What is Shotcreting in Civil Engineering?

Shotcreting in Civil Engineering

Shotcreting is the method of spraying concrete with a high velocity on vertical surfaces or heightened surfaces. Shotcreting of concrete creates a very strong and durable layer due to the high-velocity impact. The process results in a high-quality bonding of concrete with most substrates and is characterized by the easy application onto curved and complex forms/ surfaces. Compared to the conventional cast-in-place concrete, this method uses significantly lesser formwork and is also more economical. Shotcreting can be done for various types of projects, for example, basement or exterior walls, retaining walls and pool walls.

The application of shotcrete can be in two methods – wet-mix process or dry-mix process. The processes are characterised by the time at which the water is added to the concrete mix.

Dry Mix – The dry mix of cement and aggregates is supplied through the delivery hose. When the mixture reaches the nozzle,  water is sprayed to it with high pressure, thereby wetting the dry mix.

The dry mix method creates an increased state of bonding and provides more strength. It is more environment-friendly since there is both controls over water consumption and waste production.

Wet Mix – The wet mix process involves mixing the cement and aggregates with water at a specified ratio. This wet concrete mixture is supplied through the delivery hose and is sprayed onto the surface employing compressed air.

The process is more economical as compared to the dry mix process and also requires lesser labour. It is also much easier since the mix is prepared beforehand. Know More, www.shotcretemelbourne.com.

Why Shotcreting?

Shotcreting produces a structurally durable bond between the concrete and a surface.  This pneumatically propelled process of concreting causes a large force of impact which creates compaction of the shotcrete paste into the fine surface irregularities. This creates an overall smooth surface without pores and provides good adhesion to the surface. The material will not slide or peel due to the forces of gravity.

Other characteristics like low moisture absorption, weather and chemical resistance make it a great alternative in the construction industry. It also costs convenient as additional costs of formwork, scaffolding and equipment can be negated. However, the shotcrete machine can add up to a huge expense.

The most advantageous feature is that it can be used in construction where the generic form of casting concrete would be a difficult option or where different thicknesses of concrete are required to adhere to a  single surface. It is generally considered a much better alternative to regular concrete.

Shotcreting can be done only by professionals and provides good results under proper supervision and planning. The skills and attention this process needs makes it high maintenance but provides very good finishes.

Applications

  1. Repair of damaged surfaces (Concrete, wood, steel etc.)
  2. Repair of damaged structures like bridges, roads, retaining walls, marine structures and spillway surfaces.
  3. Underground structures such as tunnels.
  4. New structures: Pools, compound walls
  5. Complex Forms: Domes, vaults, curved structures, organic forms

Shotcreting overall provides a great alternative that could transform the process of construction, if adapted more commonly. Its advantages in terms of costs, method and duration make it a very versatile process. When done correctly, it can provide smooth finishes, an overall clean look and enhance the appearance of the structure while giving it structural durability and integrity.

 

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