Innovation. To some, that word conjures thoughts of digital wizardry, nanoscience, robotics or scientists in white lab coats. Yet innovation also lives in continuing improvements to the materials and methods at work in time-honored traditional technologies. Sometimes a little innovation in a great product can take it to new levels of greatness. Take concrete, for example.
An innovative new product by Gresser Co. — the world’s first jointless concrete– was recently implemented at the recently-completed 43,000 s.f. MicroSource Fertilzer warehouse project in Shakopee, MN.
Strong, Durable and Economical PrimeComposite
Known as PrimeComposite, the product provides concrete floors that are strong and durable as well as virtually crack free. The strong concrete allows for thinner floor designs with reduced life cycle costs, making it economical to construct and maintain. Its qualities make the product ideal for a number of applications, including warehouses, retail stores, industrial factories and manufacturing facilities.
“The big advantage is no rebar,” said KA project manager Doug Jaeger. “It uses steel fiber instead and absorbent mats under the cement pour. The concrete swells as it cures instead of shrinking.”
Jointless Concrete Advantages
The steel fiber-reinforced, non-shrink concrete flooring system eliminates the joints in concrete, and consequently, post-installation issues. Jointless floor systems provide multiple benefits, including:
• No joints in concrete on daily pours
• Superior for robotic driverless forklifts with no disturbance
• Increased productivity (no slow moving)
• No detrimental effect of shrinkage, curling is elimated
• Reduced long-term floor maintenance costs
• No requirements to fill or maintain saw-cut joints
The new product also elevates the sustainability of concrete, which is responsible for 5% of global CO2 emissions. PrimeComposite is up to 30% thinner than traditional concrete floors and produces up to 50% less CO2 than normal. The jointless process also eliminates silica dust, which is created from saw cutting.
“We are coming up on a year of hard use of our new warehouse,” said Kipp Smallwood, general manager/COO of MicroSource. “The floor is 100% crack free and has exceeded our expectations! One more benefit is the shine it gives off. It looks like it would be slippery but it’s not. I think this system will revolutionize concrete floors as it becomes more widely understood,” Smallwood said.
Use of PrimeComposite does require special considerations in the import of the material and also the site add process, according to Jake Matlon, Gresser project manager.
“KA has helped make this project a success by being open-minded to this innovative system, suggesting it to the owner, and accommodating Gresser’s needs to make this system work,” Matlon said.
“The superintendent and project manager from KA on this job supported us the entire way and by working together we were able to make this project a success.
“The value PrimeComposite brought to MicroSource was not only a superior high performance floor, but we were able to eliminate costly water stop which was required at all joints,” said Matlon.
“Any potential chemical spills could enter the soil at the slab joints, contaminating the soil which is why the water stop was required. By offering a jointless product, the water stop was eliminated as well,” said Matlon.
The 43,000 s.f. Microscource project includes a warehouse with mezzanine, conference room and quality control office. The project was completed in December 2015 on a tight schedule of just 70 working days on site, from demolition of an existing building and new construction. The facility was ready to accommodate the client’s hosting a national meeting there on December 10, 2015.