Types of concrete: Which type of concrete would be most suitable for your building or construction activity? In the olden days, mortar was widely used for construction purposes, whereas concrete is the principal ingredient today. The primary distinction between mortar and concrete is that the latter is stronger than the former.
Concrete is a mix of sand (fine aggregate), cement, gravel or crushed stone (coarse aggregate) and water. On the other hand, mortar uses sand as the sole aggregate. Why is concrete important in modern-day construction? As you walk around on the road, you can see concrete everywhere. It is used in the construction of huge buildings, bridges, roads, sidewalks, flooring and literally everything our eyes can see.
In short, wherever there is a structure, there is concrete. Firstly, the use of concrete is important in modern-day construction because the structures derive their strength and stability from concrete. Secondly, concrete is inexpensive and mouldable into various shapes.
This flexibility and versatility make concrete the most sought-after construction material in the world. is manufactured using natural ingredients. Hence, it is environmentally friendly and recyclable. One can use crushed recycled concrete as the dry aggregate for preparing new concrete. As long as there are construction activities going on in the world, there will be a constant demand for concrete.
Different and their applications Typically, there are twenty-four different types of concrete used in the building and construction industry depending on the type of construction. Plain concrete – It is the simplest kind of concrete that does not require any reinforcement.
The most commonly used mix is cement, aggregates and water in the proportion 1:2:4. The density of this concrete is between 2200 and 2500 kg/cubic metre, whereas its compressive strength is in the range of 200 to 500 kg/square centimetres. Usually, plain concrete is used for constructing pavements, footpaths and buildings in areas that do not require high tensile strength.
Normal-strength concrete – Normal-strength concrete is similar to plain concrete as the same ingredients are used in its preparation. There is an initial setting time of around 30 to 90 minutes, depending on the properties of the cement being used and the weather conditions at the site.
- The strength of this type of concrete is between 10 MPa and 40 MPa High-strength Concrete – High-strength concrete is prepared by decreasing the water-cement ratio to less than 0.35.
- Such concrete has strength exceeding 40 MPa.
- Working with high-strength concrete is a significant issue because of its lower level of performance.
Rapid-strength concrete – As the name suggests, rapid-strength concrete acquires its strength within a few hours of its preparation. It ensures quick construction of buildings and roads. One of the most common applications of rapid-strength concrete is for repairing roads.
High-performance concrete – These types of display a high level of performance. They conform to specific standards such as rapid strength gain, easy placement, high permeability, high durability, life term mechanical properties and addressing environmental concerns. Ultra high-performance concrete – Besides the common ingredients used for manufacturing concrete, ultra high-performance concrete requires silica fume, quartz flour and fine silica sand.
One can also use high-range water reducers, steel or organic fibres to improve the strength of the mix. The advantage of UHPC is that it does not require the presence of steel rebars to reinforce the structure. UHPC has a compressive strength of up to 29000 psi.
Roller compacted concrete – This type of concrete requires the placing of concrete and compacting it with the help of road rollers. This type of concrete requires less cement comparatively, but it can provide higher density. Asphalt concrete – Surface roads, airports, parking lots and embankment of dams require asphalt concrete.
They are manufactured by mixing asphalt and aggregates. Reinforced concrete – Plain concrete does not have high tensile strength. Introducing reinforcement in the form of steel rods, bars, meshes or fibres can improve the overall strength of concrete. RCC has tremendous application in the construction of columns, ceilings, bridges and other structures that require a high level of strength.
- Ready-mix concrete – Ready-mix concrete is concrete that is mixed at a central mixing plant and brought to the construction site in a ready-to-use condition.
- One should take care of the time required for transportation while using ready-mix concrete as the mixture can harden if there is an undue delay.
Stamped concrete – Driveways, patios and interior floors that require an aesthetic appearance generally use stamped concrete. This architectural concrete allows the creation of realistic patterns such as natural stones, tiles and granites using professional stamping pads.
Self-consolidating concrete – As the name suggests, this type of concrete consolidates by its weight without entailing the use of vibration. Such a has high workability. Prestressed concrete – Mega concrete projects use pre-stressed concrete units where the bars used in the concrete are stressed before the actual application of the service load.
The construction process requires the tensioned bars to be placed firmly from each end of the unit. It makes the lower section of the structure stronger against the tension. Usually, the assembly of pre-stressing units takes place at the construction site.
- The construction of bridges, fly-overs, heavy-loaded structures requires pre-stressed concrete.
- Precast concrete – Small units like concrete blocks, poles, concrete lintels, staircase units and precast walls use precast concrete.
- The advantage of precast concrete is that it is manufactured according to individual specifications.
The assembly of the units takes place at the construction site. Shotcrete concrete – Shotcrete concrete is different from other types of concrete in the way it is applied. It is shot into a structural frame with the help of a nozzle. The process involves shooting the concrete at a high air pressure that results in simultaneous placing and compacting.
- Lightweight concrete – having a density lower than 1920 kg/cubic metre is called lightweight concrete.
- Some of the typical aggregates used to manufacture lightweight concrete are pumice, scoria and perlites.
- It is used in applications such as the construction of long span bridge decks and their building blocks.
High-density concrete – Also known as heavyweight concrete, this type of concrete has a density in the range of 3000 to 4000 kg/cubic metre. High-density concrete is prepared using heavyweight aggregates such as barytes. Some common applications of this type of concrete include the construction of atomic power plants where ensuring high resistance against any kind of radiation leak is of utmost importance.
Polymer concrete – In polymer concrete, the aggregates bond with the polymer rather than cement which in turn helps in reducing the volume of voids in the aggregates. There are three types of polymer concrete which include polymer impregnated concrete, partially impregnated polymer concrete and polymer cement concrete.
Air entrained concrete – It is a special type of concrete where air, gas or foam is purposely infused in up to 6% of the concrete. Limecrete – Limecrete involves the use of limestone instead of cement in the preparation process. It has applications in the construction of floors, domes and vaults.
Pervious concrete – Pavements and driveways use pervious or permeable concrete as it allows stormwater to percolate into the ground. Such concrete can solve drainage issues. Glass concrete – This modern concrete uses recycled glass as aggregates to increase the aesthetic appeal of the structure. Besides being durable, this concrete provides thermal insulation.
High Rise Concrete Construction
Vacuum concrete – This concrete mix contains a higher proportion of water. Their preparation process involves suction of excess water using a vacuum pump without waiting for the concrete mixture to set. This process hastens the strengthening period of the structure from 28 days to around ten days.
- Pumped concrete – High-rise construction requires the pumping of the concrete to great heights.
- Hence, in these construction sites pumped concrete, which is fluid in nature with high workability, is used to enable the pumping of the concrete mix through pipes or flexible hoses.
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What are the different types of concrete used in construction?
The main types of concrete used in construction include plain concrete, high -density concrete, lightweight concrete, precast concrete, reinforced concrete, prestressed concrete, shotcrete, air-entrained concrete, self-consolidating concrete, and glass-reinforced concrete.
What are the uses of high tensile strength concrete?
2. Plain Concrete – The plain concrete will have no reinforcement in it. The main constituents are the cement, aggregates, and water. Most commonly used mix design is 1:2:4 which is the normal mix design. The density of the plain concrete will vary between 2200 and 2500 Kg/meter cube.
What is the strength of concrete in high rise buildings?
Modern high-rise concrete buildings are models of design skill in the use of materials. It is now a commonplace to specify high strength concrete, usually 5,000 psi, for compression members in the lower stories of multi-story buildings. Concentration of reinforcing bars in these members is very high.
The trend toward buildings other than rectilinear in shape is producing some unusual structural members. All of these factors spell placing problems unless a mix design is formulated that produces concrete of considerable flowability and high quality. The problem of obtaining uniform, high-quality concrete in this work hinges mainly on two basic considerations: (1) mix design; and (2) placing and curing procedures.
The narrow, high forms often used for columns and shear walls aggravate the tendency of mixes to bleed and produce laitance. These problems are quite common in tall building construction field, but they can be prevented by close attention to two aspects of the mix design: (1) cement paste consistency and physical composition; and (2) characteristics of the aggregate.
- Air entrainment and minimum water content can also play and important role in halting bleeding, formation of laitance and segregation.
- Without proper placing procedures, however, even the best designed concrete will segregate and bleed, resulting in honeycombing, poor bond to steel and other woes.
- Because column and wall forms are usually rather high and reinforcing bars are often spaced quite closely, workmen must be careful in depositing and vibrating concrete in this work.
Concrete should be dropped in a true vertical plane and have a free fall of no more than four feet. Vibration can be a great help in concreting high-rise buildings because it permits use of lower water contents. However, vibration can be misused if it is employed with wet mixes or continued for important bearing on the quality of concrete flatwork These desirable proportioning and placing practices will also largely hold true for lightweight concrete.
What is lightweight concrete used for?
6. Lightweight Concrete – Concrete that have a density lesser than 1920kg/m 3 will be categorized as lightweight concrete. The use of lightweight aggregates in concrete design will give us lightweight aggregates. Aggregates are the important element that contributes to the density of the concrete.