Why Use Floor Screed Fibres?
I’m Andy Parkin, Managing Director of the Multi-Award Winning Speed Screed. I’m here to talk about Floor Screed Fibres?
There are a number of fibres that are used in floor screeds to help with the prevention of cracks during drying. They also reinforce the screed resulting in a much more durable and hard-wearing surface making the final layer more stable and resilient.
What are floor screed fibres made of?
Screed Fibres consist of polypropylene fibres which will increase the tensile strength of the final layer. These fibres will disperse rapidly when they are added to the screed because they are coated with an agent that helps them spread evenly across the surface. Adding fibres can cause the screed mix to become stiffer and more difficult to work but this slight inconvenience is heavily outweighed by the benefits of adding the fibres to screed. Screed fibres are not used to replace any structural steel reinforcement but they will reduce the amount of shrinking or cracking that is often an issue with flooring screed.
The main benefits of using floor screed fibres
- Helps reduce the risk of shrinking as the screed settles and dries
- Eliminates the cost of providing metal mesh reinforcements
- Cost-effective – compares favourably with the use of metal mesh
- Resistant to frost, impact and abrasion
- Even distribution of reinforcement throughout the screed
- Resistant to alkali
- Provides an excellent basis for surface
- Less bleeding/segregation
- Less water absorption/permeability
- The final flooring layer is more resilient and less prone to damage because of its strong base layer.
Floor screed fibres may come ready mixed into the screed or can be added by the contractor. It is important to make sure the mix is correct and this can differ between manufacturer so pay special attention to any detailed requirements they have.
The fibres lend themselves well to the installation of strong, stable screed layers that can be used in multiple applications and can be used on several bases including:
- Unbonded applications to slab – using damp proof membranes between the base and the screed.
- Placed on top of an insulating layer
- Can be used with concrete and beams
- Suitable for use on suspended floors
- Used to add a stronger layer on top of other screeds.
Drying and Curing
When using these fibres in screed it is good practice to follow the normal curing procedures, allowing for any additional requirements stated by the manufacturer. Covering the surface with polythene sheets, lapping the joints and leaving for around 7 days is the minimum curing time should be expected, however, be aware that this may differ according to temperature, humidity and other factors and act per the instructions provided with the fibres or screed mix. With the rapid-drying screeds you can reduce the curing and drying time significantly.
Reinforced screeds are one of the most flexible on the market and can meet a variety of needs. If you have any further questions or want to know more about floor screed fibres please contact us on the number shown and we will be happy to help and advise you on the type of screed that will work best with your project.