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Both wet-mix and dry-mix shotcrete when using proper materials, equipment and placement techniques will produce high strength, low permeability concrete in-place. Dry-mix shotcrete will tend to have a lower w/cm since water is added to the dry concrete materials at the nozzle. Wet-mix needs a higher w/cm and a fairly high cement paste content to facilitate pumpability. This can make wet-mix more susceptible to plastic or drying shrinkage cracking than dry-mix. However, cracking in either dry-mix or wet-mix shotcrete can be controlled by using fogging of freshly finished surfaces and then early curing of exposed shotcrete surfaces.
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WWF can be used to provide reinforcing in double curved sections where it would be hard to bend and place reinforcing bars. Also, it may be used where you have a thick concrete cover or unreinforced thickness of a repair area that you wanted to get some reinforcing in place to control depth of any surface or shrinkage cracking.
You should have a professional engineer with experience in concrete shell design and construction evaluate your dome home for structural integrity. If the cracking is determined to not affect the structural integrity, epoxy or polyurethane grout injection is routinely used to seal cracks in concrete.
Shotcrete can and has been used to overlay previously installed shotcrete or concrete that has cracked over time. It would be advisable that you engage an engineer knowledgeable in geotechnical engineering and concrete properties to formalize a solution. It is important that the cause of the cracks be determined and adequate reinforcing be designed to ensure that the cracks do not propagate through the overlaid shotcrete.
There are a wide variety of epoxies and polyurethanes used for crack injection. Smaller crack widths would require a lower-viscosity material to penetrate the crack. You should contact an engineer or injection specialist experienced in shotcrete and cracking issues to evaluate the cracking and make a specific recommendation for repair. Proper concrete mixture design, placement techniques, and early water fogging and curing can help to reduce plastic shrinkage and drying shrinkage cracking in the future.
Concrete, when applied using the shotcrete process, or cast-in-place, needs to cure for 7 days. Water is the best curing method (7 continuous days). Curing compound can be applied, but the membrane film that is formed will have to be removed by sand or water blasting (5000 psi [34.5 MPa] is recommended) before the plaster or tile can be set (it will create a bond breaker if not removed). There are curing compounds with a dissipating resin, which means after about 30 days in the sun, the material will break down. In either case, it is a good practice to pressure wash the concrete surface to remove the grit and dust out of the pours so that the plaster and tile will have a good bond. This is normal, everyday concrete curing practice that helps to prevent shrinkage cracks. The concrete being applied should have a water-cement ratio (w/c) of 0.35 to 0.45. Having the w/c at 0.40 at a 2 to 3 in. (50 to 75 mm) slump will keep the water demand low to help minimize the shrinkage. Wet-fogging freshly placed concrete before the curing process begins will also help prevent shrinkage cracks.
Each retaining wall needs to be engineered for the specific job conditions. It is fairly common, however, to see two layers of reinforcing bars in a wall of this thickness. In addition to reinforcing the wall, the steel would help support the shotcrete during placement. If drying shrinkage crack control is an issue, synthetic fibers may be added. Shrinkage in shotcrete mixtures may be higher than placed concrete with a 1 in. (25 mm) maximum-sized coarse aggregate due to smaller coarse aggregate size in shotcrete mixtures, higher fine aggregate content, and higher cement/cementitious material content. This may be partially offset by a slightly lower water-cementitious material ratio in a shotcrete mixture.
Removal is probably not called for in this situation. Spider web cracking usually is an indication of crazing, a form of plastic shrinkage cracking. Crazing generally occurs when the combination of temperature and humidity creates a rate of evaporation at the surface of the concrete that is higher than the rate of bleed water exiting the concrete. Because the surface has very little, if any, tensile strength at this time, crazing cracks start to form. The good news is that crazing is an aesthetic problem. It affects only the very top surface and does not extend deeply into the concrete. Crazing cracks are more apparent when the surface is damp.
To avoid or limit crazing, be conscious of the weather conditions during placement. If there will be high temperature, low humidity, and moderate to high winds, measures such as fogging and/or erection of windbreaks may be required during placement. Synthetic fibers will help inhibit the formation of crazing cracks. Curing must begin as soon as possible, especially in these conditions.
Some designers are eliminating wire mesh and relying on synthetic fiber reinforcement for shrinkage crack control. The use of synthetic fiber eliminates the concern over cover and corrosion in aggressive environments. Specific recommendations on the amount and type of fiber should come from the manufacturer.
When trying to find a contractor in your area, please visit the Corporate Member page of this website. When constructing water ponds, the liner is always under the concrete just in case the concrete cracks not on top. Master Builders makes a product called Master Seal 345 which is designed to waterproof the concrete before the shotcrete is placed. Using a macro synthetic fiber for strength, flexural and to control shrinkage cracking will help. It comes down to proper prep work prior to placement and curing of the concrete (7 days of water) to control cracks. Bentonite shotcrete could be a possibility or perhaps plastic shotcrete (cement and bentonite shotcrete).
Typically, the thickness is a minimum of 3 inches and slope lining in the 6 to 8 inch range is often installed. The reinforcing is also variable with the lightest sections with no reinforcing or a low dosage of polyfibers or light welded wire fabric and the heavier sections with rebar. Basically, a lot of different designs can be used. We are not aware of any widely used standards. 350c69d7ab