The advancements in concrete design and technology over the past several decades are truly impressive. The performance of concrete has improved for an even wider variety of applications as well as being “greener”. All of this is a good thing as concrete is one of the most widely used man-made materials throughout the world.
Concrete’s evolvement comes from new materials used, a wider acceptance to recycling, mixture proportioning, and better durability. The recent introduction of new concretes such as high performance concrete (HPC), ultra high performance concrete, and geopolymer concrete offer many advantages over standard concrete with few disadvantages.
According to AggregateResearch.com, one of HPC’s benefits is that it contains industrial waste by-products such as fly ash and silica fume that is not only extremely abundant but helps to keep it out of landfills. By using more of these materials, it allows the concrete to be produced with less Portland cement, which in turn reduces the carbon dioxide emissions that are released during the production of cement. Not to mention the advantage that the industry by-products are typically less expensive than cement.
Furthermore technological advancements continue to improve the longevity of concrete. It is believed that the concrete produced today will last for hundreds of years not just decades. AggregateResearch.com adds that, “new concretes have better corrosion resistance, equal or higher compressive and tensile strengths, higher fire resistance, and rapid curing and strength gain. In addition, the production and life cycle of these new concretes will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by as much as 90%.”
P. Kumar Mehta, a recently retired Professor Emeritus of Civil Engineering at the University of California, Berkeley, CA, and author of numerous papers on the properties of concrete and cementitious building materials commented on the emerging developments in concrete technologies. He says that, “It is not surprising that many advancements in concrete technology have occurred as a result of two driving forces…the speed of construction and durability of concrete.”
Conco is a leading supplier of concrete services for the Western United States. We got our start in the Bay Area in 1959 by offering clients the best value on a wide range of concrete services and products. Since that time, we have taken a leading role as one of the top concrete contractors in the region. We have four regional offices serving California, Washington, Oregon, Nevada and Colorado.