Dincel helps businesses build with economic efficiency

Developed to address common constraints associated with concrete walling, the Dincel permanent polymer formwork system is transforming buildings around Australia.

When the first Dincel polyvinyl chloride-based permanent formwork system for concrete walling rolled off the production line in 2006, the construction industry was quickly drawn in by its durable, versatile and cost-effective application. Today, internationally recognised as Dincel Structural Walling, the system is changing the landscape of formwork construction.

Burak Dincel invented and launched Dincel Structural Walling after five years of intensive research and development. His background as a structural engineer, builder, developer and manager of a multi-disciplinary engineering firm gave Burak a multi-focussed view on how to arrive at the ideal structural system.

Its successful development was further bolstered by his deep understanding of buildability, architecture and construction practices, the Building Code of Australia, and SafeWork NSW workplace health and safety (WHS) requirements.

A Dincel Wall is a concrete wall with an additional polymer skin that acts as a protective membrane. It can be used to construct a wide range of concrete walls for houses, apartments, offices, retail and industrial buildings, wastewater/sewage facilities, swimming pools, water tanks or major retaining (earth/sea) walls.

The polymer formwork stays in place after the concrete is poured (the formwork is not stripped afterwards), thereby providing the wall with a waterproof and durable skin. This skin protects the concrete and steel reinforcement which increases the lifespan of the walls compared to conventional concrete and masonry structures.

Dincel Walls consist of internationally patented snap-on panel connections that snap together like Lego, a feature that Burak says makes for extremely fast and easy installation. All Dincel profiles also have in-built crack inducers that eliminate the need for joints and steel bars for crack control in wall structures.

“Within a few years of commercialising, Dincel became a popular choice for basement walls,” says Burak. “Naturally, the use of Dincel has expanded to above ground building and civil infrastructure.”

“Today, Dincel is used across the commercial, residential and civil construction industries in Australia, New Zealand, New Caledonia and Fiji.”

Concrete is the second most consumed substance in the world, according to industry body Cement Concrete & Aggregates Australia, with over 70 per cent of the world population living in structures that contain concrete. Made popular by its ability to gain strength over time, low maintenance requirements, low cost and availability, concrete is widely used in the construction of structures such as commercial and residential buildings, dams, roads, sewers and bridges – but it does come with its problems.

Cracking, steel corrosion and ‘concrete cancer’ are just some of the common issues associated with conventional concrete construction and can drive up costs, create safety hazards and take time to resolve.

Rather than try to replace concrete, Dincel has created a permanent membrane system that encapsulates it to eliminate the problems associated with conventional concrete application.

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Dincel helps businesses build with economic efficiency
Burak Dincel, Inventor and Founder, Dincel Structural Walling.

A pillar of strength

Conventional concrete is a brittle and non-ductile material. Although strong in compressive strength, it is weak in tensile strength and is subsequently prone to cracking – reinforcements such as steel bars are often used to compensate.

It is nearly impossible to eliminate concrete wall cracking irrespective of steel quantity used, explains Burak, as 90 to 95 per cent of cracking occurs before the required strength of concrete is developed for steel bars to assist. “Plastic shrinkage cracking of concrete occurs within 36 hours of concrete placement,” he adds. “There are other types of cracking such as temperature, building settlement, ground movement and load induced cracking.”

“Often cracking can cause corrosion of the steel bars used for reinforcement, resulting in a premature structural life which, for common concrete structures, is normally 50 years and 100 years for post-disaster buildings.”

Wet concrete also requires forms to hold it in place until it sufficiently hardens. These conventional forms have to be installed, removed, sent to storage and brought back for a new use, representing logistic and safety challenges as well as significant time wastage.

A Dincel Wall consists of Dincel forms and concrete infill. The polymer encapsulation of concrete creates a composite action, which increases compressive, flexural strength and impact resilience and creates a significant reduction in conventional concrete’s brittleness. In-built crack inducers also eliminate the need for wall joints and majority of steel reinforcement.

“Another handicap of concrete, and possibly the most damaging, is the early removal of forms which prematurely finishes the curing process,” explains Burak. “The water within wet concrete rapidly evaporates upon removal of conventional forms and subsequently curing or hydration of concrete prematurely finishes.”

“This leaves water and air pockets even within the best prepared concrete, and the extent of air voids can also be increased by improper concrete vibration.

“The air/water voids can cause structural/corrosion, fire, and acoustic non-compliance.”

Dincel, on the other hand purposely cracks the wet concrete by in-built crack inducers. These cracks and air/water voids are sealed back because of concrete’s self-healing mechanism during the drying process due to ongoing hydration offered by the presence of the permanent membrane skins of Dincel Wall.

“Dincel’s unique polymer formwork is impervious and does not suck water from the wet concrete, which is one of the reasons why air voids form with the porous nature of formwork,” says Burak.

Waterproof Warranty

Dincel panel joints have been designed with patented barbs that make them waterproof so that external contaminants cannot penetrate into Dincel forms to cause steel corrosion.

Waterproof permanent formwork also allows concrete to be made from almost any material (i.e., corals, beach sand, clay, shale, coal, untreated fly ash and mining wastes) currently not used in concrete making. “This will be the solution for depleting concrete making resources,” says Burak. “Waterproof Dincel eliminates replacement costs in flood inundated buildings.”

“Conventional buildings containing porous material are demolished after a flood event due to mould, not because of structural damage.

“The Dincel solution should therefore eliminate exorbitant insurance premiums and potentially open up flood prone land for development.”

Dincel’s latest innovation offers waterproofing at the wall-footing slab junction, with a life expectancy of 120 years, in addition to Dincel panel joints. This means cost and time effective habitable spaces can be created well below ground level.

Further, he adds, conventional concrete and reinforced masonry walls require joints for crack control purposes at maximum 8-metre centres. The presence of these joints represents potential water, moisture and air contaminant ingress to building interiors due to building movements. In contrast, Dincel panels consist of crack inducers at maximum 0.125-metre centres, therefore Dincel walls can be built any length without any control joints that could let water in, further reducing construction costs.

Testing under The National Association of Testing Authorities (NATA)-registered laboratory supervision has proven that Dincel’s waterproofing system will result in excellent liquid tightness supported by full supervision of the entire installation process.

Dincel is so confident in its waterproofing system that it’s offering up to 50 years zero leakage Waterproof System Warranties for basement walls. Dincel Air Void Free warranty is available as a default, and corrosion and termite penetration are not possible when Dincel Waterproof Warranty is available.

“On top of NATA registered laboratory supervision, Dincel engaged an eminent industry expert to investigate waterproofing test methods, test results, buildability provisions, any possible ‘what if’ scenario and potential Dincel solutions for remedial measures,” says Burak. “This should open doors for Tier 1 and 2 building companies to use this system with confidence.”

“Dincel Waterproof Warranty provides significant time and cost savings for the client, and Dincel assumes all material and supply warranty with no responsibility to the building owner.”

Sustainable solution

On the sustainability front, concrete has a huge carbon footprint. Cement manufacturing accounts for around seven per cent of global carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions annually, according to VDZ’s 2021 report – Decarbonisation Pathways for the Australian Cement and Concrete Sector.

Steel is also a large contributor of CO2, according to Climate change and the production of iron and steel by the World Steel Association, with direct emissions from steel production representing between seven and nine per cent of global CO2 emissions in 2020.

Dincel innovation allows at least a 50 per cent reduction in cement and steel bar use. Dincel can also be recycled many times, representing even lower total energy consumption. The Dincel load-bearing construction wall system, instead of slabs carried by columns, can provide a 30 per cent structural cost saving and 50 per cent time saving as proven in many apartment constructions. This also correlates to very significant embodied energy savings, being more effective than building wall insulation.

Tried and tested

Due to its durable design, tests conducted at the University of Technology Sydney (UTS) found that Dincel Walls have the ability to withstand up to 9.0 magnitude earthquake forces. “These tests prove that Dincel Wall is three times more ductile and stronger in comparison to a conventional concrete wall of the same thickness and cannot be cracked due to temperature or foundation settlements,” says Burak. “As a result, development potential by number of floors can be increased even in mine subsidence areas.”

Learn the ropes

With a commitment to solving the industry’s permanent polymer formwork needs, Dincel has launched the Dincel Academy – a free service to train installers on building with the Dincel Structural Walling system.

The Academy came about because Dincel found that installers were not following the correct techniques and procedures outlined in the Dincel Construction Manual. While Dincel is extremely easy to install, it does require adherence to procedures and the right techniques to ensure a great result.

Dincel found that many installers were taking shortcuts in installation, says Burak, and this needed to be addressed. “In addition, changes to the building code mean that walls have become more heavily loaded with reinforcing steel,” he says. “These changes further increased the need to be very particular about technique in installing panels to ensure that problems did not ensue.”

The Dincel Academy teaches the principles explained in the Dincel Construction Manual. Education is vital in any aspect of life, says Burak, and the installation of Dincel is no exception.

“If short cuts are taken, if knowledge is assumed, and if poor practices are handed on from person to person, a poor result will occur,” Burak adds. “The Dincel form is a part of the structure and if it has not been installed correctly according to documented procedures then it may compromise building integrity.”

Dincel has also employed After Sales Service Managers that come from the installation sector. These managers spend their days visiting construction sites to ensure that correct Dincel installation procedures are being followed and to provide onsite training and advice to ensure a successful installation outcome.

Backed by extensive testing and validation, Dincel polymer formwork for structural walling is a sustainable, economical, strong and durable alternative to conventional concrete walls, precast and reinforced Besser blocks.

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