Shotcrete is the process of pneumatically applying concrete onto various surfaces at high velocity. There are two primary application methods: the wet process pumps mixed concrete through a hose to the nozzle where compressed air is added to provide high velocity for placement and consolidation; the dry process, more commonly known as gunite, uses compressed air to blow pre-blended dry materials through a hose at high velocity to the nozzle, where water is added. The effect in most cases are almost identical.
The materials used in both processes are generally the same as those used for conventional concrete – Portland cement, aggregates and water. Various additives can enhance strength and reduce cracking. As a result shotcrete/gunite has high strength, durability, low permeability, and excellent bonding characteristics.
Shotcrete/gunite application also provides almost limitless possibilities for complex shaping and forming in new construction and renovation projects.
Other key benefits include:
- Little or no form work is required
- Cost-effective method for placing concrete
- Ideal for irregular surface application
- Allows for easier material handling in areas with difficult access