Concrete is a regular building material used for various construction purposes from urban infrastructures, city towers and skyscrapers, to interstate highways. Concrete can be found almost everywhere as it is a manmade material. Approximately, 10.5 billion tons of concrete are produced in the USA annually.
The material is versatile possessing tactile or solid properties, depending on the curing stage. Concrete consists of rock aggregates and cement. The mixture is combined with water and left to dry and hardens. After hardening it becomes durable and strong.
Large scale production
This is the process involved in mass production of concrete. Two types of plants are involved;central and ready-mix plants. The difference between the two is that ready mix mixes all the concrete ingredients in an exception for water while central mix plants mixes all the components which include water and they are good for accurate control. Concrete is viscous liquid which is placed in casts to give a desired shape. However, the dryer version can also be produced and be used for precast products.
Small scale production
Less amounts of concrete are produced at the construction sites with the help of batch mixer or volumetric mixer. The production is perfect for construction sites which have minimal use and applications. For instance, a volumetric mixer can be used to make concrete for installing bollards or for bike ranks.
Dozens concrete types are available for construction and building purposes. Here are some few types of concrete.
This being one of the most common type of concrete, it constitutes of; course material, sand, cement, and controlled quantities of water. Its setting time is 30-90 minutes and have a strength value of 1400- 5800 psi. 70-80% percent is achieved within 28-30 daysof curing. Full strength is achieved at 90 days.
Unlike ordinary concrete, this concrete is durable and strong. It is capable of withstanding harsh environments and also resistant to shrinkage and creep which reduces cracking.
Concrete casts are used to produce this form of concrete. It is produced in a highly controlled environment and temperatures. The humidity is also monitored. To produce concretes which are very strong, steam curing method is used to cure the concretes. The concrete is allowed to set and harden before being transported to the construction site. Here’s an overview of concrete production, from start to end.