Concrete is arguably the most important material used in a construction project. This combination of water, aggregate and cement serves as the foundation for most structures — it's hard to build just about anything without pouring, pumping or spraying concrete.
Because concrete is such a crucial component in the construction process, it's vital to follow a set of best practices when preparing and applying the material, especially during mixing, setting and curing.
The mix refers to the blend of ingredients used to produce concrete for a project. The strength and durability of the final product depend on several factors in the mix:
Setting refers to the gradual development of the rigidity of the concrete mix upon adding water. The resulting chemical reaction serves as the catalyst for the setting process.
The degree of setting affects various properties of hardened concrete:
In most cases, the proper concrete setting requires exposing the mix to an environment with a relative humidity of over 80% and a temperature of more than 50 degrees Fahrenheit for 3-14 days. The mix design also impacts the setting results. For example, a lower water-to-cement ratio strengthens and increases the durability of the concrete, but it also limits its workability.
Curing refers to the process of controlling the level and rate of moisture loss during cement hydration. One curing technique is keeping the surface moist via ponding, applying damp sand or lightly spraying or sprinkling water. Another common method entails covering the surface with polythene sheeting to prevent moisture from escaping.
The failure to adhere to best practices during concrete implementation can lead to multiple issues. Cracking that results from tensile stress is one of the more common problems. Spalling, which occurs when a large concrete chunk separates from the main structure, is another potential concern.
At The Cat® Rental Store, we understand the process of implementing concrete at construction sites. We offer a broad assortment of high-quality concrete equipment for rent through our dealer network to help you achieve a successful project outcome. Call us at 1-800-RENT-CAT or contact us online today.Find The Cat Rental Store Near You