Made from raw and naturally occurring materials, concrete has been used for thousands of years. From small uses (bowls, pots) to large (stadiums that seat 100,000 fans and skyscrapers), concrete has proven itself to be strong, durable, and adaptable. Today it is the most used building material throughout the worldwide construction industry.
As the ancient Roman aqueducts and Colosseum can attest, concrete can survive the wear and tear of centuries. Aesthetically versatile, it can be used in ornamental pieces adorning finished, large scale construction projects. For buried infrastructure, there is no better alternative than concrete for long-lasting applications.
The Romans used molds to create many of their most impressive structures with an unsurpassed consistency. Today, precast concrete replicates that consistency and pairs it with efficiency and offers benefits that in many cases pour in place casting can’t replicate.
Advantages Of Using Precast Products
Mosty precast plants are environmentally controlled, so production can happen day or night, rain or shine, 365 days a year. This includes mixing, pouring, casting, and curing of the products such as catch basins, manholes, or whatever is being produced. With enough planning, all four aspects of precast concrete can occur at the same time.
That just isn’t possible with concrete poured on-site. Even on sunny days, if the excavation site is covered in puddles or even just damp, pouring can’t start. Rainy days can upset the mixture during a pour and windy days can cause debris to enter the mix. Even hot days can affect the curing process.
For many of the reasons stated prior, the installation process depends largely on the weather for cast in place concrete. Any deviations from the mix, how the forms are set, reinforcements placed, and time to strengthen can compromise the integrity of concrete products.
Precast products have no such worries. As soon as the site is excavated, precast products can be placed. If the proper bedding is in place, they can be installed even in standing water! Already strength-tested before leaving the plant, precast concrete can be backfilled as soon as the installation process is complete – often the same day.
From the mixing to the placing, using precast concrete is much more efficient than pouring in place. For example, let’s consider 25 specifically sized catch basins that are needed for stormwater distribution. Once the form is set to the exact specifications, the pouring process can begin.
The engineering has already taken place and the mixing is already completed. All that’s needed is to pour and then to cure. One after another after another. With poured in place, these forms need to be set for each catch basin, over and over again. Building one per day as opposed to 25 or more in a day is a much faster process.
Finally, pour in place concrete just can’t compete with the consistent strength of precast concrete. Produced in a controlled environment, precast products are monitored every step of the way. With the ability to strength test batches before production, precast pieces will always meet strength requirements.
Even the most meticulous crews can’t control the weather during an on-site pour, where freeze-thaw cycles, sudden storms, or heat waves can wreak havoc on the strengthening process. That being said – poured in place concrete will still provide decades of service. Just not as long as precast overall.
Used in a wide range of construction applications, concrete has proven itself to be a very dependable on long-lasting material. Concrete construction has been proven to outperform all other materials, whether it’s precast or poured in place. But why not make a good thing better?
Rogue Valley Precast has been built by a staff with nearly two centuries of experience in the precast concrete industry. Proficient in buried infrastructure, above-ground products, and custom pieces, we have the experience to create multiple pieces for the same job as well as the engineering prowess to solve on-site problems when they occur. Contact us to see how we can help.