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  • Know Your Concrete: Types and Uses

Because the material seems to be just about everywhere, it can be easy to overlook the fact that there are different concrete types out there. And not only do different varieties exist, but they serve different purposes. Put simply, not all concrete is created equal. Curious as to what those differences might be? We thought you’d never ask.

Let’s review the various types of concrete available today and talk through their characteristics and uses.

General Chipping discusses concrete types and their uses

Rapid Set Concrete
Rapid set concrete, as the name suggests, begins curing more quickly than most other varieties. At the same time, it tends to be resistant to lower temperatures. These factors make it ideal for projects on short timeframes — or those running behind. It also works well for concrete work taking place in extreme winter weather. Of course, the quick-curing nature leaves less room for error than exists with other blends. It’s best for crews able to get in, complete the work quickly and with minimal need for fixes, and get out.

Ready Mix Concrete
Also known as “redi mix concrete”, “ready mixed concrete” and a whole slew of other names, this is the building material we reference most frequently on our website. Ready mix concrete is manufactured at a facility and transported to job sites via truck. (You’ve likely spotted those trucks with their spinning drums on the road.) This type of concrete is convenient because, since the material is already mixed once the truck arrives on-site, crews can immediately get to work pouring material.

Volumetrically Mixed Concrete
Although the finished product is virtually the same as ready mix concrete, volumetrically mixed concrete is created in a completely different manner. In essence, volumetric mixers are concrete plants on wheels. These mixers carry the cement, water and other necessary components, allowing crews to mix custom batches on the job site. Not only does this method help prevent the building material from curing before arrival, therefore making it great for crews that must travel long distances, but it also ensures less concrete waste. Crews have the power to pour exactly what they need for a job — no more, no less. (Fun Fact: Volumetric mixers do not require concrete chipping services.)

Pervious Concrete
Pervious concrete is designed to combat stormwater runoff, thanks to its specialized blend of cement, water and coarse aggregates. The material is capable of absorbing water, making it great for sidewalks, roadways, driveways or any other pavement regularly affected by rain and the like. In addition, pervious concrete also helps reduce the likelihood of hydroplaning — and decreases both snow buildup and spray that comes off of tires. (Interested in how water such as flooding situations affects concrete? We’ve written a blog about that.)

This is by no means an all-inclusive list of the concrete types out there — after all, concrete technology is changing all the time — but it does offer a bit of insight into the options available today. Remember, no matter what type of concrete your crew uses to get the job done, routine maintenance is important when it comes to keeping your drums healthy. Different types of concrete affect drums differently, and a licensed concrete chipping crew can help ward off the effects buildup has on your drums. (Have questions? Feel free to contact our team. Our crew is always happy to help.)

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