There are numerous types of concrete available today, each with its own characteristics, application needs, and price. Concrete is manufactured in various compositions, color finishes, and other performance characteristics to suit a broad spectrum of industrial requirements. The concrete manufacturing process can either be wet or dry casting, either in batch or production line styles. In addition to wet casting, dry casting concrete manufacturers use pressurized steam pressure to release the concrete into a closed mold. All of these production methods have different advantages, but concrete that is created by a combination of wet and dry casting methods offers many desirable qualities for concrete contractors.
The key qualities of concrete that must be remembered throughout the concrete manufacturing process is strength, consistency, and durability. All concrete must be of the same composition, consistency, and durability. Through experimentation, concrete engineers and concrete manufacturers can create mixtures that provide the exact chemical composition needed to achieve the desired strength, color, texture, density, softness, slip resistance, and other characteristics. These products are used to transform raw materials into a valuable resource for construction projects, including flooring, garages, driveways, pool decks, porches, sidewalks, driveways, and more.
In general, one of the most common types of concrete is cast in a batch fashion. Batch construction requires less skilled labor and a shorter production time than traditional construction methods. In batch concrete mixing, large volume mixers produce a consistent amount of concrete that can withstand the normal operating temperatures and precipitation patterns typical of project locations. A higher level of workability is provided through these machines’ consistent use, which allows concrete to be set time again without fear of excessive flash.
Another of the various types of concrete used is lightweight concrete. This type of concrete features a higher level of compressive strength than most forms of ordinary concrete. When this type of concrete is poured into structures, it provides a higher degree of structural stability. This type of strength is created through aggregates and polymers, which make the material stronger and more durable. Furthermore, these materials reduce the amount of waste, which improves the ecological impact of various projects. Through the proper use of these aggregate-based products, concrete can be manufactured with increased compressive strength while still maintaining a lightweight characteristic.
One of the main benefits of using lightweight concrete is its ease of installation. Concrete forms are built by applying a series of preset molds on top of standard concrete to form the necessary shapes. These molds are then placed onto various types of materials to form the required forms. Since there is a reduced level of labor and a shorter production time than traditional forms, lightweight concrete is often used as the foundation for multiplex projects.
The most common form of concrete that is considered lightweight is the prestressed concrete mix. However, because of the various chemical additives included in the formulation, concrete of this type has several advantages over other forms. Some of the added benefits include incorporating moisture into the composition, so it does not dry out as quickly as traditional reinforced concrete. Additionally, additives like gravel or sand to prevent the formation of voids and void areas inside the concrete, ensuring a clean, smooth surface.
Another option for a lighter yet stronger form of concrete is the use of microorganisms. These organisms are responsible for the decomposition of concrete materials. The accumulated material becomes part of the concrete mix, while the microorganisms feed on the concrete dust and break down the aggregates into simpler materials. These concrete ingredients are mixed with other materials and concrete is set in place, hardened and ready for use. In addition to its lightness, concrete infused with natural and synthetic fragrances also have a number of desirable properties, such as protection from fire and odor control.
Several concrete technology applications utilize these different types of mixtures. Some examples include flooring, slabs, splash guards, and roofs. In fact, concrete technology has even found application in some industries, particularly the plumbing and construction industry. In this case, the combination of aggregate materials and concrete ingredients has produced durable, slip-resistant surfaces that can even be used outdoors. This material is highly desirable in harsh environments, where it can be used in places where other materials would most likely cause problems.