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RE: Fibermesh Topping Slab

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I have thoughts and experience ....bad experience resulting in bad thoughts.

Do a search on polypropylene fibers on this list and you will see that I
would never agree to this substitution.  I would not use it for crack
control, and I definitely would not use it for structural loads no matter
how low they were.  I have seen them used on slabs on grade, and slabs on
metal deck.  The only thing they did consistently was not work.  Crack
repair with epoxy injection will cost about $6 per lineal foot.  

The use of polypropylene fibers on projects I have been involved with have
cost hundreds of thousands of dollars to repair.  And these repairs were
just due to shrinkage.  Tell the VE contractor to investigate and not just
listen to the vendors.  

I have investigated failures of projects using polypropylene fibers in
Louisiana, Colorado, Missouri, and Kansas.  Repairs on these projects have
cost close to $1 million.  The polypropylene fiber manufacturers have much
better lawyers than they have engineers.  And their lawyers are good.  

Don't do it.  

Harold O. Sprague

-----Original Message-----
From: Brian K. Smith [mailto:smithegr(--nospam--at)] 
Sent: Thursday, October 02, 2003 12:02 PM
To: seaint(--nospam--at)
Subject: Fibermesh Topping Slab

We recently completed the design of a 3 story assisted living center.
Construction is pre-cast hollow core with cmu walls.  We specified a 2"
composite topping slab with welded wire fabric.  One of the contractor's VE
options was substitution of fibermesh for the WWF in the topping slab.  Is
this common????  The shear loads are relatively low due to the depth of the
structure and the spacing of the interior walls, but this just seems like a
bad location to use fibermesh.  Any thoughts or experience???  The structure
is in south Florida, high wind but no seismic.

Brian K. Smith

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