In the realm of construction and project development, concrete is the most used man-made material in the world. The industry has grown significantly and continues to expand. Concrete is a significant invention through the past and will grow into the future. This is demonstrated through the fact that concrete can last for thousands of years, exemplified by the oldest known concrete mix dated around 500 BC that was made by man.
For a long period of time, concrete is regarded as one of the best construction material especially when it comes to commercial construction projects. In line with the changing real estate industry, concrete companies today apply the best manufacturing and production procedures in order to produce a final product that is durable. Today, the concrete industry employs approximately 2 million people and has an estimated worth of $37 billion. In reference with concrete materials being durable, the average concrete strength of concrete is 3000 psi (lbs/square inch). However, there are certain types of concrete that can reach strengths of up to 20,000 psi. This means that in commercial buildings, concrete safety is dependent on the type used. But when it comes to concrete products, there is still a lot that concrete contractors don’t know about the product.
The history of concrete can be traced back to the late 18th and 19th centuries with some of the structures that were constructed using reinforced concrete still standing tall. Given that structures such as the Pantheon in Rome still remains in history as one of the strongest and largest unreinforced concrete dome. But there is one thing that stands out when it comes to the use of reinforced concrete in modern day. Most of the structures by a professional concrete company could still become obsolete a decade from now. So what really is the difference between ancient and modern concrete structures and how well can modern structures ensure concrete safety.
Modern concrete structures have in the recent past cast aspersions on their concrete safety. However, experts argue that modern concrete reinforcement is not the same as the one that was done centuries ago. Of greatest concern is the use of steel reinforcement better known as rebar. This reinforcement is concealed by the concrete. Generally, steel is made of iron and there is one characteristic about iron that is unalterable- rusts over time. This is one of the reasons why modern concrete work has been on the spotlight on matters, durability. The greatest challenge therefore over modern concrete reinforcement would be that since the steel reinforcement is concealed, any structural weaknesses are difficult to detect and costly to repair.
Originally, 19th and 20th century engineers were concrete safety of the structures built at the time was assured. It was at no time though that these structures would require industrial concrete repair. Some of these early structures including bridges, buildings and highways would later receive steel reinforcement that was an innovation of the 19th century. Ideally, steel reinforcement speeds up the construction process while at the same time adding strength. Steel reinforcement also allows for the construction of thinner less-supported slabs. The problem however is that reinforced concretes offered an alternative against durable building techniques such as using steel frames as well as traditional brick and mortar. Ironically, this is the reason why historical building technologies are more durable compared to reinforced concrete technology.