Steel fiber manufacturer Concrete Fiber Solutions (CFS) has recently partnered with engineers and contractors to support two new building developments in the education field – Roanoke College in Salem, Va. and Olathe West High School in Olathe, Kan.

The projects reflect a growing industry trend in which professionals are choosing steel fibers as a concrete reinforcement method in place of wire mesh, macro-synthetic fibers or stand-alone rebar.

Roanoke College's new five-story athletic center will feature 175,000 pounds of CFS 100-2 (Type II) fibers upon completion, reinforcing more than 250,000 square feet of flooring including both ground-supported and suspended slabs. The project will ultimately support a basketball arena, field house, sports training facility and new Hall of Fame. The use of colored concrete makes the flooring's finish a critical project element in which no fibers can be visible from the surface. CFS' 100-2 fibers exceeded the expectations of concrete contractor F.A.C.T. Inc., adding reinforcement and crack-prevention to the flooring while remaining invisible at surface level.

“Through the assistance of CFS, we were able to redesign the slabs on grade, which allowed us to reduce the thickness of the designed floor, eliminate two mats of #3 rebar and expand saw cuts,” said M. Curtis Witt, Jr., vice president of F.A.C.T. “The floor placements went very well and the floors are performing as expected. The use of CFS fibers also allowed us to redesign the composite slabs on deck and eliminate the #3 rebar, and every pour pumped well. The slabs have performed great with minimal cracking, and what cracks have occurred have held together. In my opinion, the use of CFS 100-2 has outperformed any composite slabs on deck that we have placed with rebar."

Olathe West High School – a new facility under development and slated for opening in 2017 – will feature more than 14,000 pounds of CFS 100-2 fibers upon completion. The school building and gymnasium's 6” slab features 15 pounds of CFS steel fibers per cubic yard. While welded wire fabric and macro synthetic fibers were both considered for this project, concrete contractor Summit Concrete ultimately selected steel fibers due to CFS fibers providing the best combination of ease of use, price and performance. Using only a hand held vibratory screed – a laser screed was impractical due to the size and condition of the slab – Summit Concrete has achieved a near-perfect finish with no fibers visible at the surface.

“Fiber technology is changing the face of concrete installation,” said Mike McPhee, manager of sales and engineering for Concrete Fiber Solutions. “When a product offers both superior performance and significant cost savings to its alternatives, it's a game changer. We're proud to partner with these institutions and play a role in expanding the life of their new facilities.”

CFS products are manufactured in Chicago, Ill. and meet all ASTM and ANSI/SDI standards. Available in multiple sizes to accommodate projects from light commercial to heavy industrial, Concrete Fiber Solutions' slit-sheet fibers provide cost effective temperature and shrinkage reinforcement superior to both wire mesh and rebar. CFS offers two reinforcing steel fibers: CFS 100-2 and CFS 150-5. CFS 100-2 is an ASTM A820 Type II fiber, specifically designed and engineered for heavy industrial work and special design projects. The fibers measure 1” in length with an aspect ratio of 43 and provide a specific design to ensure no fibers appear at the slab surface. CFS 100-2 fibers are sold including design services – a computerized calculation to assess load conditions for each project. CFS 150-5 is an ASTM A820 Type V fiber designed for commercial, light industrial work and composite steel decks. The fibers measure 1.5” in length with an aspect ratio of 38.

Concrete Fiber Solutions.

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