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What are the different types of Concrete used in construction?


There are different types of concrete used in commercial construction in Vancouver. While the composition is almost the same for all, there are some slight differences. We have created this article to help you understand the differences between these types of concrete and how they may be used in your project.

Plain concrete

This is the simplest and most commonly used form of concrete. No reinforcements are used in making it. Most of the time, it consists of cement, sand, and water, mixed in the ratio 1:2:4. It is used for places that only require minimum tensile strength, like pavements.

Reinforced concrete

This type of concrete is most commonly used in situations that require high tensile strength. Concrete alone is only good at withstanding compression forces. To withstand tensile forces, it is reinforced with steel rods or mesh. Buildings, columns and stairs are constructed with reinforced concrete.

Precast concrete

Some smaller, less-sophisticated units are mixed and cured in factories, such as concrete blocks. They are made using molds and then moved to the site where they are assembled and then bound together with mortar. However, they can also be custom-made, depending on your budget.

Pre-stressed concrete

Pre-stressed concrete is subjected to compression tests in production to produce high-strength concrete resistant to further compression stress. To produce pre-stressed concrete, certain engineering stresses are placed in the concrete matrix in a pattern designed to counteract stress. It is commonly used to construct piles and other foundation work.

Glass-reinforced concrete

Glass-reinforced concrete is most commonly used for its aesthetic appeal. It is made by mixing recycled glass fibers into the concrete matrix. The strength of the glass combines with the strength of the rest of the matrix to produce highly durable, aesthetically-pleasing concrete with the added advantage of thermal insulation. It is usually used for exterior finishing.

Lightweight concrete

This type of concrete flows easily and as such, levels itself. It is prepared using only cement, sand, and water, just like plain concrete. And just like plain concrete, it does not have high tensile strength. But, that is not a problem as it is just used to construct floors as shown in these videos.

High-density concrete

To produce high-density concrete, coarse aggregates are added to the cement, sand, and water mixture. This gives it a higher density than other types of concrete. This quality makes it the choice concrete in constructing bomb shelters and safe rooms, for clients who are so inclined.

Air-entrained concrete

This type of concrete has microscopic air bubbles interspersed in the concrete matrix. These air bubbles usually constitute up to 7% of the entire volume of the is produced by mixing air-entraining agents with the concrete.

It can also be produced by using special brands of cement specially made for the purpose. The point of this is to create spaces for expansion and contraction brought about by temperature changes.

Final thoughts

All of these different types of concrete are applied to different uses, corresponding to their strengths. At Humphries construction, we don’t just pour concrete or use whatever is available. We take care and apply the right kind of concrete for each job. If you have any commercial construction projects coming up, Contact us here, and let’s talk about your next project.