SteelCrete vs Tilt-Up
SteelCrete concrete panels are 1.5 to 2 inches thick while conventional tiltup is 6 to 8 inches thick.
With conventional tilt-up construction, the load is borne by massive amounts of concrete and reinforcing steel (rebar). The large amount of rebar is time consuming and expensive to install. It requires a high level of engineering and supervision to make sure it all ends up in the right places in the concrete thickness.
In the case of SteelCrete, although the concrete is a fraction of the thickness, it takes the same loads and more because the metal framing takes the tension the conventional rebar takes in standard tilt-up. In other words, the metal frame takes the place of the rebar while also comprising a conventional framing element behind the thin concrete wall. But when joined in the composite union and bond, the concrete and the metal framing far exceeds its capabilities alone. The metal takes the tension and the thin concrete takes the compression. Metal is not good in compression and concrete is not good in tension. But the two of them together in this bond, makes each of them take on a whole different life with very different characteristics, surpassing all expectations of each of these materials by themselves.
SteelCrete walls do not require a pourback strip, large footings or heavy equipment and provides faster lifting times. SteelCrete's advantage to competing with tiltup walls is real. Lincoln Properties did a cost analysis on a building that they built. It shows a savings of 24.2% over tiltup. Taken from this comparison for the same amount of wall SF, Tiltup concrete = 465yds/ SteelCrete concrete=155yds, Tiltup rebar=$51,871/ SteelCrete track, studs, mesh=$38,119, Tiltup labor=$142,805/SteelCrete labor = $137,500.
SteelCrete panel mockup front view. Note that the panel can be painted (top right), or finished with a medium (top left) or heavier finish (bottom).
SteelCrete panel mockup rear & side view. The concrete is 2" thick. The interior metal frame allows the installation of utilities, insulation and drywall.
If habitable space within a tilt-up building is required, another set of problems and costs emerge. A finished wall is usually required, hiding electrical and plumbing lines is necessary, and insulation is usually desired if not required. This often results in the need to build another building within the building. But this is not the case with SteelCrete, where the common interior metal stud framing allows concealed utilities, insulation and drywall all to be installed in the economical conventional way.
The composite concept of concrete's bond with metal, particularly galvanized metal, is very simple, but yet has enormous potential impact on the way all buildings are built. One only has to ask a building professional if he's ever gotten concrete splashed on his car. It bonds to the metal right through the paint and primer no matter how many coats. It burns through and deteriorates the paint where it splashed and can't be removed without leaving the area visibly damaged beyond repair except by repriming and repainting. And so, the phrase comes to life...the whole exceeds the sum of its parts.