EcoArmour vs Shotcrete & Concrete Canvas
Erosion Control Blankets are synthetic products that have been designed to protect the soil surface from various degrees of erosion. They can range from open meshes to thick dense mats, and even hydraulically applied. ECB’s aim to achieve 100% coverage to ensure that stabilisation is achieved and water is unable to penetrate and undermine the ECB.
EcoArmour™ is an Australian designed and manufactured synthetic erosion control blanket that has been designed to be sprayed through high-pressure hydroseeder equipment. Once sprayed, it dries and sets in a matter of hours, providing extended high- shear resistant erosion control. A true alternative to alternative ECB’s, it has been custom designed for erosion control that’s not only faster, easier and safer to install, but also more cost effective and able to withstand the punishing Australian conditions.
A blend of minerals, interlocking fibres and specialty binders form EcoArmour’s™ durable, non-flammable crust. The specialty binders adhere to and incorporate themselves into the substrate below, forming a tough, resilient cover that is also flexible enough to bind and move with the ground below it, eliminating cracking of the coating.
EcoArmour™ features a flexible membrane, meaning that it can support the growth of vegetation without removing the crust or can be made water repellent to prevent vegetation through the addition of a hydrophobic polymer to the blend. It provides a longevity of 20+ years and can be altered in colour via oxides present in the formula. Its advanced technology makes it the ideal erosion control and stabilisation product for vertical walls, roadside batters, steep slopes, drains, and all substrates including compacted clay, rock, sand, sandy loam, dispersive soils, and any soils that are extremely difficult to manage and access.
With similar application to EcoArmour™, Shotcrete is mortar or concrete conveyed through a hose and pneumatically projected at high velocity onto a surface or substrate. It can come prepared in a wet mix or a dry mix which involves the addition of water just before its intended use. Like EcoArmour™, it can be applied rapidly, however, it takes considerably longer to set and cannot reach full strength until it does so. Chemicals are often added and utilised as ‘accelerators’ to help speed up the drying process, but they can also decrease the strength of the shotcrete and are often caustic and pose health risks, particularly to the eyes.
Shotcrete is able to be utilised to cover a range of surfaces, however, intensive preparation and compaction of soil is required to support the design thickness of shotcrete for it to be effective as an appropriate erosion control method. Further to this, installation of shotcrete often requires the addition of steel mesh to help support and strengthen itself, whereas EcoArmour™ already contains everything it requires to form a strong, volatile surface- with more eco-friendly ingredients.
Unlike EcoArmour™, Shotcrete cannot be applied when rain events appear imminent as water exposure to unset shotcrete can cause it to run or slip, reducing the strength and durability of the product once it dries.
Concrete canvas is a flexible, concrete impregnated fabric that hardens when hydrated to form a thin, durable, water proof and fire resistant concrete layer. Concrete Canvas allows for concrete construction without the need for plant or mixing equipment by simply positioning and rolling out the material on the desired area, adding water and allowing it to set. Available in 3 thicknesses, it is utilised in various infrastructure projects as a form of slope protection, erosion control and ditch lining.
Although a cheaper, more environmentally friendly alternative to shotcrete, concrete canvas still fails to triumph over EcoArmour™ in cost, time and labour effectiveness. The canvas must be cut to the required length, rolled and joined (by pegging, wiring, welding etc) before it can be hydrated. In hot conditions, which are common to Australia, Concrete Canvas must be re-hydrated numerous times during its first 8 hours, increasing labour costs and reducing its time effectiveness.
Although all 3 methods will assist with batter stabilisation and erosion control, EcoArmour™ is the only solution that is able to support these functions in the most environmentally friendly, safe and cost-effective manner. Further to this, the technology allows for vegetation to penetrate through the crust if needed, further providing protection and control. Its one-step process, combined with its ease of application and almost immediate effectiveness, EcoArmour™ is easily identified as the ideal solution.