Is shotcrete strong? In a simple answer: YES!
Shotcrete has nearly 2x the amount of cement that a normal redi-mix load would have. Cement is the main component for strength in shotcrete and concrete.
Shotcrete is also strong thanks to the airline that supplies the “punch” for the material being sprayed or embedded.
The physical properties of spraying concrete or shotcrete exceed normal concrete thanks to the “punch” or the impaction from velocity.
Normal concrete is poured and placed, but it does not get “punched”. The punching effect of shotcrete increases the density of the concrete and materials.
Concrete that is denser, by nature, is stronger in many aspects. Shotcrete and spraying concrete increases the density of the materials thanks to the “punch” of the pneumatics.
Normal (conventional) concrete does not use pneumatics to be applied, lacking the impaction and punch.
When normal concrete gets tested, the aim is to achieve 3,000 p.s.i., when crushed with a special testing apparatus. When testing shotcrete, the aim exceeds 4,000 p.s.i. and lot’s of times much higher!