Nov 04

Interesting Things About Concrete in Building Things

I watched a large parking lot being built of concrete. There was truck after truck filled with concrete showing up. Workers were everywhere using gas-powered machines to float the concrete and give it a smooth surface. Then they brushed on a texture. The massive building structure got a smooth concrete surface that was stained to be the finished floor. Then I saw a driveway being stamped to make it look like flagstones but it was concrete. The color and texture looked like real flagstones. A highway department used a concrete batching plant manufacturer that set up a temporary facility to produce thousands of cubic yards of concrete for a highway renovation.

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I have also seen concrete being used in special buildings that are made to withstand Mother Nature’s worst. I have seen buildings made of thick reinforced concrete that a Category 5 hurricane could not knock down. They even have concrete roofs. One building I saw was made to not flood even during the worst storm surges. You can make concrete that will withstand incredible compression forces, but it has to be reinforced properly to withstand lateral pressures. For example, a solid concrete square can support tons of pressure, but if you took that same amount spreading it out to make a slab, it could easily crack.

I think that concrete houses are really neat too. They can be made to standards that will keep you warm or cool and very well protected in any weather. Concrete mass can hold heat from the inside or stop heat from the outside. Great for variable climate needs. It cures by a chemical reaction, and you can even put in antifreeze so that the water catalyst does not crystallize and weaken the concrete through freezing as it is curing. This lets you even pour concrete in the winter.