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Jointless steel fibre reinforced concrete floor slab laid for a new mobile racking system, Boston Cold Store, South Lincolnshire

This client based in Boston in South Lincolnshire had procured a mobile racking system to fit into their new warehouse building. The mobile racking system is integral with the concrete floor construction as the steel rails (seen in the photo) sit within the floor slab itself. To add to further complications to the design criteria for this particular cast instu concrete floor slab was the fact it was suspended on pre cast concrete piles. Nationwide Concrete Flooring selected a jointless steel fibre reinforced concrete floor slab solution,  for their floor slab design,using Bekaert Dramix 5D 65/60 steel fibres. The Bekaert 5D steel fibres are the very latest in steel fibre technology and their unique shape and capabilities provide performance levels which until now, could sonly be realised with traditional reinforcement. The steel fibres present a combination of a perfectly shaped hook, a high ductility wire, and ultra tensile strength. The Dramix 5D steel fibres are shaped to form a perfect anchor, keeping the fibre firmly in place inside the concrete. Under tension, the wire is elongated, providing ductility on the same principle as traditional reinforcement steel.

Due to the steel rails for the mobile racking being fixed at finished floor level within the concrete slab, the steel fibre reinforced concrete was placed via a mobile concrete pump. The experienced concrete flooring team laid the concrete slabs in strips using a straight edge, screeding the concrete from each individual rail. This may seem quite easy in principle however due to the nature of pumping steel fibre concrete and the fact that concrete sags in levels whilst in plastic state. The Nationwide Concrete Flooring’s finishing team also had to integrate a natural dry shake topping within the surface of the power floated concrete. The dry shake surface hardener was installed using a Tremix spreader at the rate of 4kg/m2. Great care was taken by the concrete finishing team to ensure the concrete wasn’t power floated above the mobile racking rails. On completion of the powerfloating, the hardened concrete was cured using a dust inhibiting compound Sika Proseal.

The concrete flooring contractor selected a steel profile joint manufactured by Permaban known as the Signature joint. The Signature joint has a unique profile shaped in a half hexagon called disruptive face technology, which prevents the whees of forklifts from dropping into the gap between the two pieces of steel once the concrete floor slab has shrunk away and the joint opens up. This means that there is no impact when trafficking the joint and and hence no damage caused to forklifts or the joint itself. If you would like more details on the Signature joint then please see the section on our website labelled steel profile floor joints.

Project details

  • Cold store, Bicker Distribution Centre, Boston with mobile racking
  • 275mm deep concrete floor slab
  • Reinforced with 35kg/m3 of Bekaert Dramix 5D steel fibres
  • Client – FJD
  • Cast in June 2016
  • Constructed over 4 consecutive days
  • Readymix supplied by Cemex Materials UK
  • Dry shake – Permaban Qualidur natural
  • Curing agent – Sika Proseal
  • Steel construction joints – Permaban Signature

Should you require any further details on the construction of the cold storage concrete floor slab in Boston or perhaps have a project of your own you would like to discuss with us, whether it be steel fibre reinforced or steel fabric mesh, then please do not hesitate to contact one of our estimating team on 01405 704722 or simply e mail

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