Concrete, without the doubt, is one of the engineering breakthroughs that mankind has discovered. It is important especially that it has been our partner in development on building structures that we use to make life easier.
By definition, plain concrete is the product of mixing cement, aggregates, and water resulting in solid artificial stone-like mass. Reinforced concrete, on the other hand, is a concrete with reinforcing bars properly embedded such that the two material work together in an act of resisting or carrying forces.
Concrete mixing has been widely experimented to get the optimum mixture that will meet certain requirements. Thanks to the engineers who took time experimenting the ratio and mixture of concrete we now have widely used concrete mixtures. Take note the sole purpose is to get the concrete design to meet the function it is intended to achieve such as workability, strength, durability, and economy.
There are factors that cause cracking of concrete that the reason why we want to discuss the following important points.
This is generally subjective in nature as this means serviceability or how viscous the concrete is flowing. Usually, concrete is deemed to be acceptable if it is still in plastic form and not hardened or showed any signs of settlement.
Depending on the nature of the structure to be cast, certain strength is applicable in a member and may not be applicable to another member. For example, slab on grades which are not suspended may be designed with lower strength than that of the suspended slabs. This is true for national highway roads to downtown road projects. As traffic are higher in national highways than downtown roads.
This determines the length of serviceability of the concrete. Basically, roads that are cast with durable concrete lasted more years than that of the less durable roads. This is also relevant for earth exposed concrete tanks where moisture may seep through cracks promoting corrosion on reinforcing bars. Also, this is important in piers and dams where the structure is used to retain water.
Play a vital role in the overall designing of concrete. Engineers are tasked to get the most economical out of any design without compromising serviceability, function, and above all safety of the user.
As a general rule, concrete is to meet certain requirements and standard. There are a lot of requirements established as of to date. But these may be summarized such as the following:
• Concrete should be workable and could freely flow around reinforcements to fill all voids inside the forms.
• Concrete is functional and has the achieved its required strength at the pre-conceived time to carry the designed load it is intended to carry.
• Concrete on its serviceable time could withstand the conditions it is expected to perform.
It is important to properly design the concrete especially for the construction of hi-rise buildings that was conceptualized by the civil engineers’ innovative idea like the construction of skyscrapers like Taipei 101, Burj Khalifa, Petronas and many others. They remained standing because of the well-designed concrete.
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