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What is Gunite and What is it Used For?

tunnel being sprayed with gunite/shotcrete

The trade terms for sprayed concrete are gunite and shotcrete. Gunite and shotcrete are alternative forms of concrete, distributed by a hose at a high velocity, which enables us to reach awkward surfaces such as tunnels, bridges, swimming pools and train stations. Instead of being poured onsite to form solid ground bases for sheds, car parks, extensions and more, sprayed concrete is dry and attaches quickly to the host surface. 

Sprayed concrete/ gunite or shotcrete can be used for:

  • Artificial ponds
  • Dikes and dams
  • Ditches and channels
  • Domes
  • Mining
  • Pools
  • Retention walls
  • Slope stabilization
  • Structural reinforcement
  • Tunneling
  • Water tanks 

The advantages of gunite and shotcrete

Sprayed concrete offers many advantages and can be used for more applications, compared to traditional, poured concrete. Gunite and shotcrete can be placed, compacted and strengthened which makes it easy to manage. These types of concrete create an incredibly strong bond with any surface, offers reduced shrinkage (which means it’s less likely to crack) and has a lower permeability (which means it can better protect structures from steel corrosion). To improve the strength and ductility of poured concrete, it is usually incorporated with wire mesh but sprayed concrete can be combined with steel fibre to increase this. Gunite and shotcrete are typically less expensive than poured concrete. 

A builder sprays gunite to create a suburban pool

What’s the difference between gunite and shotcrete?

There’s not much difference between gunite or shotcrete apart from the application process. Gunite is a dry-gun concrete and shotcrete is a wet-gun concrete.  

For gunite, dry concrete is put into the hopper and forced out of a hose, through a nozzle. The person operating the gunite distribution can control the addition of water by altering the nozzle and by the time the gunite reaches the host surface, it will be fully mixed. This forms a better batch because there’s more control over the amount of water that is being added to the dry concrete. The control over the nozzle allows for even distribution, better placement and optimal accuracy. 

Wet-mix shotcrete is already mixed and is applied using the same hose method but with this mix, there is no additional water. This is the preferred method as it reduces dust and has less of a rebound, which means there’s less wastage during application.  

For help and advice, call Easy Mix Concrete Services LLC on 512-361-4198 – your local concrete company who are here to provide excellent services and deliver all quantities of concrete. We aim to beat any price in the city, and we have an ‘only pay for what you use’ policy – so expect an honest and straightforward service. 

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