When it comes to building construction, concrete is still one of the most used materials globally. This is because it is easy to use when combined with other building materials.
Concrete itself is made out of aggregates bonded together with a fluid cement paste that would harden over time. Cement itself has passed through some changes. In the past, lime-based cement was often used as part of building materials.
Nowadays, we have different types of cement, and they are used for various purposes. They include the Ordinary Portland Cement (OPC), which is the most commonly used because it is suitable for all general concrete construction.
Other types of cement are the Portland Pozzolana Cement (PPC), Rapid Hardening Cement, Quick Setting Cement, Low Heat Cement, Sulfate Resisting Cement, Blast furnace Slag Cement, High Alumna Cement, White Cement, Colored Cement, Air Entraining Cement, Expansive Cement, Hydrographic Cement.
Concrete Slabs are also one of the many forms that concrete is being used for. Also known as Patio blocks or Sidewalk Blocks, they are extremely popular for a wide range of uses, including sidewalks, patios, entry landings, foundation pads, and walkways.
And they also come in a varied range of designs, colors, shapes, weights, and sizes. Primarily, slabs are rectangular with dimensions under 12″x 12″ to 24″x 30,” and they weigh up to 120+ lbs.
One of the reasons for its popularity is because it is cheaper when compared to other alternatives like poured concrete, asphalting, or patio block/stones. Also, when it comes to installation, the steps involved are less complex than the other popular alternatives.
However, constructing concrete slabs are not as easy as it looks on sidewalks, because some critical layers and materials must be applied before it is made.
The first layer of a concrete slab is the Sub-grade, and it is the underlying ground that supports the other layers.
The second layer is the Sub-Base, which is the main load-bearing layer for the slabs, and it is primarily made out of the coarse mix of gravel. The third layer is the Bedding and Levelling, which is the layer that provides a critical smooth and level surface to place the slabs upon. Materials used for this layer are either a single layer of medium-fine sand or two layers of coarse construction sand and fine play sand.
The fourth layer is the Precast Concrete Slab, which is the top layer of pre-cast concrete slabs that are placed upon the leveling sand. These slabs are positioned adjacent to each other in the desired pattern to derive the desired path.
The fifth and the last layer is Jointing, which is the fine material that fills the narrow gaps between the installed slabs. The material used is fine sand, and the primary purpose of jointing is to ensure that slabs do not move around and to protect slabs from rubbing against each other during shifting.
Masonry, however, involves the building of structures from individual units, which are often laid in and bound together by mortar. The term masonry also refers to the units used, and common materials of masonry construction are brick, building stone such as marble, granite, and limestone, cast stone, concrete block, glass block, and adobe.
The benefits of concrete and cannot be overemphasized. Experts have estimated that concrete would exceed $600 billion in revenue by 2025. Not only is concrete useful in building construction, but it is also a source of revenue generation.