the university study were astounding, and industry leaders began to take notice of this tiny solution. Helix Steel founder and president Luke Pinkerton soon realized that his business’s small way of thinking was quickly making big differences. And so the “Helix® Micro Rebar Age” was launched.

How Does Helix® Micro Rebar Work?

Helix® Micro Rebar is crafted in coated steel, and while it is only one inch in length, it’s twisted and combined with thousands of other pieces in concrete. 

Since each piece of Helix® Micro Rebar 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 practically impossible.

Once fully cured, the Helix® Micro Rebar-filled concrete resists separation forces – cracking – resulting in a massive increase in concrete’s shear strength, durability and ductility while providing industry-leading pre-crack capabilities. Unlike fibers and rebar Helix® Micro Rebar has never failed in real-world applications. 

The patented product has been proven as a superior concrete reinforcement in a wide range of applications, including concrete slabs, walls, foundations, roads, precast tanks, tunnel linings and more. 

What’s the Big Deal with All-Steel Helix® Micro Rebar?

Along with shear strength, durability and ductility, there are other benefits for architects, general contractors, ICF builders, developers and many more. There are actually hundreds of reasons to choose Helix® Micro Rebar, but here are some of our customers’ favorites:

  • By not having to install rebar, you will save a full day of construction for every 10,000 square feet of slab you’re creating. 
  • You can reduce the size of your construction crew, and minimize your onsite storage. 
  • Helix® Micro Rebar will remove rebar’s risk – the heavy lifting, rusty metal and back-breaking labor. 
  • Contractors will have time to secure more projects – a more-reliable product, with shorter timelines, safer job sites and lower installation costs. This allows general contractors to be more competitive and attractive to developers.
  • Lastly, it helps to create a world that is free from concrete cracks, and reduces tenant/owner complaints. Helix® Micro Rebar is your best crack-free solution.

How is Helix® Micro Rebar Different from Fiber Concrete Reinforcement?

Now that you know more about Helix® Micro Rebar, let’s take a look at how it differs from fiber. Most importantly, understand that while Helix® Micro Rebar stops cracks before they start, fibers only start working once concrete has already cracked – similar to standard rebar.

Helix® Micro Rebar creates flexural strength (MOR) and consistency at doses lower than any fiber. Since plastic fibers are softer than concrete, they act like voids prior to cracking. Even older steel fibers have drawbacks – they rely on friction to provide resistance. 

In a study, Helix® Micro Rebar at (25 lb/yd) was compared to plain concrete and a standard steel fiber with deformed ends at (60 lb/yd). The results show the advantages of Helix® Micro Rebar in pre-crack tensile performance even when applied at a lower dosage. Additional independent studies have shown that plastic, synthetic and steel fibers can improve post-crack performance, but they do not affect pre-crack performance.

ii. Element Labs Report #ESP016080P, March 27, 2014

iii. Carnovale, David, “Behaviour and Analysis of Steel and Macro-synthetic Fibre Reinforced Concrete Subjected to Reversed Cyclic Loading”, University of Toronto, 2013, pp 84-86.

It’s Time to Rethink Rebar and Refocus on Rewarding Results

Helix® Micro Rebar is here to stay, not only because of its 0% failure rate, but also because its many other benefits that far outweigh the current standards. 

Learn more about Helix® Micro Rebar, how it works and the many ways that it can work hard for your next project by contacting the Helix Steel 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 with you soon.

Rebar is used in some of the grandest structures in the world, and has a history of keeping roads mostly smooth, buildings mostly upright and tunnels mostly hole-free. But rebar is imperfect and is known for its high failure rate after years of even moderate use. 

Concrete reinforcement innovation is not new, and many have failed at trying to perfect rebar, or by rethinking reinforcement with glass, plastic and even asbestos. Fortunately, there’s a better alternative to all of these.

Many developers are switching to Helix® Micro Rebar concrete reinforcement. Used in more than 20,000 structures around the world, Helix® Micro Rebar is a one-inch piece of twisted steel that is combined with thousands of others and mixed with cement to create a better reinforcement. 

Helix® Micro Rebar reinforcement is one of the most important inventions of the 21st century. It has quickly become a superior replacement to rebar and mesh reinforcements in every benefit category: time savings, concrete durability, jobsite safety, post-construction performance, development marketability, higher load capacity and project profitability. 

Here are some of the main benefits of Helix® Micro Rebarfor developers and owners.

Helix Steel’s Concrete Reinforcement Reduces Time to Return on Investment

Upgrading your reinforcement with Helix® Micro Rebar reduces the amount of time laborers spend installing rebar, and is easier to pour, sometimes even removing the need for concrete pumps. It also simplifies the construction process, with footings needing only a simple two-step process: dig the hole and fill it with Helix® Micro Rebar reinforcement. No rebar at all. Contractors have reported as much as 60 days’ savings on a single project!

Saying ‘No’ to Concrete Cracks

Whether you’re building up, out, down or through, your structure’s concrete is susceptible to corrosion, earthquakes, storms and water penetration. Rebar corrodes over time, and is not so great at stopping cracks before they start. These deficiencies have been normalized and many developers assume they have no choice but to have to deal with ‘crack’ problems in their buildings. 

This does not need to be the way. Helix® Micro Rebar reinforcement reduces many of the risks that you likely have encountered in your previous projects.

  • There are no rebar placement errors;
  • Concrete is three times more durable;
  • Concrete slabs can be thinner with extended joint spacing;
  • It has five times the tensile strength of rebar; and
  • Concrete will have a reduction in failures.

This is all because Helix® Micro Rebar reinforcement’s twisted design keeps the concrete together, helping to stop cracks before they even start. 

Helix® Micro RebarImproves Marketability of Developments

If you are like most developers, you have done your research and fully understand the market potential to take on your project. You likely also understand there is massive competition for the project you’re about to undertake, especially when it comes to warehousing space and concrete slabs. 

The current concrete slab market is commoditized, resulting in nothing to stand out from your competitors. With Helix® Micro Rebar, the benefits associated with reduced cracking and fewer joints help to sell a space, as do some of the benefits outlined further in this article.

But the benefits don’t end with the sale. Helix® Micro Rebarslabs can act as building-code-compliant foundations capable of carrying more than twice the load of standard concrete. That means if years from now your tenant or new warehouse owner would like to build an office structure inside the building on the slab, they likely will not need to excavate the concrete and pour new foundations.

Helix Steel also provides complimentary easy-to-understand summaries of improved load capacities, with engineering support available for future reconfigurations. 

Improving Concrete Performance and Reducing Tenant Complaints

It happens far too often – after spending millions of dollars on your new project, the problems creep in a couple of years afterward. Often it is your tenants or customers who notice issues first, and they become your headache after. Cracks start small, and there is often little long-term solution you can apply, resulting in water seepage, joint deterioration, failed jointless systems and expensive repairs.

Helix® Micro Rebar reinforcement design is performed with Helix Steel’s own team of professional engineers, and accurate dosages take into account joint performance and aims for a 100% crack-free product, unlike rebar and fibers which both must allow the concrete to first crack before they start to work. Helix® Micro Rebarintegrates with concrete through the curing process instead of just bandaging it.

Rebar Lacks Credibility in the Construction Industry

Speak with your general contractors, suppliers and architects. They can make a long list of reasons why they would rather not work with rebar. Besides the tedious/dirty/unsafe process of installing the steel rods, there are also the high expenses and unreliability of the product for developers and their tenants.

In a market where it is difficult to differentiate, your concrete reinforcement line item is ripe for improvement. There are many ways that Helix® Micro Rebar can turn more tenants your way:

  • When used at 8” thickness, Helix® Micro Rebarreinforcement has twice the capacity as a 6” plain concrete slab.
  • Fewer laborers are needed onsite, less heavy equipment is needed and smaller storage spaces are required, resulting in safer jobsites.
  • On average, Helix® Micro Rebarreduces concrete reinforcement costs by 20–30% less
  • Tightened construction schedules with no rebar installation and an increased pour rate mean that your tenants attain occupancy faster.

The Best Precast Concrete Reinforcement Alternative is Here

Who knew that such a small, twisted idea would prove to be a far better alternative to concrete reinforcement? Helix Steel did. And so did thousands of American developers and owners who trust its real-world results.

There is much more for developers to discover about Helix® Micro Rebar, a better way to build with concrete. Contact Helix Steel and review information on our website about benefits for developers, and some of our concrete reinforcement project highlights

Insulated-Concrete-Form (ICF) homes and condominium buildings are experiencing somewhat of a renaissance. In this time of perpetual growth coupled with ever-changing consumer trends, there has never been a better time to rethink your go-to construction methods and find efficiencies every place you can.

ICF can be a smarter way to build, resulting in buildings with few air leaks and higher efficiency ratings. But even with ICF, rebar installation is complex and unwieldy, resulting in wasted time, higher costs and frustration among laborers, especially for cold-weather winter pours.

By incorporating Helix® Micro Rebar reinforcement into walls, your ICF buildings and large residential structures have all of the advantages of rebar installation, without many of the disadvantages.

Reimagining Rebar Reinforcement

So, what exactly is it? Well, it is not cheap fiber (which fails to add flexural strength), and it is not rebar (large pieces of metal that easily corrode and are costly to install). Helix® Micro Rebar reinforcement is a tiny one-inch (25-mm) twisted steel rod that’s mixed with concrete prior to being poured into its final destination. Thousands of these pieces together form a practically impenetrable bond with concrete that resists cracks before they even start.

The innovative product was brought to market after years of testing at the University of Michigan, where the science behind Helix® Micro Rebar reinforcement was confirmed. Today, Helix Steel manufactures in Grand Rapids, Michigan and distributes its product around the world, offering with it complimentary engineering to applications including a Ferris wheel in Seattle to warehouses in Texas to tunnels in Mexico.

ICF and residential builders are experiencing the benefits of Helix® Micro Rebar reinforcement firsthand, and are sharing their favorite highlights for others who are seeking to improve their construction processes, products and business.

Better Concrete Reinforcement with Less

When the construction industry is humming, it’s practically impossible to find good-quality laborers to install rebar. The difficulties in training, managing and ensuring high-production capabilities make rebar installation a prime candidate for automation. 

Helix® Micro Rebar reinforcement simplifies the installation process. First, the tiny steel pieces are poured from a cardboard box right into a concrete mixer, where it is mixed with cement and then transferred to a pump and flowed between the ICF panels – much less rebar is required. This reduces the site crew numbers and lessens safety concerns.

Saving Time in Concrete Reinforcement

Cutting out the laborious task of installing rebar, and simplifying the concrete pouring process, has the ability to transform a work schedule, since time is frequently lost to rebar inspections and congestions around horizontal rebar blocking the flow of concrete.

Helix® Micro Rebar reinforcement removes most rebar from the process, eases pumping and improves the concrete flow into the forms. Although no two structures are alike, every 10,000 sq. ft. of rebar replaced with Micro Rebar™ saves approximately one full day of construction, allowing ICF builders to move onto other jobs much faster. 

Incorporating Helix® Micro Rebar reinforcement into the ICF walls of the condos in the Vela Development at Grand Cayman resulted in a more resilient building that’s resistant to hurricane-force winds. The twisted reinforcement enabled a full replacement of rebar in the pilasters. What originally was estimated to take 10 weeks was reduced to two weeks due to the efficiency gained.

Improving Jobsite Safety Through Concrete Reinforcement Upgrades

Whether your crew is on the third floor of a hotel under construction, or twisting ties onto rebar in a home’s ICF wall, crew safety is paramount. Unfortunately, rebar use is not always completely safe to work with when you consider the number of additional crew members you need, the heavy steel, the back injuries and the equipment used to move the tons of reinforcement. 

Helix® Micro Rebarreinforcement is the safer alternative. It is poured directly in the concrete truck, and so does not require any physical contact with crew members; it requires less pouring time, which means less time open for accidents; there is no rebar improperly being stocked; and fewer concrete pumps, trip hazards, cranes and onside storage needed. Helix® Micro Rebarreinforcement also results in ICF having a simple “stack and pour” process with no waiting around for inspections or rebar installation.  

Essentially, Helix® Micro Rebarreinforcement makes ICF safer for everyone.

No One Said Engineering for Concrete Reinforcement Was Easy

The process of securing, hiring and working with engineers does not always go smoothly. Even if it is for a seemingly simple change to a building or reinforcement design. 

Helix Steel was founded by a professional engineer, who is now president of the business. Luke Pinkerton, also Chief Technology Officer, and his in-house team of engineers, offer complimentary engineering support either in-person or over the phone. This gives builders access to exact dosing, mixing, finishing and polishing instructions at no extra cost. In many cases, Helix Steel has the engineering tables approved in the ICC report. Helix Steel has full code approval to carry building loads under the ACI 318, IBC and IRC.

Building on ICF Builders’ Love for Energy Efficiency

Many builders say that their buildings are energy efficient, but only a few actually are. Helix® Micro Rebarreinforcement uses 50% recycled steel, which assists in LEED certification, and in helping to make buildings last longer. And how could we forget about the tons of steel diverted from rebar installation. The benefits of Helix® Micro Rebarreinforcement make our environment a better place in which to live, work and play.

ICF Benefits from Better Concrete Reinforcement

In an industry where there are few differentiation factors, Helix® Micro Rebarreinforcement has the competitive advantages that builders need. Safer jobsites, shorter timelines, an estimated 20–30% savings in reinforcement costs and proven success from failure, Helix Steel’s Micro Rebarmakes residential buildings ready for the demands of the future.

For more information on Helix® Micro Rebar reinforcement, a better way to build with concrete, contact Helix Steel today. 

For five years, Dalmaray Concrete Products in Southern Wisconsin has trusted Helix Steel’s innovative concrete reinforcement product with simplifying its production processes, saving money and expediting its workflow. 

Dalmaray has been a leader in delivering precast water and wastewater products in Wisconsin and Illinois for more than 60 years, providing drywell and distribution boxes, concrete water well covers and more.

Superior Precast Concrete Reinforcement

“We’re known for our high-quality vessels that never fail,” says David Rasmussen, Technical Sales/QC, Dalmaray Concrete Products. As the person whose job is to ensure that precast production goes the right way and getting the jobs done right, Rasmussen and his team trusts in Helix Steel’s proven concrete reinforcement solution that provides superior strength and durability, while also delivering the right engineering for whatever job they are working on.

“The process is just much more efficient with Micro Rebar,” he says. “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.”

Precast Concrete Reinforcement Time Savings

Not having to assemble complex mesh pieces saves a significant amount of time. “When you factor in the human component, it saves us money. Our crew can do a lot more in the day. Before, a tank used to take us an hour and a half to put together. Now it’s only 45 minutes. We can do twice as many jobs in the same amount of time. Our whole production is more efficient.  We pour the exact amount on our belt with the sand, and pour it in with the mixer.”

Perhaps most importantly for Dalmaray is that Helix® Micro Rebar reinforcement simplifies the process and engineering accuracy needed to build precast vessels. Rasmussen adds that “Helix Steel has a hands-off product with the numbers to back it up.”

Once You Go with Helix Steel’s Concrete Reinforcement, You Won’t Turn Back

Although some of Dalmaray’s larger tanks and lids still use standard mesh, all of the other products have converted to Helix Steel’s reinforcement solution – and have no plans of turning back.

“Our crews love it. It’s safer than rebar. And even our customers are well aware of the benefits and appreciate how Dalmaray is focused on quality products.”

Asked what would happen if they were forced to go back to mesh, Rasmussen laughs and says, “I don’t know how happy the guys would be to go back.”

Precast just makes sense with Helix Steel. For more information on Helix® Micro Rebar reinforcement, a better way to build with concrete, contact Helix Steel today.