5ing Concrete

5ing Concrete from Dustin Faddis on Vimeo.
|  engineering values  |
 
 

Living in a culture of facades and knock offs, we are intentional about helping people experience greater authenticity and connection to natural materials and processes.  Creating our own designs and manufacturing, we are able to produce innovative products that can be custom built to integrate with the people and places they exist in.

 

The malleable and enduring attributes of concrete connect us with our passion for creating mutually-expansive-shared value.  The ability to create something unique that will endure the challenges set before it, is a quality which deeply motivates us. Current concrete technology enables us to produce objects that will endure like ancient structures of Rome-hundreds of years!   We've researched and tested over 100 documented concrete mixes in order to produce unique recipes that enable us to make very durable and unique products.  We make products to tumble with the punches of wear and tear while still maintaining structural integrity and beauty. 

 

5ing concrete is nothing like “conventional concrete” which is found in “ready-mix” bags and some “ready-mix” producers.  Although such mixes fulfill construction purposes, our designs push the bounds of what was previously thought impossible.
Making very strong concrete as thick as porcelain has only recently been a successful objective—Prior concrete mixes, were too brittle.  5ing concrete is much more strong and abrasive resistant than ceramic products.   Each of our concrete recipes are designed specifically for the demands which the object will encounter.  That’s why we refer to our concrete as “Engineered Concrete”.
| recipe matters  |
 
Not all concrete is the “same”.  Just like other “recipes”, concrete is made with individual ingredients and its results will vary depending upon given proportions and attributes of those ingredients.  Essentially, concrete is manufactured stone, made with clay, limestone, silica, iron, other minerals, and water.  Once cement (made with clinker & kiln) is manufactured, silica sand, aggregates, and water are mixed to induce a chemical reaction which makes concrete.  This hardening process is what gives concrete strength.  The process is referred to as “hydration”.
With modern technology, the concrete produced today has potentially-incredible uses.  Although the manufacturing of concrete is conducted with precise calculations and measurements, each recipe will provide varied results.
Individual ingredients and ratios contribute to the concrete’s strength, texture, coloring, durability, etc.  For example, some aggregates are naturally dense and abrasive resistant which makes the concrete more abrasive resistant and ductile.  Some concretes you can scratch with your fingernail and others will not make a mark.
Some ingredients provide additional cementitious attributes when placed in the proper conditions and exacting quantities, which enable them to gain strength faster and to a greater degree.  Designing and making concrete is much like baking.  Small variations to the recipe and to the process of mixing and curing will effect the outcome.
 
|  quality defined  |
 
5ing Concrete is designed to meet the following goals:
                    • Ultra-High Strength – strong & ductile like mild steel
                    • Smooth & Beautiful Finish – marble-like & soft to touch 
                    • Thin – glass-like with feather-like weight & metal-like strength 
                    • Impermeable – extremely water-tight and extremely resistant to breaking and cracking
|  current technology & application  |
Testing has shown a direct correlation between the compressive strength of concrete and the ratio of water to cement (W/C & W/CM).  Utilizing third generation polycarboxylate technology, known as “superplasticizers”, we control the water to cement ratio to obtain the strongest mix possible for each particular object.
The addition of synthetic and/or steel fibers is another ingredient we use to ensure our concrete endures the demands which are placed on it.  Although concrete has the advantage of compressive strength, it’s weakest characteristic is its flexural and tensile strength.  If you’ve ever seen cracks and breaks on the corner of drive ways and sidewalks, you’ve witnessed this weakness.  We use fibers to compensate for these weaknesses.  The use of fibers create highly-strong and uniform bond, which form a “matrix”.  Thus, a notoriously “rigid” material becomes more flexible.
This matrix enables us to have confidence in our concretes ability to conform to our design values of  thin like glass, light like a feather & strong like steel.
We value using products that have the ability to conform to different circumstances it may face throughout life.  A.K.A., we value the idea of “reuse, repurpose, recycle”.  
Some of the admixtures and fibers I use are “recycled” products.  Did you know that concrete is recyclable?  Recycled concrete is primarily used as the base foundation for roads and buildings.  If you ever need to throw out concrete, you can locate a recycling plant near you.
|  sealants  |
The sealants I use exceed the standards set for California on VOC percentages (volatile organic compounds).
We try to eliminate our exposure to VOCs and encourage the use of other possible non-toxic products, so that’s one reason we use sealants that are “eco-friendly”.
We use integral sealants because they become part of the concrete matrix and provide the best durability possible.   
Mild soap and water wipe will clean the concrete.  Just like granite & marble countertops, you want to avoid using high-acidic cleaners which can react with the stone causing it to “stain”.  Although, “staining” is actually an “etching” of the concrete.
|  finish quality  |
The density of 5ing concrete also functions as a type of sealant.  The density of the concrete effects its ability to repel water and other liquids which can fit in the pores of the matrix.  The ability of concrete to limit water penetration is called, “water-tightness”.
The quality of “water-tightness” is very high in 5ing concrete.  Thus, we don’t need to depend on toxic epoxy sealants to protect our concrete products.  
|  conclusion  |
Dustin has invested thousands of hours into researching concrete design theory, testing, and refining his mix designs.  Although we've achieved some incredible results, we'd be amiss to withhold our gratitude and shared value with other pioneers who expanded the established bounds of what is possible.  
We are thankful for the creative efforts of all those builders and engineers who value the ability of materials to endure the challenges set before it.  We also thank the following folks who kindly shared  their experience and input:Perry, Betty, Laurie, Gingee, Quinn, Rebecca, Roky, Mike, Paul, —thank you!