Pouring ConcreteToday, home buyers expect to get more from their new home. They want a home with solid, high quality construction. Greater comfort and security. Lower energy bills. Lower maintenance. A home that’s healthier to live in, and easier on the environment.

It’s becoming a lot harder to meet these expectations with the same old building technology. So more and more builders and home buyers are looking for something new. A new approch on technology using the most proven building material on earth, Concrete.

It is the most common building material in use world wide, followed by wood, steel and a number of miscellaneous materials. Concrete has proven to be readily available in most economies and is a very strong and durable construction material.

How is precast concrete made?

Precast concrete is made in a factory, where a batching plant produces a specially designed concrete for precast products such as wall systems, structural beams, architectural cladding, and roofs/decks. Aggregates usually come from nearby quarries, and cement and other ingredients are  supplied by local manufacturers.

The mixed concrete is placed into a form around reinforcing steel and, often, prestressing strands that provide load-resisting camber to the finished precast concrete product. After the curing process, the precast concrete product is stripped from the mold and moved to the yard for finishing and storage prior to shipping to the jobsite.

What makes precast concrete so durable?Steel Mesh

The primary ingredients of concrete (sand, gravel, and cement) are mineral based. When mixed with water, the cement chemically reacts to create a crystalline matrix with a high compressive strength. This matrix binds the sand and gravel together, creating concrete. Unlike other construction materials that can rust, rot, or otherwise degrade when in the presence of moisture, concrete can actually get stronger if there are unhydrated cement particles available to react with the water.

Is precast concrete different from other types of concrete?

Precast concrete is different because it is made in a factory by highly experienced personnel who apply stringent quality-control measures. In the factory environment, precasters are able to achieve consistency in temperature and moisture and low water cement ratios that are not possible in field-fabricated concrete. Precast concrete can easily attain strengths of 5000 psi to 7000 psi or more, with densities that minimize permeability.

How much cement is in precast concrete?

Pouring Concrete

Typical concrete contains approximately 10% to 12% cement by volume. The cement chemically reacts with water to bind together the aggregates and other ingredients of the concrete. The amount of cement used in precast concrete may be reduced by up to 60% through substitution by supplementary cementitious materials (SCMs). The amount of cement substitution possible is affected by the mixture design requirements, the products and processes of individual precast concrete manufacturers and plants, and the local availability of materials.

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