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No-fines concrete, or NFC, is strengthened with single-sized coarse aggregates that are bound by a thin layer of cement paste. NFC is primarily used for load-bearing, cast-in-place external walls or for concrete floors.

 

Insight

No-fines concrete (NFC) is obtained by eliminating the fine material – sand – from the normal concrete mix. Instead, single-sized coarse aggregates are surrounded and held together by a thin layer of cement paste to add strength.

Among the main advantages of NFC is economy in materials, higher thermal insulating values, lower shrinkage, and lower unit weight and density. It is mainly used for load-bearing, cast-in-place external walls of single storey and multi-storey housing, small retaining walls or damp-proofing sub-base material for concrete floors cast on grade.

Here Bryan Perrie, managing director of The Concrete Institute (TCI) sheds some light on this type of concrete:NFC consists of coarse aggregate and cement paste. In the hardened state, the aggregate particles are covered by a thin layer of cement paste and are in point-to-point contact with each other.

At each contact point, the paste forms a small fillet and these fillets hold the particles together and give strength to the concrete.

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