Over the past 25 years, the processes used in the concrete industry have made many significant improvements. The process of pouring, polishing, and sealing concrete floors has evolved a great deal. Companies that may not have wanted to embark on concrete projects at certain times of year may find that they can complete them after all.
Northfleet Concrete Floors Inc. has an impressive amount of expertise when it comes to flooring. The company treats its employees well, and the respect they show these employees is reflected in how they treat customers.
Founder and CEO Paul Garibotti believes that caring for his employees is just as important as caring for his customers. He explains how the concrete industry has adopted new processes and techniques over the past 25 years.
Cold Weather and Concrete
In the past, concrete installations were not possible on cold days. When the weather was below 4 degrees Celsius, it was not possible to pour concrete. Concrete should be kept from freezing for 24 hours after it is poured, but today some techniques can help companies pour concrete in cold weather.
Other techniques include heating the subgrade and environment to meet minimum surface & ambient temperature to pour concrete. Often, ready-mix concrete companies have heated trucks that keep the temperature of the concrete at about 18 degrees Celsius. If a company is mixing concrete on-site in small quantities, they can use hot water or store the aggregate materials in a warm location.
The components of the mixture may need to be worked on. Chemical additives can be used to help concrete set up in colder temperatures. Reach out to your concrete supplier or contractor to find out what solutions meet your needs.
Throughout the construction world, technologically assisted equipment has been used with great success. IoT (Internet of Things) trackers allow foremen to keep instant tabs on the performance of their equipment, making it possible to perform maintenance before the machinery breaks down. This can reduce downtime and frustrating delays.
GPS equipment also provides a real-time picture of how the project is progressing. Cement trucks can be tracked precisely. This means that crews will always be ready for concrete to be poured when it arrives.
Building Information Modeling
Over the past 25 years, technology has been used in an increased capacity throughout the construction industry. Building Information Modeling (BIM) is a type of modeling and design software that allows construction, engineering, and architecture professionals to work together to design and manage their projects.
BIM has become more advanced in recent years. It is more than a mere 3D model of the building site. The graphic elements can be manipulated to update the model. The data produced by the BIM system is used during the design process and during the build. It can also be used for renovations later on.
The concrete industry has taken part in the recent trend toward prefabrication. Smaller labor pools have led toward the use of prefabrication plants instead of pouring all of the concrete on-site. The process was used for large-scale projects in the past; today, it is used for smaller products.
The advantages of prefabrication include better efficiency, cost savings, speed of construction, and high quality.
Ultra-High Performance Concrete
While methods of pouring and maintaining concrete have developed in many ways, the process of creating concrete has also been updated. Today, ultra-high performance concrete has become popular in many construction projects.
Ultra-high performance concrete or UHPC is enhanced by mixing fibers like stainless steel or polyester into the concrete itself. These fibers help to deliver strength and durability. The product is rated at 206.84 MPa (MegaPascal) rather than the 27.57 MPa rating of traditional concrete.
UHPC lasts much longer than traditional concrete. It can last up to 75 years, where traditional concrete is only good for about 15-25 years. Frequently, UHPC is used in buildings in earthquake-prone areas because it increases the ductility of the structure.
While UHPC has been used since 2000, state and federal governments have begun recommending its use in projects of all kinds.
Another exciting development in the material itself is the introduction of self-healing concrete. This highly advanced material includes bacteria that create limestone when they are exposed to air and water. This repairs the crack in the concrete without intervention. Self-healing concrete is available in new applications as well as repairs.
There are other methods of achieving similar results. Hydrogels can be applied to the concrete. These gels swell when they are exposed to water. This breaks polymer capsules inside the gel. The polymers then seal the crack.
3D printing can only be used on small components, but the technology can be scaled up. 3D printing reduces costs, making it possible to quickly print parts for homes and buildings. These applications could be especially useful when building homes in areas that are recovering from disasters.
High-Tech Innovations Improve the Concrete Industry
Taken together, these improvements represent a significant step forward for the concrete industry. Contractors can provide curated solutions to suit customer’s needs. Paul Garibotti’s company, Northfleet Concrete Floors Inc., takes pride in their work and offers their customers some innovative concrete solutions for their homes and businesses.