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|Chris von Patzelt
Grace Construction Products
+44 (0) 1753 63 7613
GRACE CONSTRUCTION PRODUCTS INTRODUCES GRACE STRUCTURAL FIBERS® IN EUROPE
New "Steel Alternative" Improves Toughness of Concrete
CAMBRIDGE, Massachusetts, October, 1999 - Grace Construction Products, a world leader in the construction products
industry, has announced the introduction of Grace Structural Fibers® to
the European market. Introduced in North America in March 1999, this new
"steel alternative" represents the company's newest and most advanced
structural reinforcement product. To date, it has been successfully used
in a number of applications in the United States and Canada.
Strong Enough to Replace Steel Reinforcement
Grace Structural Fibers eliminates the need for steel reinforcement and
welded wire fabric in many applications including shotcrete, flatwork
and precast concrete -- even steel re-bar depending on the application.
Partial fibrillation upon mixing increases the performance of the
structural fibers and improves the toughness, impact and fatigue
resistance of the finished concrete. Grace Structural Fibers enables
users to control plastic and drying shrinkage cracking, and dramatically
reduces handling and installation problems associated with traditional
"We are delighted to introduce Grace Structural Fibers to our European
customers," noted Michael Macklin, Product Manager, Grace Construction
Products. "This product reflects Grace's exceptional R&D efforts,
technical expertise and market knowledge. It brings to life a concept
once thought to be impossible -- synthetic fibers strong enough to
replace steel reinforcement."
Added Macklin, "The success that we have achieved in North America, in
just a few short months, reinforces our belief in this product and will
clearly demonstrate its possibilities to our European customers."
A Proven Success
Successful product applications throughout North America include:
- Precast Concrete Septic Tanks
Grace Structural Fibers are being used by a
precast producer in Nova Scotia to replace all of the welded wire mesh
in 625- and 1025-gallon precast concrete septic tank applications. The
precast producer attributes improved productivity and lower tank
fabrication costs to the use of Grace Structural Fibers.
- Wine Cave
Grace Structural Fibers now replace steel fibers
previously used to line wine caves in California. The shotcrete
application stabilizes and adds structural reinforcement to the tunnel
surface. The new fibers were chosen over traditional steel due to
aesthetics, bonding characteristics, lower wear on equipment, and
- Bridge Pier Repairs
Grace Structural Fibers was successfully used to
repair several bridge piers in Nova Scotia, Canada, following failed
attempts at using overlays of steel and polyolefin fibers. Deteriorated
25-year-old concrete sections, between 150 and 200 mm, were removed and
replaced with the new concrete/fiber mixture. Grace Structural Fibers
was pumped from shore through 40m of 125 mm diameter line. Project
officials report a decrease in pump pressures, an improvement in surface
finishing, lower costs and an overall improvement in material
performance thanks to Grace fibers.
- Airport Apron Repairs
Fibers was used in an apron repair project at an international airport
in Canada after previous overlays using steel and polyolefin fibers had
not given optimal results. The concrete mix incorporated a fiber dosage
rate of one percent by volume. The self-fibrillating fibers helped
control plastic and drying shrinkage and provided the apron with
enhanced flexural toughness and impact, abrasion and fatigue resistance.
For more information on Grace Structural Fibers, customers can contact
their local Grace Construction Products salesperson or visit Grace's web
site at http://www.graceconstruction.com.
Headquartered in Cambridge,
Massachusetts, Grace Construction Products, a business unit of W.R.
Grace & Co., is a world-leading manufacturer of technically superior
concrete admixtures including: high range water
reducers/superplasticizers, accelerators, retarders, air entraining
agents, corrosion inhibitors, controlled low strength material, pumping
aids, silica fume, finishing enhancers and fiber reinforcement that make
concrete stronger, longer lasting, crack resistant, stress resistance
and cost efficient. The company also manufactures cement processing
additives, fire protection, waterproofing and masonry products, and has
more than 125 plants and sales offices around the world.