Precast concrete is made at a factory rather than on the construction site. This method provides some advantages over ordinary concrete. It can be non-combustible and durable while offering various shapes, colors, and textures. This article explores some facts about custom precast concrete Iowa. Read on to learn more about home precast concrete and how it differs from regular concrete.
Precast concrete is not made on-site.
In the United States, precast concrete is expected to grow by 6.4% in 2018, according to the trade magazine Concrete Producer report. The process involves pouring concrete into a mold that has been prefabricated and then cured off-site. This method reduces the cost and disruption of a project since concrete is not made on-site. Its versatility also extends to the many industries and projects that can benefit from this concrete.
One of the biggest disadvantages of precasting on-site is that it causes delays. Precast concrete components are typically large and heavy, and cranes are necessary to place them. Cranes have to operate over a large volume of concrete, which can add to the overall construction schedule. Additionally, site precasting strains the construction site by adding clutter and pollution. Moreover, the tools used in precasting can be dangerous to construction workers.
It is cured in a factory.
Curing time is of prime importance for precast concrete. Proper curing can significantly extend the life of precast structures without compromising the quality of the finished product. Using a water/steam curing system can facilitate this process. Low-pressure steam is introduced into an enclosed or temporary structure at a controlled rate by carefully controlling the temperature. This method is more effective than traditional methods, enabling concrete to achieve superior strength and sturdiness early and minimize fracture later. In addition, this method can save up to ten percent on cement costs.
A key advantage of precasting is its ability to produce large quantities of identical components. For example, a housing project with many affordable units could use this method to produce floor slabs and wall slabs. Special molds can be built for many repetitions of the same component during the manufacturing process. Special equipment is used to pour liquid concrete into the molds. The entire process takes place in a temperature-controlled environment, where it can be thoroughly cured.
It is non-combustible
Fire is an increasingly common threat, and with increasing natural disasters such as hurricanes and earthquakes, it is important to build structures made of fire-resistant materials. Because precast concrete is non-combustible, it helps contain the fire to minimal boundaries and protects occupants during a fire. In addition, precast concrete walls can be reused after the fire to serve as an exterior wall. Fire-resistance of concrete is measured according to thickness, aggregate type, and type of concrete.
The production of precast concrete is environmentally friendly. Many of the materials used to produce concrete are recycled. For example, slag, fly ash, and silica fume are often recycled into the product. These recycled materials reduce the need for new cement and prevent the creation of new waste. Furthermore, precast concrete factories are cleaner and safer for workers as they contain fewer dust particles. In addition, precast concrete panels are easier to erect.
It is durable
In many ways, precast concrete is more durable than conventional construction materials. It is resistant to heat, thawing, water, wind, and insects and can withstand long periods of exposure to the elements. It is also recyclable, and unlike some materials, precast concrete doesn’t have to go through the hassle of removing and disposing of it. In addition, it can be produced from locally available resources, which can save the environment and money.
Precast concrete can be crafted to match any design or aesthetic preference. The material can achieve a wide range of visual effects with the right design, from subtle to extravagant. The material can also be highly textured and gleamingly polished. An example of graphic concrete can be found at the Marguerites Building in France, where the daisy pattern is a playful counterpoint to its toughness. Aside from being visually appealing, this type of concrete also offers benefits when used in interior design.
It is energy efficient.
The design of a building envelope must be highly efficient to meet energy codes, and this includes providing continuous insulation, an air barrier, and a vapor barrier. In addition, a concrete building’s thermal mass can absorb more heat than it releases, resulting in smaller temperature swings and energy savings of up to 25%. These characteristics are attributed to its edge-to-edge insulation and nonconductive connectors between the exterior and interior concrete layers.
In addition, P Precast concrete panels can delay peak HVAC loads in many climates while minimizing total loads. They may even reduce or shift peak air conditioning demand, potentially reducing time-of-use charges.