19 Dec 2017

Ever wondered what to do with those temporary lifting insert voids in precast or tilt-up concrete?

A Masterspec user did recently and contacted us, which, after review, led us to conclude that the Masterspec precast sections did not provide sufficient ability to specify a range of alternatives for finishing the temporary cast-in insert voids after erection. Due to the wide range of project types that precast and tilt-up concrete are used on, warehouses to offices to residential, the required type and quality of finish of the voids can also vary considerably.

Cast-in inserts can come in many guises and for many uses. The main uses we are looking at here are for lifting inserts and bracing inserts, more often than not they are removable and/or recessed.  The type of inserts and there locations in a panel, depending on the contractual arrangements, may be decided by the project Engineer and/or the Precaster. Once the panels are erected the inserts eventually become redundant, but often some sort of void may remain. Depending on type of building or location it may need to be covered up. Some final finishes can only be achieved with the appropriate type of insert, so it is important that the final finish required influences the inserts selected.

For the finishes, except in one case where stated, it is assumed that the inserts do not permanently project beyond the panel face. Basic finishes include:

  • Leave unfinished, projections allowed - insert projects beyond panel face, these can be left exposed, or lost in other building elements like a ceiling space etc (may cause problems and also difficult to strap and line).
  • Leave void unfinished - these can be left exposed, or strapped and lined over, or lost in other building elements like a ceiling space etc
  • Fill void flush with grout, colour matched to panel shade - shade matching panel and grout is hard to achieve due to panel shade variance, textures can be also difficult to match.
  • Flush finish with grout suitable for paint or other coatings - panel textures can be difficult to match.
  • Proprietary plastic finishing cap to cover void - caps are usually only available with removable insert systems, but not all, colour of caps may be an issue.

Masterspec have added to the precast sections and tilt up section the ability to select the insert void finish required and have also alerted the Precaster to select the inserts to suit. If the inserts are selected by the project Engineer ensure it has been coordinated to suit the desired finish.

Masterspec Sections updated:

  • 3130  PRECAST CONCRETE (Standard, Basic, Landscapes)
  • 3130M  MONARC™ CREATIVE PRECAST PANELS & MONARC™ TREADS (Standard, Basic, Landscapes, Structural & Civil)
  • 3131  PRECAST CONCRETE PANEL SUPPLY (Structural & Civil)
  • 3153  TILT-UP CONCRETE (Standard,Structural & Civil)


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