Why use armoured joints at all?
Construction joints are an essential part of creating a concrete floor. But left unprotected, they will quickly become damaged once the building is brought into use –leaving the building owner or operator with repair costs and expensive down-time. A damaged construction joint is more than just unsightly. Materials handling vehicles can suffer costly damage too on an uneven surface; and it can even present a health and safety issue for forklift drivers.
The best solution is to armour joint arrises during construction, to build in protection from the start. It is easy and cost-effective, and reaps benefits for the lifetime of the building.
Guidance on choosing the right joint
Here are some of the factors to consider when choosing an armoured joint. Our helpful joint selector can also guide you in choosing the best product to armour joint arrises on your project.
Building use. Consider whether the building will have one use in its lifetime, or if this may change. You can future-proof the floor by choosing a versatile joint, such as Permaban Signature or Wave. These allow vehicles to cross the floor freely in any direction, now and in future.
Traffic. Consider the type of vehicle wheel being used, plus traffic frequency and speed (‘duty’). Vehicle direction determines how much impact a joint endures. Straight joints such as AlphaJoint are Eclipse are fine where vehicles won’t cross directly. Otherwise, choose Signature or Wave to prevent impact (see below).
Service. If cleaning chemicals are regularly used, a stainless steel joint (AlphaJoint CSS) will withstand these and look good for longer. If a joint is likely to be regularly exposed to wet conditions, choose our galvanised Signature, Eclipse or Wave.
Hazards. If the building handles substances which must not leach into the ground, or where the joint gap itself would pose a hazard to pedestrians, then cover the gap permanently with SignatureSlide, or fill with a joint sealant.
Floor construction. ‘Jointless’ floors include armoured joints, but not saw-cut joints, so the gap sizes can be slightly larger. Take the likely gap size into account, and how it might be filled. SignatureSlide handles larger gaps and ensures no joint gapis exposed.
What is impact?
If a vehicle crosses a straight joint at 90° there is a risk of impact damage. This is because the wheels drop momentarily in the gap between the two straight sides of the joint. Repeated impact on a saw-cut joint, or even a straight armoured joint,causes damage to the surrounding concrete, leading to maintenance costs and downtime.
A shaped joint arris (Signature or Wave) has no straight lines–hence the wheels cannot fall between the two sides, so no impact can occur. Shaped joints therefore make the ideal choice for directional traffic situations, or where a building owner wants to ensure flexibility for how a building may be used in the future.
The value-engineered approach
Traditional-style armoured joints only account for about 5% of the material cost of the floor slab. Joints are a small part of the overall cost –but can make an enormous difference to the floor’s lifetime performance.
By using a combination of Permaban armoured joints you can create an optimum specification without a significant cost increase. For example, using Signature and Eclipse together in a specification will provide superior joint protection, but with a less than 1% increase in material cost. Using Signature alone means only a 3% increase in material cost. But remember that any additional up-front costs will be more than recouped over the life of the building, due to reduced floor and vehicle maintenance costs. The building’s versatility, and saleability, can also be improved.