What Is Shotcrete & Wet Gunning?

Foundation Experts in Florida & Georgia

Although Alpha Foundations does not offer shotcrete and wet gunning services, this process is commonly used in the commercial field. The focus of our commercial products is to repair and reinforce.  Alpha Foundations is proud to offer commercial foundation services throughout Florida and Georgia:

Shotcrete is mortar or concrete that is applied as a spray through a high-pressure hose and application nozzle. In the hands of a skilled operator, shotcrete offers the versatility to construct and reinforce walls, bridges, tunnels, channels, and other structural elements.

Post-tensioning concrete technology creates concrete planks with incredible strength and spanning capabilities. Admixtures allow builders to pour concrete in freezing weather, reduce water content for greater strength, and produce lightweight insulated concrete full of tiny bubbles. Advanced pumping equipment makes it possible to move and place just-mixed “mud” into places where most folks wouldn’t believe it could go.

Sometimes referred to as “wet gunning,” shotcrete application involves spraying concrete or mortar through a high-pressure hose to fill a form or cover an armature or other substrate. Shotcrete applications can use concrete (sand, aggregate, Portland cement, and water) or mortar (sand, Portland cement, and water). In either case, the ingredients are thoroughly mixed before being fed into a concrete pump that forces the liquid through a high-pressure hose. Air from a powerful air compressor is added to liquid at the application nozzle, enabling the operator to apply thin layers of concrete (or mortar) to a target surface. Because the air propels and lightens the mixture, shotcrete can be applied against vertical and sloping surfaces.

Shotcrete vs. Gunite

Shotcrete is often confused with gunite, which is an application that involves spraying a dry mortar mix through a hose with water rather than air being added at the application nozzle. To avoid confusion, some people refer to a Gunite application as “dry-gunning.” It is best to let the contractor choose between dry-gunning and wet-gunning.

Shotcrete’s spray-on application makes this technique popular for building swimming pools, as shown in the photo. However, foundation repair contractors exploit the versatility of shotcrete by using this technique to construct and repair retaining walls, foundation walls, tunnels, dams, bridges, and shear walls. Shotcrete is also useful for lining drainage channels and reinforcing walls as part of a seismic or shear wall retrofit.

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