Concrete is perhaps the most widely used construction material in the world. Without concrete, keeping buildings, roads, bridges, and other essential structures stable and safe would be near impossible. Especially in today’s world, concrete is needed to keep society functioning. To help educate you about concrete’s importance, here are ten types of concrete that are used in commercial construction projects (and what makes them special):
1. Rapid-Set Concrete
If you need a concrete project done fast, you’re going to need rapid-set concrete. If you’re buying concrete on your own from a store, this is almost certainly what you’re purchasing. Because rapid-set concrete is built to set faster, it’s much more resistant to lower temperatures – making it perfect for people who live up north. For most other types of concrete, you’ll need a professional concrete pumping service to help you get the job done.
2. Prestressed Concrete
To successfully construct large-scale concrete-based buildings, prestressed concrete is a must. This concrete is crafted using a special technique that ensures its intense level of strength and durability. Similar to reinforced concrete (which we will discuss in more detail later on), prestressed concrete is used to attach different parts of a building’s structure – ensuring that it can stay upright for decades upon decades to come.
3. Lightweight Concrete
Any concrete that has a density less than 1920kg/m is defined as “lightweight” concrete. This concrete uses lightweight aggregates to weigh much less than your typical concrete mix or product. Natural materials, such as pumice and scoria, as well as clays, are often used in the crafting process when manufacturing lightweight concrete. Long-spanning bridge decks and building blocks used around steel structures are often made from lightweight concrete.
4. Ready-Mix Concrete
If a concrete product is both prepared and bathed in a centrally located plant, it’s referred to as ready-mix concrete. Ready-mix concrete is generally mixed as it’s being transported to a job site – and is the most common concrete that you’ll notice inside of the concrete trucks you see on the road every single day. Similar to some other custom concrete products, ready-mix concrete is mixed with exact uses and specifications in mind.
5. Reinforced Concrete
One of the most widely-used forms of concrete in modern-day commercial construction, reinforced concrete is stellar for reinforcing steel rods, wires, cables, and other foundational elements of commercial structures. If you’ve ever wondered what type of concrete is used to help construct massive skyscrapers, reinforced concrete is the answer you’ve been searching for. And you’ll be surprised to learn that reinforced concrete was made all the way back in the 19th century!
6. Glass Concrete
One of the most modern forms of concrete that are commonly used in construction projects, glass concrete uses recycled glass to be more eco-friendly, affordable, and versatile. However, this concrete is more frequently used for aesthetic and design purposes, making it very different from every other form of concrete that we’re discussing on this list.
7. Decorative Concrete
If you’re using concrete to create a design on a surface or to make a countertop, you’re likely dealing with decorative concrete. Other uses of decorative concrete include molding, polishing, coloring, etching, and other decorative functions. Without decorative concrete, the beautiful designs you see incorporated into many massive buildings would be impossible.
8. High-Density Concrete
Atomic power plants rely on high-density concrete to prevent radiation leakage. Heavyweight aggregates are used to create this uniquely high-density style of concrete. Many different materials, such as barytes, crushed rocks, and barium sulfate are used in the mixing process when making high-density concrete. Without this amazing concrete product, the benefits of nuclear energy would still be well beyond humanity’s reach.
9. Air-Entrained Concrete
Did you know that every cubic feet of air-entrained concrete products have billions of microscopic air cells packed into them? This creates air pockets on a near-microscopic level, and these man-made pockets help to relieve the massive internal pressure that’s often put on concrete structures. These air pockets also help prevent freezing, since they create tiny chambers where water can expand instead of freezing. Bridges and roads often use air-entrained concrete for this reason.
10. Precast Concrete
If a project requires incredibly precise concrete, it will seek out specially crafted precast concrete. This type of concrete is made in factories to meet the exact specifications needed to complete a project. Typically, these precast concrete structures are then transported directly to the job site, where they are then incorporated into the project being worked on. Due to this, precast concrete is almost always unique.
Concrete Makes the World Go-Round
Without concrete, our modern society would not exist. The versatile, durable, and highly reliable nature of this miracle product has created the literal foundations of our society. If you live in a home, use roads, or enjoy beautiful architecture, your life has benefited from the existence of concrete (in all its various forms).