Putting the Right Tools in the Hands of the Right People
The process of creating a customized, technology-based piece of precast concrete is one that requires precision and expertise. Many tools have been developed that make this process infinitely easier- even possible at all!- yet we do not ignore the fact that there is still room for human error. We realize that to have a premiere, quality finished product, the machinery and tools we use along the way to create that product must be top-notch.
At Permacast Precast Concrete Fencing & Walls, we do not hold to the idea that having technology means we are free to let go of the reins. Instead, we make sure our employees are highly trained and equipped to choose, operate, and guide our advanced machinery, leading to higher quality results over and over. They say a man is only as good as his tools. At Permacast, we also believe that our tools are only as good as the trained individuals operating them. Here are some of the specific types of equipment and precision tools we use, and even design and build ourselves, to ensure the precast concrete fencing and walls surrounding your homes, schools, government buildings and houses of worship are as good- if not better- as promised. We stand by our guarantees, making Permacast Precast Concrete Fencing & Walls the leading provider of quality precast concrete.
Reinforcing Steel Fabrication
All concrete designs must have steel reinforcements, but there are several ways to go about including steel in your concrete aggregate. At Permacast, we use a few different methods to frame and reinforce our concrete.
- Deformed Steel Bars: Our precast concrete fences and walls are reinforced with deformed steel bars, which is standard for this industry. Whether we’re using small, portable pieces of steel or larger varieties that require machinery to move and bend them, we make sure our highly-qualified, well-trained personnel are running the correct machinery for cutting and bending at the optimal levels. Intricate bending details are possible with various pin configurations, and our trained staff know exactly what it takes to manipulate these machines. Plus, reinforcement bars must be bent with a level of precision that matches standard CRSI fabrication practices. The trained eyes of our professionals guarantee we will always work within the appropriate guidelines, providing safe, effective steel reinforcements every time.
- Automated Cage Machines: Our automated cage machines fabricate standardized reinforcing cages. This allows us to produce a high volume of standardized products. However, we understand and value the need to evaluate and inspect our machines and equipment on a regular basis. Our employees inspect the length, spacing, cage diameter, and welds throughout each production run to establish optimal performance as our fences and walls are formed.
- Jigs and Mechanical Fasteners: While most reinforcing cages are secured with jigs, reinforcing steel can be secured with mechanical fasteners, tie wire or welding. No matter which method we employ (and it depends on the size and form of the piece being reinforced), we consistently exceed industry standards to make sure our products are properly reinforced.
Without proper reinforcement, your concrete cannot be as durable as you’d hope. Since we customize our products to fit your project’s needs, we make decisions about the type of steel reinforcements needed on a case-by-case basis.
We make all of our forms and molds in our own facility. This doesn’t just ensure the consistency and reliability of our products, it also guarantees that our forms will work with our production methods perfectly. Because we create our own forms, we can customize the look and design of your project specifically to your tastes.
- Standardized Forms: These basic forms take into account our production procedures as well as the type of concrete- zero-slump, conventional, or self-consolidating- that will be used. This decision is based on the strength and rigidity required for the form. For this reason, we do not mix and match different forms for different types of concrete, preferring to create our own in-house to suit each and every design specifically.
- Wet-cast Forms: These must be rigid enough to withstand the process of concrete placement and consolidation procedures. When reinforced with stiffeners to ensure vibratory forces are evenly distributed, we secure the casting surface.
- Knockout and Blockout pans: For stripping operations, we use pans that have an acceptable taper or draft for acceptable stripping. To reduce grout leakage, which can lead to rock pockets and concrete spalling during stripping operations, we securely fasten blockouts and knockout pans.
- Casting Molds: At Permacast, we’re proud to make our own casting molds in our plant. This allows us the freedom and flexibility to design concrete walls, panels, and fencing to meet your needs. We also can design molds that work best with our forming and consolidating equipment, allowing us the ability to complete a job as accurately and quickly as possible.
Because we take excellent care of our forms, we intend for them to last for years. This means that we become knowledgeable about how they are to be used and how to care for them, keeping them in optimal condition so we can be sure we’re using accurate and functional tools.
Since concrete can contain up to 20% trapped air, it’s important to consolidate it so it can be as sturdy and durable as possible. The most effective way to do this is through vibration, and we employ several methods of vibration to consolidate our precast concrete so it’s reliable and ready-to-use.
- Concrete Vibrators: Meant to liquify the mortar, reducing the internal friction between aggregate particles, vibration is the most common and effective way to consolidate concrete. The mixture becomes unstable, allowing trapped air bubbles to surface and the heavier aggregate to settle into a dense matrix. We use electric vibrators, giving us the precision we need to achieve the consolidation desired. We also choose the best combination of frequency and amplitude based on the type of concrete we’re mixing for each project. High-frequency low-amplitude vibrators are best for higher slump concretes, while low-frequency high-amplitude vibrators work better for stiffer mixes. Because we customize our products to suit your project’s needs, our production decision is project-based.
- Internal vibrators: To customize our mix of concrete to your project, we adjust the frequency, amplitude, and head size so that it’s appropriate to the concrete mix design and the product being cast. Since the placement, insertion, and angle of the internal vibrator is precise, we use experienced operators to run this phase of production. In many plants, this task can fall to a new employee, but we find that experience is the key to avoiding common mistakes that will produce less than stellar results.
- External vibrators: For dry-cast forms, we use external vibrators to consolidate because they require less time and tend to work together as a system. We also use a structural stiffener to attach the vibrators to reduce air trapping. We insist on regular inspection of all welds and reinforce them as needed.
- Table and surface vibrators: For our thinner concrete fences, we often use surface vibrators. These allow us to consolidate from the top down, while the leveling effect from vibrating screeds assists in finishing operations. We use tables with external vibrators mounted to the supporting frame. This is isolated from the base with steel springs and can be used as part of the form, or to place forms on during concrete placement and consolidation.
Choosing the type of vibrator depends on the product being created. We always make sure we’re working with the most effective form of vibration to allow the concrete to consolidate fully.
But most importantly, we make sure our trained, capable employees are on the scene through every step of the production process. There is nothing to replace the know-how and expertise of our experienced personnel. You can rest assured that your project will be guided, observed, and overseen by experts from start to finish, every time. Our tools and equipment are top-notch, and we keep them routinely inspected and maintained. So, talk to us at Permacast Precast Concrete Fencing & Walls about your custom-design project and put us to work- you won’t be disappointed with the results.