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Control joints and accessories to minimise cracking

When under load or pressure concrete can crack as and where it wants to. By minimising the size of your slab through the insertion of joints within your concrete you control cracking as the concrete is less susceptible to cracking where it wants to when in its hardened state. Concrete accessories are utilised to fill these gaps and provide a break in the concrete, allowing it to expand and contract during the seasons, without cracking.

Ableflex expansion joints are ideal as a gap filler.

Used as a seal, ableflex is flexible, lightweight and can be formed around curved objects. Known otherwise as stickyback.


Dowels provide a load transfer across a concrete joint to prevent or minimises the concrete slab from movements up and down when under load. They come in various shapes in sizes though are nmost commonly rould or square delending on where they are sitting within the slab. They may be galvanised in instances where water, salt and other contaminents are prevalant in and around the slab.

Key joint

Other people utilise key joints to provide a break in a concrete pour for slabs on ground. They are metal in structure and come in 3 metre and 6 metre lengths. They are often combined with ableflex and dowels to afford the slab additional movement and protection from heavy loads.

Mesh, bar and steel reinforcing – how do I calculate how much and which type to order?

By dividing the square metre area in your concrete slab by the figure of 12.2 you can ascertain how many sheets of mesh you require. People do like to add 10% to reo and concrete quantities to allow for variabilities on site. The size of the ligatures required, e.g., 6mm or 9mm depends on what is traversing over the slabs when complete i.e., foot traffic, SL62 mesh, or trucks, SL92 mesh.

Reinforced bar is defined as a steel bar or mesh of steel wires and is used as a tension device in reinforced concrete and reinforced masonry structures to strengthen and hold the concrete in tension. Rebar as it is referred is sold in cut and bent form, or most commonly by retailers and sellers in 6 metre lengths with the most popular being N12 and N16 gauge sizes utilised for house and shed slab construction.

Concrete Accessories

Plastic bar chairs are the concrete and reo accessories used to set the reinforcing bar and mesh to the correct position within the concrete cover. Concrete slabs are most commonly 100mm (4 inches) thick with the plastic bar chair size of 50/65 being recommended for these slabs. Bar chairs come in bags of 100 and you utilise approximately 18 bar chairs per sheet of mesh.

Bar chairs come in all shapes and sizes depending on the height of your slab and they can be manufactured out of steel or even concrete where required.

Tying steel and reinforcing is a task that takes time and proficiency. Steel needs to sit at an appropriate level above the slab sub base to ensure there is enough cover for the concrete to flow above and below it, in order to ensure the use of steel reinforcing is maximised. The flexural strength and tensility of the slab are increased when the steel is tied and fixed. Tie wire is the accessory utillised to tie steel, mesh and bar in place on site.

Bag ties, the wire ties and loops can be utilised in the tying of reinforced bar and mesh. Many DIY and weekend concreters prefer bagties to tie wire as they come in bundles of pre cut pieces with loops at either end.

Formwork and accessories

Form boards are used in concrete projects to keep the concrete in place during pouring when the concrete is in its plastic, or wet state. Form boards are often timber and range from 100 mm boards to 240mm.

Concrete pegs are utilised in formwork in the concrete and associated industries to secure wooden form boards, reinforced steel and other structural materials on site.

Plastic and Tape accessories

Plastic is usually supplied in rolls that are 50 metres in length, 4 metres in width and are black or orange in colour, and used to prevent moisture from penetrating the concrete in a slab from within the ground or sub base.

Tape or PVC tape as it is referred is a REO or concrete accessory that is utilised throughout the concrete and steel reinforcing industries. PVC tape is delivered in small roles and utilised to tape together plastic on the sub base of slabs to ensure water, moisture and contaminent’s do not make their way into the freshly poured concrete.

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