Using concrete for a construction project is a sure way to ensure durability and long-lasting results. Normally, concrete changes after it set, and this can lead to cracks if not done well. The crack can be a result of stress on the concrete and changes in temperature. That is why it is advisable to use reinforcement on your concrete to help strengthen it.
When handling a concrete-based project, there are two ways to reinforce or strengthen the concrete. The first is to use wire mesh while the second option is the use of fiber mesh. For the Wire Mesh method, you form a square grid which you lay on the floor before you pour concrete.
What is Fiber Mesh Concrete?
Fiber Mesh concrete is a concrete reinforcement method that involves the use of Fiber materials in concrete solution. The fiber materials used include natural fibers, glass, steel, and even synthetic fibers. This helps to strengthen or reinforce the concrete solution for a better long-term result. Understanding the pros and cons of Fiber Mesh concrete will help you make a better decision on which reinforcement to choose.
Pros of Fiber Mesh Concrete
a. Requires Less Time To Work On
The Fiber Mesh Concrete requires less time to prepare and use when compared to the wire mesh concrete. The reason is that it takes more time to carefully measure and fit the wire mesh before pouring the concrete. On the other hand, for the Fiber mesh concrete, you mix the concrete solution and add the fiber into the mix. This saves you a lot of time.
b. Provides A Stronger Reinforcement
Besides stress and weight, one other reason why concrete crack is because of temperature change. Most concrete projects are done outside the home. This makes the area subject to different weather conditions and temperature changes. In the long run, that could lead to cracks on the surface. Fiber Mesh holds the concrete together even when the water evaporation process occurs on the concrete.
Most times, cracks occur on concrete as a result of the water evaporation process. The use of fiber materials like steel fibers on the concrete helps to retain some water in the concrete and prevents cracks.
c. Gives Better Impact Resistance
The Impact of a heavy object on a concrete slab can lead to crack. The use of Fiber mesh concrete makes a concrete slab higher impact resistance. That is, the ability to absorb shocks from heavy objects.
d. Protects Against Fire
Remember it was mentioned earlier that fiber mesh helps concrete retain water. When concrete comes in contact with extreme heat, it causes the fiber materials to melt. This in turn makes the concrete expand and prevents spalling. Spalling has to do with a crack on a concrete surface which happens when the surface is exposed to extreme heat.
e. Provides Complete Reinforcement
One other good reason why you should go for the Fiber Mesh concrete is that it provides reinforcement all through the structure. That is unlike the wire mess that reinforces just one plane.
f. It Is Less Expensive
Another good thing about the Fresh Mesh concrete is that it is less expensive than the wire mesh. The reason is that it takes less time to mix and pour, meaning less money on labor. Also, the materials can easily be sourced around and are affordable. The amount you spend on fiber mesh will depend on factors like cost of material, cost of concrete pump, handling cost and more.
Cost of Fiber Mesh Concrete For 6 x 6 W 1.4 x 1.4
Below is a breakdown of the cost of getting a Fiber Mesh concrete project done.
g. Prevents Damage From Freeze
If an area is prone to snow and very cold temperature, it can be an issue on a concrete slab. When concrete is exposed to extreme cold, it causes the water inside to freeze. It in turn exacts pressure in the pores inside and can cause cracks, crumbling, or scaling. The use of Fiber materials like nylon and polypropylene helps the concrete to become resistant to freeze.
h. Comes In Handy For Specific Projects
Some projects specifically require the use of fiber mesh concrete reinforcement. For instance, if you are working on a kitchen countertop, the best option is to use fiber mesh concrete. The wire mesh or rebar won’t be the best option for the project. Another example is if you need concrete for a thin layer of pavement.
Cons of The Fiber Mesh Concrete
To make a better decision, you need to know both the good and the bad. So you need to know the cons of the Fiber Mesh Concrete to make a better decision.
|Microsynthetic Fibers||Macrosynthetic Fibers||Wire Mesh|
|Cost of Concrete Pump||$0||$0||$0.75/sq/ft|
|Cost of Place||$0||$0||$0.10/sq/ft|
|Permanent Support Cost||$0||$0||$0.30/sq/ft|
a. Fiber Is Unevenly Distributed
After you pour fibers into a concrete mixture, it is won’t mix evenly. This means that some parts of the mix may have more fiber materials than other parts. This will lead to some areas being low fiber areas and other areas being high fiber areas.
b. Create a Rough Surface
It is hard to get a smooth surface with fiber concrete. Some fiber materials will show on the surface of the slab creating a rough or hairy surface. If you are looking for concrete with a smooth surface, then the fiber mesh isn’t the option for you.
c. Steel Fibers Causes Corrosion
Steel is known to be subtle to corrosion. When you use steel fibers on a concrete mix, the steel will corrode with time. It will in turn affect the durability of the concrete.
d. Cause Injury
Most of the contents of the fiber mix are made up of materials with sharp edges. Since some of the materials get to the surface, it can cause injuries to anyone that steps on the area.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is Fiber Mesh Concrete Good?
Yes. The Fiber mesh concrete is good concrete reinforcement. It provides better impact resistance, it takes less cost to finish, and generally less expensive than the wire mesh. Also, some projects specifically require fiber mesh. For instance, a thin lay pavement or a kitchen countertop.
Does Fiber Mesh Add Strength To Concrete?
Yes. Fiber mesh adds to the strength of the concrete. It does this by mechanically reinforcing the concrete. It holds the concrete together. Note that it may not increase the compressive strength of the concrete.
Is Fiber Mesh Better Than Wire Mesh?
First off, both Fiber Mesh and Wire mesh have their advantages and disadvantages. First, they post increase reinforcement in concrete. The fiber mesh provides reinforces the entire surface, it is less expensive and helps to reduce water in concrete. It is best for projects like kitchen countertops, and thin lay pavement, sidewalks. Wire mesh on the other hand takes more time, more expensive, and best for other types of projects.