For any construction, a plethora of raw materials are used to keep a structure standing tall. However, concrete is the most essential raw material for any construction. To ensure a stable and durable structure, the concrete must meet the quality standards and must have certain properties accordingly. The following properties define the quality of the concrete used.
Permeability of the concrete is determined by the types of pores that form, which could be capillary pores or micro voids that form during preparation. If these voids interconnect, they can cause the concrete to be permeable. The prepared concrete must be compact and impermeable. This basically prevents the seepage and entry of corrosive agents into the structure, thus rendering it stable and impenetrable.
Morphological characteristics such as shape, texture, and gradation of the concrete aggregates affect the function, quality, strength, hardness, retraction, permeability, and durability of the structure. Flat and elongated aggregates tend to form greater voids than round aggregates. Thus round aggregates of concrete are preferred to ensure a stronger structure.
Size distribution in terms of the granular nature of the concrete aggregates is a very important factor. Fine aggregates greatly lower the compressive strength of the concrete because these require more water content for mixing and render the concrete to be less functional. However, coarse aggregates resulted in stronger and harder concrete, with greater stability.
Based on factors such as thickness of the concrete, the water to cement ratio, and humidity of the environment, vapor pressure at the surface of the concrete can damage the structure. Therefore, concrete must be allowed to dry for a sufficient period of time to enable moisture movement, before coating it with other construction chemicals.
Creep of the concrete is defined as change or deformation in the shape of the concrete caused by external stress. The extent of creep is based on certain factors as follows. The greater the aggregates and the higher the elasticity, the lesser is the extent of creep. Furthermore, the water to cement ratio must be low, such that the strength of the concrete is maintained.
Thus, if the following properties are ensured during concrete preparation, builders can rest assured that their structure will stand tall and stable, with great strength and durability, and will be impervious to early damage.