A polymer fibre developed by TEXO in collaboration with their client and supply partners, eliminates the need for steel reinforcement in precast concrete. The fibre’s 100-year design life also ensures longevity of concrete infrastructure elements.

Increasing the integrity of infrastructure elements such as bridges, roads, drainage systems and hard pavements is a constant challenge faced by infrastructure designers and authorities. Higher construction costs coupled with reducing budgets mean that new solutions must be developed in construction methods to offset the cost as well as design life challenges.

The longevity of the reinforcement of concrete that makes up the backbone of all infrastructure projects remains one of the main problems facing designers and engineers. Concrete is traditionally reinforced with welded steel mesh and/or reinforcement bar. The steel bar and mesh provide very good stiffening for the concrete; however, steel corrodes and has a much shorter design life than the concrete that it reinforces, thereby impacting the life of the concrete element in infrastructure projects. When the steel element in concrete corrodes, it swells and fractures the concrete structure from within, leading to catastrophic and potentially, early life failure.

For the steel bar and mesh to achieve the 100-year design life required by authorities, a greater concrete cover is required in addition to the use of modified cements to protect against corrosion.

TEXO partnered with their client and supply partners on a fibre development program, seeking to develop a polymer fibre that could meet the required 100-year design life and totally eliminate the need for steel reinforcing in precast elements. The polymer fibre resulting from the program replaces mesh and bar, and also actually reduces the concrete element’s mass and, therefore, cost.

TEXO’s 100-year design life fibres are now used in many infrastructure applications, enabling authorities and designers to meet their design life targets, while also significantly reducing the production costs for their clients, allowing them to compete more aggressively in their markets.

TEXO would like to recognise and thank their client partners, Aus Pits and BASF for their contribution to this program.