As a construction technique, spraying concrete or ‘shotcrete’ as it is now called goes back over a century, to a Chicago taxidermist who needed to devise an innovative technique for repairing the dilapidating façade of the Field Columbian Museum in Chicago. Carl Akely patented his process and the equipment it required. Akely’s process involved spraying from a dry mixed hopper of concrete using a nozzle which introduced water to the mix at the point of departure from the nozzle. This technique is still used, and is known as “shotcrete – dry mix”, to distinguish it from a later process which sprays ready-mixed wet concrete known as “shotcrete – wet mix”. Each has its advantages, but both require skilled operators.
The advantages of the wet mix technique include its ability to deliver larger volumes in a short space of time, and a cleaner, less dusty and less wasteful work space. The dry mix technique, by contrast, has the advantage that the amount of water in the shotcrete mix can be adjusted in real time, allowing a skilled operator to achieve optimum results, and making it easier to work overhead and vertical surfaces. Shotcrete is a useful application for creating embankments and structures such as swimming pools, retaining walls in basements and capping beams.
Metro Mix brings the advantages of shotcrete to Melbourne home owners, builders and architects. Contact Metro Mix for your shotcrete needs on 1300 METROMIX.