Why are more and more designers using precast hollowcore plank?

The Hollowcore product was first introduced to our region in the 1950’s and quickly became the concrete floor system of choice for many designers. Structural floor systems must carry their own weight in addition to all applied loads. While a conventional 8″ cast-in-place concrete slab weights 150 pounds per square foot, the same 8-inch section of Wells Concrete Ultraspan Hollowcore Plank weights only 63 pounds per square foot. The lighter self-weight and use of high strength prestress strand allows for much longer spans with the ability to carry higher applied loads.

Ultraspan Hollowcore Plank is produced indoors on a 4′-0″ wide 500′ long steel casting bed. Concrete is extruded from the Ultraspan machine as it moves down the length of the casting bed; the extruder uses multiple mechanical augers to create the cores and high frequency vibration to aid compaction. A zero slump concrete mix is used to reduce curing time to as little as six hours. ┬áThis process also uses 25% less cement than other similar systems.

This product comes in 8″, 10″ and 12″ depths with spans up to 54′-0″ and can be used for virtually any floor or roof system. It is also used as a structural slab on grade where poor soil conditions exist.

Installers can set as much as 8,000 square feet per day and, unlike other concrete decks, can be installed in cold weather areas at the same speed.

The speed of installation alone is a big reason why we are seeing an increase in demand, that coupled with sound transmission (STC) rate of 50 plus and fire ratings up to 3 hours without the need to use applied fireproofing make the value of Ultra Span Hollowcore a designer’s first choice.

Gary Pooley
Regional Sales Manager