While concrete may be one of the most commonly used building materials throughout the world, currently being produced at a climbing rate of 5 billion cubic yards of concrete every single year, it still has a tendency to become damaged over time. This can be frustrating for both the client as well construction workers too, as more time, energy and money needs to be spent in order to rectify these blemishes. Thankfully, there are plenty of ways in which you can avoid having your concrete crack under the pressure, some of which you can find by reading through this brief article before ordering your own concrete mixers from us at BS Power.
Why Your Concrete May be Easily Damaged
One of the most frustrating situations that any construction worker can find themselves in is uncovering weaknesses within their already dried concrete while nearing an already delayed deadline. These weaknesses, while not providing any risk of injury at the moment, unless otherwise obvious, can still cause serious problems down the line if left alone over extended periods of time. These problems can include the structural rigidity of the building in question becoming weakened, and can potentially lead to a domino effect that can disturb and weaken various surrounding sections of the building.
This is why it should remain a top priority to check for any cracks and other forms of damage in your concrete during and after construction. In many cases of damage, they are caused only during or after the concrete has been laid. This can be seen in the form of the improper handling and transport of pre-laid concrete slabs and structures, an abundance of construction joints within the concrete and so on, which are a common weak point within the structure where water is able to collect. In other cases where weakness is already present before the concrete has even been laid can be seen within the mixing process, where the cement to water ratio may be completely out of line, causing significantly increased permeability, or if the concrete mix itself is not suited towards the environment it is being used in.
This is only a small fraction of the potentially countless problems that may be causing you to experience reduced strength in your concrete. Thankfully, however, there may be just as many ways to ensure that your concrete is able to experience increased durability without having to spend money on ordering alternative building materials or using entirely different construction methods. These methods only see you spending a bit of extra time providing your concrete with the tender love and care it deserves.
How You Can Ensure That Your Concrete Remains just as Strong for Longer
Firstly, you should ensure that your concrete is mixed appropriately regarding the environment you find yourself working in. In most instances of highly permeable concrete, you should be looking at how much water you are adding to your concrete. If you are working in an environment that experiences severe exposure to the elements, then a water to cement ratio of either 0.4 or 0.5 should work well. Aside from just water, however, certain ingredients should be mixed in with your concrete depending on if it will be laid near soil that is contaminated by high amounts of sulphate, or if the surrounding environment is experiencing freezing and thawing on a regular basis.
You should also ensure that your concrete is properly cured once it has been laid. The curing process involves you maintaining the environmental conditions during the drying process, which include the temperature and humidity of the environment in question. By ensuring that your environment is always above 10 Celsius with maintained moisture, you not only ensure that your concrete’s strength development continues at its expected pace, but you also prevent your concrete from cracking, shrinking, and even drying out prematurely.
Your concrete placement should also take top priority while on the construction site, ensuring that your concrete is poured correctly and formed into a single mass that is without any rock or air pockets. The chances of this occurring can be reduced by vibrating your concrete, especially around areas with a lot of congested reinforcement to remove as many large bubbles of air as is possible. It is even possible to implement the use of self-consolidating cement instead.
Another thing to take into consideration would be that you enter the construction site with a plan for pre-determined construction joints in mind when laying your cement. When water collects in your cement and makes contact with reinforcing steel, it can cause corrosion and damage your structure. To avoid this, design your structure with a reliable number of control joint locations, ensuring that these locations are equipped with a joint waterproofing system. This is a system that involves crystalline technology, which allows random cracks and blemishes in your concrete to heal itself, providing an increased lifespan and additional strength.
Why You Should Consider Using Bio-Concrete in Your Structures.
Not to be confused with green-concrete, a form of concrete that uses recycled materials as an eco-conscious way of building, bio-concrete is a form of concrete that is able to heal its own cracks and blemishes over time to improve durability as well as its own lifespan too. This building material was developed by a Dutch microbiologist and researcher by the name of Hendrik Jonkers. Jonker’s new invention is set to revolutionize the building industry through increased convenience that, thankfully, does not come paired with decreased durability.
While many may think that the ingredients being used in this form of concrete may be entirely different from what has been used for over a century, this mixture instead only adds a few additional ingredients in small amounts. This acts as a healing agent that negates the need for recurring maintenance over extended periods of time. This agent comes in the form of bacteria that is able to produce limestone and is spread throughout the concrete mix.
These bacteria, a mix between Bacillus pseudofirmus and B. cohnii, are able to survive within this concrete mix for up to 200 years, and are put to work and awakened when damage is caused to their concrete housing. To keep these bacteria alive for while remaining dormant for so long, their bacterial spores are encased within tiny 2-4mm clay pallets and then mixed in with the cement along with separate nutrient agent, nitrogen, and phosphorous pellets too. When this concrete is set and then damaged over time, the bacteria are able to make contact with oxygen, consuming it in order to produce small amounts of limestone over several hours to a day, just enough to fill the crack or blemish and avoid any further damage. As oxygen is consumed by these bacteria, their addition even allows reinforced concrete to avoid internal erosion and thus providing sustained integrity over extended periods of time.
However, as these bacteria are primary additions to the cement, it may be common to assume that they may pose health risks to nearby humans and animals. Thankfully, this is no problem as the bacteria are only able to survive within the alkaline environment within the concrete itself. This has allowed Jonkers and his team to work on two additional forms of bacteria based concrete mixtures, namely their repair mortar and liquid repair system variants, which are only used when concrete elements experience acute damage.
By making more use of these self-healing forms of concrete, it allows structures that often experience heavy withering to stand strong for far longer, also preventing repair workers from having to navigate themselves through difficult or even dangerous environments. This allows construction companies to save significant amounts of time and money in multiple ways over an almost indefinite period of time. While the production of self-healing concrete may currently be on the expensive side, cheaper methods of production are in the works that could possibly reduce its price down to roughly EUR 85 per cubic metre, only EUR 5 more than standard production costs, a cost that can be easily forgotten about thanks to the savings made by reduced repair and service costs.
Where You Can Get High-Quality Concrete Mixers at Competitive Prices?
With such inventive and self-sustaining forms of concrete currently entering the market, it is best that you find yourself a supplier of concrete mixers that is able to help you finish the job as efficiently and effectively as possible. At BS Power, we understand how stressful of a work environment any construction site can be, especially when under tight deadlines and reduced budgets along with the danger of being onsite. This is why we aim to provide our clients with the most reliable construction tools currently available. With cost-efficiency along with sheer power in mind, our clients are given the option of three top of the line concrete mixers, each providing their own benefits and uses that allow them to be seen as an easy addition to any construction site.
The first of these mixers would be the Baumax BS360L, best suited towards those working in smaller construction sites such as home renovations or small parks. With a capacity of only 360L, a weight of 200kg along with the addition of semi-solid wheels, it becomes substantially easier to manoeuvre this mixer around your construction site as opposed to using bulkier options with larger mixers. When making your purchase through our website, you are even given the option for your mixer to be attached with 145 x 10, towable, high-speed pneumatic wheels for easier transportation.
If you instead find yourself working on larger construction sites that require more concrete to be produced, the above Baumax concrete mixer comes in a 400L and 500L varient, each of which increases in its weight, size, as well as production rate too. While these concrete mixers may not be well-suited towards expansive construction sites with large structures being built, unless you buy or rent large quantities, these mixers are rather best used when creating large quantities of certain structures such as park benches, concrete slabs for walls or floors, pillars and more.
Why Order Your Concrete Mixers through BS Power?
BS Power is quickly becoming one of the most renowned construction tool importers and manufacturers in the country. By providing our clients with an ever-expanding variety of high-performance power tools used in construction, forestry, agriculture and more, we have been able to satisfy countless folk spanning across South Africa, as well as surrounding countries too. To start placing your orders for concrete mixers or any other power tool, simply make your way over to our “Contact Us” page, found in the top right corner of our homepage, where you are then provided with a variety of methods of contact for additional convenience. Allow your dream projects to become a reality with the help of the best tools in the industry provided by BS Power