Plastic slip sheets – a good choice for construction

Building the foundation has to be a pretty exact science. If everything is not calculated correctly, many problems can arise. Experts have come up with many construction tricks and techniques that are used to avoid potential problems during the construction process. One of them involves the use of plastic slide sheets. The use of a slip sheet as a reinforcement has been used successfully for many years in construction.

What is a plastic slip sheet?

A slip sheet is a piece of plastic, typically polyethylene. It can be made in different thicknesses, but is often used in the 10ml form. As the name suggests, the slip sheet is used to reduce friction and prevent movement or slippage. Using plastic sheeting as reinforcement in foundation construction helps prevent cracking.

The post-tension process

Above-grade slab foundations are one of the most widely used foundation types in the United States. These foundations are quick and inexpensive to build (which is why they are so popular); however, they can be prone to cracking during the curing stage. Concrete can shrink as it dries; This can cause cosmetic damage to future floor finishes such as tile, vinyl, wood, and carpet. The type of soil, called expansive soil, is what ultimately causes shrinkage and cracking. Expansive soil contracts and swells as the water content changes.

To avoid cracks, a process that uses plastic slip sheets is generally used. This process is called post-tensioning. Post-tensioning compresses the concrete, helping it resist shrinkage and cracking that can be caused by difficult soil conditions. To post-stress a slab foundation, steel wires are passed through the concrete in a grid pattern. Each steel strand is covered with a plastic coating that protects the steel from corrosion and allows it to move during tensioning operation. The strands have an anchor at each end. Each strand, along with its lining and anchor, is called a tendon.

During the post-tensioning process, tendons are often stressed along one end; however, they are sometimes accentuated at both ends. When they are under tension, the steel stretches, but the anchor keeps it in place. This acts to compress the concrete, which, in turn, acts to prevent the concrete from cracking.

How do you use Post-Tensioned Plastic Slip Sheets?

Plastic skid sheets are installed directly under the slab or between the slab and the bearing surface. They work to allow the tendons to move the slab smoothly across the ground. Without the sliding sheets, the tendons would not have a flat, even surface to move through. The tendons must be able to move easily across the ground to properly tension the steel, as this is the only way the concrete will be compacted to prevent shrinkage and cracking.

If builders neglected to install plastic skid sheets, or installed them incorrectly, the slab would resist moving, preventing the post-tensioning process from being successful.

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