Shotcrete vs Concrete: Is there a difference?

The major difference between shotcrete and concrete is the method used by a concrete contractor to place the concrete; there are clear advantages aside from just method, but we’ll get to those in a moment.

Basically, shotcrete was invented when the concrete “gun” was developed in early nineteen hundred. Originally this gun shot out a mixture of sand and cement at a high velocity. And with this invention spawned numerous others of similar invention, but all new methods continued to be variances of the way in which the material was pneumatically applied to the surface. Now fast forward one hundred years and the advantages to using a shotcrete approach haven’t changed much in theory, but in application have shown to be vastly superior methods to apply the material—in some cases—than traditional set-in-place types of concrete applications.

One clear advantage to shotcrete is the shorter work time. Shotcrete does not require a full form process nor does it require a compaction process so the amount of time and money saved, on applicable projects, can be great. Also, because of how it gets applied, shotcrete has a better design and application flexibility.

Now the process of applying shotcrete isn’t for the untrained. Shotcrete is considerably more difficult to apply than traditional set-in-place concrete because the application technique is crucial to its success. This is why it’s important to pick the right man for the job, so to speak—thankfully you can just call Shotcrete MT if you’re looking for that right man. A good technique means the difference between a structurally sound end product—a product that is dense and well-compacted, without holes and pockets, and its underlying reinforced steel is well-encased in the material—and one that only looks good on the surface.

Of course, this isn’t to say that a traditional concrete method is incorrect in some applications. In many applications, it is the method. If you have any questions about a potential shotcrete project or would like to speak to a professional of both shotcrete and concrete, then call Shotcrete MT today.