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FORTA Gives Back – Donates to Concrete Canoe Competitions

Posted by Kelsey Mulac on Thursday, March 23, 2017

It’s that time of year again! The concrete canoe season has begun and engineering students across the country are readying their competition canoe designs for the upcoming 2017 regional student competitions. Eighteen American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) Student Conferences are held every spring around the country, each including a business meeting, professional/technical presentations, competitions (surveying, technical paper presentations, concrete canoe competition, steel bridge), social activities and an awards banquet.

The National Concrete Canoe Competition, hosted by the ASCE, is being held at the Colorado School of Mines in Golden, Colorado from June 17-19, 2017. Student concrete canoe teams who win their regional competition will qualify to move on and compete in the ASCE-sponsored National Competition. 

The concrete canoe competition is unique due to the chance for engineering students to design, build and actually compete in the canoe they create from their meticulously tested concrete mixtures. This requires moving beyond the classroom and applying skills they have learned in a real world scenarios using hands-on applications.

These concrete canoe teams often search for reinforcement methods to add to their concrete mix designs. In result, FORTA Corporation donates enough fiber samples to any team that request them for their concrete canoe designs. Usually, teams will request several pounds of fiber along with technical data and mixing instructions.

FORTA Corporation has been a long time sponsor of the student concrete canoe teams annually. FORTA Corporation, and our unique blend of fibers for concrete reinforcement, is happy to support engineering programs and students across the country.

 

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Topics: Concrete Canoe Competition, Fiber reinforcement, concrete

FRC Pavements Technical Report

Posted by Samantha Long on Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Report done by: Dan Biddle

Introduction

At a time when the U.S. infrastructure continues to deteriorate, and construction and maintenance budgets remain underfunded, it becomes even more imperative that highways and pavements achieve longer life and increased durability. While the basic design and available construction materials for Portland cement concrete pavements have remained essentially the same for decades, the traffic and weight loads on today’s pavements have continued to multiply. As a result, corporate owners, cities, counties, and state and federal highway authorities have renewed efforts and funding for experimental materials and novel practices that can help stretch their available transportation dollars.

The roadway of the future must be tougher, more durable, and resistant to cracking, while being cost-comparative with current methods and materials at the same time. These demands and requirements open the door of opportunity for fiber-reinforced concrete, which has a history of adding tremendous performance improvements at a reasonable cost in a wide variety of applications.

This report represents a collection of historical data regarding FORTA Corporation’s pavement experiences, and includes several current and new novel pavement design options and related research to take advantage of these opportunities in the future.

 

Concrete Pavement History

The need for hard, flat, and cleanable pavement surfaces became quite evident in the late 1800’s, when equestrian transportation ruled the day. Though it may seem humorous today, one of the major city street issues of the time was muddy street-ways compounded by tons of manure left behind by this majority mode of transportation. This nasty combination encouraged insects, disease, accidents, and certainly, disruption to traffic. At the first international urban planning conference held in the U.S. in 1898 in New York City, the main topic of discussion was manure, focusing on what had been dubbed by the London Times as “The Great Horse Manure Crisis of 1894.” (1)Though this ‘crisis’ appeared unsolvable at the time – the conference ended in 3 days instead of the scheduled 10 with the conclusion that metropolitan life was not sustainable, and a return to rural life was imminent - the appearance of Henry Ford’s automobile invention soon after solved at least one of the day’s major pavement problems. However the change in transportation mode further encouraged the need for tough level pavement surfaces, a solution for which had actually been trialed just a few years before the New York convention.

 

The first documented Portland cement concrete pavement was placed around the courthouse in the city of Bellefontaine, Ohio, in 1891. Prompted by local inventor George Bartholomew’s investigation of cement production in Germany and Texas, Bellefontaine city officials commissioned an 8-foot wide concrete pavement - then called “artificial stone”(2) - some of which is still in use today. The stipulation made by the city was notable: “Bartholomew had to post a $5,000 performance bond and guarantee that the pavement would last for five years.”(3)

Clearly, having performed almost 125 years since, Bartholomew’s pavement was more than adequate to satisfy the bond. In the years since, pavement requirements have continued to progress and become more challenging, however the same precepts remain: pavements must be hard, flat, cleanable, and affordable, and must last for much longer than the early 5-year projections.

 

According to the American Concrete Institute’s Committee 325 Concrete Pavements recent “Guide for Construction of Concrete Pavements ACI 325.9R-15” (4), there are three general pavement design methodologies in current use today: the PCA (Portland Cement Association) method, the AASHTO design methodology, and the M-E (Mechanistic-Empirical) design methodology. Though all three methods and related details could be considered current state-of-the-art for pavement technology, regrettably none of them facilitate the consideration of fiber reinforcement as a design element. In fact, the only mention of fibers in the ACI 325.9R-15 document is a one-line statement: “Guidance for the use of fiber-reinforced concrete can be found in ACI 544.1R.”(5), which was published in 1996 and could hardly be considered a ‘state-of-the-art’ source of fiber information on its 20th birthday.

 

This scant consideration of fibers seems at odds with known areas of FRC (Fiber Reinforced Concrete) performance improvements, since crack-width control, ease of placement, and smooth riding surfaces are deemed important to the construction of durable concrete pavements. One possible avenue for fiber-design insertion might come within the PCA thickness-design procedure, which “...evaluates a candidate pavement design with respect to two potential failure modes: fatigue and erosion.”(6) Fiber-fatigue values, discussed in the “LTRC FRC Fatigue and Toughness Research” section that follows, may offer a reasonable foundation to include fibers in future pavement design conversations.

 

Issues Regarding Pavement Durability

There are a host of pavement deterioration issues that reflect a direct cost to motorists…..

 

Want to read more, please fill out the information request form and a full report will be availble to you.

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Inside Sales/Customer Service Opening

Posted by Samantha Long on Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Forta Corporation is looking for a talented, detail oriented, competitive Inside Sales Representative that thrives in a quick sales cycle environment.  The successful candidate will play a fundamental role in achieving our ambitious customer service and revenue growth objectives. You must be comfortable making dozens of calls per day, working with sales partners, generating interest, qualifying prospects.

 

Responsibilities

  • Source new sales opportunities through inbound calls and outbound cold calls and emails
  • Understand customer needs and requirements
  • Route qualified opportunities to the appropriate sales representatives for further development and closure
  • Close sales and achieve monthly quotas
  • Research accounts, identify key players and generate interest
  • Maintain and expand your database of prospects within your assigned territory
  • Team with various channel partners to build pipeline and close deals
  • Perform effective online demos to prospects

 

For more information, please go to: Career Opportunities

 

Please forward resume to: careers@fortacorp.com

 

 

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2016 Concrete Canoe Competition

Posted by Samantha Long on Friday, June 17, 2016

The 22nd Canadian National Concrete Canoe Competition was held on May 13-15, 2016, at McGill University, in Montreal, Canada. The competition is a three-day event that hosts teams from all different academic backgrounds.

This competition is unique because students are given the chance to design, build, and actually compete in the canoe they create. This is a positive experience for the students because they must use skills they have learned in the classroom and combine that with hands-on applications.

FORTA Corporation employee, Dan Biddle, said: 

"In our estimation, any competition that combines concrete with engineering students provides a gateway for learning about fiber reinforcement. These exercises provide students with an opportunity to study fiber technology in real applications and creates a platform to discover fiber options and benefits in real-world projects after graduation."

FORTA Corporation donates enough fiber samples to accommodate the specific concrete batching for the canoes. Typically, each team will request several pounds and be provided with technical data and mixing instructions.

FORTA does not favor one team over another, but donates fibers to any team who requests the material. Each team will choose 2 team captains and participate in various judging events. These events are oral presentations, swamp tests, and races. This three-day competition ends with an awards banquet and a party to celebrate all of the teams and their hard work.

Concrete canoe competitions go as far back as the 60’s, being a go-to competition for many American Universities. It wasn’t until 1995, that Canada began it’s own competition. Since it’s start, over 3,000 students have competed in this competition. FORTA Corporation has been donating fiber samples to concrete canoe teams for over 30 years.

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For more information about FORTA fibers or the CNCCC, go to:

www.forta-ferro.com

http://concretecanoe.csce.ca/home

 

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Project Stealth WIns 2015 Innovative Fiber Project of the Year Award

Posted by Cody McCullough on Tuesday, February 23, 2016

The Fiber Reinforced Concrete Association’s (FRCA) yearly Innovative Fiber Project of the Year (IFPY) award acknowledges and highlights innovative and unique projects that expose and advance the use of fiber-reinforced concrete throughout the U.S. market. This award takes all types of applications into consideration, such as shotcrete, precast, decorative, pervious or slab-on-ground.  

The Stealth project submitted by FORTA’s® Regional Sales Manager, Tom Baggett, was awarded the 2015 IFPY award at the FRCA meeting during World of Concrete. This innovative, decorative concrete project gave the Promenade Tower in Atlanta, GA, a unique and artistic focal point for their main entrance. A strong focal point was desired because Promenade Towers shares the same street as the Woodruff Arts Center, an artistic hub with a rich history and expansive community outreach.

Due to the angular slopes and overall nature of Stealth’s design, FORTA-FERRO® macrosynthetic fiber was used to ensure that the integrity and strength of the concrete would not be compromised. They used a high-dosage of FORTA-FERRO® at 5.0 lbs. /cubic yard. Eight tons of rebar were also included in the Stealth project to help maintain the shape.

After wet polishing the entire statue, all leftover fibers were burned off, resulting in a smooth shining black concrete. The Stealth project provides a testament of how well concrete will finish when using a high-dosage of macrosynthetic fibers. Fiber-reinforced concrete will provide long-term durability, three-dimensional reinforcement and a cost-effective alternative to conventional steel reinforcement.

This is the second time FORTA® has won this award. The last was in 2012, when the MLK Humboldt Basin project received the award.

 

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 To see what fiber-reinforcement can do for you, visit www.forta-ferro.com 

IIf you have any fiber questions, don't hesitate to contact our fiber experts.

Contact a Fiber Expert

 

 

 

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The Safe Way Is the Only Way

Posted by Rebecca Snow on Tuesday, September 29, 2015


The Safe Way Is the Fiber Way:

An area of concern for contractors when working on composite steel floor decks is the safety of their workers. Many contractors tell stories of their workers catching their boots on the wire mesh fabric, falling and injuring themselves.  This can lead to costly workers compensation claims for the employer.   Also, there is the added cost of storing the wire mesh fabric on the job-site, as well as then safely craning the wire mesh fabric to each deck level.  In many cases it’s difficult to place the wire mesh fabric in the proper location, especially the thin concrete cross-section above the corrugation.  The Wire Reinforcement Institute states, “Only when the wire mesh is properly selected, placed and supported can its use be recommended and it’s cost warranted.” 

FORTA-FERRO® macro synthetic fibers eliminate a number of these issues.  

  • First, fiber reinforcement is mixed in the concrete at the batch plant and delivered to the job-site where it can be pumped to each deck level.  This eliminates the need for storing and craning steel around the job-site.  
  • Secondly, FORTA-FERRO®  3-D reinforcement property eliminates any concern as to whether the reinforcement is in the correct location.  
  • Lastly, using FORTA-FERRO® in composite steel floor deck slabs reduces the possible trip hazards associated with traditional wire mesh fabric reinforcement. 

FORTA-FERRO® has UL certification for use as an alternate or in addition to wire mesh fabric in Floor-Ceiling D700, D800 and D900 series designs. 


 

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FORTA-FERRO® macro synthetic fiber reinforcement is used in numerous applications including, precast, slabs-on-ground, decorative concrete and more. FORTA-FERRO® is being used in more composite steel floor deck – slabs.  Typical dosages range from 4.0 lbs. to 5.0 lbs. per cubic yard of concrete.  The Slab on Deck Institute references macro synthetic fibers as a, “viable alternate to traditional wire mesh fabric as temperature and shrinkage reinforcement for crack control purposes other than to resist stresses from quantifiable structural loadings.”   

 
Contact a Fiber Expert  
 

 

 



 

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No Breaking Your Mother's Back On This Sidewalk!

Posted by Rebecca Snow on Wednesday, August 26, 2015


THE BACKGROUND:

FORTA Corporation, founded in 1978, spent the first 15 years in business focused on using low dosages (1.0 to 3.0 lbs./cu yd) of synthetic fibers to control concrete cracking caused by the effects of plastic shrinkage.  Yet during that time, the goal was always to refine the fiber characteristics that would allow for much higher dosages and therefore lead to performance improvements in many areas – all while remaining user-friendly in the field.  After a decade of research and trials, the FORTA-FERRO® macro fiber was introduced in early 2000.

Check out more about FORTA® here: http://www.forta-ferro.com/ 

THE THEN:

The prospect of higher fiber dosages encouraged the option of reducing the amount of conventional control joints in slabs on ground, and increasing slab panel sizes without increasing the risk of mid-panel cracking.  One of the early executions of this concept was a simple sidewalk project in Atlanta, GA, in the spring of 2003 for the residence of Jerry Holland, a world-renowned concrete engineer and expert.  His summary article, “A Jointless, Crack-Free Walkway” in the March 2007 issue of CONCRETE CONSTRUCTION Magazine, described the real-world practice involved in his 62 foot long sidewalk project using a high dosage of FORTA-FERRO® with no joints.  The 2007 article reported no cracks had occurred at that time...

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Check out the article here: http://www.concreteconstruction.net/concrete-construction/a-jointless-crack-free-walkway_1.aspx 


THE NOW:

... and Mr. Holland has reported the same result as of September 2015.  Since that small beginning, FORTA-FERRO® has been used as the critical reinforcing element in hundreds of extended-joint projects all over the world.  For additional research, practice, and project reference information, contact FORTA Corporation to receive the Technical Report “High-Fiber Slabs:  Extending Joint Spacing.”

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To find out how you can achieve a jointless, crack-free project:

Contact a Fiber Expert   


 

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Topics: Then & Now

Fiber Myths: BUSTED! - Part 2

Posted by FORTA Ferro on Friday, August 14, 2015

Myth:
Sand- or shot-blasting fiber concrete will reveal more fiber and therefore impede surface bonding agents.
 


BUSTED  ...PART 2

 

Answer:
The synthetic fibers are strong and tough, but certainly not tough enough to withstand the abrasive forces of sand-blasting or grinding, and would be quickly removed from the concrete skin, possibly leaving extremely small fiber ends at or near the surface. We have used micro and macro fibers for over 30 years in concrete floor applications where adhesive toppings are applied, as well as in ground and polished decorative concrete, and have never had a de-bonding issue caused by the fiber. However, it is important to select a fiber type and brand that does not cause surface-finish issues in the first place, to avoid all suspicions of proper bonding. Pre-project trials are always recommended, using the exact fiber brand and dosage specified, and the exact mix and finishing practices to be used on the job, to pre-determine the surface appearance of specialty concrete surface treatments.

 

Do you have a fiber question for our fiber experts??

 

Let us know why you are not using fiber in all your concrete projects...

 

Contact a Fiber Expert

 

 

Or check out the website at www.forta-ferro.com.

 

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Topics: Fiber Myths

Fiber Myths: BUSTED!

Posted by Rebecca Snow on Friday, July 31, 2015

 

Myth:  
Fibers in concrete could have a negative effect on bonded toppings.

 

BUSTED

Answer:

While there have been cases of some synthetic fibers not finishing well and protruding from the concrete surfaces, it would take an extremely high fiber content to impede the bond of current market-available bonding agents.  In the case of those whisker-fibers, we have seen a low-flame weed-burner approach used, to melt them back down to the surface skin, or even a conventional revolving machine trowel re-applied to the surface with emery-board blades to wear off those surface fibers.  To avoid any possible topping-bonding issues though, the best option is to use a fiber type and brand that is proven to finish well at the surface – one that lays beneath and within the concrete surface, rather than protrude and interrupt a topping bond.

 

Do you have a fiber question for our fiber experts??

Let us know why you are not using fiber in all your concrete projects...

 

Contact a Fiber Expert

 

Or check out the website at www.forta-ferro.com.

 

 

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Topics: Fiber Myths

FORTA’s 4-C’s of Fiber Formula (say that 10 times fast)

Posted by FORTA Ferro on Wednesday, May 20, 2015


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 The 4 C's of fibers – Configuration, Chemistry, Contents, and Correct length

 Configuration

The most important criterion is the fiber configuration. Common sense would suggest that something deformed or irregular in shape will anchor much better than something straight and smooth. A thin, smooth finishing nail doesn't hold like a heavy lag bolt. For the same reason, fibrillated network and macro fibers anchor better in concrete than smooth monofilament fibers. The fiber's ability to anchor also determines its ability to contribute to short-term and long-term concrete durability. If the fiber's objective on a project is simply to control plastic shrinkage cracking during the very early concrete stages, a monofilament configuration will be sufficient. For additional anchorage benefits, choose a fibrillated network or macro configuration to maximize the long-term durability results.

 Chemistry

The chemical make-up of the fiber is important if the fiber is expected to hold up in the aggressive alkali environment of Portland cement concrete. For monofilament fibers, the buyer can choose nylon, which possess high strength and good resistance to alkali, or polypropylene, which combines strength with an excellent (inert) resistance to alkali and chemical attack. In addition, polypropylene is non-absorptive, which makes it an excellent choice for freeze-thaw environments and better anchoring power. For fibrillated or macro fibers, only polypropylene is suitable to the fibrillation or network manufacturing process.

 Contents

Though it sounds obvious, using a sufficient quantity of fiber is an often overlooked factor. Even the best fiber in the world will fall short on performance if enough is not used to get the job done. After extensive FORTA® research, it became apparent that there is an optimum dosage level for a particular fiber type to achieve optimum results. For polypropylene or nylon monofilament fibers to reduce early shrinkage cracking, 1.0 lb. per cubic yard (0.6 kg per cubic meter) is sufficient. For fibrillated polypropylene fibers to act as a true temperature reinforcement, 1.5 to l .6 lbs. per cubic yard (0.9 to l .0 kg per cubic meters) is the standard. Even higher dosages of synthetic macro fibers can offer additional long-term benefits and performance.

 Correct Length

Length is very similar to configuration with regards to fiber's ability to anchor. If you try to break a short string held between your fingers, your fingers most likely slip off, while adding length to the string allows for better grip. Likewise, if a short fiber pulls out of the concrete before it breaks, the high tensile strength of the fiber has been wasted. Fiber length recommendations vary based on the configuration that is chosen. The optimum length for the monofilament fibers is typically in the ¾" (19 mm) range. For standard fibrillated fibers, lengths range from ¾" (19 mm) up to 1 ½" (38 mm). Even longer lengths, up to 2 ½" (60 mm), may be specified for macro fibers if the fiber bundles are pre-twisted during manufacturing.

 

Visit our website www.forta-ferro.com or give us a call 1-800-245-0306 for more information or to get quotes for your next project!

 

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