A faster, cheaper way to build waterproof structural walling
In the civil Infrastructure market, most structural walling is still constructed using either cast in situ or precast concreting. While these traditional methods are reliable, they are also time-consuming. In situ concreting, for example, requires a lot of manpower and infrastructure.
Dincel Structural Walling, an innovative polymer formwork system made by Sydney-based manufacturer Dincel Construction System, changes all this. A faster and easier way to install waterproof and reinforced concrete walls, it cuts back on labour hours, requires less reinforcing than traditional methods and eliminates the need for things like cranage and timber formwork.
The key difference between the Dincel system and traditional techniques is that the concrete core of the structural wall is encapsulated within a protective polymer skin (long PVC panels that are in place prior to the concrete pour).
Construction of Dincel Structural Walling is simple. It involves positioning these PVC panels (which are available in custom lengths of 1.8 m – 8 m) vertically where desired; connecting them together via the patented snap-lock joint; introducing steel reinforcement; and carrying out your concrete pour.
The brainchild of the company’s founder Burak Dincel, Dincel Structural Walling was introduced in 2006. Originally available in 110mm, 155mm, and 200mm profiles, it initially found favour among small to mid-sized residential builders. The recent release of a new 275mm profile has opened up new opportunities for specifiers in the civil infrastructure market to use the product.
Benefits for civil infrastructure projects
Because the system’s polymer skin and the panel joints are impervious to water, there is no need to apply a waterproofing membrane on the wall surfaces. The only place that does require such a treatment is the junction of the footing and the slab (and any other junctions / joints).
This saves on costs and materials, and also has positive safety implications. Because of the reduced waterproofing requirements, there is less need to work in confined spaces, such as between the retaining wall and excavated soil. In addition, the waterproof polymer prevents water ingress at the wall surface, which reduces the threat of problems like concrete cancer, steel corrosion, leaking and mould.
Dincel Structural Walling is faster than traditional methods. Apart from eliminating much of the time spent on waterproofing, the system also speeds up the concrete pour. Its patented ring form allows a concrete slump of 200mm in a single continuous pour, up to a height of 4.5 m. Using traditional methods, this would be impossible without the assistance of elaborate formwork (which itself takes time to build).
Sustainability, a KPI for a lot of civil design engineers these days, is another benefit. According to an independent study by not for profit organisation The Natural Step, Dincel Structural Walling “…represents a clear step forward in applying a more sustainable method for…the building of load-bearing walls…”
The study found that, because the product assists buildings in requiring less concrete and steel than conventional methods, it reduces the overall energy and raw material embedded in new buildings. Similarly, because it eliminates the use of timber formwork to build structural walls, the product further reduces overall resource consumption in new buildings.
On top of that, the study noted, the product offers a minimum life of 100 years in construction as well as the potential for 100 per cent recyclability for its PVC components.
Dincel Structural Walling has been assessed and issued with a CodeMark Certificate of Conformity for Type A, B & C construction covering all internal/external wall applications; openings and penetrations (i.e. Fire collar use directly onto Dincel Wall and Dincel Wall abutting to a non-Dincel wall). It has been Fire rated (90-240 minutes) and certified as suitable for bushfire prone areas (BAL Low to BAL FZ).
In addition, Dincel Structural Walling has been tested under 6 m of water head pressure and certified as waterproof by CSIRO Australia.