The benefits of concrete
Concrete is the most widely used material in the building and construction. It’s been used for many users in the same industry for years and yet it’s proving to more and more suitable for the user than other options. There are a lot of famous buildings and structures that were built with concrete many decades ago but they’re still standing strong. As we become more advanced technologically, this material has become even more suited for building as things were never possible with it before, now are. Here are the major benefits that concrete has over other building materials:
1. It’s an Economical Building Material
Compared to the other building and construction materials, the cost of producing concrete is relatively much lower. It’s widely available around the world and is inexpensive, unlike polymers, steel and others. Cement, aggregates and water are the ingredients of concrete. These are all locally available at affordable costs.
2. Hardens at Ambient Temperature
At ambient or regular room temperature, it’s able to set, gain its strength and harden. This is due to the fact that it’s an inorganic material that’s bonded by low temperatures. So, irrespective of the temperatures, it’s able to be used and if required, it can be used with admixtures.
3. Can be Cast into Shape
In its liquid state, concrete easily flows. Hence, it can be poured into different shuttering or framework configurations in order to form the sizes and shapes that are desired at the site of construction. To cast it into complex configurations and shapes, the mix can easily be adjusted.
4. The Production Process is Energy Efficient
Compared to the amount of energy required for the production of steel, the amount required for producing cement is much lower. This saves a lot on the energy expenditure during its production.
5. It’s Excellent for Water Resistance
As much as water chemicals can cause corrosion in reinforced concrete and concrete, it can withstand water without any noticeable deterioration as compared to steel and wood. For this reason, it’s usable in submerged and underwater applications.
6. Can Resist High Temperatures
As compared to steel and wood, it can withstand much higher temperatures it’s also a bad heat conductor with the ability to store a large amount of heat from the surroundings. It’s used for fireproofing steel. It’s used in the blast and high-temperature applications.
7. Has the Ability to Recycle and to Consume Waste
Many wastes from industries can be substitutes for aggregate and cement by recycling. These are slag, ash waste glass among others. It, therefore, reduces impacts on the environment due to waste from industries. The wastes also improve concrete properties ensuring the quality of the structure isn’t compromised.
8. Can Be Reinforced with Steel
The thermal coefficient of thermal expansion of concrete is comparable to that of still. When used this way, it protects steel in environments where corrosion is likely to occur. The strength of structures and members made from reinforced steel is also higher due to the presence of concrete in the structure.
9. Requires Very Low Maintenance
For regular applications, concrete structures don’t need to be coated or painted to protect them from weathering. This is unlike wood or steel structures which have to be protected from weathering by either painting or coating.
10. Has Many Applications
Another major benefit of concrete is that it can be used in different areas of applications. It can be pumped, hand applied, sprayed, poured and grouted. It can also be used for advanced applications such as tunnel shotcreting.