Why Concrete is One of the Safest Materials Around
Concrete has become a byword for strength and solidity. Madmix are leading suppliers of ready mix concrete in the Cambridge area, and here we look at five key reasons why it is still one of the safest construction materials on the market.
The ingredients of concrete are cement, which includes limestone, clay and gypsum, plus aggregates, including sand, gravel and stone. This combination means concrete is classified as inert, or not chemically reactive. This means it won’t rust or burn, unlike many other construction materials.
Even if a building does catch fire, the presence of concrete is likely to prevent the flames from spreading. This also makes it ideal for use in buildings where high-temperature processes are in use, such as industrial kilns and ovens.
It Helps Provides Excellent Air Quality
Concrete surfaces do not emit any harmful gases or odours which are known as Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs). Common sources of VOCs include paints, cleaning products and particularly carpets. Concrete floors stained with a non-toxic pigment are a far healthier alternative, as carpets are well known for harbouring many different types of dust particles, pollutants and bacterial growth.
Concrete also has excellent heat-retention qualities, which means you don’t have to heat up a building as often, further cutting down potentially harmful gases. VOCs have been blamed for a variety of health conditions, including headaches and respiratory infections.
Its Resistance to Nature
A building or structure which is made out of concrete is far more resistant to attack by the natural world. Moisture such as rainfall can only enter a concrete building through the joints between the concrete. Even if it does, the concrete will be undamaged. Insects and vermin cannot eat, or bore through, concrete, because they find it inedible. And unlike natural materials, such as wood, concrete won’t rot or provide a home for mould or mildew.
Its Structural Integrity
Concrete is also extremely durable and long-lasting. Provided the mixture is allowed to set and cure correctly, the chemical process known as hydration can take place, which binds together all the ingredients and is responsible for much of the mixture’s final strength.
In the case of a natural disaster or extreme weather event, concrete structures have been shown to be more resilient than any of the alternatives. When concrete buildings have to be demolished, it is often not because they have been damaged in some way, but because they have outlived their usefulness and purpose.
Its Special Admixtures
Even if concrete is exposed to potentially harmful substances, these can be nullified by the presence of additives known as admixtures. So, if concrete needs to be used for a sewage treatment facility, a dam or an irrigation channel, then an additive can be mixed in which will make it waterproof.
Reinforced concrete, which contains polypropylene fibres, offers a high level of water tightness and is unlikely to be damaged by abrasion, impact or shattering. And sulphate resistant concrete will provide additional protection from the sulphates which are present in ground- and seawater.
Accredited Concrete from Madmix
Madmix supply ready mix concrete in Cambridge, and also to customers in Huntingdon, Newmarket, St Ives, St Neots and the surrounding areas. Our specialist admixtures include pumpable, reinforced, waterproof and sulphate resistant concrete.
All our concrete is accredited, which means it has been awarded the BSI kitemark for meeting the BS EN 206 and BS 8500-2 standards, is subject to stringent level of testing and is guaranteed to be of a very high quality. If you would like to know more about our products and services, just follow this link.
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