Why Choose Concrete?
Concrete is considered as a chemically combined mass where the inert material acts as a filler and the binding materials act as a binder. The most important binding materials are cement and lime. Inert materials used in concrete are termed aggregates. It is a material extensively used in the construction process and is made by mixing aggregate, cement, small stones, sand, gravel, and water. All the components bond together to create a stone-like material.
Benefits of Concrete
Advantages of concrete. Among all the construction materials used in the world, concrete is most widely used due to its unique benefits compared to other materials. There are significant advantages of concrete that are explained below.
Concrete lasts decades longer than alternative building materials and gets stronger over time. This reduces the total cost of ownership as well as the environmental impact associated with more frequent rehabilitation or reconstruction. Concrete is a building material that gains strength over time. It resists weathering, erosion, and natural disasters, needs few repairs and little maintenance, adding up to a solid investment.
Environmentally-conscious builders look for durable building materials that leave the smallest environmental footprint. Produced from locally available, abundant materials, concrete’s long lifespan helps make it the most responsible choice for a sustainable future. Concrete buildings help governments and developers meet sustainability goals. They reduce the urban heat island effect and easily support “green roof” projects.
In concrete’s life cycle, recycling is present from start to finish. Many wastewater and industrial byproducts that would end up in landfills are used in the cement kiln or added to concrete mixes to provide desirable characteristics. Used concrete is recyclable and serves as aggregate in roadbeds or as granular material in new concrete.
Resistance Against Elements
Though chemicals in water can induce corrosion in concrete and reinforced concrete. Compared to wood and steel, concrete can withstand water without serious deterioration. Due to this property, it is ideal for underwater and submerged applications like for building structures, pipelines, dams, canals, linings, and waterfront structures
Pure water is not deleterious to concrete and not even to reinforced concrete, chemicals dissolved in water such as sulfates, chlorides, and carbon dioxide causes corrosion. Concrete can also withstand high temperatures better than wood and steel. Calcium silicate hydrate, C-S-H, which is the main binder in concrete, can withstand up to 910 deg C. Concrete is a bad conductor of heat; it can store a considerable amount of heat from the environment.
Concrete structures do not require coating or painting for regular applications to protect weathering compared to steel or wooden structures where it is inevitable. The coating is to be replaced and redone regularly, making the maintenance cost for concrete much lower than that for steel or wood.
Insurance costs for concrete buildings during the construction and operating phases have also been shown to be significantly lower than for buildings constructed with combustible, moisture-sensitive materials. Concrete pavements are also cost-effective on a first-cost and lifecycle cost basis, requiring only a third of the maintenance a comparable asphalt road would require over a 50-year service life.