Silica Fume for Shotcrete Works

Silica Fume for Shotcrete

Silica fume use for shotcrete delivers greater economy and time savings and is a more efficient use of sprayed concrete. Silica fume produces superior shotcrete for use in rock stabilization, mine tunnel linings, and rehabilitation of deteriorating bridge and marine columns and piles. Greater bonding strength ensures an outstanding performance of both wet and dry process shotcrete applications, with less rebound loss and thicker product applications.

  • The high resistivity and low permeability of micro silica fume powder shotcrete in the project reduce the corrosion of chloride on reinforcement and wire mesh, reduce the amount of rebound of dry-mixed shotcrete, reduce the permeability, improve the durability of freeze-thaw, and also improve the early and late flexural and compressive strengths, improving the economic efficiency of the material.
  • The single-layer shotcrete thickness on the top and vertical surfaces can be increased without the use of set promoters, thus improving productivity.
  • In repairing piles and berms in tidal areas. Improves cohesion and thus resists scouring.
  • Reduced permeability and improved freeze-thaw durability (note that wet-mix shotcrete must be properly aerated).
  • Early and late flexural and compressive strengths are increased.
  • Enhanced resistance to chloride. Nitrate. Sulfate, acid and alkali aggregate reaction and other chemical erosion resistance.
  • High resistivity and low permeability of microsilica powder shotcrete in the project, reducing the chloride corrosion of reinforcing steel and wire mesh.


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Micro-silica fume is a high-performance mineral admixture with volcanic ash, which is mainly used to improve the strength and durability of concrete and can replace micro-silica fume Portland cement. The performance of dry-mix and wet-mix shotcrete can be greatly improved by using micro silica fume, such as the application in rock mass stability, tunnel lining and underground structure repair, and excellent performance can be obtained.

Silica-fume Shotcrete – delivers greater economy, greater time savings and more efficient use of sprayed concrete. Silica fume produces superior shotcrete for use in rock stabilization, mine tunnel linings, and rehabilitation of deteriorating bridges and marine columns and piles. Greater bonding strength assures outstanding performance of both wet and dry process shotcreting with less rebound loss and thicker applications with each pass of the shotcrete nozzle. Some performance characteristics are:

• Reduction of rebound loss up to 50%
• Improved production time, with one-pass application thicknesses up to 12 inches
• Higher bonding strength
• High electrical resistivity and low permeability
• High compressive and flexural strengths

The role of silica fume on shotcrete

Through the use of silica fume, the performance of shotcrete and production technology can be improved as follows.
1. In the dry mix of shotcrete to reduce the amount of rebound, thereby improving the economic efficiency of the material.
2. Increased single-layer shotcrete thickness on top and vertical surfaces without the use of set promoters, thus improving production efficiency.
3. When repairing piles and breakwaters in tidal areas, it can improve the cohesion and scouring strength of piles and dikes.
4. Improved freeze-thaw durability due to reduced permeability.
5. Early and late flexural and compressive strength of shotcrete are improved.
6. Increased resistance to chemical attack by chlorides, nitrates, sulfates, acids and alkali-aggregate reactions.
7. In concrete repair work in chloride environment, the high resistivity and low permeability of silica fume shotcrete mitigates reinforcing steel and wire mesh

Silica fume shotcrete construction method

Shotcrete is a mixture of cement and aggregate mortar or concrete. Shotcrete is sprayed on surface at high speed with compressed air. There are two basic construction methods for shotcrete: wet mixing and dry mixing. In these two construction methods, silica fume additives are easy to add.

The construction method of dry mixed silica fume is as follows:

1. A super-large bag mix of fiber pre-mixed with cement, aggregate and microsilica powder, usually weighing 1000kg.

2. Micro-silica fume, cement and aggregate are dry-mixed into transport mixer in the factory, and silica fume and explosion-proof fiber are put into the transport mixer.

3. use the weight standard volume ratio at the construction site, add bagged silica fume or mixed cement.

4. add micro silica powder slurry into the nozzle.

In wet mix construction, the methods of adding silica fume are as follows:

1. Transport mixtures, just like ready-mixed concrete, with cement, admixtures and aggregates, in the central mixing plant or dry mixing plant add micro-silica fume by volume ratio.

2. transporting concrete from ready mixed plant, the microsilica powder is placed in bags.

3. add slurry to batch feeding equipment.

Dry mix shotcrete is best used in the following situations:

1. It is difficult to provide wet-mix shotcrete when the site is far away or difficult to approach, such as in some mines application and repair offshore structures.

2. A small amount of shotcrete should be provided periodically, such as for repairing busy roads or railway tunnels.

In recent years, wet shotcrete has been widely used. Compared with dry shotcrete, wet shotcrete has the following advantages:

1. The ratio of water-cement can be well controlled by the plant ingredients. In the dry mixing construction, the ratio of water to cement is controlled by the workers who master the nozzle.

2. less springback, higher injection rate and higher productivity, thus reducing the cost.

3. mixing with less dust and greater uniformity.

Three kinds of micro silica fume products are used in wet mixing and dry mixed concrete:

(1) non densified silica fume; (2) densified low density micro silica fume; (3) densified high density silica fume.

In the mix proportion design of Silica fume (minecrete) shotcrete, the average dosage of silica fume is 13% (according to the quality of cement). Dry-mix shotcrete does not require superplasticizers, because most of the water in the mixture is added into the nozzle, and the contact time between water and cement, silica fume is too short to effectively reduce water before the mixture is actually consolidated on the surface.

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