Archive 2016 08

Paul Lambert Concrete, whether plain or reinforced, can be readily produced in virtually any shape or size employing a large proportion of locally sourced materials 15 Concrete “It produces a very hard abrasion resistance surface that will withstand many years of traffic without the need for significant maintenance under normal conditions,” says Steve Chanter of Watco. Concrete flooring is also less likely to be damaged by household furniture and is “widely available, cheap, hugely versatile and easy to apply,” he says. “It can produce a range of finishes from a brush finish typically used for car parks to a highlypolished surface used in retail and office environments.” And while bare concrete surfaces are common in domestic and residential locations, it is possible to make drab concrete flooring look fab because it “can be coloured through the use of long-life pigments incorporated at the time of mixing. It is also possible to stain concrete to achieve certain effects or allow it to blend in with natural surrounds,” says Lambert. Depending on the required finish and the environment, concrete may also need to be painted or treated to provide additional surface protection and to prevent erosion from traffic, chemical spills, and to facilitate cleaning, explains Chanter. The floor renovation Watco undertook at Knauf Group factory in Germany is an example of the processes needed to repair and refurbish a concrete floor. “A strong degreaser, Concroff, was used to remove the oil and fat deposits that had become deeply ingrained in the factory’s concrete floors,” explains Chanter. “An epoxy resin adhesive primer (Tackcoat) was then brush applied to the floor to improve the adhesion of the concrete repair mortar. “Larger holes were trowel filled with an epoxy repair mortar (Concrex) and finally a fine filler (Concrex Fine Filler) was used for any remaining minor imperfections.” With Knauf needing to protect staff from slips and falls “the factory floors were painted with durable epoxy paint (Safety Coat) and a Powerfloat primer was also applied to ensure the paint adhered well,” says Chanter. Choosing the right concrete for the job Mark Joel, managing director of building products and ready-mix concrete at Tarmac, explains the types of concrete available and how they should be used n Self compacting concrete It is highly fluid, can be poured quickly and easily consolidates into the desired area eliminating the need for power tools. This enables fast placement and results in a smooth surface quality, eliminating the need for floating. It’s ideal for residential use and commercial flooring. n High strength concrete Refers to a material that has a compressive strength greater than 40 MPa. High early strength concretes are also available which can help increase turnaround and productivity, so are suitable for many applications from residential to infrastructure, multi storey construction and marine. n Permeable concrete Is a fast draining concrete pavement solution that manages storm-water by rapidly directing it off streets, parking surfaces, driveways and walkways. n Screed products Can have a significant impact on the overall build schedule due to the drying time required. However, certain materials, like Topflow Screed C Belitex, are available that dry in a quarter of the time of traditional floor screed, reducing the conventional 40-75 days to just 14-21 days. n Other concretes Other concretes are available, including waterproof concrete, which is ideal for basements, swimming pools, marine and residential use; coloured concrete for flooring, external applications and any decorative application and concrete specifically designed to tolerate colder conditions, enabling projects to continue over the winter. n A highly polished concrete floor

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Builder & Engineer
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