For the past decade or so, there are many homeowners who have been debating whether to speak with welded wire mesh suppliers or ask experts with fibre meshes to help them reinforce concrete.
Contractors around are of the opinion that wire meshes can be with lesser hassles than those made of fibre, for the simple fact that ordering them is easy and installing or using them isn’t tough. Rolls and bundles of wire mesh can be stored for long, whereas those made from fibre can give way in time to come. Structural and rebar mats especially do well with welded meshes, and not fibre, say experts.
Fibre or Welded mesh
Fibre has been looked into as an alternative, the synthetic ones especially; however they do not perform as well as what the welded wires would. With the help of well placed wire meshes, the hardened slab would be held together, stronger and better while the soil settles around it. Wire meshes wouldn’t allow shrinkage to happen, which fibre ones cannot control and hence cracking would appear. The cracking would be noticed a few weeks later when the showers hit, but that is only if you use fibre meshes and not the wire ones.
Fibre meshes have only benefits to give in the first few hours of use, when the concrete is set. Post that, there aren’t many benefits say experts for anyone to have on a real time basis. Once again, experts have confirmed the lesser occurrences of plastic shrinking with wire welded meshes than those made of fibres. When the hardening of concrete takes place, the wire meshes help with more strength for the longevity of slabs, than what fibre meshes can.
When a case of plastic shrinkage happens, because of the weather and elements around, premature drying of the concrete is enhanced and proves hazardous for the life of the slab. This is a concern, especially when the day is hot and dry, windy too. Fibre cannot manage it all, not as much as what wire welded meshes can, and that is why contractors prefer wire over fibre, and especially if the weather is cold and cloudy with no winds.
Reinforcements though are a must when one uses welded wire mesh, and the sub-base get’s stronger too. Contractors now can control the plastic shrinkage and cracks using wire and not fibres, the mesh would stay for a long time too. For slabs that need reinforcement, especially residential slabs, it would be best to speak with the right experts and choose meshes made of wire that are apt for the job in hand.
One cannot deny that wire meshes can have great load bearing capacity, much more than what fibre ones can do. However, it would be wise to check with at least four to five welded wire mesh suppliers and then take a call on which variety or vendor to choose and use. Comparisons make things better, and you get to save money and time as well.