THE TRUTH ABOUT FIBRES: PART FOUR

THE TRUTH ABOUT FIBRES: PART FOUR -

INTERNATIONAL CERTIFICATION AND WHAT DOES IT MEAN?

 

INTRODUCTION

Part Two of this series touched on the good, the bad and the ugly of fibres – fibres are not all created equal. 

Using fibres to reinforce concrete has been around for centuries but the modern take on horsehair has only been around for about 40 years.  Today, quality fibres are made from pure, virgin material and are not made from recycled products.  When you combine these high-quality fibres with the international certification you have an unbeatable argument against the cheaper also rans, the imitators.  Cheaper, more inferior fibres underperform and serve to compromise the integrity of the concrete.

Let’s make this abundantly clear: if the fibres you are considering for reinforcement do not have the CE marking and EN numbers as provided by the Belgian Construction Certification Association (BCCA) then they should be avoided.  It is simply not worth the risk!

WHAT IS THIS CERTIFICATION?

The stringent European Standard EN 14889-2 and the associated CE marking are the internationally recognised standards for polypropylene, macro-synthetic or steel fibres.

In simple terms, they are the standard for reinforcing fibres.  They ensure the conformity and consistency of product in the market.  The certification is a declaration of performance and gives the buyer total confidence and peace of mind.

FIBRE IN NEW ZEALAND

Reinforcing fibres, generally, have been slow to take off in New Zealand.  Similarly, while the BCCA certifications are known and respected overseas, little is known of them in New Zealand.  Why is that?

It is hard to fathom why there is such an aversion to using fibres.  Stratmore [link] still hears out-of-date, ill-informed and negative arguments against fibres.  And this when confidence in mesh is still shaky (pun intended).  And there is still the prevailing attitude in industry of “out of sight, out of mind”.  Which is strange when anyone working with concrete knows that concrete wants to crack.  The one-dimensional nature of mesh in concrete has traditionally shown that it is not the total solution that traditionalists insist on clinging to.  Whereas fibres can either replace or complement mesh.  With their ability to become fully integral with the concrete in a 3-dimensional manner why wouldn’t they be considered a viable option to help mitigate that cracking? 

CERTIFIED CONCRETE (?)

As an extension to this is the fact that non-certified fibres are often used in concrete.  Poor quality, sub-standard, underperforming fibres are added to mixes every day to go onto sites.  So, this begs the question: “how can these ready-mix yards say their concrete is certified when they are not using certified fibres in the mix?”  It defies logical in our opinion.

THE BEST OF THE BEST

Certified fibres are the best of the best.  In respect of the BCCA certification, inspectors from the organisation visit the fibre manufacturer and inspect both the plant and the operation, regardless of where they are in the world.  BCCA ensure that there is built-in continuous surveillance and assessment of the manufacturer.  Random testing is also undertaken. 

To quote BCCA directly: “certification is a means of promoting confidence in a product, construction system, organisation or individual via inspection by an independent body”.

THE CHOICE IS YOURS

1.      Peace of mind with certified, high-quality fibres that perform as specified.    OR

2.      Worry about re-working; potentially dangerous construction; and loss of credibility with non-certified, poor quality, underperforming fibres.

PEACE OF MIND

So, for total peace of mind, assurance of an end-to-end value chain, topped with high performance – talk to Stratmore about CE/EN certification and fibres that will work for your next project. Fibres like those from FORTA Corp and Propex Global. Fibres we have been proud to distribute in New Zealand for over 15 years.

Product Catalogue: 
Product Catalogue: 

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