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Fiber for Concrete and Stucco - How and Why?

In the past, there has been one primary way to control drying shrinkage cracking in slab-on-grade applications. For lack of a better system, concrete finishers struggled with mats or rolls of welded wire. Costs added up as the wire had to be delivered to the jobsite and stored to avoid rusting. Injuries were often reported and it was not uncommon for hydraulic lines to be damaged by the wire as the concrete trucks were unloading.

Overlapping the wire caused waste and worst of all, after all of this hassle to place the wire, very few finishers even took the time to pull the wire up after the concrete inevitably forced it against the ground. Even a welded wire salesman would tell you the wire is useless unless it is pulled up into the slab but every day you could find concrete finishers employing this very technique.

Thankfully, new technology emerged in the 70’s and 80’s and was drastically improved and more widely used in the 80’s and 90’s. Today, concrete professionals around the world are using polypropylene fiber and few of them miss the extra cost, hassle and lack of performance associated with the old welded wire system of secondary reinforcement. In the past, concrete finishers heard “what is that hair on my slab?”. Most will now ask “where is the hair on my slab?” if they don’t see the tell-tale “hairs” that indicate fiber is hard at work reducing cracks within their slab.

5-7 minutes of mixing at high speed prior to pouring will ensure thorough dispersion of the fibers. The result is uniformly distributed fibers that provide three-dimensional reinforcement to the concrete. Fiber is hard at work in every square inch of concrete and not just along one plane, as with welded wire.

Mini Fiber    

 Cut size Bag size 
 1/2'', 3/4'', 1.5''  3/4 lb., 1 lb., 1.5 lb., 5 lb., 7 lb.   

Handi-Pac  (1 bag per 94 lb bag of Portland Cement)

 Cut size Bag size 
 1/2'' 3 oz.  

Fibrillated Fiber  

 Cut size Bag size 
 1/2'', 3/4'', 1'', 1.5'', 2'' 3/4 lb., 1 lb., 1.5 lb., 2 lb.