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Newsletter 56 - FIBRE REINFORCED CONCRETE (FRC) ROOF TILES

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THE NEW LIGHTWEIGHT SOLUTION TO BEAUTIFUL ROOF CONSTRUCTION

For decades now the concrete roof tile has and will be for many years in the future one of the most popular roofing solutions in the creation of beautiful homes throughout the world.

Having a long international history of supplying concrete roof tile manufacturing plants it became apparent to Vortex Hydra some years ago that there existed the need in some countries for a lighter weight tile to be produced to compliment the popular conventional type concrete roof tile.

Following several years of research and experiments Vortex are now pleased to announce the introduction of a new and innovative product that they have invented – the fibre reinforced concrete tile (FRCT). The development of this new product has now proven to be a clear technological jump forward so justifying the time and monies that have been invested in the project research.

The new FRC tile although lighter in weight still offers the excellent mechanical and physical advantages as that offered by the concrete roof tile.

In the initial planning stages intensive market research was undertaken by Vortex to ascertain what characteristics the new FRC tile should offer – it was decided that the project goal was to produce a tile that yielded a weight reduction of 30% to that of the concrete tile yet did not increase manufacturing costs by more than 5%. The research also showed that other benefits could be realised in the development with this lighter weight FRCT. These additional benefits include a 30% decrease in transportation costs and a 40% saving on installation costs. The FRCT also offers a 50% increase in impact resistance. The lighter weight of the tile allows it to be fixed onto a smaller support structure so further reducing the construction costs. Furthermore it reduces the seismic risk of the roof structure and is very suitable for re-roofing applications.
One of the preliminary steps of the research was to find a polymer with suitable mechanical-physical properties which permitted a coherent fibre-cement matrix to be generated so enabling it to be used in an ‘extrusion’ manufacturing process. After a long series of laboratory tests PVA was found to be a very suitable material. A mix design that was somewhat similar to the ‘mix’ used to manufacture concrete roof tiles yet allow the fibres to be dispersed throughout it was sought. Following many experiments on different mix designs, mixing procedures and variations in both the quantity/size of fibres/additives an acceptable ‘extruded’ mix was eventually discovered. During this part of the research it was also found that the mixing time for a FRCT could be reduced compared to time required to prepare a mix for a concrete roof tile. With an acceptable mix design now determined the Vortex development team next concentrated their efforts on the design of high performance manufacturing machinery capable of producing the FRC tile that offered a 30% weight reduction yet met the technical characteristics required by different worldwide regulations. In addition to the design of new manufacturing machinery the Vortex team were also able to design a number of technical components that can be integrated into an existing concrete roof tile manufacturing plant, within sustainable costs, to make it adaptable for the manufacture of FRC tiles. These components include devices such as fibre/additive dosage, moisture control and existing software updates. The development of new product profiles for the extrusion of FRC tiles led to the conclusion that the weight of the tile can also be reduced while using existing moulding. This can be achieved by changing the settings of the tooling in the head of the extrusion machine. It must be emphasised however that the maximum reduction of 30% in weight can only be attained by using new dedicated moulds. The percentage weight reduction on existing profiles will differ based on the shape of the product. The capability of this new technology to adapt itself into existing technologies has been confirmed by recent experiments made at an industrial level on fully automatic production plants. Such positive findings now make it possible for existing concrete roof tile manufacturing organisations to enter the market with this new lightweight FRC tile

ANSWER TO THIS EMAIL TO ASK FOR A SAMPLE - a big step forward in the world of concrete roof tile manufacture.

THE WORLDWIDE LEADER OF CONCRETE ROOF TILE MACHINERY

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