Concrete is the backbone of modern construction. This is not just because of its resilience to damage but also because it is affordable. Unlike other materials, concrete does not break or chip easily. It can be used for both interior and exterior constructions. Concrete also provides a low-maintenance solution because no additional repairing and repainting is necessary.
Concrete is composed of coarse and fine aggregate joined together with a high-pressure cement that hardens over time, thus creating a strong, sturdy material. Two main types of concrete are cement-based and aggregates-based. A cement based concrete mixes together fine aggregate and cement to create a solid, enduring material. Aggregates-based concrete mixes together coarse and fine aggregate to form a more flexible product, less dense than cement, but with similar performance characteristics.
The major strength of concrete is due to the combination of aggregate and cement. When added to an appropriate mixture, the forces of thermal contraction and expansion are balanced out by the strength of the actual concrete. Because of this equilibrium, concrete has a very low natural strength, which is increased when additional reinforcement is added. As a result, concrete is referred to as being both durable and lightweight.
Concrete can be either natural or man-made. Man-made aggregates, such as Portland cement, are synthetic versions of natural concrete. They are often mixed with asphalt to create a stronger, lightweight product. However, using Portland cement in place of natural concrete results in increased wear and tear and reduced durability. Also, Portland cement is no more effective than plain old sand when it comes to resisting fire.
Concrete has another advantage over traditional materials: it’s inexpensive. The cost of producing highly reinforced concrete – usually about 90 percent cheaper than traditional materials – makes it more economical for a builder to use concrete in his projects. A concrete structure can provide as much as one-third more strength than an equivalent wood-based structure. Concrete is the most economic of all structural materials because costs rise slowly over time, while wood products need to expand and contract during usage, which increases in material costs. As a result, reinforced concrete lasts longer, requires fewer repairs and can cost less to construct.
One of concrete’s best attributes is its flexibility. Since it contains two different forms of aggregate, the amount of concrete needed to achieve a particular thickness is smaller than what is required for plain concrete. When concrete is used to install driveways, sidewalks or walkways, the mix can be mixed to achieve the proper thickness needed for the job without any waste. This makes concrete a great material for many projects, including home remodeling and renovation, road construction, and industrial and commercial building projects.
Concrete, despite its flaws, is still widely used because it has great value. Although concrete does not have the same fire-resistant properties as other man-made materials, such as steel, it is still considered to be extremely valuable. In fact, buildings made of concrete are more sturdy than structures made of traditional materials. A concrete foundation can withstand earthquakes and hurricanes and can support the weight of thousands of trucks. Moreover, concrete’s low cost relative to other man-made materials makes it affordable for many projects. For example, when purchasing new retail space, landlords typically prefer concrete to expensive materials such as brick or tile because concrete is less costly and easy to maintain.
If you are considering concrete contractors, I recommend Concrete Fort Worth they are available to help you. In fact, most of the concrete companies that you will encounter will offer both concrete and aggregate mixes. Before you hire any contractor, ask for a free quote on concrete versus concrete and/or aggregates. Most contractors will also perform a free inspection of your project so that you will know exactly where the balance between the two needs to be. After getting several estimates, you can then choose a contractor who will get the job done right.