Crop’s decisively chooses Bekaert’s unique steel fibres
DRAMIX® 5D: Working faster with less steel
Bekaert launched the Dramix® 4D and 5D steel fibres in September 2012. The new product lines should give steel fibres a larger share of the concrete reinforcement market. Dramix® has provided Bekaert with quite a few recommendations already, at home and abroad. A fine example of the qualities of 5D steel fibres is the reinforcement of the foundation for a high-rise deep-freeze warehouse for Crop’s in Ooigem.
Bekaert revolutionised concrete reinforcement by introducing steel fibres with hooked ends in 1970. This was followed four years later by glued steel fibres.
In 1995, the multinational’s research and development team drastically improved the anchorage by flattening the hooked ends of the steel fibres. Halfway through 2012, two entirely new series of steel fibres followed: Dramix® 4D and 5D.
“The new steel fibres provide a strongly improved anchoring, tensile strength and ductility. They are stronger, safer and more durable and are therefore suited for the most demanding structural applications. The range of applications is endless. Currently already one in three industrial floors is constructed with steel fibre reinforced concrete. Dramix® fibres can also be used in tunnel walls and prefab applications, such as walls, columns and sewerage pipes, or in ready-to-pour concrete for the foundations of houses’’, says Hendrik Thooft, global product market manager of the building products department at Bekaert.
“In anticipation of the new Eurocode, which is expected to be ready around 2018-2020, we have brought our steel fibres to an even higher level”, explains Marc Vansteenbrugge, Sales Manager Belux Dramix® Flooring.
Fig.1: Entirely automated cranes shuttle between pallet locations. Infosheet: Dramix® 5D - Work faster with less steel Dramix®
The 4D family offers a solution for crack width limiting applications. Due to their unique double hooked shape, their ultra-high tensile strength (2,300 N/mm²) and their ductile wire, Dramix® 5D steel fibres are a particularly good solution for reinforced structural applications. They provide an ideal reinforcement for general foundation plates and floors on piles.
“With the combined action of these unique fibre properties and traditional dosages of 20 to 40 kg/m³ in high-quality concrete, these unique 5D steel fibres reach a performance level that was only considered possible with traditional reinforcement methods. Once the concrete is cracked, these fibres can take a higher load”, according to Vansteenbrugge.
The 5D steel fibres are particularly suitable for reinforcing structural foundation plates of, among others, non-residential buildings, apartments and warehouses (“clad rack”), which are built ground bearing or – as generally is the case in Belgium – on piles. In the case of such warehouses, the racks, the outer walls and the roof constitute the whole building, which necessitates a robust foundation plate. Traditionally with such projects heavy-duty reinforcement was chosen, but 5D offers a better solution in this case.
A project that really showcases the qualities of 5D steel fibres is the construction of a new deep-freeze warehouse for Crop’s in Ooigem in West Flanders, a producer of deep-frozen foodstuffs (vegetables, fruit and ready-made meals). The automated high-rise warehouse is a steel construction that is 82 m long, 38 m wide and 40.5 m high, with storage space for 20,000 pallets. This giant deep-freezer stands beside the existing deep-freeze warehouse and the factory.
The automation supplier Egemin Automation, from Zwijndrecht, is responsible for the construction. The investment shall support Crop’s expansion plans for the coming years.
“We entered this project with our fibres through the engineering agency Norbert Provoost from Sint-Amandsberg. In close consultation, the advantages of our Dramix® 5D steel fibres were incorporated in their calculation model. After that we explained our proposal to all parties concerned. The client Crop’s and Egemin Automation supported this. The construction of the foundation plate was carried out by the contractor Alheembouw. The steel fibre concrete was cast by the Betocor company. Bekaert also provided the supervision of dosing on site. Our proposal was not only cheaper, but above all much simpler than the traditionally calculated foundation. Up to 60% of the traditional reinforcement could be omitted.
Drilling the thousands of holes for chemical anchoring of the racks in the concrete was simplified, as a result of which the implementation was also accelerated. Furthermore, a large portion of the traditional and complex reinforcement for lateral forces could be simplified or omitted through the use of our Dramix® 5D steel fibres. A simpler and lighter reinforcement, supplemented with our 5D fibres, provided the optimal total solution”, clarifies Marc Vansteenbrugge.
Crop’s is also highly satisfied with the choice of Bekaert’s Dramix® 5D steel fibres. “The Dramix® fibres offer a lot of advantages: the work can be carried out more rapidly; less steel is needed; and the fibres have been well dosed, as a result of which one can count on a good homogeneous reinforcement in the concrete plate. Furthermore, the professional character of the Bekaert company is a major advantage. These steel fibres are the future”, according to an enthusiastic Frank Vanhauwaert, business unit manager operations at Crop’s nv.
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