▷ What is concrete, types and uses in construction

Concrete is the most widely used artificial material in the world. It is a composite material made from a mixture of different materials such as cement, water, sand, and gravel.

Concrete has several advantages over other materials such as wood and metal: it is cheap to produce and lasts a long time when used in construction projects.

It also resists natural elements like rain, snow, and heat very well.

Additionally, concrete can be colored or patterned in a variety of ways to add visual appeal to any structure. Since it is one of the most versatile materials available for use in construction projects, there are various types of concrete with different properties and uses.

What is the chemical composition of concrete

Concrete is made up of cement, sand and water.

The cement acts as a binder that holds the sand and water together.

The sand helps to add strength to the concrete.

The water mixes with the cement and sand to form a grout that flows into any cracks that may occur.

Other materials can be added to concrete to improve its performance in certain situations. For example, fly ash, which is the byproduct of coal combustion, is sometimes added to concrete to reduce the amount of carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere in concrete production.

Limestone is sometimes added to concrete to reduce the amount of CO released.

The proportion of water and cement is important because it determines the strength and durability of the concrete. The more water added to concrete, the weaker and less durable it will be.

what is concrete composition

Types of concrete

Reinforced concrete

Reinforced concrete is a concrete with interlocking metal bars or wires, called rebar structure. This gives the concrete greater strength and helps it last longer.

Reinforced concrete can be used in situations where it is necessary to support a large load.

It is used on roads and bridges, where heavy vehicles circulate. Reinforced concrete can also be used in buildings and walls, but it is more expensive than non-reinforced concrete.

how is concrete made

Stamped concrete

Stamped concrete is concrete that has been printed in such a way that it acquires a strong resemblance to other materials such as wood or tiles.

Stamped concrete can cost significantly less than materials like wood and tile, but it may not last as long as those materials. Stamped concrete is often used for interior flooring and does not always have to be installed directly on a floor.

This can make stamped concrete a great option for an apartment or condo where installing other materials may be difficult.

stamped concrete

Solid concrete

Solid concrete is concrete that does not have any empty space inside.

It is most often used for areas where there is a high risk of water damage, such as water tanks or water pipes.

Although solid concrete is more durable than normal concrete, it is more expensive to produce. It can also be heavier than normal concrete, which can make it more difficult to install.

Polished concrete

Polished concrete is concrete that receives a surface treatment in which the surface of the concrete is polished to remove any surface irregularitiesThis makes the surface of the concrete smoother and more uniform.

Polished concrete is often used on floors, but can also be used on other surfaces such as walls and roofs.

Concrete polishing can be done by various methods, depending on the desired finish. One method uses a machine called a buffer which is used to rub the surface with sandpaper. Another method is to manually apply compounds that leave minor scratches on the concrete surface.

Polished concrete is a popular treatment because it leaves a smooth, polished look on any surface to which it applies. It also helps to improve the durability of the concrete by eliminating any irregularities in its surface.

polished concrete

Precast concrete

Precast concrete is concrete that has been poured, allowed to partially dry, and placed in a mold and hardened.

This enables the production of large concrete components. Precast concrete is often used in the construction of buildings, walls and other large structures where precision is required.

It is also useful when frequent changes to a given design are needed. Precast concrete can be used to create large columns and beams that can be used in building structures.

It can also be used to create slabs, stairs, and other large building components that can be placed and connected to the rest of the building after construction is complete.

It is widely used in the industrialized construction of houses as we saw in the last post.

concrete construction

Advantages of using concrete in construction

Concrete in construction has many advantages, and obviously, that is why it is so widely used:

  • It is a strong and durable material that can be used to build practically anything.
  • Can be easily coloredto add visual appeal to any structure.
  • It is relatively cheap to produce and lasts a long time when used in construction projects.
  • Resists very well the natural elements such as rain, snow and heat.
  • Can be used to build a wide variety of structures, such as roads, bridges, buildings, and walls.
  • It can be used to build large columns and beams that can be used in building structures.

Limitations or disadvantages of the use of concrete in construction

Just as it has its advantages, of course it has its drawbacks:

  • Except for prefabricated, it is not a material that can be installed and used immediately, it needs to cure for several days before being completely ready for use.
  • It is very heavy, which can make it difficult to transport in the case of prefabrication, and movements within the work.
  • Does not last as long if placed in areas exposed to constant water.
  • Not as strong or durable as steel or other materials.