Architectural Precast Concrete Wall Panels
With BarChip Fibre Reinforced Concrete
BarChip synthetic fibre concrete reinforcement is a high performance, corrosion free concrete reinforcement system used extensively in precast concrete applications. The system works by distributing tens of thousands of high tensile strength fibres throughout the concrete mix (pictured below).
A fantastic example of this are the vertically formed architectural wall panels pictured here, which come in various sizes and with a wide combination of natural stone and brick finishes. Wall systems such as this are used widely in residential, commercial and industrial settings such as highway sound barriers. The success of the system is primarily due to the increased durability, speed of construction and high performance design. When combined these features result in a finished product that is the same or lower cost than comparable products but with a superior performance and an architectural finish.
Each panel is cast on site and cured in the precast yard. Once cured the panels are transported to site and mechanically installed onto a pre-constructed footing system. The precast wall panels pictured here are;
- 4 inches thick, 15 feet wide and weigh between 6,000 to 8,000 pounds.
- 6, 8, 12 or 14 foot high with columns at 15 feet centres.
- Rated to withstand 130 mph wind with gusts up to 150 mph.
- Reduce exterior noise by 10.2 decibels.
- Specified to 5000 psi design strength.
The precast wall system demonstrated here has always used steel or synthetic fibre reinforcement. Fibre reinforcement in general increases the speed of production, improves the performance and reduces the cost of precast concrete elements. However, all fibres perform differently and offer unique benefits (or problems) to a project. After testing and trials it was clear that BarChip concrete fibre offered 3 clear benefits to this project;
- BarChip is corrosion free and eliminates any risk of surface staining as a result of corrosion.
- Concrete workability and consistency is critical in the production of precast elements. With the addition of BarChip fibres and in consultation with BarChip specialists, the manufacturer was able to greatly improve their concrete workability and consistently deliver a high performance mix.
- BarChip fibre delivered exceptionally high performance in quality control testing. 1-day testing showed BarChip delivered an average result of 3,100 psi (68.5 % of design specification). 7-day testing showed BarChip delivered an average result of 5,405 psi (120.5 % of design specification).
Combined, these benefits made BarChip an easy choice for the designer and manufacturer.