In another website, there has been a tremendous amount of discussion about the type of concrete mix design to use in an ICF or insulated concrete form system (walls only). The concern is that there are no standards yet set for this. There is one unique aspect to a concrete form that causes standard water reducers and plasticizers to be detrimental during pours, and that is that the additive generates a co-hesive aspect to the mix, and as we cannot use release agents due to the form material components, it tends to cause a greavelling or seperation on initial placement at the bottom of the wall system. Even with proper consolodiation, which only packs large amounts of course aggregate at the bottom of the concrete mass, there is still a fair amount of seperation. Due to the interior structure of the forms, there is little room to manover a hose in the interior of the wall system (typically only 6" wide with substancial ties every 8" vertically and horizontally). We have reccomended standard 4" slump mixes and proper internal consoldation, however many of the form produced are not capable of taking the pressures induced on the system, blow outs and/or form bulging is common. Wet mixes enhance the bulging/blowout problems inversly with increased slump mixes. What mix designs allow for sufficient workablility with the lowest hydraulic stress placed on the forms??? These are typicall poured in lifts.
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