Concrete is a compound material made up of cement, coarse aggregate and water these are the main compound materials of concrete. When the compounds of concrete mixed with each other a fluid mass form of concrete is obtained and which can pour into moulds to get a specific desired shape. This fluid mass concrete hardens with respective to time. Actually the cement reacts with other compounds chemically to bind them together to form a hard thing concrete.
The proportion of the materials should maintain in a correct way, as the materials affect the final concrete product. Mainly the water cement ratio should be considered carefully. When the water cement ratio increases, the strength of the final product will decreased. Concrete is prepared with the consideration of time and placement area. . If good -quality concrete is to be produced, then not only must the constituents of the mix be up to standard, but also the equipment used in mixing, transporting, placing and compacting must be suitable for the task. The general properties of concrete mostly coincide with the properties of rock. Concrete is the main component of construction material as it resists compression, flexible to get multiple shapes and reinforced concrete is resistant to the tensile stress too.
Worth enough on investing for a concrete building as the strength of concrete increases with time and ability to withstand all weather conditions satisfy an investor. As the concrete is non combustible building material, it provides enough safe for the users. Before the concrete get hardens it can be mould into shapes as per owners wish. Concrete is good enough in compression. Concrete is a durable and sustainable building material that exists from the past.
Main constituent materials of this type concrete are cement, aggregate and water. As the reinforcement is missing in this type of concrete, it is suitable for the structures in which high tensile strength is not necessary.
Reinforced concrete is introduced to rectify the issue in plain concrete that is introduction of reinforcement to the plain concrete. Reinforcement is provided by steel rods, wire mesh or steel rods. The combination of rebar and plain concrete withstand the tensile, compressive force and behave as a single material. Nowadays most of the building structures use this type of concrete.
Lightweight concrete is a type of concrete which contains an expanding agent. That expanding agent is the lightweight aggregate of lightweight concrete. That agent increases the volume of the concrete mixture and reduces the dead weight of the mixture. Lightweight concrete is prepared using light weight aggregates such as pumice, scoria, shales and clays. Lightweight concrete is a good fire resistive material but lightweight concrete is sensitive to water, takes much time for the preparation and can be breakable like a glass material (brittleness).
Prestressed concrete is used to prepare structural elements such as floor beams, railway sleepers, piles and etc. Prestressed concrete element is prepared by applying the determined stress in advance to prevent the stress that will be applied on the same element by loading. The prestressed concrete withstands the load by the induced stress in the whole prestressed concrete element.
Glass reinforced concrete is prepared from a concrete matrix which containing strengthened alkali resistant glass fibres. The composite material performs well to withhold the weight of load. This type of concrete is used in exterior cladding works.
Air-entrained concrete is prepared by applying air entraining admixtures to the concrete mixture when it is prepared. A certain percentage of tiny air bubbles are introduced to the plain concrete as to create chambers for water to expand into when it freezes. Purposes of air entrained concrete are increasing the durability of the hardened concrete during climatic conditions such as freeze thaw and to increase the workability of concrete in plastic state.
Self compacting concrete needs a mechanical support to spread the concrete mixture as the Self compacting concrete is a non-segregating or non flowing concrete mixture. Now-a- days complex structural frames uses this type of concrete.
Concrete is a unique product that begins its life as a semi-solid, can be manipulated and worked to assume most any shape, and then hardens to assume that shape. This ability to fill voids and assume shapes is what makes concrete the most-used building material on the planet. None of this would be possible without concrete forms.
In simple terms, concrete forms are nothing more than a solid barrier that holds concrete in place or forces concrete to assume a certain shape. However, many newer forming systems serve other purposes as well, such as providing insulation or imparting special decorative effects.
A square foot of conventional concrete weighs about 150 pounds, and a typical concrete project may require hundreds to thousands of square feet of concrete to be placed at one time. All that weight needs to be held back by concrete forms, which is why most forms are made from rigid wood or metal. In recent years, there have seen some advancements in concrete forms made of plastic, fiber glass and resins, but the cost and strength of these materials are slow to overcome the proven performance of metal and wood.
Concrete forms are often categorized by where and how they are used. The best form for a particular project is often a function of the pour size, the amount of concrete the form needs to retain, and the pressure or weight that will be pushing against the form. For example, the typical concrete forms used for flatwork (such as a patio, driveway, sidewalk or road) range in height from 3 to 12 inches. Because the majority of the weight of the concrete in flatwork applications is spread across a prepared subbase -- which relieves much of the weight pushing against the form -- these forms are most often wood, with metal being used for larger commercial or highway work. In contrast, a concrete form used to construct a bridge pier or high-rise building foundation will hold back hundreds to thousands of square feet of concrete, with the height of the form ranging from 12 inches to 20 feet. Because of the massive amount of weight being exerted against these forms, they are made of high-grade steel and can weigh thousands of pounds.
The most basic forms for concrete slabs (where the concrete will not exceed 6 inches in height) consist of wooden boards that are screwed or nailed to wood or metal stakes. The stakes are driven into the prepared subbase, and by using leveling devices (such as hand levels, laser levels or string lines), contractors set the forming boards to the proper level or slope. Additional boards are then used to secure the areas where one board butts up against another.
When turns, rounded edges or free-form designs are desired, thinner cross-section boards are used. To keep concrete from sticking to the forms, they are often coated with a low-grade oil, or form-release agent. This also keeps the forms cleaner and allows them to be used multiple times before being discarded.
In the case of forms used to pour walls or larger structures, such as piers or foundations, pre-manufactured forming systems are often employed. These wall systems, which are typically made from engineered wood with a metal frame or entirely from metal, are designed to attach to each other through a system of pins or latches.
These types of form also use a system of ties to hold reinforcing bars in place inside the form and to secure one section to another when walls are being poured. These forming sections come in a wide range of sizes and shapes, and most manufactures will produce custom sizes for specific projects.
The trend toward energy-efficient home construction has led to the rapid growth of insulated concrete forms (ICFs). ICF systems are comprised of hollow blocks of insulating material (usually expanded Styrofoam) that fit together similar to children's building blocks. ICF systems are constructed on the foundation slab and remain in place to become the foundation and exterior wall system. A network of metal reinforcing bars is placed inside the block wall structure, and then the walls are filled with a high-slump concrete. The foam and concrete sandwich that is created is extremely energy efficient, and the foam becomes both the interior and exterior construction surface (see How Do ICFS Work?). Using ICFs eliminates the need to remove forms, since the hollow block walls remain in place once filled with concrete.
The cost to construct an ICF home is only slightly higher than for a comparable wood-frame home (about 0.5% to 4% on average), and the added upfront expense is quickly recouped through the savings in monthly heating and cooling costs. (See Do Concrete Homes Cost More?). This type of forming system and construction is more popular in high-energy-use regions where heating and cooling are required for much of the year.
The growth in popularity of concrete countertops, furniture and decorative precast products has led to new and innovative methods of forming (see these videos of concrete countertop forming materials and techniques) and mold making (see Concrete Countertop Molds). These non-traditional methods of forming often involve creating negative spaces or inverted forms, where the concrete piece is actually poured upside down to achieve a desired effect or finish. These forms are often made of materials such as melamine, laminated board or acrylic glass, screw mounted to a large board. Inserts are often attached to the inside of the forms to provide decorative edging or artistic relief.
As more states and municipalities look for ways to beautify concrete construction projects, the use of decorative form liners is growing as well. These plastic sheets with a relief of stone, tile or artistic designs are attached to the inside of the forming system. The concrete assumes the shape and relief of the liner, resulting in a decorative concrete surface. (See Form Liners for Cast-in-Place Concrete.)
No matter the type of form or forming system used, the most important factor to achieving good results is how the forms are installed. Forming is often overlooked in concrete construction, but using the right forming system and having it professionally installed can have a significant impact on the concrete's strength and appearance. Proper form installation will result in a uniform and smooth surface, with clean edges and few surface defects.
The growing availability of common forming materials at local hardware and big-box stores have led to a proliferation of do it yourselfers and weekend warriors attempting concrete forming and pouring, especially of concrete countertops. But unless you really know what you're doing, forming is best left to a professional. (See Are Concrete Countertops a DIY Project or Should I Hire a Pro?)
This article was co-authored by Gerber Ortiz-Vega. Gerber Ortiz-Vega is a Masonry Specialist and the Founder of GO Masonry LLC, a masonry company based in Northern Virginia. Gerber specializes in providing brick and stone laying services, concrete installations, and masonry repairs. Gerber has over four years of experience running GO Masonry and over ten years of general masonry work experience. He earned a BA in Marketing from the University of Mary Washington in 2017. There are 17 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. wikiHow marks an article as reader-approved once it receives enough positive feedback. This article received 15 testimonials and 100% of readers who voted found it helpful, earning it our reader-approved status. This article has been viewed 564,790 times.
No matter how strong a slab of concrete seems, it will wear out over time. Imperfections form when concrete hardens or sinks into the ground. Adding fresh concrete is a common way to level out old slabs and patch damage. If you plan on pouring a lot of concrete, build a wood and mesh barrier first to ensure your new slab is strong. Finish the work by priming the surface and pouring a mix over it, giving your concrete foundation a fresh, new coat.
To lay new concrete, sweep and clean the old concrete, and saturate the old concrete with water. Then, build a perimeter, or a wood brace, that is the same height as you want the concrete to be. Make sure the braces are level, and lay down a barrier of wire mesh over the existing concrete inside of the barrier. Pour and spread a thin later of scratch coat, and then add a bond layer on top of the coat. Mix and pour the concrete according to the package instructions, and spread the concrete with a trowel before spraying it with a curing compound. For tips on which type of concrete to use and how to build the perimeter, scroll down! Did this summary help you?YesNo
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