Engineer Resources

Engineer FAQs

Dincel Structural Walling is a permanent polymer formwork system for concrete walling. It can be used to construct a wide range of concrete walls: such as basement walls, intertenancy (party walls), core walls (lift and stair), retaining walls, façade walls, balustrades, columns, tanks, pools, sea walls, irrigation walls, curved walls, planter boxes and much more.

The polymer formwork stays in place after the concrete is poured (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 hollow formwork panels are ‘snapped’ (clicked) together to build and form the wall. This patented snapping action ensures a safer, faster installation. While connecting panels, steel reinforcement can be added inside the wall as required. Once this is complete concrete is simply poured within the Dincel formwork.

The system comprises of accessories such as corners, caps, guides and joiners in order to streamline the installation process.

Dincel walls are available in 110mm, 155mm, 200mm and 275mm thicknesses. Widths per panel (module) is 333mm for the 110mm, 155mm and 200mm thick profiles, whereas the 275mm thick profile is square and has a width of 275mm. Panel length (height of wall) can be ordered from 1.8m to 7.95m for most profiles.

Wall dimensions do not need to exactly match Dincel standard panel widths, our profiles can simply be cut on-site to suit requirements.

  • The formwork can be installed at an incredible rate of 25m² / 2 people / hour, even by non-skilled labour. This is attributed to the patented ‘snapping’ vertical connection of Dincel panels.
  • No crane is required - each 3m long panel only weighs 13kg (for the 200mm profile).
  • The ‘stay in place’ polymer formwork provides a permanent waterproof skin to the concrete wall, meaning a Dincel wall does not require further waterproofing other than to wall junctions (please refer to our waterproofing documentation for more information). This:
    • Eliminates over excavation on the exterior side to basement perimeter walls (which is usually required for waterproofing purposes) – Build right up to the boundary and maximise land usage!
    • Minimises the amount of the waterproofing products required and the labour to apply them.
    • Minimises rectification works – the durable waterproof skin prevents corrosion of steel reinforcement and therefore minimises the risk of concrete spalling (concrete cancer).
  • The system contains a unique crack inducing technology which:
    • Reduces requirements for steel reinforcement within the wall – in some cases it can be eliminated completely. If steel reinforcement is required this can easily be inserted and held into place with the panel’s webs or accessories.
    • Enables omission of vertical expansion joints for crack control - leading to reduced finishing and caulking requirements. However, Dincel recommends incorporating the joints of the suspended concrete slabs in the walls as well (please refer to your project structural engineer).
  • Curved Dincel walls are easily achieved through the use of accessories.
  • Dincel creates on site synergies for formworkers and site crews:
    • Profiles can be installed to be 1 metre above the deck height in order to act as edge protection, eliminating safety hand rails.
    • Deck edge boards for floor slabs can be eliminated by simply removing the Dincel skin on one side only.
    • Minimal bracing required.
    • Installation of Dincel walls are not affected by wet weather conditions.
  • Dincel 200mm profile incorporates built in service channels for easy accommodation of services.

Concrete in-filled block walls, conventionally formed in-situ concrete walls, precast/tilt-up walls, conventional brick walls, insulated concrete forms (ICF) and stay-in place forms consisting of fibre cement and metal sheet cladding.

Yes - Dincel is manufactured in Sydney, Australia. Supply is readily available for pickup or delivery Australia wide. For ordering:

  • Place an order on our shop website or call (02) 9670 1633 to organise a meeting with a Dincel representative.
  • Plans can be uploaded to the website in order for Dincel to prepare a detailed components list specific to your project.

Yes – see below:

Ignitability, Combustibility & Fire Spread: Large scale AS ISO 9705 and AS 5113/BS 8414 testing was conducted at Warringtonfire in 2019. Through detailed assessment by Warringtonfire and Omnii Consulting Fire Engineers, it has been demonstrated Dincel satisfies the fire requirements of the 2019 NCC.

FRL: Tests carried out at Warringtonfire and CSIRO have certified that the polymer webs do not unduly affect the concrete wall’s FRL (Fire Resistance Level). An FRL of up to 240/240/240 can be achieved with the 200mm and 275mm profiles (the "structural adequacy" component must be calculated and confirmed by project’s structural engineer).

Smoke: An AS ISO 9705 test demonstrated that Dincel emits a Smoke Growth Rate (SMOGRA) which is 7 times below the NCC limit.

Joints & Penetrations: AS 1530.4 testing was conducted at Warringtonfire to demonstrate that Hilti fire rated caulking and fire collars can be applied straight onto the Dincel skin – no need to cut away the Dincel skin underneath.

For more information on the above, see the compliance section.

Yes - The system has been certified by the University of New South Wales (UNSW) and the University of Technology Sydney (UTS). The concrete and steel reinforcement inside Dincel formwork can be designed using AS 3600 or other relevant concrete codes such as Eurocode. For more information, please download our structural engineering manual.

No - Standard hand held tools are all that is required for most projects.

The base of the forms is restrained by a Dincel polymer guide (P-G), timber guides or angles, which also establishes the location of the walls. The top of the forms can be braced with either steel (push-pull prop) or timber bracing. Most of the bracing can be eliminated if there is a formworking deck above which the Dincel panels can be simply screwed into.

The unique design of Dincel formwork, as certified by the University of New South Wales, enables steel reinforcement to be eliminated for a wide variety of applications. However, if steel reinforcement is required, please see below installation methods:

Horizontal reinforcement - Central

  • Simply feed reinforcement through the horizontal holes provided at 150mm spacing.

Horizontal reinforcement – Two layers

  • 155mm & 200mm profiles:
    • Use of the Dincel Horizontal Reo-Clip (HRC) accessory which can either clip or slide into the system and provides slots for two layers of bars, or
    • The installer can simply fabricate hair-pin (‘U’) bars which are fed into the horizontal holes of the formwork.
  • 275mm profile – Simply feed steel reinforcement into the two adjacent horizontal holes which are already provided as part of the profile.

Vertical reinforcement – Central or two layers

  • Feed the steel reinforcement through the top of the Dincel formwork at the locations required. The bars can be held in place by:
    • Weaving the vertical reinforcement in-between horizontal reinforcement, or
    • By use of the Vertical Reo-Clip (VRC) accessory, or
    • By tying to a support bar at the top.

No - Refer to the Concrete Mix Specification within the Dincel Construction Manual.

Yes - Australian Standard AS 3600 requires engineers to specify a minimum of 40 MPa concrete for surfaces exposed to weather if the structure is located within 1km of the coastal zone. The reason for this is to achieve low permeability concrete and minimise the risk of concrete spalling (concrete cancer). The waterproof Dincel system provides superior protection to concrete by its permanent polymer skin which eliminates the need for higher grade concrete above 20 MPa for durability purposes.

Yes - We recommend a 25mm ‘pocket’ vibrator to be used by an experienced operator. Refer to the Dincel Construction Manual for more detail.

This depends on the circumstances. If a 50mm pump discharge pipe is used, superplasticisers are not recommended due to their limited working times. However, water reducers which don’t affect concrete working setting time may be used.

No - Provided the ends/corners of the walls are properly braced and the Dincel recommended method of installation is followed, it is almost impossible to have blow outs. Bulging of the forms can occur if a wet concrete mix is dropped into the forms from excessive heights or too fast. It is therefore recommended that the concrete pump discharge is directed to one of the internal webs of the Dincel profile to slow down the free fall of aggregate, avoid segregation and hydrostatic impact pressure. Refer to the Dincel Construction Manual for guidance.

No - This uplift phenomenon occurs with porous formwork surfaces such as fibre cement, masonry blocks or plywood sheets. Since cement slurry does not bond (no water absorption) to the polymer surface of Dincel forms, the formwork uplift which is normally experienced with common formworking systems does not occur with Dincel.

In addition, the round, horizontally aligned web holes of Dincel modules prevent the free fall of coarse aggregate, hence minimise concrete segregation. The same phenomenon, commonly called elephant-trunk action, pushes the forms down against the potential uplift caused by the wet concrete mix.

For the above reasons no physical connection is required between the bottom tracks/angles and the wall forms. However, in order to prevent the forms from being displaced by wind or accidental impact, it is recommended that the forms should be secured to the bottom tracks/angles.

To ensure there are no air voids, use:

  • A minimum concrete slump of 140mm. 180mm or more should be considered for increased compaction (refer to the Dincel Construction Manual for pour rates)
  • A concrete mix with maximum 10mm aggregate
  • A 25mm pocket vibrator

Air voids are a known problem for formwork consisting of porous materials such as fibre cement, masonry blocks or plywood. Due to the water absorption of these materials, concrete adheres to the form face and this builds up on the surface causing air pockets. This does not occur with Dincel is due to the impervious, frictionless polymer face which enhances concrete flow within.

The system incorporates in-built crack inducers which act as shrinkage movement joints for the Dincel wall. Therefore, joints for standard crack control purposes are not required. However, building construction joints (joints in suspended slabs) may need to be carried through and incorporated into the Dincel wall as well.

Typically the day after pouring the in-situ foundations or slabs. This is confirmed by the project’s structural engineer and is dependent on concrete setting times and the building design.

Yes - Dincel can be used as columns or walls. It offers faster and cheaper column forms in comparison to conventional concrete blade columns. Refer to our construction manual to see how closed tie reinforcement can be incorporated into the 275mm Dincel columns, if required.

Yes - Conventional column-slab frame structures generally consist of non-load bearing façade, party, corridor and partition walls. This imposes the following disadvantages:

  • Non-load bearing walls provide additional loads to carry at each floor level resulting in more expensive floor slabs.
  • Columns as structural load carrying members normally result in higher load concentrations on the transfer floor slab, hence thicker and costlier transfer slabs.
  • Internal finishing works cannot start until at least the perimeter building walls and glazing are in place.
  • An increased variety of materials result in various trades being dependent upon each other and the critical path being reliant on these trades. Increased numbers of workers present at any given time in comparison to Dincel.

Dincel is an advanced development of the column-slab frame structure. The only difference is that all or some façade, party and corridor walls are employed as load bearing elements. Internal partition walls of sole occupancy units are the only lightweight walls. Blade columns are linked to each other to form walls rather than individual structural load carrying elements. The advantage of Dincel in comparison to a conventional frame structure can be summarised as follows:

  • Reduced requirements for concrete thickness and steel reinforcement in horizontal slabs:
    • Dincel walls support slabs rather than being supported by slabs.
    • Slabs can be designed more efficiently as ‘one-way’ instead of ‘two-way’ which reduces requirements as per the concrete code AS 3600.
    • Dincel walls can be utilised as deep beams thus resulting in substantially cheaper transfer slabs than in conventional frame systems.
  • Dincel walling can be installed much faster than conventionally formed columns due to extremely simple and quick installation.
  • Dincel requires fewer workers, less site amenities, and more importantly eliminates a significant number of dependent trades, taking them off the critical path.

The abovementioned advantages of Dincel illustrate that with minimal planning, building with Dincel can be significantly faster and cheaper than a conventional frame structure.

The service temperature is the temperature when the material starts to deform. The effective service temperature of a polymer can vary significantly with the rate of loading. Literature explains that small load application rates at high temperatures can have the same effect as large load application rates at lower temperatures.

The maximum service temperature of PVC has generally been understood to be about 65°C. Rigid PVC offers a heat deflection temperature, where softening starts to occur, at 70°C temperature or vicat softening temperature at 75°C.

The polymer used for Dincel is a significantly modified version of common rigid PVC. Fire tests by the CSIRO Australia demonstrated excellent heat release properties which are better than common rigid PVC and even plasterboard. However, irrespective of this it is important to note that a Dincel wall consists predominantly of concrete infill. The strength of the Dincel formwork is only required at the time of concrete pouring to hold the wet concrete pressure. Therefore the Dincel material, being formwork, only requires serviceability performance at the time of concrete pouring.

Concrete hydration temperatures need to be considered when using high strength concrete in excess of 65 MPa (28 days). The concrete’s hydration temperature is based on many factors including ambient temperature, the concrete temperature and the concrete mix design. Dincel walls have been used to successfully incorporate an 80 MPa concrete mix (28 days). Contact your concrete supplier to confirm the curing temperatures if high strength concrete is considered. As common practice, concrete mix designs are developed in a way to prevent hydration temperatures exceeding 65°C. When 65 MPa concrete is prepared and poured under Australian Standards, it is a rare possibility for the concrete's hydration temperature to exceed 50°C if the thickness of the wall is limited to 275mm as is the case of Dincel formwork. Therefore, there are generally no issues with concrete curing temperatures exceeding the Dincel formwork’s service temperature.

Dincel walls can be finished in a wide variety of ways. Typically, the following finishes are applied:

  • Internal finishes
    • Plasterboard
    • Paint
    • Left raw as a clean off-white surface (typical for basements, fire stair escapes, lift shafts, etc)
  • External Finishes
    • Acrylic Render
    • Paint
    • Cladding (e.g. Stone, Timber, Tiles, Metal Cladding and Board Systems)
    • Left raw as a clean off-white surface

A 100% Acrylic Render must be used - conventional sand and cement render is not suitable. 100% acrylic render is readily available from major suppliers and offered in a wide variety of colours and textures.

For best results check installation steps with the selected render manufacturer. Generally, the following steps are specified:

  • The surface is cleaned from dirt, grease and concrete slurry.
  • A coat of surface etching primer is applied to prepare the base for bonding. Otherwise, the surface is mechanically scuffed/roughened.
  • The etched surface receives a trowelled-on coat of filler component which consists of a polymer compound, flexible enough to absorb movements of the base surface. The purpose of the filler is to fill the joints between profiles and level the surface appearance.
  • The final finishing coat may consist of either trowel-on, pre-coloured, desired texture finish or two coats of desired paint.

If dark colours are proposed, this must first be checked with the render manufacturer. Some manufacturers offer sun-ray reflectors and suggest a minimum thickness of 10mm to permit the use of dark colours.

No - Dincel panel joints control and minimise the contraction and expansion movements of the wall surface. Any differential movement between the Dincel skin and applied render finish is significantly reduced in comparison to conventional walls. The etching primer prepares the Dincel surface for chemical bonding. The polymer render base coat, being flexible enough, also absorbs any possible movement differential at the matching surfaces. In fact, this combination becomes much more reliable than the conventional cement render applied to masonry, concrete or fibre-cement surfaces. To view the companies who provide long term warranties that their render will not delaminate from the Dincel surface please see the Render Product Options

Plasterboard can be directly fixed to Dincel by using daub glue and screwing the plasterboard at panel joints. Alternatively, furring channels can be used for fixing plasterboard.

For lightweight cladding such as timber, metal and tiles – these can be fixed directly onto the Dincel face using an adhesive or mechanical (screw) fixings. For heavy cladding such as stone, these are typically mechanically anchored into the concrete within Dincel.

Yes – The Dincel polymer does not readily degrade when exposed to Ultraviolet Radiation (UV) due to natural inhibitors used within the specialty polymer composition. Dincel offers long term UV resistance, similar to vinyl windows.

Protection against discolouration may need to be considered with Dincel if yellowing is an aesthetic concern and the wall is exposed to direct sunlight (i.e. for above ground exterior walls). This would not be a concern for say basement walls which are not exposed to direct sunlight. Yellowing can be prevented through the use of a paint, render or cladding finish. As Dincel is produced in an off-white colour this is already a positive measure against yellowing.

Polymers in general may progressively become more brittle when exposed to long term UV radiation. As Dincel walls contain solid concrete on the inside, this isn’t a concern. Any impact onto a Dincel wall is absorbed by the concrete infill and not the PVC skin.

Conventional concrete walls crack due to the brittle nature of the material and the process typically starts while the concrete is still plastic. Unlike conventional concrete, Dincel provides an impermeable permanent skin which enables an ideal curing environment and subsequently allows the concrete to achieve additional strength and crack resistance performance. In addition to this, Dincel also provides internal crack inducers at approximately 125mm centres which cracks the concrete at controlled locations in order to act as expansion joints.

The presence of Dincel crack inducers distribute the contraction movements along the length of the wall and hence minimises the surface movement for the paint/render application. The paint/render used with Dincel should possess adequate elasticity to handle the maximum movement at each Dincel panel which is typically 0.8mm [(70-12) x 10-6 x 40°C x 333mm = 0.8mm]. Each Dincel panel joint has been designed to accommodate 1.5mm of movement. Therefore, the elasticity of the paint/render needs to be 0.8mm/1.5mm = 52% at 40°C variation. Special consideration needs to be taken for dark coloured renders where the wall surface temperature may increase significantly.

It is essential to check with the selected render manufacturer:

  • The elasticity of the system and its suitability to span over panel joints.
  • If sun-ray reflectors and polystyrene balls are used within the render to reduce temperatures (particularly with dark colours)
  • Minimum render thickness required for insulation and crack control (typically 10mm)
  • Joint spacing required for render (typically maximum 5m centres)

Further to this, a high amount of moisture inside the Dincel wall may lead to vapour trying to escape the system and cause cracks at Dincel vertical panel joints. In order to prevent this:

  • Do not use a concrete mix with a water/cement ratio in excess of 0.5 or allow for water to be added to the concrete mix on site.
  • Do not block/seal the top of Dincel Wall after concrete pouring. It should be remembered that Dincel is a waterproof container particularly after receiving polymer render or paint finish. Once the concrete has set the top can be adequately blocked/sealed to prevent external moisture (such as rain) from entering the wall.

The Dincel polymer formulation is based upon a proprietary and re-engineered uPVC. Some in the industry have concerns over the environmental sustainability of common PVCs because it contains plasticisers and heavy metal stabilisers during the manufacturing process. However, the Dincel polymer formulation does not use plasticisers or heavy metal stabilisers but rather organic stabilisers. This allows Dincel to be a certified non-toxic product and attain Best Environmental Practice (BEP) certification. Our unique polymer formulation also offers superior fire properties, smoke properties and UV resistance compared to common PVC. The Dincel polymer has been extensively tested and offers the following performance benefits and certifications:

  • Toxicity of smoke during a fire - 300% below the World Health Organisation (WHO) threshold. It is important to note that although smoke toxicity is not a DTS requirement within the Australian NCC/BCA, it has been tested with Dincel regardless.

  • Smoke quantity during a fire - 7 times less than the NCC threshold (based upon large scale AS ISO 9705 test)

  • Volatile organic compound (VOCs) - over 25 times better than the Australian Green Star threshold

  • Best Environmentally Practice (BEP) certified

 

Yes:

During Manufacturing
All manufacturing waste, including extrusion rejects, off-cuts and cored web holes are almost 100% recycled by Dincel’s superior manufacturing technology.

During Construction
Dincel provides custom profile lengths between 1800mm and 7950mm which significantly minimises the need for cutting and creating construction site wastage. Any Dincel product that cannot be used on site can be sent to third parties for recycling (the same standard practice as the PVC pipe industry).

End of Life
As Dincel can be designed to have reinforcement in the vertical direction only (or no reinforcement at all), it allows the recycling of vertical steel bars, concrete infill and Dincel’s polymer formwork at the end of building life with greater ease. The absence of steel bars in the secondary direction enables easy separation of steel bars from the concrete infill.

A Dincel wall is a concrete wall with an additional polymer skin. This skin is not only ‘lost formwork’ but also has the additional benefit of acting as a protective membrane. This means the predicted life of a concrete wall is only further enhanced with the Dincel skin.

As has been known for centuries, concrete structures have exceptionally long life spans. In recent times, concrete structures have in some applications reduced in life-span due to the addition of steel reinforcement which can be prone to corrosion. As Dincel provides a waterproof protective skin, it eliminates the risk of steel reinforcement corrosion and therefore allows for an exceptionally long life span - estimated to be a minimum of 120 years.

For further information on this topic, please refer to Section 3 of the following document.

Yes - The Green Building Council of Australia announced on the 15th of January 2010 that best practice PVC products receive positive credits towards a Green Star Rating. This statement covers all rigid and soft PVCs, including pipes, conduits, electrical cables and floor coverings. This can be attributed to PVCs exceptional durability - PVC systems are not subject to the corrosive influences of aggressive water or chemicals. Many PVC pipe materials are still in use more than 50 years after their installation, out-lasting their metallic counterparts by many years.

‘The Natural Step’ consultants carried out life cycle assessment of Dincel walls and concluded the system “offers significant and compelling sustainability advantages for the construction industry”. For more information please download the full report.

Dincel has attained Best Environmental Practice (BEP) certification as the product is plasticiser free, heavy metal stabiliser free and has a VOC rating over 25 times better than the Australian Green Star rating threshold.

Breathable walls are a concept typically associated with porous construction materials – such as brick, block, fibre cement sheets, timber and raw concrete. These materials absorb moisture from the exterior environment which is transferred to the interior face of the material, and without allowing for a ‘breathable’ wall, the moisture may become trapped internally. Trapped moisture may lead to a range of issues such as mould, mildew and ‘sick’ building syndrome.

To mitigate the above, sometimes a paint, membrane or render system is applied to the porous materials to stop the transfer of moisture. However the transfer of vapour may still be possible through the wall’s joints and cracks, not to mention that most paints and renders are not 100% impermeable.

Dincel on the other hand provides a completely waterproof, airtight, joint and crack free wall, thereby preventing external sources of moisture from entering in the first place. This means moisture can only be derived from internal sources such as from building occupants, kitchen and laundry activities.

A hygrothermal analysis was undertaken to determine the amount of condensation generated with a Dincel external wall system. In most cases and climate zones, the system was found to be compliant with the 2019 National Construction Code (NCC/BCA) condensation management requirements – for a copy of this report please contact us. This report demonstrates that ‘breathable walls’ are not required with Dincel.

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Dincel - One solution for all your internal and external wall needs