July 21, 2022
The shotcrete technique is gaining popularity in the construction industry due to its easy application process. There are two application processes of shotcrete: the first is the dry-mix process, and the second is the wet-mix process. Both methods are equally useful and have many advantages. However, the maintenance, cost, and operational features of both shotcrete methods are different.
The application of dry-mix and wet-mix processes is slightly different from each other. In the dry-mix process, water is added to the nozzle rather than to the concrete mixture, whereas, in the wet-mix process, water is mixed into the concrete mixture before adding the mixture to the nozzle. The suitability of a particular application process for a construction project is judged by the shotcrete companies working on the projects.
This blog post explores the primary differences and benefits of dry-mix and wet-mix shotcrete application processes.
In the dry-mix process, the concrete mixture is prepared by adding cement, and other materials, except water. The dry mixture is then added to the shotcrete machine where water is mixed when the dry mixture passes through the nozzle. In this way, the water is mixed into the concrete mixture inside the nozzle.
This mixing of water and concrete materials is done a few seconds before the mixture’s application. Therefore, the technique is called a dry-mix process.
The amount of water mixed into the concrete material may vary depending on the construction purpose. The quantity of water added to the material is controlled by the nozzle operator. In addition to that, the nozzle operator also controls the speed of the application by setting the discharge speed.
Efficient and skilled contractors like SprayForce Concrete rely on the dry-mix shotcrete process for small construction or repairing tasks, as this process is stoppable at any point. There is no drying risk to the concrete mixture if the application process is not continued for a long time.
The dry mix process has various advantages over the wet-mix process. Firstly, it provides very strong bonding, due to which it is considered the first choice for repairing damaged walls, floors, roofs, and other areas. Secondly, the water is mixed inside the nozzle, and the quantity of water is controlled at the mixing point. Thus, the risk of concrete material damage is minimized. Thirdly, the whole process involves less waste of material during mixing and application.
Last but not least the process requires less investment which makes it suitable for low-budget repairing projects.
The wet-mix shotcrete process involves the mixing of cement, other ingredients, and water at the same time to make a mixture that is directly applied to the surface. The wet mixture is added to the shotcrete gun, which shoots the mixture with continuous flow. Therefore, the nozzle operator can control the flow of concrete material to apply a suitable amount of mixture on the surface.
The wet mix process is suitable for mega-structural shotcrete construction projects because the application flow is very high. Along with that, large machinery is involved in this process which requires more space. Hence, the process is not suitable for small repairing tasks in a small area.
Like the dry-mix process, the wet-mix process also features numerous advantages, such as the same amount of water to the whole mixture to have the same texture and consistency. The shotcrete application requires less labour and covers more application areas in less time. Additionally, the process is quite simple and requires fewer technical skills.
A person with minimal experience can perform this job. Moreover, the wet-mix process provides design flexibility so that the construction engineers can meet the design requirements of the project.
Besides its advantages, there are two disadvantages of the wet shotcrete process. First, it has a weak bond with the structure as compared to the dry shotcrete method, and the second is the concrete material is wasted during mixing and filling it in the gun.
SprayForce Concrete provides shotcrete services for residential, commercial, and industrial projects in Calgary, Edmonton, and its surrounding areas. Our highly trained staff can work on mega and minor construction projects with modern techniques. We have all the resources we need to work on construction projects with advanced machinery. If you have a construction or repairing project, you can contact us today to discuss your project with our expert engineers.