Concrete substitute makes it possible to obtain a composite composition, which, with its minimum density, is several times higher than the strength characteristics of modern foamed concrete.
The eternal problem of construction in private sectors is the impossibility of pouring concrete at subzero temperatures. If it is too cold outside and the solution freezes before it has time to freeze, there can be no question of any strength. It is for this reason that even the filling of the base of the fence posts turns into a long-term construction. But, as it turned out, there is a way out. The usual building materials have been replaced by a concrete substitute that is not afraid of low temperatures. He will be discussed in today’s article.
Concrete substitute – a material that few have heard of yet
- What is a concrete substitute: general information
- What can replace concrete: material manufacturers and brands of their compositions
- Concrete substitute “Hills”: characteristics, grades of compositions
- Performance characteristics of the “Fast 2k” concrete substitute
What is a concrete substitute: general information
In simple terms, a concrete substitute is a composite made up of separately packaged components (base and hardener). When mixed, the active substances react and harden rather quickly, while the composition increases in size up to 15 times. The mixture is set within 5 minutes, and complete hardening occurs in an hour.
If we talk about the strength of the concrete substitute, then it even surpasses the building material familiar to everyone. The scope of application of the two-component composition is quite wide, however, there are certain limits here too. Most often, a concrete substitute is used to strengthen fence posts, vertical and horizontal supports of light structures (gazebos, awnings), and install road signs or barriers. But for the supporting structures of residential buildings, such a material is not suitable. We’ll have to use the already familiar cement-based concrete.
The mixing technology of the composition may differ, depending on the manufacturer and the type of material. More familiar two-component compositions are mixed in a separate container using a mixer. Everything should be done very quickly here. After the start of mixing, within 45 seconds – 1 minute, the components react, as a result, the composition begins to increase in volume. Therefore, you should not immediately knead a large amount of material.
With an average size of a hole for a post, 0.5 liters of the composition is enough for it, which means that mixing more than 1-2 liters can lead to the fact that the master simply does not have time to distribute the concrete substitute over the posts. The composition reaches its maximum volume after 4 minutes, and after 5 minutes it completely solidifies.
The second version of the concrete substitute does not require mixing. The reaction begins immediately after opening the package from interaction with air. Otherwise, when working with such a composition, there are no differences from the previous version.
What can replace concrete: material manufacturers and brands of their compositions
Among the manufacturers of such composite building materials, the most famous in Russia are Hilst and Fast 2k. Quikset is slightly less popular, but this is not a reason to bypass it, and therefore it is worth considering these compositions in more detail. Along the way, we will get acquainted with the opinion of consumers, which is expressed in the reviews collected on the Internet.
Concrete substitute “Hills”: characteristics, grades of compositions
This material is considered the most popular in our country. There are 3 main brands of Hilst concrete substitute available: Standart, Profi and Expert. In fact, these are completely identical materials, differing only in volume, which is 1, 10 and 40 liters, respectively.
The composition must be mixed within 30 seconds, and after 45 seconds, a chemical reaction has already begun. The material reaches full expansion in 3 minutes, after which it begins to solidify. After 5 minutes, 80% strength is reached. It will take 3 hours for the Hilst concrete substitute to reach 100% strength. In compression, such a composition withstands a load of 660 kPa. For lightweight structures, this strength is quite enough.
The expansion of the concrete substitute is quite interesting to watch.
After rereading many reviews about the “Hills” concrete substitute, we could not find a single mention of the disadvantages of this mixture, except for a slightly overpriced. However, this can also be argued about, because such a composition is expanding very much. For example, “Standard” with a volume of 1 liter can replace 40 kg of dry construction mixture.
But users say a lot about the merits. Among them are not only the possibility of pouring at negative (up to -25 ° C) temperatures and a high solidification rate, but also dielectric properties, ease of installation, the presence of excellent hydrophobic properties and a high level of adhesion.
Performance characteristics of the “Fast 2k” concrete substitute
The main difference between Fast 2k concrete substitute, judging by the reviews, is that mixing the components does not require the use of a mixer. The components of the mixture are in special bags, between which there is a partition. After removing a special plate that squeezes the packages with active substances and prevents them from contacting, all that remains is to loosen the mixture, stirring it for 30 seconds, after which, open the package and pour the contents into the wells.
The performance characteristics of the “Fast 2k” concrete substitute are slightly better than the previous composition. Fully expanded from 1 liter, the composition takes up a volume of 20 liters, the compressive strength is 680 kPa, and 100% drying occurs after 2 hours.
No one argues that this type of assembly mass cannot completely replace cement-based concrete. But in some cases, such a mixture can reduce the time and labor costs when fixing individual elements. Given the low cost (especially for Russian-made products), it is safe to say that the popularity of concrete substitutes will continue to grow. And if someone decided to try using such a composition, then this is very correct. The main thing is to strictly follow the instructions for use, without departing from the manufacturer’s recommendations even a step. published by econet.ru
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