Efforts to “reduce, reuse, recycle” in the building industry have taken on new meaning in recent years. Certainly, the environmental benefits are foremost. For many of us, reuse and waste reduction efforts offer tangible benefits to our bottom lines.
Take concrete, for example. Blast-furnace slag from iron processing and fly ash removed from power plant emissions — once environmental and waste nuisances — are now frequently added to concrete mixtures, ridding industry of caustic wastes and, in turn, helping create a tougher, more durable and less expensive concrete mix. Win-win, right?
Well, yes…but. These additives yield concrete with a much higher alkaline content than purer mixes, which can create a pretty serious challenge for most concrete forming overlays. Which is precisely why Arclin developed a High Alkaline Overlay (HAO), specially crafted to perform with these mixes.
Arclin Technical Director Dave Gibson explains, “Our HAO has been engineered with a special polymer that resists high alkaline mixtures better than most overlays. It’s easier for the panel manufacturers — it requires one sheet versus multiple sheets of Medium or High Density Overlays (MDO/HDO) often used for caustic mixes — and it outperforms past solutions on the job site.”
With Proper Care, HAO Nets More Pours
High Alkaline Overlays resist the high alkaline content found in many newer concrete mixes — and they can withstand more pours than many of their predecessors. If used properly. Says Arclin Technical Director Dave Gibson, “The number of pours is very subjective. The simplest thing to say is that the guy who takes good care of the panel will get the most pours out of it.”
The same chemistries that enable HAO to perform with these harsh additives mean that it requires a bit more care to make it last. So how do you make the best use of Arclin’s EPIC® HAO?
- Predrill. The same polymer that makes HAO tough makes it slightly more brittle than other overlays. Predrilling before nailing or screwing in the panel reduces the chance of damaging it.
- Handle with care. If scraping is required, Arclin recommends using non-metal tools to scrape and clean the surface of HAO between uses.
- Sharpen tools. Make sure drill bits, nails, screws and other tools are clean and sharp before using them on HAO, to minimize chances of fracturing or chipping the overlay.
- Use the right release agent. Use a chemically active release agent (Nox-Crete or equivalent) instead of just an oil or barrier coating. The right release agent makes cleaning easier.