Fibers have been used for centuries to increase the toughness and durability of various building materials. One of the earliest uses of fiber dates back to ancient Egypt, when straw “fibers” were added to clay and mud building blocks and bricks. This primitive design added a certain amount of cohesiveness and toughness that Egyptians found to be valuable.
Thousands of years later FORTA® Corporation was founded to introduce a fiber product that offered tremendous improvements over the original Egyptian straw-fiber theory. By combining space-age synthetic materials with unique designs and shapes, FORTA® offers the construction market a variety of fiber products that can be tailored to specific applications and demands of the concrete construction market. Since FORTA®’s beginning in 1978, FORTA® fibers have played an important role in the design and construction of many different types of projects-from precast vaults and tanks to wall panels -from parking lots and bridge decks to warehouse flooring the concrete reinforcement possibilities are endless.
During the 36 year period that FORTA® has been in the fiber business, synthetic fibers have evolved and morphed dramatically. As a result FORTA® has researched and developed the Performance Selection Formula, other wise know as The 4C’s Formula of fiber selection. Some things that need to be considered when choosing the correct fiber is: Configuration, Chemistry, Correct length and Content. Not all fibers are created equal and choosing the right fiber is dependent on the specific projects. The most epensive fiber is one that does not meet the needs of the project or used for the proper reinforcement application.
FORTA® produces a complete family of fibers to accomodate a variety of project specifications. For instance, if early plastic shrinkage crack reduction is the goal, then specific characteristics can be selected to achieve these goals. If additional long-term or hardened concrete benefits are desired, then a different set of characteristics will be called for. Most Importantly, there is no wrong answer or no wrong fiber-just a different group of fiber characteristics to achieve different fiber goals.
Stay tuned to FORTA-FERRO® weekly blog to read about the different levels of fiber for specific projects in the coming weeks.