People are often surprised to discover that precast concrete has been around since ancient times. Its durability, functionality, and versatility are renowned. And because it remains applicable to increasingly modern infrastructure projects, it just seems obvious that it, too, is a recent innovation.
The truth is that the Romans were using concrete as far back as the third century BCE. Many of their greatest engineering marvels remain standing and functional to this day.
What really distinguishes today from the bygone days of yesteryear is the precast concrete equipment used to produce, deliver, and install precast concrete products around the world.
New technologies and efficiencies allow for certain concrete products to be made with green and renewable energy and with increasingly cost-effective production methods.
Let’s take a look at three essential pieces of precast concrete equipment.
3 Types of Precast Concrete Equipment
Reinforcing Steel Fabrication
The vast majority of precast concrete producers utilize steel bars, formed and shaped by powerful equipment and experienced crewmembers. The reinforcing steel bars themselves reinforce the precast concrete.
When the production of precast concrete requires reinforcing steel, it’s crucial to understand the precise sizes, grades, and accuracy of bends and spacing necessary to maintain one’s production standards. These measurements will help determine the precast concrete equipment needed to cut and shape the rebar.
Another crucial element in the production process is forming equipment. When the forms are fabricated internally, a plant can choose for itself the most appropriate materials and production methods. While commercial forms can be ordered to fulfill certain standard precast concrete deliverables, forming equipment is fundamentally a custom production machine. This is why many concrete suppliers utilize them onsite.
Concrete traps air. We want to consolidate the concrete and make sure the concrete forms are produced to applicable and adequate levels of strength and impenetrability. Thus, we use concrete vibrators to literally shake the air out of the poured concrete. The physics of this process are a bit more complex than that. Essentially, though, the vibration forces entrapped air upward, helping densify and solidify the concrete matrix.