We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What is Shotcrete?

Malcolm Tatum
By
Updated May 17, 2024
Our promise to you
WiseGeek is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At WiseGeek, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

As a structural material, most people are familiar with concrete. However, not everyone is familiar with the form of concrete known as shotcrete. Here is some background on shotcrete, including how it is used in building projects today.

Essentially, shotcrete is projected concrete. Originally devised in the early 20th century, shotcrete was created as a means of using concrete to fill out molds. The concrete itself was a dry mix that was blown directly into the mold using compressed air.

As the concrete was released, the dry mix was moistened, allowing it to settle and set in the mold. The inventor of this method, Carl Akeley, received a patent in 1911 for both the concrete gun he developed, as well as the material that was produced, which he dubbed gunite.

Other applications for shotcrete were immediately obvious. Because the shotcrete could be applied to a horizontal or a vertical facing, the shot concrete could easily be applied to the sides of buildings, the shotcrete could be used as a patch and as a filler where cracks may have appeared in walls or in foundations. The method also hastened the construction of walkways in many front yards and backyard gardens as well, since shotcrete could be laid out in a fraction of the time it took to mix and apply concrete by hand.

The dry method of creating shotcrete remained in place until the middle of the 20th century, and continued to be refined. Still in use today, the dry method involves placing the dry mix into a hopper, where it is ran through a hose with a water attachment at the end of the hose. As the concrete is shot out of the hose and into the gun mechanism, the operator adjusts the amount of water that is added to the dry mix. The result is a concrete mixture that is easy to direct and will dry and cure in the same amount of time as any method using concrete.

By the middle of the 20th century, an alternate method to creating shotcrete was developed. Referred to as the wet method, this process involves using ready-mixed concrete. As with the dry method, compressed air is used to force the concrete mixture through a hose and out of a nozzle. With wet mixing, the operator does not have the ability to adjust the mix of water and dry concrete, since that process has already taken place. Fans of this method point to the fact there is no chance of introducing too much water into the mix, creating a poor concrete texture. Supporters of the original dry method state that the properly mixed concrete and water produce a finished product that is superior to the ready-mix used with the wet method.

With both applications, steel rods or webs of steel mesh are often used to help retain and reinforce the surface that is receiving the shotcrete treatment. By providing something extra for the shotcrete to cling to while it dries into place, the shotcrete patches or facades tend to last much longer.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Malcolm Tatum
By Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum, a former teleconferencing industry professional, followed his passion for trivia, research, and writing to become a full-time freelance writer. He has contributed articles to a variety of print and online publications, including WiseGeek, and his work has also been featured in poetry collections, devotional anthologies, and newspapers. When not writing, Malcolm enjoys collecting vinyl records, following minor league baseball, and cycling.
Discussion Comments
Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum, a former teleconferencing industry professional, followed his passion for trivia, research, and writing...
Learn more
WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.