Shotcrete application techniques have changed
To be competitive in today’s business environment, it is important that top companies incorporate the most current shotcrete placement practices available. Due to recent innovation, placement methods used by Industry leaders are vastly different than what had been considered common practice by most firms only eight years ago. Key personnel, as well as on-job crew members must keep pace with innovation, and how it applies to placement techniques, admixture technology, and product quality.
Shotcrete is complex. It requires correct techniques.
Engineers and project specifiers know that shotcrete is by far the most complex concrete placement method to properly implement. Exacting placement techniques, sophisticated equipment arrangements, mixture design variables present major challenges to businesses or on-job personnel who lack a deep background in the craft.
The risks of improper training
Unfortunately, common application practices by “skilled” workers have generated some well documented (and highly litigated) structural defects which negatively affect viewpoints of numerous Engineers and Specifiers regarding the shotcrete process.
Ultimately, insufficient worker training, improperly selected equipment configurations, and poorly chosen shotcrete mixture designs strongly influence in-place material, and are the major factor in the development of shotcrete defects. Without clear guidance, implementing acceptable wet-mix shotcrete placement can be compared to landing an aircraft without adequate training.
Do you know that workers from your company will be using the most current best practices for wet-mix Shotcrete placement? The most efficient methods available?
Because shotcrete quality and efficiency is directly influenced by the actions of the nozzleman and placement team, where can this this critically important knowledge be learned?
Too often, these methods are “handed down” from past employees, or from experience gained during an employees previous job. “If it’s not broke, don’t fix it” describes why many well established companies still use primitive placement methods and tolerate nonexistent training policies.
In this situation, how can improvement occur?
Effective shotcrete training must begin with a fundamental understanding of the principles, theories, and behavior of the concrete material and the various admixtures that are commonly used today. Working within a classroom environment is the only effective method to gain the required knowledge on these critically important subjects.
Classroom time utilizing visual aids, and relevant, up to date educational materials are essential components of meaningful training.
The program begins with history, then go deep into theory, principles, technology, specifications, techniques, and best practices. We thoroughly discuss finishing techniques, as well as common finishing practices that tend to have an unfavorable long term effect on durability. What is learned in this class may surprise you!
The shotcrete method has strong similarities to the craft of welding. Satisfactory structural welding requires material science, on a metallurgy level, correctly implemented by the actions of the craftsman to accomplish an acceptable final product. Like welding, mastery of shotcrete requires fundamental knowledge, gained through academic means, balanced with actual, not virtual, hand-on training. Like all skilled crafts, genuine hands-on training is mandatory to becoming accomplished at a technical skilled trade.