How Precast Concrete is Made
Permacast’s precast concrete walls and fences are among the easiest to install and even extend at a later date, but without compromising strength, cost, or attractiveness. These structures are sure to withstand the test of time and Mother Nature’s strongest forces, as well as your individual aesthetic preferences. Versatility, affordability, and efficiency have been the driving forces behind the innovative design of precast concrete. It provides the best solution for engineers, contractors, and consumers. To better understand why customers love Permacast products, we are giving you a behind-the-scenes scoop on how precast concrete is made.
How Precast Concrete is Made in the U.S.
Structural Requirements & Mixture Creation
To begin the process of creating precast concrete, a design engineer starts with setting the structural requirements for the area where this material will be installed. Once calculations are completed, it is handed off to the drafting team, where detailed drawings are put together and submitted back to the design engineer for approval. Created by mixing together water, cement, and fine and coarse aggregates, the mixture for precast concrete is created under the direction of the design engineer to ensure the material meets every requirement for the project, including durability, efficiency, and attractiveness.
Mixture Testing & Pouring
Once a mixture has been produced it undergoes a variety of testing, including a “spread test” to verify proper flow without segregation of the aggregates. After each test is passed, the concrete mix is transported to a dispensing machine and, with the help of an overhead crane, fills a mold for the structure. To avoid trapping air voids and bubbles, many precast plants utilize vibrating tables to ensure the concrete mix has completely settled. Once each mold is properly filled, the team levels off the top and applies the specified finish to the precast concrete.
Curing Process & Strengthening
The next step in the precast concrete process is to begin curing the concrete overnight. This starts with the hydration process, or simply placing a tarp over the form to capture any heat and help speed up curing. The controlled environment of the precast factory ensures the concrete is properly cured and reaches maximum strength and durability. Precast concrete is also able to continue strengthening over time, even after the structure has been installed and the on-site project is finished.
Stripping Process & Final Testing
The final step is to strip the precast concrete from the mold by opening the outer jacket and collapsing the inner core. Then, the final product is moved to a finishing area where it will await final approval before being transported to the construction site for installation. Engineers will conduct a QC inspection and ensure the structure is free of defects and imperfections.
Precast concrete is one of the most valuable and efficient construction materials as it offers high-quality, a long life, durability, and attractive aesthetics. As such, this material can be used for just about any construction project, including wastewater applications, building structures, communication and electrical utilities, bridges, and Permacast walls and fences. Our design and research teams constantly develop and create new solutions and technology to ensure Permacast continues to be the fastest and most reliable precast concrete manufacturer in the field.