What Is Precast Concrete | Uses of Precast Concrete |Advantages &Disadvantages of Precast Concrete
What Is Precast Concrete | Uses of Precast Concrete |Advantages &Disadvantages of Precast Concrete
What Is Precast Concrete?
Precast concrete is a type of concrete where concrete is cast in a form on a temporary frame and then transferred to a permanent location to be used. It is a type of concrete that is produced at a plant, then shipped to the construction site and assembled in place.
Precast concrete is a building material made by casting concrete in a reusable mold or “form,” which is then cured in a controlled environment, transported to the construction site, and lifted into place (“tilt up”).
Cast-in-place concrete, on the other hand, is poured into site-specific moulds and cured on-site. Precast stone is distinguished from precast concrete by the use of fine aggregate in the mixture, resulting in a final product that resembles naturally occurring rock or stone. Expanded polystyrene has recently been employed as the cores of precast wall panels. This is lighter and more thermally insulating.
As a result, precast concrete can be constructed in less time, often in less than a day, and at a lower cost than it would take to pour the same piece of concrete in place on the construction site.
Precast concrete can also be strengthened in other ways before shipping, such as by filling it with steel reinforcement. There are many benefits to this type of construction, such as the quick installation
Precast concrete is common in both commercial and residential uses.
Precast concrete can be cast in a background wall, slab, or pipe. Precast concrete is often used for exterior and interior projects because it is durable, water repellant, and, depending on the product, cost-effective.
Precast concrete can also be produced with fire-resistant and environmentally friendly additives to meet the needs of the customer.
The use of precast concrete has many advantages such as faster installation time; improved quality as the forms is more versatile.
Precast concrete is also one of the safest forms of construction. The reason for this is that it reduces the risk of injury on site.
Precast Prestressed concrete is also commonly used for slabs, steps, lintels, piers and other loading applications. It can be employed in footings for buildings or structural foundations.
Prestressed steel slabs are one of the most common types of flooring in buildings, particularly in shopping malls and supermarkets.
Types and Uses of Precast Products
There are many different types of precast concrete. The most common ones are walkable slabs and wall panels. These are intended for residential and commercial use, respectively. However, other types of precast concrete are available for specific applications depending on the task at hand.
Precast Concrete Walkway Slabs
These slabs are commonly used to make walking paths or driveways in residential and commercial buildings or in public spaces such as parks or schools.
Precast Concrete Wall Panels
Wall panels are commonly found in commercial and industrial buildings for means of decoration or as wall cladding. They are also used in residential buildings to make partitions and can also be used outdoors to form walls for garden structures.
Precast Concrete Steps
Stairs can be made from precast concrete or precast concrete blocks depending on the situation at hand. Precast concrete steps are often made to be easily cleaned and maintained, which makes them ideal for public spaces such as walkways. They are also used in commercial and residential buildings for decoration or to enclose staircases.
Precast Concrete Retaining Walls
Retaining walls can be made from slabs, wall panels or precast concrete blocks depending on the situation at hand. Retaining walls are commonly found in residential areas as means of separating adjoining lots and constructing retaining walls for garden or private access between homes and businesses. They are also commonly used in commercial and industrial buildings for decoration and as construction walls.
Precast Concrete Subways
These structures are designed to be used for transportation purposes, such as sidewalks or road surfaces. Precast concrete subways can be made from wall panels or slabs depending on the circumstances at hand.
Precast Concrete Parking Paves
These structures are designed to act as parking areas. Precast concrete parking paves can be made from slabs or wall panels depending on the situation at hand.
Precast Concrete Pavement Markings
Precast concrete pavement markings are used to designate parking spaces, pedestrian paths or traffic lanes according to the needs of a building. They are typically painted in a contrasting color so that drivers can always see where they have to drive their cars.
Precast Concrete Street Signs
Street signs are made from slabs or wall panels that are usually meant to be easily replaced once they have become worn out and outdated. They are also used to mark traffic lanes, pedestrian paths and parking areas.
Precast piles are prestressed concrete piles that are hammered into the earth with a diesel or hydraulic hammer. The piles are constructed of prestressed concrete and have set diameters. These piles are utilized for the most common type of foundation.
Aside from the usage of timber heaps, it is usually the quickest and cheapest approach. The fundamental advantage of these concrete piles is that they have a high vertical pile load and resistance.
Precast RCC Beams
RCC beams are used for the purpose of installation on a larger scale. They are used in many commercial and residential applications. RCC is reinforced with steel and is generally made of concrete or steel reinforced concrete. RCC beams are made to resist high forces such as seismic activities.
Precast columns can be found in the construction of foundations, walls, stairs, floors and roofs. The special features that make this type of concrete unique are the joint features and the way they are designed. Precast columns are cast in forms at a factory.
The material is then transferred to a permanent location and assembled on site. They possess the ability to be used in both commercial and residential applications.
Precast Retaining Walls
They are used for retaining soil around edges of land or water such as swimming pools, roads, railways and steep slopes.
Precast Light Pillars
Precast light pillars are often found in landscaping and street installation projects. They are used to allow for unobstructed views of high rises or multiple buildings over long distances.
Isolated Footings Precast
Footings are is isolated and can be used around building foundations. They are made of prestressed concrete and have set depths for custom levels.
Precast Transition Structures
Transition structures can be used for a number of purposes including roads, parking lots, and public space projects. They are made of precast concrete, reinforced with steel rebars and fiber reinforced cement (FRC).
Precast Bridge Decks
Precast bridge decks are used in the construction of bridges. Precast concrete offers immense strength to steel structures and is suitable for lowering, spanning and supporting weighty bridges.
Precast Waffle Slabs
Circular and rectangular slabs are cast in a mold and are reinforced with steel rebar. This makes them ideal for buildings that require a wide range of shapes, such as buildings with a circular or curved design.
Precast Retaining Walls
Retaining walls are used to hold back soil. They can be designed in any style and can be used to create dramatic visual effects both in terms of beauty and function.
Prestressed Hollow Core Slabs
Prestressed hollow core slabs are used in the construction of structures that require heavy loading. They are also made from concrete with steel rebars to create exceptional strength.
Concrete steps are widely used as garden and pathway access points. These steps are either cast or poured and have pre-formed plastic treads on their bottom surface for safety and quality.
Prestressed Solid Slabs
Prestressed solid slabs are made from reinforced concrete and planes to allow for added tensile stress. Their structure is therefore stronger than hollow core slabs.
Concrete bricks are small shaped units that permit the fabrication of curved walls and columns, as well as retaining walls in a variety of designs and sizes.
A footing is the foundation for a wall, pier, or other support. Footings can be hollowed out of rock or filled with concrete, reinforced with steel rebar, or any combination of these.
Hollow blocks are made by carving logs into fine cylinders and removing the solid center to produce hollow shapes.
Cedar planks are used as basic structural elements in a variety of structural applications (e.g., roofing, floors, and siding).
Precast stairs are used for the interior or exterior of buildings in a variety of applications: commercial, residential, public spaces. They take on various forms such as concrete staircases, and are used in all types of buildings and floors.
Precast Sun Shades
Precast sun shades are pre-formed panels widely used in exterior applications. Today, they are often made of aluminum or steel frames and are used to protect buildings from harsh sunlight.
Double Tee Slabs
Double Tee Slabs are made from concrete cast with a steel core. They have a double sided design that allows them to be installed on two sides of the retaining wall.
Precast beams are used to create frames for walls, roofs, columns and other structural systems. They are made of reinforced concrete and are used in all types of buildings including commercial, industrial and residential applications.
Load & Non-Load Bearing Walls
Load-bearing walls require a concrete foundation to support the weight of the structure above. They are commonly found in commercial, industrial and residential applications and are no longer restricted to being attached only to foundations but can be used independently as well.
Concrete columns are made from reinforced concrete and have either a steel or carbon core. They are usually made with pre-cast shapes that perfectly fit their respective areas such as halls, stairs and walls, then carefully installed on site by trained professionals.
Decoration Precast Concrete Products
Many precast concrete products can be used for decoration purposes if they are installed correctly. These include:
Wall Panels and Panels
Wall panels come in a variety of colors, designs and thicknesses depending on the application at hand. These panels are commonly used in residential and commercial buildings to make less exposed sections of the building look more aesthetically appealing.
They can be used for wall cladding, floor cladding or to conceal a variety of functions in commercial and residential buildings. They are often used as decorative features, uprights or even as construction walls in commercial buildings.
Wall panels can also act as a partition between rooms depending on what type of panel is chosen for use. Wall panels can vary in thickness, depending on the use at hand.
Thicker wall panels are generally used for industrial buildings or buildings with heavy traffic so as to provide better support and sturdiness. Thin wall panels offer more decoration while being used mainly in residential buildings.
Wall panels come in a variety of colors and designs, which makes them particularly ideal for residential use, although they are also common in commercial buildings. The colors and designs offered by wall panels can be customized to fit the needs of each individual customer.
Wall And Floor Tiles
Wall and floor tiles are generally made from lightweight types of concrete for ease of use. These tiles are used to make flooring and wall uprights in public spaces such as schools, malls, hospitals and parks.
These blocks are commonly found in residential areas as they can be used to create much stronger retaining walls than other materials, such as soil or wood. They are also used in commercial buildings to create decorative features or partitions between two rooms, for example.
Although each block is made from a different type of concrete, the assemblies are capable of holding much more weight and supporting much more traffic than other materials. Precast concrete blocks are commonly used to create retaining walls as well as decorative features in commercial or residential buildings.
Precast concrete roofing can be used to make long-lasting roofs for housing buildings or commercial buildings. These roofs use a number of panels that overlap each other to disguise the joints between them. They are also used to cover parking lots or generally unused regions of a building for decoration purposes.
Advantages And Disadvantages Of Precast Concrete
Advantages Of Precast Concrete
1. Limited site disturbance
The use of precast concrete in construction means that there is less manual excavation required. This can be especially important when working with sensitive environments such as where archaeological ruins exist.
When builders need to access a specific area, the use of precast concrete means that they can be done so without disturbing other nearby areas.
2. Financial Benefits
Precast concrete slabs are often much more cost-efficient than on site, and usually require a lot fewer materials and machinery during the production process. This means that the cost of precast concrete is often much less than concrete which is made on site.
3. Less environmental damage
The use of precast concrete means that buildings are built faster and require considerably less waste. Precast concrete does not have to be transported in a truck, which has a significant carbon footprint. Additionally, there is less soil disturbance and therefore less damage to land in general.
4. Thinner slabs
Precast concrete slabs are usually thinner than traditional on site concrete and therefore require less materials. This means that they cost significantly less and take up less space.
5. Easy Installation
Precast concrete slabs can be quickly and easily installed. For instance, they can be cut to size and then simply dropped into place. This means that there is an immediate increase in productivity for construction projects.
6. High-quality and durability
Precast concrete slabs are often significantly more durable than their on-site equivalents. The advantages of precast concrete over on site, usually start at the manufacturing process.
Precast concrete is produced much faster and the pumps, pressure vessels, temperature controls and other mechanisms required are all of a much higher quality than those found in traditional on-site fabrication.
7. Less waste
Precast concrete panels are extremely durable and practically maintenance free. This means that there is significantly less waste and maintenance required to ensure they last for many years to come.
8. Aesthetically Appealing
Precast concrete panels, in particular thin-slab precast concrete panels, can be made to look very aesthetically appealing. This has a significant impact on the overall look of the building and has been designed to give a richer feeling and better experience for those who use it.
Disadvantages of Precast Concrete
The biggest disadvantage of precast concrete slabs is that they are very heavy and nearly impossible to lift into place if installed outside. They are, however, installed using cranes which do not require much physical effort but are extremely expensive.
Additionally, the weight of the panels means that floor slabs can only be installed up to a certain point, making it difficult to increase the height of a building if the foundation does not allow for it.
The use of precast concrete means that the costs involved are much higher in comparison. This is usually because there are more complicated machinery and higher quality materials required for their production compared to on site construction.
3. Expensive installation
Precast concrete panels come in a wide range of colors and designs and often can be customized to the customers specific needs. However, this usually requires a significant amount of extra money which can be needed to pass on to the customer.
4. Inaccessible areas
Precast concrete panels need to be installed inside a reinforced concrete foundation. This requires the installation of access points for foundations and supporting beams, which means that such structures are inaccessible for some portions of the building while being accessible from others.
Precast concrete is manufactured using machines, which means that there is less human involvement in production.
Concrete is already a very heavy material to transport, but this process makes it heavier. Additionally, the cooling and heating equipment required during production mean that these process are significantly more energy-intensive, which in turn contributes much more to climate change than normal concrete production does.