What is Shotcrete?

What is Shotcrete

American Concrete Institute’s (ACI) “Guide to Shotcrete” defines Shotcrete as concrete (or sometimes mortar) conveyed through a hose and pneumatically projected at high velocity onto a receiving surface. While the material component of shotcrete is essentially concrete, the process of shotcrete application is unique.

It involves pneumatic projection so that compaction is achieved on the receiving surface. Shotcrete is then a method of placing concrete using air. The final product is concrete and as such can be used wherever concrete would be used. It offers several advantages when compared to regular concrete:

It is more durable.
It’s imparts higher mechanical strength to buildings and construction.
The use of shotcrete-sprayed concrete in construction activities makes the structure less porous which increases the bond strength in concrete repair application.
Accelerates construction time and reduces costs
The concrete is shot in place, so the weight of the concrete is carried by the concrete itself. There is little or no lateral pressure because the shotcrete is essentially self-supporting and doesn’t “flow” like fresh concrete does This means formwork can be much lighter and only one side of the formwork is required. This results in formwork savings of 50-100% and the associated time, crane and cost savings.
Complex shapes require very little form work. Architects are then free to express themselves and consider applications that would have been impractical in the past due to high formwork costs.
Shotcrete or gunite can be applied to almost any surface including wood, steel, plastic and even polystyrene.
Ability to access restricted space and difficult-to-reach areas, including overhead and underground.
Prime application areas for shotcrete-sprayed concrete in water retaining structures are sea and river walls, aqueducts, swimming pools, reservoirs and dams, water towers, canal linings, and irrigation and drainage channels.
The ability to form a durable bond interface between the existing substrate and the new concrete results in and excellent concrete repair when shotcrete/gunite is used.
Shotcrete can be used for restoration and repairs of old and fire damaged buildings.
Shotcrete is an excellent material in terms of sustainability. A Shotcrete mix can contain high percentages of recycled material, while its high thermal mass makes for more energy efficient structures.

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