Concrete used for the construction of industrial floors is unique and differs from that required for vertical structures, George Evans, concrete technologist at the Cement & Concrete Institute (C&CI), has stated.
Evans was speaking on the proportioning and handling of concrete at FloorSem 2012 arranged by the Concrete Society of Southern Africa (CSSA).
He told the delegates that the properties required of the concrete for flooring are governed largely by the use of correct materials, in correct proportions. Material specifications for all the ingredients of the concrete exist, as well as South African codes of practice for the actual placement of concrete and the finishing of the floor slab.
“A thorough understanding of all the characteristics of concrete, the influence of material selection, environmental inconsistencies, as well as handling and finishing, are essential to produce a quality floor. A disregard for any of these factors can result in problems which are normally observed too late in the process to affect change,” he said.
Evans stressed that consistency was crucial during all the stages of the construction process: receiving the concrete, discharging, placing, consolidating and finishing. He also emphasised the importance of protecting the concrete while it is being placed, and curing thereafter.
An incomplete brief from the client, lack of attention to correct proportioning, handling and finishing, inexperienced contractors and operators, could all contribute to a floor with poor durability, strength and aesthetics.
Evans concluded that the flooring process relies on the successful completion of successive phases; understanding what is being done in each phase, using the right concrete and equipment by the right person at the right time.
For more information on any concrete related issue, contact the C&CI’s Information Centre firstname.lastname@example.org