All you need to know about Precast Concrete
Precast concrete as the name suggests, is a construction product which is produced by casting concrete in a reusable mould or from which is later cured in a controlled environment. The casted concrete is then transported to the construction site for use in pre-designated location. It is different from cast-in-situ concrete which is cast in the actual location of the construction site.
Now let us have a look at the advantages precast concrete offers.
- Pre-casting is excellent for producing big numbers of identical concrete structures. In affordable housing projects where all the apartments are identical to each other, the walls, floors etc can be pre-cast and fitted later at the construction site.
- All the concrete materials are casted at ground levels rather than in heights, eliminating the risks of falling
- It can be done inside a closed environment, like a large shed or room, eliminating problems of unpleasant weather, like rain, storms, cold, etc.
- Same concrete product can be cast repetitively using the same mould hence it’s cheaper
- The curing of concrete maybe done in a controlled environment thus making sure, the end product is of premium quality.
Now let us have a look at the areas pre-casting is used.
- To make beams, columns, floor slabs, foundations and other structural members for buildings
- To make wall or cladding panels for buildings
- To make pre-stressed elements for buildings.
- To make components for infrastructure projects, such as bridge spans, subway viaducts are often precast in a casting yard.
Now, let us see how pre-cast concrete elements can be connected.
- They may be bolted together. Steel connectors are embedded inside the pre-cast at the time of casting. This has to be done with great precision.
- They may be grouted or concreted together. In this process, loops of steel reinforcements are left protruding out of the precast concrete members. Two adjacent members are positioned and reinforcement is threaded between the loops. Then fresh concrete is poured around the reinforcement and is left to be cured.