In concrete paving, there are a lot of factors that need to be taken into account. If you’re about to embark on a concreting project for your company, then you should read this blog post first! We will discuss the top three factors that need to be considered when procuring raw materials for your concrete paving and installation project.
Thickness of the slab
When procuring concrete for your project, you should make sure there is enough to create a pavement thick enough to handle its intended use. For instance, a commercial driveway where dump trucks and trailers are a part of regular traffic will require a thicker material than one meant just for cars.
Pay heed to the dimensions below to avoid making mistakes with the thickness of your concrete slab.
- Thickness of 4 inches for sidewalks
- Thickness of 6 inches or more for residential driveways
- Thickness of 8 to 10 inches for commercial driveways
- Thickness of 10 to 12 inches for dumpster pads or loading docks
Quantity of raw material
When you order concrete, don’t try to be economical or exact. Order slightly more than what you think is required just as a precaution. If measurements are off, there will still be some left over, but if they’re above and beyond what is required, then anything extra can be returned or sent back into storage for another project! Getting more concrete after you have already poured the slab is not a good idea. Concrete dries out quickly, which means there is no time to make any additions or adjustments after it has been poured, especially if you are striving for uniformity and perfection in aesthetics and durability.
Choice of concrete mix
There is a lot more to concrete than meets the eye. Different design mixes can be used to ensure durability and strength or even aesthetic appeal depending on your project requirements.
Concrete is made of three basic ingredients:
- Portland cement
- Aggregates (e.g. gravel as a coarse aggregate and sand as a fine aggregate)
Sounds simple enough? Well, it’s not. According to the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM), there are five primary types of Portland cement :
- Type I: general-purpose; suitable for most pavement, bridges, buildings, etc.
- Type II: moderate sulfate resistance; suitable for concrete exposed to water or soil that contains sulfate ions
- Type III: high early strength; suitable for rapid construction and cold weather concreting
- Type IV: low heat of hydration; a rare type of cement used in constructing dams
- Type V: high sulfate resistance; suitable for concrete that is exposed to high levels of sulfate ions
Aside from the three basic components, there are additional ingredients in concrete known as admixtures that give concrete strength and additional properties to make it suitable for different applications. Admixtures fall into seven major categories:
- When there’s a quick turnaround time required, speeding up the curing process is key. With new cement being sensitive to freezing temperatures, mixing accelerating additives is a good idea to help the concrete reach its full potential strength quickly and effectively.
- Retarding additives have the opposite effect as accelerating additives. They slow the concrete’s setting rate, so concrete does not dry out and harden faster than desired in hot weather conditions.
- Air entrainment is an excellent way to improve durability and workability, reduce bleeding and segregation, as well as enhance the concrete’s ability to withstand freeze-thaw cycles.
- Water-reducing admixtures affect the water/cement ratio to make concrete easy to work with, but with a denser paste and properties of concrete with less water.
- Superplasticizers make pouring and shaping of low-slump concrete much easier by giving it temporary workability that lasts around 30 to 60 minutes. After that, the concrete will return to its original state of low fluidity, where it again becomes very tough to work with.
- Shrinkage occurs when the concrete dries and can cause cracking and take a toll on the durability of your pavement. However, this grave issue can easily be resolved by using shrinkage-reducing admixtures.
- Corrosion-inhibiting admixtures are used in reinforced concrete to slow the corrosion of steel reinforcements, making it particularly useful for structures such as parking garages and highway bridges that are exposed to the elements.
If you’re looking for a company that will take the time to help you find the right materials for your project in Orlando, FL, then contact CAM Services! Our team of experts is ready and waiting to partner with you; we’ll provide a free estimate and discuss how best to handle your concrete paving needs. We want our customers’ projects to be successful from start to finish, so please do not hesitate to reach out if you need any assistance whatsoever!