Shotcrete Additive for Swimming Pools

First, a point of clarification regarding additives and admixtures and their use in cement and concrete. There are cement additives and concrete admixtures. Cement additives are added during the cement manufacturing process, and concrete (or shotcrete) admixtures are added during the concrete mixing process. Shotcrete is concrete that is pumped and shot out of a nozzle under pressure to fill one-sided formwork, whereas traditional concrete is poured into forms or directly onto the grade.

The shotcrete process has challenges that are less applicable to conventional ready-mix or precast concreting. The inclusion of EdenCrete® in shotcrete reduces wear and tear on the pump because the mix can be moved through the equipment and extreme hose lengths using a lower hydraulic pump pressure than shotcrete without EdenCrete®. Thus, pump equipment can remain in service for a longer period before replacement is necessary. Low dosages of EdenCrete® can provide long-term savings for shotcrete contractors.

Another common challenge for shotcreting operations is overspray, or the portion of the shotcrete that is airborne and adheres to surrounding surfaces. Typically, shotcrete contractors must go to great lengths to protect against overspray, and at a significant cost. For example, a swimming pool contractor will need to cover the area and buildings surrounding the pool with plastic sheeting to protect it from overspray. Other trades will remove their equipment to avoid overspray, slowing down construction schedules. If these protective measures are not employed, it can result in a costly process to remove the overspray after it has hardened, often with headache from the contractor and customer alike. This challenge is difficult to overcome for both interior and exterior application areas. Admixtures like EdenCrete® can help reduce overspray, saving time and money for contractors, crews, and owners.

Because conventional shotcrete generates a large amount of dust, air quality is a concern for personnel working in the area. This is especially important for interior applications. To protect themselves, other trades typically vacate the jobsite when shotcrete is applied, even when working outside. Using EdenCrete® significantly reduces the dust generated during application, improving air quality and helping trades to continue to work safely using PPE common to construction sites. This helps to maintain construction schedules throughout the project.

Because of the suite of benefits offered by the EdenCrete® admixture, contractors discovered that it exceeded expectations. The reduction in dust and overspray enabled these same contractors to operate multiple spray nozzles on indoor jobs, completing the jobs faster. The improved adhesion encases steel reinforcement more completely and helps personnel carving the shell.

The concrete and shotcrete industry is experiencing a significant worldwide increase in concrete demand, which has created a problematic shortage in cement. It is cement and the cement paste fraction of a mix which provides the necessary fresh properties for a successful placement. The added creaminess provided by EdenCrete® offers the ability to optimize mixes for a lower cementitious content while maintaining the necessary fresh properties. This increases the number of cubic yards of concrete and/or shotcrete which can be produced from a given quantity of cement, reducing costs and carbon footprint.

Cement additives and shotcrete admixtures are key for the industry to meet increased demand, extend life of concrete structures, and deliver supply to remote destinations. The cost per cubic yard of concrete or shotcrete continues to increase, and the need to use new admixture technologies like EdenCrete® has never been more critical to the construction industry.

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