Symbiosis in concrete solutions creates near perfect seamless flooring

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The 0.75 mm x 50 mm steel-fibres are homogeneously blended with the concrete at the time of pouring

South African Builder talks to Angus Ryan, Brett Meadway and Xavier Destrée about their leading edge technology in steel-fibre reinforced, super-stable and super-flat seamless concrete flooring produced through the symbiotic relationship between three companies: Concrete Laser Flooring (CLF), AfriSam and Primekss PrimeComposite.

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Angus Ryan – manager at CLF; Xavier Destrée – consultant to ArcelorMittal and legendary innovator in seamless concrete flooring; and Brett Meadway – sales manager, CLF-PrimeComposite

CLF is the exclusive agency in Southern Africa for Primekss,” says Ryan, manager at CLF. Primekss, based in the city of Riga, Latvia, was founded in 1997 and is renowned world-wide for its specialised research and solutions in concrete design – in particular, high strength seamless concrete flooring for modern warehouses and distribution centres.

Xavier Destrée is a civil engineer and a legend in this technology. Destrée has for many years been a consultant to ArcelorMittal in this technology and is the driving force behind the technical development and bedding down of the process in Europe. In addition, he authored the patent for making joint-free flooring and plays a key role in global implementation of operations.

The concept of using steel fibre in concrete was first tested in 1908 and was originally patented in Paris,” says Destrée. “But very little was done until 1980 – and today, the technology has been perfected, whereby steel fibres 0,75 mm x 50 mm, produced and supplied by ArcelorMittal, are homogeneously blended with the concrete at the time of pouring. This process, together with careful design and application of admixtures, virtually eliminates shrinkage,” continues Destrée. “The strength is also enhanced to the point where no steel rebar is required; shrinkage is virtually eliminated; and seamless concrete flooring can be cast at 100-130 mm thick – half the traditional thickness of 300-400 mm.

The savings are significant on every front,” says Destrée. “Less concrete is required – by half; and in terms of green construction the CO2 content is halved – keeping in mind that concrete is the second highest culprit in CO2 emissions at 1 ton of C02 being produced per ton of concrete; and of course the high level of quality results in a floor requiring little or no maintenance.

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On-site production begins: AfriSam readymix trucks deliver the concrete to site; a DC pump and fibre blower blend the steel-fibres into the mix

CLF-PrimeComposite is a revolutionary high-tech approach to concrete production. Using high dosage-rate steel fibre reinforcement coupled with anti-shrinkage concrete and special quality-management techniques, we are able to concrete that is tougher, stronger, crack-free and ecologically friendly,” says Destrée, who is of the opinion that steel-fibre reinforcing of all concrete used in construction should be mandatory.

On the operational front, Brett Meadway, sales manager for CLFPrimeComposite explains: “The synergy between our three companies enables us to achieve remarkable results not otherwise possible. The expertise and depth of research in concrete offered by Primekss, combined with the operational and installation expertise of CLF, and the production and logistic capabilities of cement manufacturer AfriSam, all combine to provide world class concrete flooring of unsurpassed quality and functionality.”

R&D is undoubtedly the most important part of the system,” says Meadway. “And the most important output focus is clearly on quality of the highest standard.”

CLF-PrimeComposite offers a five year warranty on its seamless concrete flooring, which can be extended to 10 years with maintenance agreement. “CLFPrimeComposite will stand by their clients all the way,” concludes Meadway.

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1. In our laboratories in Latvia we analyse samples of local aggregates, sand and cement previously shipped to us by CLF. 2. We then produce a mix design together with AfriSam, suited to the specific project in hand. 3. On-site production begins: AfriSam readymix trucks deliver the concrete to site; a DC pump and fibre blower blend the steel-fibres into the mix; the CLF laser screed machine levels the floor during the continuous pour. 4. All processes in “3.” are closely monitored in real-time by CLF on a specialised iPad system. This is monitored by lab technicians in Riga as well as by the client. Any adjustments required to the mix are made on the spot.

 

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