A new product used in concrete floor construction is proving how scientific principles can challenge conventional product design.
BetaPlus, from leading armoured joint manufacturer Permaban, has been designed with strength in mind, specifically for heavy-duty applications where traffic across the floor is heavier and more frequent.
Yet its engineering-led design looks significantly different from traditional-style armoured joints – prompting the company to promote the product as ‘surprisingly strong’.
Understanding the properties of steel has been key to the development of BetaPlus. Traditional armoured joints incorporate thick steel top strips, which literally ‘armour’ the concrete – assumed for many years to be the best way to protect exposed construction joint arrises. However, because steel doesn’t absorb energy, the thickness of the steel is largely immaterial in terms of countering impact forces, and serves only to prevent the steel deforming under the repeated impact of materials handling vehicles.
BetaPlus uses much thinner steel, which envelops the arris completely. A solid triangular reinforcing section provides support beneath the top corners, which ensures the top edges hold their shape under impact. Thanks to this clever design BetaPlus uses less steel, yet protects the floor just as well as a traditional-style heavy-duty armoured joint.
Other BetaPlus features help ensure a superior and trouble-free installation for flooring contractors. Continuous ‘grid-cut’ concrete ties along the length of the joint ensure it is anchored securely into the concrete. Traditional joints use intermittent studs to anchor the joint, but these can result in portions of the joint become unstable during installation if it is cut at certain points (known in the industry as ‘flying ends’). This can cause time-consuming remedial work for the contractor; but with BetaPlus the problem is eliminated.
The product also incorporates twin full-height central divider plates which add strength and rigidity, particularly helpful to ensure it stands firm against the weight of the concrete during the pour.
BetaPlus also offers added benefits to building owners and operators once the building is brought into use. Should any surface damage (“spalling”) occur behind the joint, the grid-cut concrete ties ensure it is contained, preventing the problem extending along the joint and thus limiting the cost and inconvenience of floor repairs.
BetaPlus’s performance has been proven through an arduous R&D testing process at Permaban, including both weight resistance tests and intensive cycling on a test rig, with impressive results.
The product was officially unveiled at the Association of Concrete Industrial Flooring Contractors’ (ACIFC) conference on Thursday 11th October. The first commercial installations are taking place during October 2011.