Categories: Civil Engineering

Types of Concrete

Just looking around us, we will find several buildings that used different types of concrete. In this post, I would like to list these types of concrete and their uses to choose the right one at the right time. So let’s start!

Types of Concrete

We can use different types of concrete for the same purpose. The choice will depend on the objective we want to achieve to use the right one, for example:

Normal Strength Concrete

We can obtain this type of concrete by mixing ingredients such as cement, water, and aggregate, giving normal concrete strength. uses the ratio 1:2:4

The strength of this type of concrete ranges from 10 MPa to 40 MPa and uses the ratio 1:2:4. Normal strength concrete takes 30 to 90 minutes to set, depending on the climate, the property of the cement, and the construction site.

For pavements or buildings that do not need high tensile strength, this is a good alternative. However, it will not be a good option with other structures that must withstand the stress of wind loads or vibrations.

Plain Concrete

The traditional ratio used in this concrete is 1: 2: 4 for cement, sand, and aggregate components. We can use it for pavements or constructions where there is no need for high tensile strength.

It faces the same challenges as normal force concrete: it does not withstand vibrations or wind loads very well. We can use it in the construction of dams because it has a high durability level.

In addition to the writing of ordinary concrete, we can also mention the following characteristics:

  • Density: 2000 – 2500 kg/m³
  • Tensile strength: 50- 10kg/cm²
  • Compressive strength: 200 – 500kg/cm²

Reinforced Concrete

Reinforced Concrete (RC), known as Reinforced Cement Concrete (RCC). We use steel as a reinforcement to give a very high tensile strength to this type of concrete.

This type of concrete is a combination of the high resistance and compression of simple concrete with the high tensile strength of steel. The steel reinforcement can be in the form of rods, bars, meshes, and any other imaginable shape. We can also use fibers (steel fiber) as reinforcement for this concrete.

It is important to ensure that the bond between the reinforcement and the concrete during the setting and hardening process is as good as possible. In this way, the RCC is able to withstand all kinds of stresses in any type of construction. RCC is the most important type of concrete.

Prestressed Concrete

Most of the mega concrete constructions use prestressed concrete units. These units have the uniqueness that the reinforcing bars are tensioned before being embedded in the concrete.

These tensioned wires are held tight at each end while the concrete mix is ​​being placed. When the concrete sets and hardens, the result is that all the elements are compressed.

This process makes the lower section of the reinforced concrete also more resistant to stress. This prevents tensile cracks in unstressed reinforced concrete. This type of concrete is made in factories since they involve the use of jacks and tensioning equipment.

Some of the advantages of prestressed concrete are as follows.

  • The potential compressive strength of concrete increases considerably.
  • We can use elements lighter than reinforced concrete without stress.
  • The risk of stress cracks in the lower sections of the beams is considerably reduced.
  • Resistance to shears is greatly reduced and eliminates the need for stirrups.
  • Prestressed concrete is highly favored in the construction of
    • Bridges
    • Large light ceilings.
    • Most structures with a large dead load.

Lightweight Concrete

Light concrete any type of concrete that has a density lower than 1920 kg/m³. To produce this type of concrete we need several types of aggregates, whether natural, artificial or processed. Natural aggregates we can use are pumice or slag, while artificial can be shales or expanded clays, and processed aggregates can be perlite or vermiculite.

The most important property of lightweight concrete is very low thermal conductivity. For example, the thermal conductivity of normal or plain concrete can have the value k, as high as 10-12. While the thermal conductivity of lightweight concrete is about 0.3.

We can use Lightweight Concrete, depending on its composition, to protect steel structures or thermal insulation. We can also use it on large span bridge decks, and even as building blocks. We can see the use of all types of concrete for example in a construction company in Rome with several years of experience.


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