The Three Golden Rules for Fast Set Concrete

Runways and roads are getting busier each year. As anyone working in the industry knows, replacing and repairing them is becoming more challenging than ever. Stakeholders are pushing for works to be completed faster in an attempt to save money and minimise traffic interruptions.

Bluey’s extensive experience with Fast Set Concretes (FSCs) and challenging commercial projects has given us insight into the essentials for dealing with time-critical materials and their specifications. Below, we have included three golden rules for consultants, contractors, engineers and pumpers to follow when using FSCs.

1) FSC must gain strength in all conditions.
To ensure the highest durability the FSC must be volumetrically stable throughout the placement process. The mix must be able to withstand hot or cold weather, as the temperature at the time the concrete is poured will ultimately affect the strength of the product for its lifespan.

Bluey’s BluCem FSC uses a computer-controlled system that allows the operator to set the work-time and strength gain depending upon the current temperature at the time of the pour. If it’s 5 degrees or 35 degrees, you will have the same results, every time. Not only is BluCem FSC low-shrinkage (in accordance with relevant Australian Standards), we have also developed in-house testing to ensure that volumetric stability is achieved through the plastic stage (placing and compaction).

2) The FSC must be dense and protect the reinforcing steel.
Many existing types of accelerated concretes utilise harmful chemicals to adjust the workability and set times of the concrete. This often means that the finished job is visually appealing but the core composition surrounding the structural steel has been compromised due to contents which lead to shorter life-expectancy of the slab.

BluCem FSC does not contain any accelerators which interfere with pavement durability. The naturally fast setting properties of our cement means that we can achieve the high early strengths without the addition of harmful chloride and nitrate accelerators. The end result is highly protected reinforcing steel with maximum durability for the pavement.

3) The FSC must be free of cracks and be consistent every time to meet Australian Standards.
It is all well and good to have a world class product at the time of testing, however, you need to be sure that the same quality is delivered at all times under all conditions. The features of fast-setting concrete systems which make them suitable for challenging environments mean that every batch requires testing during the manufacturing process.

Bluey provides extensive data on all our products and guarantees reliability. The Bluey manufacturing process utilises pharmaceutical grade systems to accurately measure and disperse all ingredients, of each batch. This ensures optimum flexural strength, slump and permeability. In addition, all water used in this process needs to be delivered through accurate, computer controlled, flow metres. This safeguards the water to cement ratio every time.

Completing time-critical slabs at airports and on major roads requires the best teams in the business. Organisation and experience are critical for a successful outcome. Work times for FSC are short and the window for surface finishing is narrow. Our specialist applicators are highly trained to deliver quality results for complex and challenging projects. They know when and how to complete every step and are the most critical component of any successful project.

If you have questions about BluCem FSC or you’d like to learn more about our projects using it, contact Greg Sieders at greg.sieders@bluey.com.au

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