Fibermesh Versus Wire Mesh
Concrete-formed floors, platforms, roadways, and walls need reinforcement to prevent cracking. Wire mesh and Fibermesh® are the most common reinforcement products used to maintain concrete integrity.
This article will cover the primary differences between Fibermesh® and wire mesh and how to choose the best one for your project.
Wire mesh, sometimes called welded steel fabric, is composed of separate rods of heavy-gauge galvanized wire mesh welded together in crisscrossed patterns.The panels are easy to position into concrete forms, and then fresh concrete is poured over them. Wire mesh is less expensive, stronger, and easier to work with than traditional rebar. It’s also used to increase the concrete’s tensile strength and is essential for any project with a deficient subgrade.
Concrete wire mesh is primarily used to strengthen structures like:
- Bridge Decks
Square wire mesh for concrete is also used when forming flooring, roofing, and walls in residential, commercial, and industrial structures.
Fibermesh® is a proprietary concrete reinforcement manufactured by Sika®, an international leader in specialty products and chemicals used in the automotive, construction, and industrial markets.
Fibermesh® is manufactured with olefin-free monofilament fibers, plus other fibrous materials (glass, steel, and synthetic fibers), and designed to reduce water loss, enhance structural integrity, improve impact resistance, prevent thawing, and increase tensile strength. Fibermesh® is also designed to meet or exceed ISO 9001 standards.
Fibermesh® acts to support aggregates within concrete mixes via a multidimensional network of macro- and microfibers. This product doesn’t affect curing, and it doesn’t absorb water.
Benefits of Fibermesh® include:
- Enhanced Cohesion
- Reduced Segregation
- Decreased Bleed Water
- Enhanced Bleed Uniformity
- Elongated Concrete Durability
- Hindered Concrete Shrinking & Cracking
- Improved Resistance to Abrasion, Shatter, & Impact
Common applications for Sika® Fibermesh® include forming:
- Residential Curbs, Decks, & Driveways
- Roadways & Sidewalks
- Ground Slabs
- Bridge Decks
Which Concrete Reinforcing Mesh Do You Need?
While rebar, wire mesh, and Fibermesh® are all popularly used across numerous construction scenarios, some of their uses overlap.
Using rebar is the slowest of the three reinforcement methods, requiring significantly more time to cut, position, align, and tie or weld together. However, rebar is still a go-to choice for many contractors because, although it’s slower and heavier to work with, its strength surpasses wire mesh.
Wire mesh is faster to use but less strong than rebar. It must be rolled out, lined up, and cut to fit the application. However, the diminished diameter of its steel rods makes it weaker than rebar.
Overall, Sika® Fibermesh® is theoretically the strongest option of the three. However, its use in vertical applications hasn’t been well-studied yet. Fibermesh® is added to the concrete mix, meaning there’s no need to roll it out, cut it, align it, or anything else. It is part of the concrete, making it much less time- and effort-consuming.
It’s also important to note that rebar and wire mesh are considerably cheaper than Fibermesh®. So, if your project is budget-sensitive, you may want to invest the extra effort in using rebar or wire mesh. Due to its cost, some people only use Fibermesh® for smaller projects.
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Founded over two decades ago, G&G Concrete & Construction is a family-owned and -operated concrete construction contractor serving homeowners and businesses in Michigan. We specialize in all types of concrete design and installation projects. Please visit our blog for more concrete construction resources, or contact us today to learn more about our services and capabilities.