Tindall Corporation has been a leading innovator in the precast concrete industry and the broader construction sector for over 60 years, earning a reputation for delivering custom precast solutions to meet the needs of our customers. In 2020, we launched the Tindall Superior Lightweight All-Purpose Beam (or T-SLAB®), a patented precast slab system designed to do just that: offer unparalleled performance and versatility for the market segments we serve. T-SLAB is the culmination of our passion, expertise, and vision for the future of precast concrete, and we’d like to share it with you.
In this blog, we will explore how T-SLAB works, what it is, what makes it unique, and how it can enhance a wide range of construction projects. Whether you are an architect, engineer, or builder, T-SLAB can help you achieve your design goals, optimize your budget, and create exceptional structures without compromise. Join us as we explore T-SLAB and how it is redefining the future of construction.
What Is T-SLAB® and How Does It Work?
T-SLAB is a patented precast concrete floor system that blends classic Roman construction principles with modern engineering techniques to deliver a superior precast solution. Unlike traditional slabs that use heavy, load-bearing concrete throughout, T-SLAB employs two distinct types of concrete: high-strength, load-bearing concrete on top and lightweight concrete blocks cast in arch shapes at the bottom.
To produce T-SLAB, we first create a series of super lightweight concrete blocks or ribs using a unique Lightweight Aggregate Casting (LAC) machine. This cutting-edge technology works like a 3D printer for concrete, allowing us to produce blocks of any size or shape. We then place the blocks where needed to accommodate a variety of design elements, such as floor drains, electric conduits and boxes, large openings with additional reinforcement, and more.
Next, we encase the core in high-strength, self-compacting concrete, which creates a series of robust arches inside the slab. These arches facilitate load distribution across the entire width of the beam by creating a series of reinforced crossing beams that are stabilized and protected by the lightweight base. Once cured, this two-step process yields a slab system that is stronger and lighter than traditional alternatives while maintaining design flexibility, durability, and speed.
The Benefits of T-SLAB®
Lightweight and Adaptive
One of the most significant advantages of T-SLAB precast concrete floors is their exceptional lightweight design. By utilizing higher strength, load-bearing concrete only where necessary, T-SLAB can achieve a significantly lighter weight than traditional precast flooring alternatives. Approximately 50% of the total slab volume is made of lightweight concrete, and this weight reduction allows easier transportation and installation, faster construction times, and a more adaptable product overall.
This adaptability is highlighted best in just how easily lightweight concrete sections can be omitted based on the unique demands of each project. Whether a building requires non-standard geometry, extra reinforcement, or openings to allow for MEPs and other utilities, T-SLAB precast concrete floor systems can be customized to meet these requirements, all while minimizing on-site costs and reducing construction times.
High Sound and Fire Rating
T-SLAB decks offer remarkable sound reduction qualities thanks to their innovative use of two kinds of concrete. Unlike traditional concrete floors, T-SLAB floor slabs vibrate in a way that allows them to reduce sound transmission significantly. Not only does T-SLAB meet the International Building Code (IBC) standard for STC, but the system has also been thoroughly tested to determine its high-frequency impact insulation class (HIIC), providing an accurate evaluation of T-SLAB’s ability to reduce impact sounds effectively. The floor system’s excellent sound insulation ensures noise levels are kept to a minimum, making T-SLAB an ideal choice for residential, commercial, and industrial applications where noise pollution is a concern.
In addition to its impressive sound reduction properties, T-SLAB’s innovative design also provides excellent fire resistance. The lightweight concrete used in T-SLAB has high thermal insulation properties, which protects the slab’s reinforcement during fire exposure. T-SLAB easily meets typical two-hour fire rating requirements and can be increased up to four hours based on the average cover by making adjustments to the strand layout, making it the most fire-resistant prefabricated concrete slab available. This exceptional fire resistance provides an added layer of safety and protection, making T-SLAB an excellent choice for structures where fire safety is a top priority.
T-SLAB® in Action
Western Carolina University needed three dormitories to act as a resilient housing solution to accommodate a rapidly growing on-campus student population, so they called Tindall. And we responded by leveraging the T-SLAB floor system to get the job done. We used T-SLAB’s adaptable design to cast mechanical, electrical, and plumbing components directly into the slab, allowing for accelerated construction on site. By working side-by-side with the project team and utilizing the power of T-SLAB, we helped deliver these structures on time and within budget.
One of the most exceptional use cases for T-SLAB was how it was incorporated into The Icon Apartment project by our Virginia and South Carolina Divisions. SWA Construction faced the challenge of building a 163,000-square-foot, 12-story, 189-unit multifamily apartment tower on a tight, metropolitan job site. By leveraging the power of T-SLAB, we were able to make it happen, using this cutting-edge building system for each floor and helping to create the first and largest precast project of its kind in the U.S. to date. T-SLAB’s advanced design allowed for internal lightweight concrete blocks to be omitted as necessary, enabling faster installation of mechanical, electrical, and other systems. The project was completed in an impressive 16 weeks, from start to finish, thanks to T-SLAB’s contribution.
When the Greenville County School system needed a state-of-the-art weight room for Travelers Rest High School, they turned to Tindall for help. Despite the challenge of a small footprint and existing buildings nearby, our team was able to erect, caulk, and grout the 4,686-square-foot building in just 13 days using a single crane, a small lift, and a four-person crew. T-SLAB acted as the roof decking, while load-bearing, insulated precast wall panels supported the rest of the building. This was the first total precast project of its kind for T-SLAB and continues to serve as a testament to Tindall’s innovative and efficient building techniques.
For over 60 years, Tindall has established itself not only as a precast leader but a frontrunner in the construction industry — and nowhere is that better displayed than through the exceptional capabilities of T-SLAB. Be it a school, an apartment building, or a manufacturing facility, T-SLAB provides faster and more efficient solutions than ever before. With its superior strength, lightness, and flexibility, T-SLAB offers the most robust precast solutions for your project. Contact us today to learn how Tindall can help bring your project to life.