Concrete is the composite mixture of cement, water, and fine or coarse aggregates. These aggregates can be composed of geological materials, such as sand and gravel, or sourced materials like grounded glass.
Types of Concrete
You may think that concrete is just concrete, but there are, in fact, many types of this popular building material. Concrete can be categorised based on its method of application, design mix, mode of construction, and the constituent materials used.
Each has its advantages and disadvantages, which is why it’s important to understand the differences before you start planning your next construction project. This article aims to familiarize you with the different types of concrete. Also, we’ll discuss some of the options you have to consider when picking from various types of concrete for your project.
Shotcrete is a type of concrete made by blasting concrete material or mortar under high pressure through a hose and nozzle onto a surface. It is often used for construction projects that require a quick and efficient way to apply concrete, such as tunneling, mining, and bridge building.
Gunite is a type of concrete that is made up of sand, cement, and water. It is very similar to shotcrete, the notable difference being their application mode.
Gunite is a dry mix of concrete that only mixes with water as it is being pneumatically applied through a hose and nozzle to the surface that needs to be concreted. This type of concrete is most commonly used for swimming pools, as it can be easily molded to the desired shape.
Fiber-reinforced concrete, or FRC, is a type of concrete that uses fibers to improve its mechanical properties. The fibers help to make the concrete stronger, more durable, and less likely to crack.
FRC is often used in construction projects requiring high strength and durability, such as highways, bridges, and airport runways. It is also used in marine construction projects, as it is resistant to corrosion and swelling caused by salt water.
Lightweight concrete is a type of concrete that’s designed to be lighter than traditional concrete. It’s made with materials like foamed glass or expanded clay that make it less dense, meaning it’s easier to move and install.
While it’s not as strong as traditional concrete, lightweight concrete is a great option for projects that need a lightweight material, such as flooring or roofing. It’s also a good choice for areas that are prone to earthquakes, as it’s less likely to cause damage in the event of an earthquake.
Foamed or Air-Trained Concrete
When choosing the right type of concrete for your project, it’s important to know about all the options available. Foamed concrete is one such option, and it’s ideal for various applications.
Foamed concrete is created by adding an expanding agent to regular concrete. This causes the concrete to bubble and form millions of small air bubbles. These air bubbles make the concrete lightweight and increase its insulation value. Foamed concrete is also more resistant to cracking than traditional concrete, making it a great choice for projects like foundations and walls.
Roller-compacted concrete is a type of concrete that’s made by compacting aggregate material using a roller. This type of concrete is often used for projects that require a high level of strength and durability, such as bridges, parking lots, and highways. Roller-compacted concrete is also known for its resistance to wear and tear and ability to withstand extreme weather conditions.
Polymer concrete is made up of a polymer matrix and fillers. The matrix is usually a resin, such as epoxy, polyester, or vinyl ester, and the fillers are inert materials, such as sand or crushed glass. The mix is then placed in a mold and allowed to cure.
Polymer concrete is used for a variety of applications, including:
- Repairing patches
- Paving stones
- Decorative elements
Limecrete is made from a blend of limestone, water, and sand and has a much higher thermal mass than other types of concrete. This means that it can store and release heat slowly, making it an excellent choice for floors, vaults, and walls in buildings that need to be thermally insulated.
Asphalt concrete is a type of concrete that’s made with asphalt, a type of petroleum product. It’s most commonly used for paving roads, as the asphalt helps to make it more durable and resistant to wear and tear. However, asphalt concrete is also used for airport runways, parking lots, and other asphalt surfaces.
Rapid-set concrete is a type of concrete that dries very quickly. This makes it a great choice for projects that require a fast turnaround, such as concrete countertops, flooring, or patio slabs.
One of the main benefits of using rapid-set concrete is having a finished product in as little as 24 hours. However, it’s important to note that because it dries so quickly, it can be more difficult to work with than other types of concrete. If you’re not familiar with the material, it’s best to hire a professional to help you with your project.
There’s a new type of concrete on the market that is perfect for those with green thumbs. Pervious concrete is a special kind of pavement that allows water to seep through to the soil below, helping to keep the ground moist and reducing the amount of runoff.
This innovative concrete is perfect for use in yards and gardens, as it helps to prevent erosion and keep plants healthy. It’s also great for driveways and sidewalks, as it allows for better drainage than traditional concrete.
There are many types of concrete, and each has its own set of benefits and drawbacks. It is important to understand the differences so you can choose the appropriate type of concrete for your project. If you’re in need of a concrete provider, Jireh Construction Services is a trusted provider servicing Seattle and the Washington State area.