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Pool & Recreational Shotcrete Corner Based on the article, “Shotcrete Reborn,” originally published in WaterShapes, a pool industry magazine (www.WaterShapes.com). Reprinted with permission. Shotcrete Reborn (Part II of a III Part Series) When its originators surrendered control of the shotcrete process in the 1950s, the approach fell on hard times. As the authors discuss here, however, it has since recovered and has resumed its rightful place among the world’s key construction technologies By Lily Samuels and Bill Drakeley The years after the Second World War were times of opportunity and awkwardness in the shotcrete business. From 1920 until the early 1950s, the Cement Gun Co. owned the trademark to “gunite” and established an aggressive licensing/franchising system to maintain as much control as it could over the process and profit from it to the greatest possible degree. By 1952, however, the Cement Gun Co. decided to release the trademark. This enabled the American Concrete Institute (ACI) to dig in and study the process, which by that point had become extremely popular as a construction technology. From that point, the name of the process began to shift to “shotcrete,” a nominal change that was most significant because it was a step away from the old “gunite” trademark. In the first installment of this three-part series (Shotcrete magazine, Summer 2015, pp. 22-24), we described the genesis of the shotcrete process, starting with Carl Akeley’s ingenious invention of a pressurized, double-chamber “gun,” and moving on to Samuel Traylor’s acquisition of both the gun’s patent and of the Cement Gun Co. in Allentown, PA, near the heart of the emerging cement industry. We then described the explosive growth of the use of the company’s proprietary dry-mix “gunite” and its ongoing, tight control over technologies and techniques. The end of the Second World War was the turning point. As we’ll see in this installment, changes in America and the industry had lasting effects on shotcrete—for better and worse—that continue to be played out today. Trying Times As it turned out, the Cement Gun Co.’s release of the trademark also facilitated the proliferation of contractors attempting the shotcrete process without any in-depth knowledge of how it should be done. In essence, any contractor with a hose and a cement gun could market him- or herself and the product as being original “gunite,” no matter how extensively they departed from the established standards for the method. The word “cowboy” was often used to describe these lone contractors, a large percentage of whom were Fig. 1: ACI Certified Nozzleman applying wet-mix shotcrete using the method to build swimming pools. 42 Shotcrete • Spring 2016


2016SpringShotcreteEMag
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