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New Formula for High-Strength Shotcrete to Protect Tunnels from Fires and Terrorist Attacks

Fire-proof shotcrete Concrete Decor Magazine Phys.org reported that the science magazine Rubin published research conducted by engineers at Germany's Ruhr-Universit√§t Bochum who have developed a shotcrete that can render tunnels, bridges and other structures more resistant against fires and explosions. The new formula enhances concrete with 140 kilograms of steel fibers per cubic meter, a figure that was thought to be impossible for shotcrete. The science magazine Rubin reports that engineers at Germany's Ruhr-Universität Bochum have developed a shotcrete that can render tunnels, bridges and other structures more resistant against fires and explosions.

What's New for Today's Decorative Concrete Industry

Drainage structure installed in DenverSpreading the word about combining old techniques with new ideas continues to push the decorative concrete industry forward.

To Succeed in Decorative Concrete: Be Your Best

Stenciled concrete on an exposed aggregateTo be your best doesn’t mean you have to always do the most difficult concrete projects. It simply means you do your best work on every concrete project.

Treating and Preventing Concrete Burns

Todd Rose's wedding-day photo shows his acid-scabbed hand underneath that of his bride, Sarah.If you work with concrete you already know how abrasive, alkaline and caustic it is.

To put it simply, as portland cement dries, it will absorb water from any source in order to harden. That means it will suck the moisture from your skin as well.

Contractor Gives Tips On Different Ways To Manage Your Customer's Expectations

make a concrete sample board -As a former contractor, manufacturer and now basically an owner's representative on most projects, I'd like to share a relatively simple formula that will handle this issue for 90 percent of your projects.As a former contractor, manufacturer and now basically an owner’s representative on most projects, I’d like to share a relatively simple formula that will handle this issue for 90 percent of your projects.

Stepping up from Decorative Concrete to General Contracting

Concrete Form installation using reusable forms, a level and a plastic mallet.Are you content with installing decorative concrete countertops, overlays and stamped concrete, or do you have what it takes to rise to the occasion?

Natural Networking Making Friends Builds Business

a woman and a man shaking hands - As high school students, most of us were encouraged to join a variety of extracurricular activities to build our resumes and make us more well-rounded people. As adults and business owners, joining an association, as well as attending conferences and trade shows, can have some of these same advantages, but they can also help grow your business.As high school students, most of us were encouraged to join a variety of extracurricular activities to build our resumes and make us more well-rounded people. As adults and business owners, joining an association, as well as attending conferences and trade shows, can have some of these same advantages, but they can also help grow your business.

Concrete Contractor Finds Ways to Balance Family Life and Work

Child walking in a park over impressions in the concrete made from stains.A concrete contractor discusses how to balance between being a contractor and family life.

Communicating Standards Through Industry Specifications

Writing on parchment with two pencils and an eraser.Too often we take the written word as gospel, but is that truly smart? Do we know what, or who, stands behind the words we read? After all, paper will not refuse ink. Our industry is growing, and as the industry grows, so do the misrepresentations and misunderstandings.

Processes that Ensure Quality Work Are Needed Now More Than Ever

Four stars on a concrete background.The lack of communication between owners and designers at the top of the building process and the workers at the production end, as well as the training needed for a seamless transition from client's conception to finished project can create a dysfunction in the industry that is in desperate need of fixing.

Atomic Placement of Elements Makes for Strong Concrete

atomic placement of elements in concreteThe reason concrete is so strong is elemental. According to researchers at Rice University, studying friction on materials such as concrete has provided the answer.

Six Issues to Keep in Mind When Working with Decorative Concrete Abroad

John Anderson in a tank top using a power trowel on a concrete slab abroad.The cultural practices and business models from country to country are unique in every way possible: techniques, materials, tools and construction practice regulations.

Reaching your Business Goals

As a business leader, your primary objective is to see through the fog and identify where you want your company to go. I like to use a vision point that is three years away.Reaching the "summit" for your business takes forethought and daily attention.

Three Ways to Drum Up New Concrete Work

Gain more jobs by marketing to the local crown.Eight times per year I look at this magazine from cover to cover, amazed at how our industry has been hijacked by true artists. This level of skill, along with a few creative marketing ideas, should keep fresh money coming into your bank account.

Contractors Should Have a Resource Network in Place

Unrepaired concrete that is in desperate need of improvement.The air temperature is 97 degrees F, the concrete arrives late and it turns out it’s a hot load. A set retarder is added, which only makes matters worse. The concrete now sits for eight hours before you can do anything with it. Now what?

Build Your Business on a Foundation of Innovation

Two people shaking hands at the Concrete Decor Show.For your decorative concrete business to grow, it must be built on a foundation of innovation. If you don’t do so, you will find it increasingly difficult to create lasting value for your business and your customers.

Decorative Concrete Dangers, Part 1: Surviving the Slowdown

Caution - "Decorative Dangers": The housing market slowdown, and how to survive it.  Keeping your decorative concrete business profitable during periods of economic slowdown."Decorative Dangers": The housing market slowdown, and how to survive it. Keeping your decorative concrete business profitable during periods of economic slowdown.

Dying for Decorative Concrete

Man dumping concrete mix into a hopper with a dust mask on.There is not a comforting way to say the word “cancer.” Even in this day of strong chances of recovery and survival, it is a word that gets our attention every time. Although the products we use turn normal concrete into extraordinary works of art, some of those products are carcinogenic. Are you taking the proper measures to be safe?

Pros and Cons of Commercial vs. Residential Concrete Construction

Weighing the pros and cons of residential vs commercial jobsAbout a week after having my fourth child, I received several kind comments and gestures from people across our industry. But two in particular stuck out. The first involved a residential client and the second was from a commercial general contractor. The interactions made me ponder the pros and cons of residential construction versus commercial.

How Joining Forces with Other Construction Companies Can Boost Your Bottom Line

Boosting your bottom lineYou basically have two ways to make more money in decorative concrete — you can increase sales or reduce the cost of doing business. Businesses in times like these have a tendency to become paralyzed when becoming proactive would be the best option. One good way to become proactive is to consider a team approach.

Challenges of Working with Concrete in the Winter

A stained concrete floor in a high-traffic area can be affected by inclement weather, even indoors.If you live above the Mason-Dixon line, chances are your winter months are cold and snowy. It’s great weather for skiing, but not so much for those who work with concrete.

ACI Releases Long-Awaited Decorative Concrete Standards Guide

ACI Decorative Concrete Standards GuideMany years in the making and rigorously reviewed by dozens of experts in the field, the much-anticipated 310R-13 Guide to Decorative Concrete was officially published by the American Concrete Institute in December 2013.

Concrete Polishing Pitfalls to Avoid When Bidding

Lucas Oil Stadium, home of the Indianapolis Colts pro football team, as polished by American Concrete Concepts inc., of Springdale, Ark.Arenas and stadiums are a market that is gaining momentum in polished concrete. Between high schools, colleges and professional sports teams, there are a lot of these venues around the country. As they come up for remodel, polished concrete is a great option for the flooring on concourses and even under seats.

5 Things Decorative Concrete Contractors Wish Architects Would Do

things decorative concrete contractors wish architects would doAll joking aside, the designer-contractor experience very often does prove to be positive and stimulating. But contractors can have hopes and dreams for a world where they are more in sync with designers.

Surviving the Game of Business By Capitalizing on Every Opportunity

Football players playing the sport they love.Our industry, like football, has seen advancements. One visit to the World of Concrete conference will confirm this. But think about this for a second. Every job, whether in Texas or Dubai, has at least one thing in common. Finishing the job still comes down to a human and a shovel. As complex as our industry is, it still comes down to a tool that sits in every work truck across the globe.

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