What Is Precast Concrete?
As the name suggests, precast concrete is prepared by casting and curing the concrete in a mold under specific circumstances. The concrete is totally manufactured in a factory by adopting special construction techniques. When the concrete is fully hardened and prepared, it is sent to the final construction site. Precast concrete construction has become very popular in some countries like the USA, UK, etc.
Advantages Of Precast Concrete Construction:
1. Precast concrete is produced in a factory with advanced construction techniques.
2. The materials used in precast concrete production are easily obtainable.
3. The construction procedure is very fast, which ultimately saves time.
4. It possesses better thermal insulating characteristics.
5. Precast members are totally fire-proof and sound-proof.
6. Precast members are lightweight and can be transported easily to the job site.
7. Formwork is not required in such construction.
8. If necessary, precast members can be separated and reused in other structures.
9. Due to the density of concrete, precast buildings absorb more sound making them suitable for residential and commercial buildings.
10. It is economical.
Disadvantages Of Precast Concrete:
1. It requires careful supervision and more skilled workers for producing the members.
2. Uniform spacing between beams is required in the structure, which can become difficult.
3. Some members are broken up and wasted during the time of transportation from the factory to the construction site.
4. The molds that are used for casting are little bit costly, so the construction will be economical when a lot of members are produced.
Precast concrete can be used
i) To make beams, columns, foundations, floor slabs, and other structural members for buildings.
ii) To make wall or cladding panels for buildings.
iii) To make precast pre-stressed members for buildings.
iv) To make components for infrastructure projects: elements such as bridge spans, or metro line viaducts are often precast in a casting yard.
v) To make products such as precast water tanks, septic tanks, drainage chambers, boundary walls, and water pipes, and railway sleepers.
vi) As it can be molded into any shape, precast concrete can be used to create unusual forms such as boats, sculptures, etc.
vii) Precast concrete sandwich wall panels can be used in almost every type of building, such as residential buildings, apartment buildings, schools, office buildings, townhouses, condominiums, dormitories, and single-family homes, hotels, motels, etc.
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