Formless Concrete 2008 Page 1 Formless Concrete Systems In formless systems the building system is constructed without the aid of an external form into which concrete is placed. Instead, the walls of the home are formed by erecting an internal structure that is later covered with a layer of shotcrete. This approach to home building is relatively new to the US but has been employed in other countries for years. In the US, farmer’s silos have been built with a formless system and swimming pools are routinely lined with a sprayed-on coating of concrete called gunite. There is a difference between shotecrete and gunite. Shotcreteis a wet mixture of sand, cement, and sometimes pea gravel that is pumped under pressure into a hose and sprayed on a surface. Guniteis a dry mixture of sand, lime, and cement that is pumped through a hose while a parallel hose carries the water. The water and dry mixture combine as they are sprayed onto a surface. Hadrian Tridi Panels (http://www.tridipanel.com/) One of the formless building systems in the US is called the Hadrian Tridi Panel. The system was originally produced by the Insteel Corporation located near Brunswick, Georgia. It is now produced and distributed nationwide by Hadrian Tridi Panels of Calexico, CA. Technical performance test results produced by the International Code Council can be found at http://www.tridipanel.com/PDF/5618.pdf. The basic system component is a 4-foot-wide panel that has a core of polystyrene insulation with a layer of 2x2-inch wire mesh on both sides and interconnected from side to side by truss wires. The truss wires penetrate the polystyrene core and are spot-welded to both of the wire mesh layers. The truss wires hold the mesh about ¾-inch away from the polystyrene core. When the panels are in place, both sides are coated with a 1½” to 2” layer of shotcrete that covers the wire mesh.
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