As a company, RPM are always incredibly focused on innovation, whether that be acquired or innovated internally. For the last five years the RPM subsidiary The Euclid Chemical Company has been working on a product that will revolutionize the construction industry, that product goes by the name of TUF-STRAND SF.
Created with the intention of replacing rebar in construction, TUF-STRAND SF is a patented polypropylene/polyethylene synthetic macro-fiber used to replace steel fibers, welded wire mesh and conventional reinforcing bars in a wide variety of applications. Typically, in a cubic yard of concrete on a floor there can be anywhere from 20lbs to 100lbs of steel – this can be replaced using TUF-STRAND SF by using approximately 3lbs to 8lbs per yard of concrete.
As well as being considerably lighter, TUF-STRAND SF is substantially more cost efficient, it will not corrode and it is also hugely time saving for contractors, as it can do the job that rebar does in 30-40% of the application time. Make no doubt about it – this product will go down as one of the greatest innovations in the construction industry in the next decade.
For years rebar has provided the supporting framework for everything ranging from bridges to skyscrapers, and many companies have been trying and failing to replace it for quite some time. At first, steel fibers seemed to be the solution but TUF-STRAND SF blows them out of the water.
The product has equivalent strengths to WWM and rebar according to engineering calculations and it also controls and mitigates plastic-shrinkage cracking whilst reducing segregation and bleed water.
Concrete reinforced with TUF-STRAND SF will boast three-dimensional reinforcing with enhanced flexural toughness, impact and abrasion resistance. It provides three-dimensional reinforcement against micro and macro-cracking, reduces equipment wear, fiber rebound and increases build-up thickness compared to steel fibers for shotcrete applications.
TUF-STRAND SF is specifically designed to provide equivalent tensile and bending resistance to conventional reinforcement requirements. It also increases overall durability, fatigue resistance and flexural toughness. Not to mention that it is easily added to concrete mixture at any time prior to placement.
Gone are the days of unsightly rust stains, spalling and structures being weakened by corrosion. TUF STRAND SF is the future and it promises to be an exciting, cost-cutting, timesaving, more reliable, revolutionary alternative to rebar. In the years to come, architects and contractors alike will be scratching their heads wondering just how they ever managed without it.
Dave McNeece was recently appointed Managing Director for Flowcrete Americas having formerly been International Marketing and Business Development Manager for Flowcrete Group.
(Images used courtesy of The Euclid Chemical Company)