The 45th edition of the World of Concrete bustled with nearly 54,000 registrants packing the halls and spilling over into the outside exhibit areas at the Las Vegas Convention Center Feb. 4-7. Featuring 1,310 companies from throughout North America and 29 countries outside the United States — including 255 brand new ones — the annual expo succeeded in being a very strong event for the concrete and masonry industries.
There were many reveals and new products introduced and demonstrated at the show, including Trimaco’s Aqua Shield FR which was used at the 2020 Decorative Concrete LIVE! exhibit in the Silver Lot across from the entrance to the South Hall.
This flame-retardant, reusable floor protection system comes in a signature aqua color that’s hard to miss. Quick and easy to install, it requires no adhesive to hold it in place except for tape on the perimeter. Extremely durable with embossed tread to increase safety on the job site, Aqua Shield comes in multiple thicknesses up to 40 mil. It’s heavy duty to the max, able to withstand shoveled concrete without showing any wear and tear during construction and is very popular with hospitals and data farms.
Candidates for a Most Innovative Product (MIP) award, Duro-Nox HS and Duro-Nox HSC from Nox-Crete are hybrid silicates that offer the best of both worlds — a potassium component that creates a sheen that makes the surface “pop” and lithium for a deep penetration that promotes better long-term performance and durability.
The HS (high solid formula) densifier is designed to harden, densify and seal naturally colored concrete that hasn’t been troweled aggressively. It reduces the porosity of concrete surfaces to improve their chemical and stain resistance. The HSC (color formula) contains lower solids and is designed to densify freshly placed hard-troweled concrete, or concrete that’s been integrally colored, dyed or stained. Both formulas work especially well on burnished or polished surfaces including countertops.
Because of their chemical makeup, the water-based HS and HSC densifiers don’t need to be rinsed after application, eliminating the hassle and costs of disposing hazardous rinse water associated with traditional silicate floor hardeners.
With the addition of the new 60V 1-3/4-inch SDS Max Combination Hammer, DeWalt now boasts the largest offering of cordless rotary hammer combos in the construction industry. The tool is equipped with constant speed control which allows it to maintain rpm regardless of bit size or depth, as well as a variable speed dial for accurate hole starting and controlled chipping. The 15-pound hammer also has wireless tool control so users can pair it with a dust extractor that automatically turns on and off in synch with the hammer.
Wagner Meters has marked its newest achievements with an eye-catching color change … so it’s out with the orange and in with the green on all models going forward. The Rapid RH L6 system, an enhanced version of its popular predecessor that received an MIP award as the industry choice in the Business Tools & Technology category, has further simplified the concrete moisture testing process while incorporating advanced technology that makes reporting faster, easier and even more reliable.
The new DataGrabber, a self-contained device that fits inside the L6’s smart sensor, will engage the sensor to store up to 512 time-stamped concrete temperature and relative humidity readings at set times. The automated data logger comes in a Bluetooth version for wireless control.
Rich Sanders of Clemons Concrete Coatings reports that people are more educated about the benefits of concrete sealers and are requesting them more because they want to protect their investments. Many are leaning toward penetrating hybrid sealers such as Supreme Shield that enhances the color of the concrete without forming a film and penetrating sealers made with silane and siloxane.
These include the water-based SuperSeal M that protects from salt and freeze/thaw damage with its water-repelling properties or Super Sealer S10, a solvent-based water repellent that offers similar protection. Both of the latter products offer invisible protection that doesn’t alter concrete’s natural appearance.
When precision is paramount, the Aqix from Collomix can guarantee you’ll achieve the right water ratio for all your mixes. With the push of a button, the water-dosing device automatically measures quarts, gallons and liters to an accuracy of .1 of the set amount and cuts off when not in use. It attaches to a hose, hooks to a bucket and runs off two AA batteries, which typically last a full year with regular use. The idea is so simple you’ve got to wonder why this automatic shut-off tool wasn’t invented sooner.
To extend the life of concrete in coastal communities as well as areas prone to freeze/thaw cycles, the Salt Protector Plus line of sealers from TK Products deeply penetrates the concrete surface and forms a barrier that repels salt and water, as evidenced by its incredible water-beading action. It’s designed to protect the cement matrix in a variety of surfaces with formulations available for DOT, commercial and residential applications. Salt Protector Plus doesn’t deter slip resistance, has no gloss and doesn’t have to be removed if the surface is recoated. In fact, its presence promotes adhesion with other topical sealers and coatings.
During the show Makinex Construction Products unleashed the Beast, a 23kw dual-phase 480V generator equipped to run a three-phase and single-phase piece of equipment such as a grinder and a vacuum at the same time. Made in the USA, the Beast is one-third the size and weight of comparable generators and easily fits in an equipment trailer or truck, as well as through a standard doorway. One tank of gas lasts about 10 hours. The Beast was the industry choice for an MIP award for General Construction Tools & Equipment.
Another MIP contestant, SkudoBoard Column Guard is a flexible version of SkudoBoard designed specifically for columns and pillars that’s highly impact resistant, stays in place and won’t unravel. The reusable synthetic guard is much lighter and more convenient to use than cumbersome Masonite or plywood and protects the columns from everything from splatters and scuff marks to forklifts and carts.
Also high in the rugged department, Skudo All-Terrain Mat provides an extremely durable traffic path for walkways on loose ground outside construction trailers to keep the mud-tracking down. In our case, it was a perfect product to create a safe walkway for this year’s Decorative Concrete LIVE!
The Imer Mix 120 Plus, a very portable vertical shaft mixer, was an indispensable addition to this year’s Decorative Concrete LIVE! Fitted with an I-Dust grate vacuum attached to the lid that pulls the dust downward into the container, it can be used to mix concrete, mortar, stucco, grout and dry-pack cement. Fast and furious, it can make a wheelbarrow full of any of those products every 3 minutes.
The mixer is not only extremely easy to use but also easy to maneuver. It can be pulled around like a cart on four wheels or tilted and pushed on two. And if it ever needs to be lifted into place by a crane, it’s outfitted with lift hooks.
Ecoscape, a pavement that’s touted to be climate smart, is an environmentally responsible covering that has so many good things in its plus column. It reduces CO2 emissions, conserves water, helps replenish groundwater and uses less cement than traditional concrete. Using a patent-pending system, contractors can make and install aesthetically pleasing hardscapes on-site.
The process involves installing a layer of rock to store water and topping it with a layer of smaller aggregate that’s sprayed with a cementitious slurry to form permeable concrete. After the slurry has been applied, Ecoscape+ is used for the decorative finish, which is available in 28 colors. The integrally colored hardscape can be scored, stamped or further colored. It can be used for driveways, patios, sidewalks and parks that not only reduce water runoff but also retain water on-site.
Instead of a trailer-sized jacking system to fix uneven driveways, porches or patios plagued with eroding substrates, contractors can use the innovative SealBoss 1640 SlabLifter to get the job done at a fraction of the price. The polyurethane slab-lifting system is designed for small to medium-sized jobs where a crew drills predetermined holes in the slab and pumps the structural foam into them until the slab is level again. The special two-component material is used with an SLP-2C pump, also referred to as a suitcase pump, and will react when dispensed and fully cure in three to five minutes. Training is available for this technique commonly referred to as foam or poly jacking.
Quikrete introduced a trowel-grade version of its popular Re-Cap material, a blend of portland cement, sand, polymers and other proprietary additives that can be used to repair spalled, cracked or pitted concrete surfaces from 1/16 inch to 1/2 inch. Trowel Grade Re-Cap has a bond strength four times greater than the concrete itself so the concrete substrate will fracture before the bond breaks. Repaired surfaces can be walked on in 3 hours and driven on in 24. While Re-Cap finishes hard and smooth, it can also provide a skid-resistant surface by dragging a broom or brush over the surface.
To protect the parking lot underneath the Decorative Concrete LIVE! exhibit during the 2020 World of Concrete, volunteers first laid down a layer of ISI Building Products’ Viper II, an under-slab vapor barrier that blocks moisture migration and soil gas threats in commercial and residential applications. Engineered with superior resistance against punctures, tears and water vapor, Viper II is made with virgin resin that contributes to its long-term stability and prevents it from breaking down when buried below the slab.
Superabrasive’s hottest item on display this year was its first power trowel, the Lavina propane-driven LP36. Equipped with the Trowel Shine system for grinding and polishing, the 6-foot ride-on trowel features a continuously variable transmission which provides optimum torque and speed during all phases of the finishing process.
Also debuted from the company’s Elite Series were two new 115-volt grinders — L14E and L16E. L14E is a 13.2-inch single-head variable speed grinder, and L16E has forced planetary drive with three 7-inch heads. Both machines are very light and compact, and can be easily folded or separated in two pieces for transportation and storage.
One of the newer tools at the show from Kraft Tool’s Elite Series was the Fat Cat Mag Hand Float. Made from an extra-tough extruded magnesium alloy, it is the widest blade Kraft Tool offers, with the largest radius. Each float arrives “broken in” and ready to use. Its cork handle not only ensures a secure grip but also helps wick moisture away while working.
Celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, Convergent Concrete Technologies was out in force displaying its eco-friendly products including Pentra-Cure (MH), a hardener, densifier and curing compound rolled into one. With only one application, this lithium-based treatment provides long-term protection against heavy wear by creating an abrasion-resistant surface.
The product enhances the surface’s natural appearance and adds a natural sheen.
Specifically designed to be compact in form yet powerful in performance, the mutihead Rhino RL500 Grinder from New Grind was a welcome addition to the lineup of machines used during this year’s Decorative Concrete LIVE! The electric machine’s sleek design with its 20-inch footprint and multiarticulating handle make transport easy and grinding possible in tight spaces within 1/8 inch from walls. To increase the 10 HP, 500-pound machine’s production rate, up to 360 pounds of standard Olympic weights can be added onto built-in posts. The weights are available as an accessory.
Legos look out!
Fox Blocks has an intriguing block set that builders of all ages can’t get enough of. Designed for architects, builders, students and engineers, this set of mini insulating concrete forms are 1/8 the size of the real thing. The set comes with 98 blocks, 42 corners and 56 straights.
Manufactured by Airlite Plastics Co., Fox Blocks makes the indoor environment more comfortable for its inhabitants by eliminating moisture intrusion, better controlling air flow, aiding in more accurate climate control and blocking out unwanted noise. And both inside and outside, ICFs can be finished with a wide array of decorative concrete treatments, as demonstrated at Decorative Concrete LIVE!