Strengthening Products In Concrete In San Diego
Concrete is one of the most commonly used construction materials. It provides a sturdy foundation and flooring for almost every building in existence, ranging from individual homes to skyscrapers. However, despite its strength under compression, concrete is surprisingly weak under tension. A phenomenon known as cracking can result in a catastrophic failure of a structure that may or may not be able to be repaired successfully, depending on the extent of damage done.
The general reaction among contractors after encountering such a scenario is to increase the intensity of production, with an emphasis on producing more concrete faster without sacrificing quality. The pace at which reinforcements are implemented is also increased, often explaining why many governmental organizations have been accused of laziness when it comes to planning and deadlines using their respective budget allowances. However, the use of modern fiber-reinforced concrete (FRC) has been shown to mitigate many of the risks associated with traditional concrete.
The benefits of FRC have been known for a long time, but its prohibitive cost has kept it from being widely adopted until recently. Fiber-reinforced concrete is made by adding fibers to the wet cement mixture before it sets. The fibers can be made from a variety of materials but are usually some type of steel, glass, or plastic. The fibers improve the tensile strength of the resulting concrete and help prevent cracking. In fact, FRC can be up to 10 times stronger than traditional concrete in tension.
Tensile strength is the amount of pressure required to pull a material apart. In structural engineering, tensile strength is an important measure in assessing how much weight a piece of material can hold without succumbing to the forces of tension. It is usually measured in pounds per square inch or megapascals [MPa]. Since there are 4.448 MPa in one psi, it would take about 357 psi (pounds per square inch) to pull a 1-inch wide piece of glass with a thickness of 0.125 inches apart at its midpoint.
Concrete has exceptional compressive strength, the capacity to support tremendous sums of weight. Compressive strength is the amount of pressure required to crush concrete. As a simple rule of thumb, the greater the sum of aggregate in a concrete mix, the greater the compressive strength.
The term “mechanical strength” is different from tensile strength because it defines how much resistance there is to stress that can be applied during physical deformation. The more effective it is against repeated impacts, the higher its mechanical strength. Concrete has high compressive and flexural strengths but low tensile and shear strengths due to its brittle behavior when pulled or beyond certain thresholds.
Contact San Diego Concrete Contractors for more information on fiber-reinforced concrete and how to make your next project even stronger. Check our concrete services.