The Helibeam System

Secure unstable masonry, creating deep masonry beams which distribute structural loads.

The Helibeam system of structural reinforcement and stabilization is at the heart of our technical strategy.

The Helibeam System provides a rapid, cost-effective means of restoring structural integrity to buildings and structures where the masonry has failed and lost its load-bearing capabilities. Using a combination of different Helifix products and techniques, it provides a comprehensive, reliable and economic system of repair and stabilization that may be used to address a wide range of commonly occurring structural faults.

How it works

The Helibeam System comprises the installation of horizontal bed-joint reinforcement into masonry that has cracked and failed due to ground movement, component failure, weathering or increased loads and stresses. It works by tying the masonry together to create deep masonry beams which distribute structural loads. The installation of wall ties and vertical pinning ties completes the system by providing lateral and vertical restraint.

Diagnosing the problem

Whatever the visible structural faults, it is critical that the cause of the problem is correctly diagnosed so that appropriate repairs can be carried out. Advice should be sought from a suitably qualified professional—structural engineer, surveyor or experienced installer—who understands building movement and stresses and can devise the most effective Helibeam repair strategy with the solution tailored to suit the specific needs of the project. Whenever possible, measures to address the cause of the problem should be completed satisfactorily to mitigate the risk of on-going movement.

Where masonry has cracked and failed, as a result of ground movement, component failure, weathering or increased loads and stresses, the Helibeam System comprises the installation of horizontal bed-joint reinforcement by tying the masonry together and creating deep masonry beams which distribute the structural loads. Other ties provide appropriate lateral and vertical restraint to complete the System which has been proven in all types of masonry structures.

Technical Specification

HeliBar stainless steel reinforcement. The principal components of the Helibeam System are HeliBars. HeliBars are austenitic stainless steel reinforcement bars and are supplied in nominal 4.5 and 6mm diameters in lengths up to 2m. Nominal 8mm and 10mm diameter HeliBars are also available by special order.

Stainless steel remedial wall and pinning ties. DryFix,  CemTies and BowTies are available in a variety of different lengths and diameters and are the principal remedial wall and vertical pinning ties that may be used as appropriate to provide lateral and vertical restraint during Helibeam creation.

Bonding Agents

HeliBond cementitious, thixotropic, injectable non-shrink grout, for bonding HeliBars and CemTies into masonry-type substrates
CrackBond resin for bonding ties and filling cracks

Subsidence – Superstructure repairs

In most situations the Helibeam System can be used to secure stressed masonry by creating masonry beams that reinforce the existing masonry and redistribute loads away from the problem area. Combined with tying, pinning and crack stitching, the use of the Helibeam System will restore full structural integrity.

Subsidence – Substructure repairs

In some cases, use of the Helibeam System in conjunction with concrete pads under the building corners, or at selected points, will minimize the need for expensive and disruptive mass underpinning.

Failed lintels/window programs

The traditional solution to the problem of failed lintels involves cutting out the brickwork, mechanically supporting the masonry above the opening and installing a new lintel – all very disruptive, time consuming and expensive. The Helibeam System utilizes the existing masonry to create a masonry beam above the opening to provide the required structural support, often in conjunction with vertical pinning using DryFix or CemTies. For window programs where the window frame has been used to support the masonry, the Helibeam System provides a rapid and economical means of creating a lintel within the existing masonry.

Unstable and weathered masonry

Masonry may deteriorate and become unstable over time due to weathering and changing structural loads. Similarly, renders and stone facades may crack and delaminate over time as a result of masonry instability. HeliBars installed horizontally into the bed joints of existing walls will restore structural integrity to unstable and weathered masonry and help prevent further deterioration and cracking. DryFix wall ties retrofitted to replace corroded wall ties and to reconnect delaminated stucco and thin wall panelling will reinstate lateral stability to cavity and stuccoed/panelled wall systems.

Bowed and separated walls

Where internal and party walls have separated from the external elevation, and depending on the individual situation, the Helibeam System can be used to provide horizontal restraint in the external wall while BowTies can be used to provide lateral restraint and grouted CemTies to reconnect the internal and external walls.

Cracked masonry walls

Depending on the cause of the cracking, HeliBars grouted into channelled-out slots cut across the crack and, typically, into the mortar joint will provide simple, permanent and non-disruptive stabilization of the masonry.

  • Quick and easy to install
  • Effectively restores structural stability at reduced cost
  • Deep masonry beams support and distribute structural loads
  • No further stresses introduced
  • Flexibility accommodates normal structural movement
  • Economical alternative to underpinning / rebuilding
  • Greatly simplifies lintel and window replacement
  • Avoids expensive and disruptive taking down and rebuilding
  • Sympathetic and non-disruptive means of repair
  • Equally effective on all masonry structures